ICAO’s Audit: Nigeria not prepared — stakeholders tell NCAA


Abiola Seun

Aviation stakeholders have informed the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) that Nigeria is not ready for the International Civil Aviation Organisation’s (ICAO’s) audit.

Recall that the Director- General of NCAA, Captain Shuaibu Nuhu,
 had said that the nation is prepared for ICAO’s Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme (USOAP) Continuous Monitoring Approach (CMA) slated for the first quarter of 2022.

But, the Managing Director, Aglow Aviation Support Services, Tayo Ojuri, said eventhough Capt Musa Nuhu has said the nation is prepared for ICAO’s Audit, there are still some challenges that needed to be addressed in the aviation sector in order not to fail.

Ojuri said challenges such as passenger facilitation, security, seamless facilitation of passengers are still sources of nightmare in the nation’s aviation sector.

His words, “Aviation is dynamic and with Covid-19 and present reality from the social economic to micro economic and social political factors are affecting Nigeria at the moment .

“Having said that, the Director- General of NCAA  said we are prepared but we still have serious challenges in passenger facilitation, security, and upgrading the system to be inline with international practice just like having biometrics, having automated screening and check in procesess which is supposed to ensure seamless passengers facilitation process.

“We have to look at these things and even the ambience within the airports and we understand that no system is perfect and because of that, we should know that we set up processes in our system to ensure we adhere to best international practices .

“But, in all, we need to seek for improvement in the system.”

Ojuri further stated that all stakeholders must come together to develop the aviation sector, saying Nigeria mustn’t go back to its failure after the ICAO’s Audit.

“I think when ICAO comes, they will identify the failures in the system and give us time to rectify the gaps and  in rectifying the gaps, they ensure that we are inline with the standard as set by them.

“Also, we should create awareness and what we have done in Nigeria is that we get ready for the audit and after the audit, we go back to our failures but, we must ensure that all the things are put in place to standard and ensure awareness among all stakeholders.

“So, the audit is not just about NCAA, but it should also involve all the stakeholders including the airlines, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) among others,” he said.

The immediate past Secretary-General, National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), Com. Olayinka Abioye said Nigerian airports security is porus and passenger facilitation is also poor.

Abioye posited that the Aviation Security being provided by FAAN is inadequate, incompetent with questionable characters recruited into the system.

He said, “There are issues Nigeria promised to resolve before they come back but the government,particularly the NCAA ,knows what we are lacking.

” Firstly, we have said it repeatedly though, it’s not that we aren’t trying in terms of aviation security and safety but, we need to do more, we need to up our game and I am aware that Nigeria Aviation Security being provided by FAAN is inadequate, they required competent hands to beef up what they have presently.

“They know what they need but, when it comes to this type of thing, they have a way with what they called seven wonders of the world as they will find a way to manage.

“But, I don’t like managing but us putting our structures in place so that we cannot be questioned and unfortunately in the last two years or thereabout, we have seen certain elements recruited into AVSEC that are nor fit and proper persons to be employed but we play politics a lot in this country.

“We have had budgets running into billions approved for snipper dogs, how do we spend billions procuring snipper dogs when the human element that are there are being neglected, how many of our AVSEC are taken outside Nigeria for international training?”

“Our commitment should be more than that I feel perplexed when I see things going on around our airports but I know we can do better.
“Now that people are coming, you will see them under 24 hours things that you think cannot be operational will become operational and weeks after they have gone, it will go back to normal because we have a way of patching things up and pretend they are normal.”

“On facilitation, i cannot imagine passengers landing and they will wait two hours and more before they can pick their luggages.

“This shouldn’t happen because in a saner environment and system, under 15 to 20 mins, passengers should be out of the airports but reverse is the case here.
” You can as well take an inspection of what is happening with out system in any of the airports, you will be amazed, from screening machines where you have three, only one will be operational and they will put on light as of it is normal but, its not but deceiving people.
” By and large, I know we can fix these things and get our pass mark as usual,” he stated.

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