June 18, 2024

Why Nigeria scored 71% in ICAO audit – NCAA


By Dickson Omobola

Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, has justified the reason the country’s aviation sector was rated 71.04 per cent by the International Civil Aviation Organisation, ICAO, saying some inadequacies were corrected by the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Mr Festus Keyamo, and Acting Director General of NCAA, Captain Chris Najomo.

Director of Public Affairs and Consumer Protection of the NCAA, Mr Michael Achimugu, said if those deficiencies had been left, Nigeria would have been rated 30 per cent when results were released.

Describing as mischievous comments by commentators that Keyamo and Najomo were responsible for the poor ratings, Achimugu said the Minister and NCAA’s DG came into office to improve on the deteriorating infrastructures and poor remunerations of workers.

Achimugu, in a statement, said: “Six months ago, we met a dilapidated industry with poor infrastructure. The security and safety issues did not start in the last six months. Had it not been for the tireless efforts of the Honourable Minister and the DGCA, what we met on the ground would not have scored 30% in the audit.

“Going by what was on the ground when Keyamo and Najomo assumed office, the current score is a substantially good showing, a miracle if I must say. The narrative being pushed out is just part of the larger strategy to push out Keyamo and Najomo from office. It is the handwork of paid mercenaries who have just one task.

“The ICAO auditors praised our performance during their final briefing at the NCAA. They even mentioned a scenario where they complained about an absent infrastructure but, to their pleasant surprise, it had been made available the very next day! They said that only Nigeria moves at such a pace in the face of criticism. If the ICAO experts were pleased, who are these puff puff experts trying to deceive the people?

“We have actual intel about a media team being commissioned to cause continuous chaos until Keyamo is either removed or moved elsewhere because certain people want to take back ownership of the contracts they were busy allocating themselves and family members while critical infrastructure was growing dilapidated. We will resist every attempt to deceive the Nigerian people.

“Keyamo did not become one of the starboys of this administration by doing nothing. He spent his first six months unbundling the rot in the system. Sadly, the rot runs so deep that six months are not enough to scratch the surface. They know this and it is why they are relentless in their fight. But the Minister and this NCAA will do everything to sanitize aviation. We are working and it is evident.”

Recall that for the first time in 15 years, Nigeria’s aviation sector failed the mandatory audit by scoring five points short of the 75 per cent benchmark.

It was, however, given the statutory 60 to 90 days lifeline to close all identified gaps by ICAO.