The federal government last week sealed off the office complex of Sky Catering Company Limited a subsidiary of the defunct Nigeria Airways Limited (NAL) for allegedly subletting part of its facility to one of the domestic carriers in the industry. The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Aviation, Mr Yemi Adelakun, who was on tour of facilities at the Murtala Muhammed Airport on last week had directed the management of the firm using the facility to forward to the Ministry through the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), details of documents authorising the company to operate at the facility.
It was observed that the management of the organisation and workers who had come early in the morning to resume normal operations for the day found the entrance under lock with a notice, ‘sealed by FAAN’. Mr Adelakun had earlier queried the audacity of Sky Catering Limited to collect money from an airline using the facility as offices without remitting same to the Ministry of Aviation, the body supposedly in charge of supervising the firm. Adelakun discovered that Sky Catering which had been in operation since the liquidation of Nigeria Airways in 2004 had not been remitting revenue generated from the company to the coffers of government while claiming to be under the Ministry of Aviation.
He further challenged the management of the firm to ensure that it submitted it with the relevant documents of the operation of the airline at its facility, which he described as unofficial. When asked why the company had failed to remit revenue generated from the operations and subsequently subletting part of the facility to a third party, the General Manager of the Sky Catering, Mr Paul Obla claimed that the Ministry was aware of the company’s existence. He said since the liquidation of Nigerian Airways, the firm had not been receiving any subvention from the government, so the company had been financing itself. Obla also said previous Ministers who had visited the premise were aware of its existence in the industry.
“We just established this business a few years ago. Previous Ministers who came here were all aware of that; because we are not getting any subvention from the government and there is no budgetary allocation to us. The government said we should go and fund ourselves. There is a paper that says that we are excluded from the liquidation of Nigerian Airways in 2004”, he explained.