Buhari explains removal of VAT from domestic air fares


President Muhammadu Buhari says the recent decision by the federal
government to remove Value Added Tax (VAT) from domestic air
transportation is to make air travel more affordable to citizens.

The president said this when he inaugurated the new International
Terminal of Port Harcourt Airport, Omagwa, Rivers, yesterday.

He said the removal of the VAT was also meant to create job
opportunities in the nation’s aviation sector.

The president also explained that the government’s decision to charge
zero VAT from domestic air transportation was in line with global best

“This will make air travel more affordable and subsequently lead to
the creation of jobs by the air transport service value chain as well
as increase revenues for government.

“Today’s commissioning is an example of government’s deliberate policy
to sustain the development of infrastructure for economic growth in
all geo-political zones of the country,’’ he said.

The president said that the inauguration of the terminal was a
response to global trend in which aviation had became a catalyst for
economic growth as a result of massive and speedy movement of persons,
goods and services in a safe and secure manner.

“Following the large increase in national population with consequent
surge in air passenger traffic, the capacity of the airport terminals
became woefully inadequate to cater for the increase in passenger

“Although, palliative measures were periodically carried out, the
facilities were fast giving-in to the effects of wear and tear.

“It, therefore, became necessary to take decisive action to ensure our
terminals meet minimum international standards for the travelling

“As part of the infrastructure renewal programme, the construction of
four new international terminals at Abuja, Lagos, Port Harcourt and
Kano airports was embarked upon by the federal government with a view
to modernising the aging airport infrastructure.”

The president said that this was to meet global aviation standards and
improved service delivery in tandem with best international practices.

He said Nigeria having an advantageous central location within the
sub-region and its desire to develop into a regional air
transportation hub, must upgrade its facilities to take advantage of
its assets.

Buhari also said that the inauguration of the terminal was part of his
administration’s promise to upgrade and develop Nigeria’s transport,
power and health infrastructure, and complete a number of stalled
infrastructure projects.

He said the promise included the construction of new terminals at the
country’s five major airports, numerous major road projects, key power
transmission projects and the completion of the Kaduna – Abuja as well
as Itakpe to Warri Railway lines.

President Buhari commended the people of the South-South region and
airport users for their patience during the period of the

He also lauded the efforts of the Federal Ministry of Transportation,
particularly the Aviation, the Chinese government and the China Exim
Bank for their financial support and the various roles they played
leading to the successful completion of the project.

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