By Favour Nnabugwu
Director General, Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, Captain Musa Nuhu yesterday said the country is ready and prepared for the forthcoming International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme (USOAP), Continuous Monitoring Approach (CMA), audit slated for the first quarter of this year.
Captain Nuhu said this while refuting a publication by a media house that Nigeria is not prepared for the audit.
According to him, the media report is a misrepresentation of the audit facts.
He said “ICAO Annex 9 is on facilitation, while Annex 17 contains Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) concerned with the security of international air transport and is amended regularly to address the evolving threat.”
He added that the coming audit is an activity during which ICAO assesses the effective implementation of the critical elements (CEs) of a safety oversight system and ” conducts a systematic and objective review of a State’s safety oversight system to verify the status of a its compliance with the provisions of ICAO Convention.”
He further explained that security had its own separate audit, stressing that Nigeria performed well in the last security audit conducted in the sector by ICAO. Nigeria Scored 96.4 per cent and the country received ICAO Council President Award Certificate for its performance.
Captain Nuhu said: ‘NCAA will step up its oversight function and collaboration with all relevant stakeholders to ensure continued improvement in aviation security and facilitation.
Security Audit is different from safety audit. What we are doing now is quite different from security audit and it’s not related to facilitation. I understand facilitation is good for passengers, but, it has nothing to do with the current audit.”
“The last security audit we had, Nigeria scored 96.4 per cent and because of this performance, Nigeria received ICAO Council President Award Certificate for its performance. Yes, I accept we have some challenges in the industry, just like in the other countries around the world”.
” However, to say Nigeria is not ready for audit is a misnomer. Someone is saying we are not ready for two issues that are not part of the forthcoming audit. I think that is wrong.”
Recall Nuhu had declared last week at the League of Airport and Aviation Correspondents (LAAC) annual training at the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), Zaria that the country was full prepared for the audit.
According to him, NCAA was on top of its game to ensure a successful outing for the Nigeria in the ICAO audit.
He also said NCAA proactive approach and robust regulations had led to the “over eight years of zero accident in commercial flight operation in Nigeria”.