Somali Civil Aviation and Meteorology Authority (SCAMA) wiped out debts to the tune of $5.8 million owed by Jubba Airways though Somali government did not receive even a dime, a UN report has said.
The revelation contained in the newly released UN Panel of Experts (PoE) report indicates the Somali Civil Aviation and Meteorology Authority (SCAMA) cleared Jubba Airways of any debt obligation though there were no payments made.
According to International Civil Aviation Authority (ICAO) internal accounts reviewed by the PoE, on December 12, 2017, Jubba Airways owed SCAMA $5, 574, 495 while its Kenyan subsidiary had a debt of $243,300.
But on the same day, SCAMA had a different story. Jubba Airways was a clean client with no debts. “Jubba Airways Limited (JB-31/535 Kenya) and (JUB-JZ/565 Somalia), operating domestic and regional destinations have settled all the invoices pertaining to Air Navigation Charges with SCAMA up to 31/12/2017,” a letter dated December 12, 2017 by then SCAMA boss Yusuf Abdi Abdulle reads.
A review of the ICAO accounts in January 2018 by the PoE does not include Jubba Airways in the list of debtors. The Minister of Transport, PoE says, noted there was no debt clearance by ‘neither Jubba Airways nor any other Somalia-based airline’.
As at 31 July 2019, the total owed to IATA in air navigation charges was $25.5 million,” PoE report says. “Over $20 million of that debt was owed by airlines registered in Somalia or owned by Somali nationals. The largest arrears have accrued to Bluebird Aviation Ltd., which owed $5.2 million as of July 2019.”
On 27 June 2019, ICAO, IATA and the Minister for Transport and Aviation of the Federal Government signed an agreement terminating the role of ICAO in the collection of air navigation charges.
According to the PoE, Jubba Airways did not provide proof of payments of the amounts owed.