Air Nigeria’s MD arrested over unremitted taxes

More bad news for Air Nigeria: its Managing Director, Knife Kahssaye, was arrested by the Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS), as the airline is accused of not remitting taxes worth N4,8 billion.

The arrest was as a result of the tax enforcement drive by the Debt Enforcement and Special Prosecution Unit (DESPU) of the Service aimed at recovering arrears of taxes due to government from Withholding Tax (WHT) and Value Added Tax (VAT). Air Nigeria was also accused of failure to file its annual tax returns for 2011 as and when due, while the one for 2012 is still pending.

Air Nigeria agrees that it has outstanding tax liabilities to pay, but pleads for time to settle them. The airline released a statement denouncing the ‘military approach’ of FIRS, and it sees the invasion as part of a conspiracy:

It should be noted that since the commencement of international operations on the Lagos – London route, Air Nigeria has become the object of an orchestrated attacks that show clearly that this is a case of the voice of Jacob and the hand of Esau. In following the external influence, local staff of the airline went on strike in May for May salary which the management has resolved amicably. As the airline was coming out of that, the news of it being grounded by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) infiltrated town. Again, as the airline was coming out of this with a clean bill of health, barely two days after, the airline is yet invaded in a military manner. We suspect that one other line of action will be coming in the coming week to further attempt to damage us in the public eye; but we assure the instigator of such uncivilized approach that Air Nigeria will not compromise its corporate values and development strategy.

Update: After a day of accusations and counter-accusations, it seems that FIRS and Air Nigeria have agreed to find a solution for the outstanding tax debt.

On another note, Air Nigeria has selected IFE Services as its in-flight entertainment (IFE) provider:

The agreement covers the provision of entertainment content across the airline’s fleet of A330s. Passengers in business class will be offered a complimentary iPad 3 on which to enjoy Nigerian, classic and latest release Hollywood movies as well as a broad selection of comedy, lifestyle, drama and kids TV shows. Air Nigeria is the first African carrier to offer the iPad 3 to passengers as an in-flight entertainment solution. In economy class, passengers can enjoy latest release Hollywood movies and a selection of TV shows on the airplanes’ digital mainscreen systems. IFE Services is also producing a new animated safety film for the airline.

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2 responses to “Air Nigeria’s MD arrested over unremitted taxes”

  1. Anonymous says :

    How much profit does Air Nigeria make that they could owe that much in taxes? What’s the tax rate anyway?

  2. Anonymous says :

    Seems a regular occurence for owners and managers in Nigeria !

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