NCAA Steps Up Oversight Function To Ensure AVSEC Improvement
The Director General of Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Capt. Musa Nuhu says the regulator will step up its oversight function and collaboration with all relevant stakeholders to ensure continued improvement in aviation security and facilitation.
“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,” said Nuhu.
He said: “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,” he said.
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 fully prepared for the audit. He said NCAA was on top of its game to ensure a successful outing for the Nigeria in the ICAO audit, adding that its proactive approach and robust regulations had led to the over eight years of zero accident in commercial flight operation in Nigeria and vowed that the regulatory agency would continue to ensure excellence performance for the country.
He explained that the forthcoming International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme (USOAP) Continuous Monitoring Approach (CMA) slated for the first quarter of 2022 is not same as Annexes 9 and 17 of the international body. 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.
But, the USOAP 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 said the safety audit had nothing to do with either facilitation or security audits, but admitted that some teething challenges needed to be addressed in the country’s aviation industry. Nuhu explained that security had its own separate audit, stressing that Nigeria performed well in the last security audit conducted in the sector by ICAO.
The USOAP-CMA Audit (security audit) is now scheduled for the third quarter of 2022 and NCAA’s aspirational Effective Implementation (EI) score for the USOAP-CMA Audit is 90 per cent. He insisted that all hands are on deck to ensure this becomes a reality.