By Patrick Aigbokhan
Agencies under the Federal Ministry of Aviation, have indicated their readiness to comply fully with the Federal Government’s Executive Order (EO) in their relevant sections of operations in the nation’s aviation industry.
The agencies include the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA); Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA); Nigeria Meteorological Agency (Nimet) and Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB).
This is in line with the three far-reaching orders that was signed on May 18, by Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, (SAN), to ease business, fast track budget submissions and promote made in Nigeria goods.
The NCAA says it has put adequate measures in place to ensure full and sustained compliance with the EO at the nation’s airports.
In a bid to ease business operations, particularly within the airports and aviation-related businesses, Capt. Muhtar Usman, Director General, NCAA, has directed all Aviation Safety Inspectors (ASI) to monitor the level of compliance with the EO alongside their statutory oversight responsibilities at the airports as enshrined in the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations 2015 [Nig.CARs 2015]
A statement signed by Sam Adurogboye, General Manager, Public Relations, NCAA, stated that the agency has prepared a standard document outlining its core functions and services, appropriate charges, fees, licenses, waivers and other tax-related processes in adherence to the EO.
“The schedule contains mode of communication of official decisions to the various applicants for our sundry services. This information, together with other vital information, for ease of doing business in Nigerian aviation sector are contained in the official website of the NCAA,” he said.
The Federal Government has handed down this order with the view to eliminate unnecessary bureaucracy that impedes business activities at the nation’s airports.
In addition, it will improve safety, security and facilitation of passengers within and around the airport.
According to Adurogboye, the NCAA Director General is in constant discussions with the heads of aviation agencies to ensure sustained adherence to the EO, by the parastatals and continuous surveillance by the regulatory Authority.
In the same development, FAAN has announced that on its part, the implementation of the EO is on course and at 60 per cent readiness level.
While inspecting the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos recently, Engr. Saleh Dunoma Managing Director/CEO, FAAN, explained the status of implementation on EO on the “Ease of Doing Business in Nigeria” at various airports around the country.
In a release signed by Henrietta Yakubu, Acting General Manager, Corporate Affairs, FAAN, Engr. Saleh Dunoma, was quoted as saying, “We are here at Murtala Muhammed Airport to look at the implementation of the Eexecutive Order. We are at various stages of the implementation and we are working with all the security agencies and other stakeholders at Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos and indeed with other international airports around the country to make sure the Executive Order is implemented and We have met 60 per cent of the requirements needed in order to make sure the Executive Order is implemented.
“We have held series of meeting with the stakeholders. So far, every agency is working on certain aspects as it concerns them. But FAAN, the overall supervisor of the operations at the airport is coordinating all this and of course, FAAN has certain things to do. We need to improve on some certain infrastructure. This infrastructure is being put in place so that other participating agencies will find it easy to implement their bit of the Executive Order.”
On level of cooperation from other agencies, Dunoma said, “So far, all the agencies at the airports are cooperating with us. We have agreed on certain number of things that we need to do. All the agreement based on the Executive Order are being implemented. A lot of things are going to happen tomorrow because we expect that most of the implementation will be done tomorrow.
He said some timelines were chosen to better perfect the implementation.
“We chose some timelines that is before the deadline given to us through the Executive Order, so that we can test run these systems and if there are issues, they will be corrected before the actual deadline given to us.”
Also, Capt. Fola Akinkuotu, Managing Director, NAMA has announced that in a bid to key into the EO initiative, the agency has begun its immediate implementation with the Managing Director driving the process.
In order to beat the June 8 deadline for full implementation, Akinkuotu noted that the agency has already updated its website showing the requirements, conditions and procedures for doing business or obtaining services in NAMA including all fees and timelines necessary for the processing of applications for the services.
He also disclosed that the agency shall be organizing workshop sessions to adequately enlighten and sensitize both staff and industry stakeholders on the essence and imperative of the executive orders adding that the agency shall also be collaborating with other aviation agencies with a view to harmonizing processes in order to achieve the single user interface at the airports as directed by the federal government.
As part of measures to comply with the order, the NAMA boss said the agency was working out modalities to increase local content in its procurement process as this would boost locally manufactured goods in the country.
While charging staff to ensure strict compliance with all stated directives within the stipulated guidelines in the order, Akinkuotu enjoined them to ensure that the element of transparency permeates the entire systems and processes within the agency’s scope of operations.
Speaking further, he also said that the Nigeria Police Force remains a dependable ally as the agency strives to enhance safety of air navigation in the country.
While welcoming Mr. Basen Gwana, Commissioner of Police, Airport Command, who led a delegation of the command on a courtesy visit to the agency’s headquarters in Lagos, Capt. Akinkuotu stated that the role of the Police in protecting critical infrastructure of the agency across the country makes the force indispensable in the overall safety of air navigation in Nigeria.
The NAMA boss said “given that most of our critical assets are not only located at the airports but in remote areas all over the country, the role of the Police Force in ensuring that there is no breakage into these expensive navigational aids is quite commendable. NAMA will continue to promote operational harmony with the command as this would make for safe, efficient and effective service delivery.”
Mr. Gwana had said earlier in his remarks that their visit to the agency was to ensure that the Airport Police Command has direct interface with all stakeholders in the sector where issues of mutual interest would be addressed.