By LAWANI MIKAIRU & DANIEL ETEGHE
Director General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority of Nigeria, NCAA, Captain Muhtar Usman has said that Nigeria was fully prepared for the International Civil Aviation Organisation, ICAO, Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme ,USOAP.
Captain Usman while speaking at NCAA Annex, Murtala Muhammed International Airport, (MMIA), Lagos pointed out that the audit was aimed at promoting global aviation safety through regular audits of safety oversight systems in all ICAO member states.
He said that the ICAO USOAP was launched in 1999 because of the widespread concern about adequate safety oversight around the world adding that the growth and development of aviation in Nigeria was undergoing a periodic examination by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).
The NCAA boss further stressed that the audit consists of three phases which are the pre-audit phase, on-site phase and post audit phase stressing that an analysis of the country’s oversight establishment has been done including a review of implementation of Annexes’ provisions and the differences from the Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) that were identified in SAAQ an d Compliance Checklists.
Captain Usman pointed out that the country was currently in the on-site phase of the audit as the state is visited by ICAO team to validate the information provided by focusing on the overall capacity for safety oversight.
Meanwhile, Head of the four-man team of ICAO, Mr. Jean Claude-Waffo said that this year’s audit was a monitoring phase of what have been checked-on in previous audit ten years ago.
Claude-Waffo affirmed that the first audit was conducted in 2006 and the focus was on checking the level of safety in the Nigerian aviation industry while this present audit was based on effective monitoring phase.
According to him, after the audit, there would be an effective implementation rating stressing that the essence of the audit was to regulate and force compliance of members countries to the international regulations.
He said “We want to thank NCAA for their support given to us during the preparation phase. As you know, the previous audit took place in 2006. The first audit focused on checks while this one is based on continuous monitoring on the checks that had been done and an effective implementation rating will then be done”
Mr. Claude-Waffo added that this year’s audit would reflect on the changes in civil aviation in Nigeria in the last ten years, to access the state capacity and to overseas the aviation system.
“We are here to access the level of safety in Nigerian aviation industry, to find out whether their have been changes in our last audit, we will do this through the collection of evidences of data” he added