Director-General of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Capt. Musa Nuhu, has described the Nigerian aviation industry as the “most improved.”
He said this has been demonstrated in the increased confidence in the industry with more airlines coming on stream.
This is just as he disclosed that the country is set to undergo the international Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme (USOAP) Continuous Monitoring Approach (CMA) in the first quarter of 2022.
Nuhu spoke on Monday while declaring open the annual NCAA sponsored League of Airports and Aviation Correspondents (LAAC) training at the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT) Zaria.
Daily Trust reports that in 2021, no fewer than four airlines came on stream while about 15 more airlines are in different stages of acquiring their air operators’ certificate (AOC) which is a prelude to the commencement of commercial flights.
The DG stated that with more airlines coming up and the existing ones expanding, the scope of surveillance activities of the NCAA had increased.
Represented by an Assistant General Manager, Lulu Vongtau, the DG charged stakeholders and the media to continue to “present our aviation industry as the most improved that it is” more so as the country prepares for the ICAO audit.
“There is no doubt that there is increased confidence in the sector as new airlines are coming in and existing operators are expanding their routes.
“Expectedly, our coast of surveillance programme and other oversight responsibilities as the regulator of the industry have increased correspondingly,” Musa said.
He said the successes recorded by the industry was made possible by the firm support of the Federal Government of Nigeria and the
Minister of Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika as well as the National Assembly committees on aviation.
The DG reiterated that the NCAA considers training (including initial, on-the-job and recurrent training) as a key component of aviation development in Nigeria.
The DG disclosed that the agency is “fully prepared for the impending safety audits” in the first quarter of this year.
“On the heels of proactiveness, existing regime of robust regulations and over eight year of zero accident in commercial flight operation, we are primed to excel again.
“Therefore, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) appeals to all stakeholders including the media to join hands with us to ensure a successful audit next year. From now on, all your reports are very sensitive. Let us eschew sensationalism capable of putting the nation in a bad light.
“Therefore, I will advise anyone to endeavour to verify and confirm his/her stories before publishing, if in doubt. It is my view that your watchdog role plays a very important part in fostering stability in the industry,” he added.
Rector of the College, Capt. Modibbo Alkali represented by the Deputy Rector, Joseph Imalighwe who declared the course open said the training is part of efforts to deepen safety in the aviation sector, saying positive reporting of the sector is critical to sustain the safety rating already attained by the industry.