By Solomon Asowata
The Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) says its resumption of air traffic services at Osubi Airstrip in Warri, stems from the payment of N31 million out of the N566.4 million owned it by the operator.
Mr Khalid Emele, General Manager, Public Relations, of the agency, disclosed this on Sunday in a statement made available to newsmen in Lagos.
NAMA had on Sept. 3 withdrawn air traffic services to the airport due to the indebtedness of the operator, Shoreline Oil Services Ltd., to the agency.
He said: “the payment leaves Shoreline Oil Services with a debt balance of N566. 4 million.
“We recall that we took the difficult decision to withdraw air traffic services to Osubi airstrip after Shoreline Oil Services persistently refused to honour financial obligation to us despite several entreaties’’.
Emele said the agency felt obliged to restore its services to the airstrip with the understanding that the operator would take full advantage of the move by making additional payments to defray the huge debt.
According to him, NAMA is also of the view that the operator will agree to a workable payment plan that will clear the outstanding balance.
“It is our hope that going forward, and in the spirit of the renewed understanding between both organisations, Shoreline will reciprocate this gesture by paying for our services as and when due,’’ he said.
Emele also explained that NAMA was not responsible for the shutting down of the airstrip, adding that the agency merely withdrew its provision of navigational services.
He said: “nothing could be farther from the truth as we do not have such statutory or physical powers.
“We merely withdrew air traffic services to the airstrip but we did not shut it down.
“Finally, we would like to re-assure all our service users, stakeholders and the general public that NAMA remains committed to its goal of providing seamless air traffic services in a safe and efficient manner,’’ he said.