Tuesday, August 6, 2013

FAAN Now Charges N2,000 On Check-in Luggages At Lagos Airport

The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has started charging N2,000 per luggage on arrival at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.

This new policy does not apply to all passengers but only cargo agents who use passenger planes to transport their cargoes often times 20 to 30 pieces of luggage unaccompanied or accompanied by proxies.

However, on Monday, passengers arriving the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), were engaged in a free-for-all as FAAN attempted to force most of the passengers to pay the N2,000 charge on all checked-in luggage.

One of the affected female passengers, a lady, who spoke to Vanguard, said she arrived Lagos aboard Emirates from Dubai at 12 noon. At baggage reclaim, she narrated an official of FAAN said their luggage had been taken to the cargo section of the airport, adding that she should go and make payment there. The passenger said she was still at the airport because of her luggage, as FAAN has refused to release them to her.

Another passenger, who chose to remain anonymous, said as of 4pm, a lot of passengers had yet to retrieve their luggage despite arriving some hours earlier. He explained that the information they got was that the airport authorities had kept the luggage in their custody because the owners were meant to pay duties on them. As a result, you can see how rowdy and chaotic this whole place is; the fact is that we have been travelling for many hours, only for us to touch down and see this kind of thing; it is really a sad experience” he said.

Meanwhile, the General Manager, Corporate Communications, FAAN, Mr. Yakubu Dati, denied claims that the agency was charging passengers N2,000 on each luggage. Dati said in a statement;

“The charge does not apply to all passengers but to cargo agents who use passenger planes to transport their cargoes, often times 20 to 30 pieces of luggage unaccompanied or accompanied by proxies.

This fraudulent practice mounts untold pressure on our conveyor belts and short-changes FAAN of its much needed revenue. Cargo agents are well aware that all cargoes must go through the designated cargo terminal where they go through laid down processes for safety and security procedures.

The fact of the matter is that some passengers arrived with cargoes, which they should have passed as cargoes through the cargo terminal, but instead wanted to pass same as mere luggage and FAAN decided to charge them the cargo fee, which is a normal charge that is done with receipts.

We wish to stress that it was not the passengers’ luggage that was charged, but cargo, as the affected passengers arrived with an average of eight bags of cargo. The passengers should have passed the cargoes through the cargo terminal instead of coming with them.

He explained that the charge on cargoes was not new, adding that “the charge has always been in FAAN’s books and was part of the fees collected by the concessionaire, Pan Express Limited. But now, FAAN has decided to collect the charge and there is no need mixing it up with luggage.

The authority wishes to reiterate the earlier warning to cargo agents to desist from this unwholesome practice or face the full wrath of the law as no form of blackmail will deter us from carrying out our mandate of providing services at internationally acceptable standards and practices,” 

SOURCE: Punch & Vanguard

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