Capt. Nuhu’s Professional Prowess At NCAA

Capt. Nuhu’s Professional Prowess At NCAA

Capt. Musa Nuhu, on Monday, March 16, 2020 formally took over as the substantive Director General/Chief Executive Officer (DG/CEO) of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).

Nuhu resumed as the 7th Director General of the Authority, following his appointment on 23rd October, 2019 and eventual confirmation by the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

NCAA is the regulatory body for aviation in Nigeria which became autonomous with the passing into law of the Civil Aviation Act 2006 by the National Assembly and assent of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The Act not only empowers the Authority to regulate Aviation Safety without political interference, but also to carry out oversight functions of Airports, Airspace, Meteorological Services, etc as well as economic regulations of the industry.

Aviation industry on its own is a highly regulated one and that makes the CAA of any country pivotal to the safety of flight operations within and outside their airspace.

Two years and half after resumption as the NCAA helmsman, operators in the aviation sector believe that Capt Nuhu has brought sanity into the system by raising the bar in the agency’s regulatory roles. This has brought confidence in the safety of the Nigeria’s airspace.

First is that, it is under Capt Nuhu that the House of Representatives deemed it appropriate to pass six amendment Bills on Aviation brought by the executive to the National Assembly.

Among the six amendment Bills passed included Bill for an Act to repeal the Civil Aviation Act, 2006 and to Enact the Civil Aviation Act for the Regulation of Civil Aviation in Nigeria and for related matters.

Similarly, the Senate on the 25th January, 2022, passed the Civil Aviation Bill 2022, which seeks to repeal the Civil Aviation Act 2006.

With passing of the Bills, NCAA has been further empowered with effective legal and institutional framework for the regulation of civil aviation in Nigeria to conform with the standards and recommended practices set by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).

On Regulation, recently, unfolding events in the aviation industry has put the agency to a spotlight with a larger percentage of stakeholders scoring the current NCAA management high in terms of regulations.

For instance, operators who were able to scale through their acquisition of Air Operators Certificate (AOC), under Nuhu’s regime have attested to the fact that NCAA is up and doing in pursuing its regulations for both airlines and other stakeholders in the industry.

So far, the United Nigeria Airlines is the first baby of the current management of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA). After rigorous examination by NCAA, which included test flights, the agency granted the airline an AOC, on 1 February 2021, which will be valid until 31 January 2023.

Another airline that got its AOC under Capt Nuhu is the Green Africa Airways. The airline has equally made lots of commendations for the due process they passed through, under the watchful eyes of the DG.

Similarly, Value Jet, another commercial airline also got its AOC recently after passing through a rigorous, but standard NCAA process.

Put together and as part of its regulatory roles, NCAA has been able to checkmate airlines closely under Capt Nuhu. For instance, under Nuhu’s watch, some airlines, in order to maintain absolute safety compliance have streamlined the scope of operations.

On Enforcement, part of Capt Nuhu’s achievement is his strictness in enforcing the rules of the game. In March last year, under the eagle eyes of the regulator, the, NCAA, pursuant to Section 35 (2) of the Civil Aviation Act, 2006 and Part (A) of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations (Nig.CARs) 2015, suspended the operations of all the Boeing 737 Aircraft in the Fleet of Azman Air Services Limited, with effect from March 15, 2021.

The suspension which came following series of incidents involving Azman Air Boeing 737 Aircraft was to enable the Authority conduct an audit of the airline to determine the root cause(s) of the incidents, and recommend corrective actions to forestall re-occurrence.

Though Azman had resumed long time ago but since then, safety compliance of virtually all the airlines seems to have improved drastically.

On the global map, NCAA boss has within a short time resolved 5 cases on Cape Town Convention on Mobile Equipment thus creating international confidence in oversight function of NCAA.

On Sustenance of Nigeria’s Category 1 Status, Nigeria is a Category 1 nation, meaning the country is among some of the top global players in aviation industry. The implication is that Nigeria needs to continually sustain the system with sound safety records. Capt Nuhu and his team has been able to sustain that status over the years at a time others are losing theirs.

Considering administration under Capt Nuhu’s regime, restructuring of NCAA was successfully implemented in September, 2020, by the Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika as part of efforts geared towards streamlining the government agencies.

Under the restructuring mid-wifed by Nuhu, the Consumer Protection Directorate (CPD) was merged with the Directorate of Air Transport Regulations (DATR). Also, the Directorate of General Aviation (DGA) was merged with the Directorate. Also, the Directorate of Operations and Training (DOT) was merged with Licensing.

However, three Directorates namely Directorate of Aerodrome and Airspace Standards (DAAS), Directorate of Human Resource and Administration (DHR&A) and Directorate of Finance were retained.

With these positive changes recorded in just two years and half of his administration, there is no doubt that Capt Nuhu is fully prepared to take Nigeria’s aviation industry to the next level and ultimately ensure safety which is the backbone of aviation worldwide.

He completed and initiated movement into NCAA Corporate Headquarters in Abuja and strengthening and equipping five Regional Offices nationwide to provide more efficient and friendly services closer to industry players. The agency is also in the process of acquiring EMPIC Regulatory Equipment for the automation and digitization of NCAA processes for improved and friendly services

On training and retraining under Capt Nuhu, NCAA is doing all within its means to ensure that there is adequate training and retraining opportunities for all staff. Nuhu has domesticated inspectors mandatory training program for more effective delivery at significant savings.

Already, Capt Nuhu led administration is in talks with the Ministry of Aviation, to see how NCAA can improve their workers conditions of service subject to approval of the appropriate government agency so that they can be able to attract, train and retain the core technical personnel.

In addition, the NCAA Director General is planning seriously to tackle the challenge of shortage of technical personnel like safety and airworthiness inspectors to meet the growing air transport demand in the country.

In conjunction with NAF Chief of Air Staff, the Director General established the High Level Civil – Military Cooperation Committee; first of its kind in Nigeria.

On strategic management of flight resumption after Covid-19 experience of which the outbreak in 2020 brought lots of devastating effects on the aviation industry which is seen as most hardly hit, many countries’ CAA started to strategize on how to survive the pandemic when it was time for the resumption of both local and international flight operations because it became clear that flight operations in the post Covid-19 era would not be business as usual.

Capt Nuhu showed his professional prowess by developing and implementing the COVID-19 industry restart program before ICAO Council Aviation Recovery Taskforce (CART).

It is therefore, on record that Nigeria opened her airports when a lot of countries had not done so. This made Nigeria a case study for countries looking for options on how to navigate their aviation business through the pandemic.

Talking about global impact, though aviation is not local, Capt Nuhu has further brought NCAA back to the Global Aviation Centre Stage through the hosting of the 7th African Indian Ocean (AFI) Regional Meeting held in Abuja from 16th  -20th May 2022. This was a gathering of titans in the industry, including the ICAO Secretary-General, Director Generals of Civil Aviation Authorities from African Countries, International Air Transport Association (IATA), Association of African Aviation Training Organizations (AATO), Airlines, Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB), Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET), Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), Aviation Journalists and other Allied Technical personnel.

It is also on record that newly elected African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC) Secretary-General, Ms. Funke Adeyemi, a Nigerian got her appointment during Nuhu’s era.

Because of his numerous achievements, key players in Nigeria’s aviation industry have given high ratings to Capt Musa Nuhu, noting that he brought sanity into the system since he resumed office over two years and half ago.

This eventually earned the Director-General and the NCAA global commendations and awards, notably from the African Civil Aviation Commission (AFCAC). Numerous awards from other reputable organizations also followed. Most recent accolade is the African Leadership Magazine Award of Excellence awarded to him on Thursday, 23rd September, 2021 in Abuja. The Africa Safety Award for Excellence (AfriSAFE) has also tipped him for healthy and safety award scheduled to hold in Lagos on November 12, 2022.

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Albinus Chiedu

Albinus Chiedu is a journalist, aviation media consultant, events management professional, and author. He has practiced journalism since 2000.

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