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Debt: Airlines operators to risk AOC, ATL renewal or remit monthly — NCAA



Director General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority  (NCAA), Captain Musa Nuhu has said that airlines will have to be remitting funds on a monthly basis to offset their legacy debts or risk non renewal of the Air Operators Certificate (AOC) and Air Transport License ( ATL).

The NCAA DG made this known after a closed door session with industry stakeholders, airlines, ground handlers and other service providers where he said, to prevent the debts from growing, the regulator has put in place a tripartite agreement; between the NCAA, airlines and the airlines’ banks that would enable it get its due without the current hassles or chasing them over debts.

The DG who admitted the debts were so humongous that the airlines could not offset at once said airlines needed to pay the NCAA a reasonable amount of money on a monthly basis at least which he said is already in place except for a few.

“There are issues of the outstanding debts that need to be paid. So, we are working on the airlines, we know that if we tell them to give us all these monies at the same time, it is very difficult and not possible, so, what we have put in place in NCAA and to prevent the debts from growing, we have put in place a tripartite agreement; the NCAA, airlines and the airlines’ banks.

“So, once those funds go to the bank, the 5 per cent TSA/CSC is automatically deducted and goes into the NCAA bank and NCAA will share it with the other sister agencies on a pre-determined ratio as entrenched in the 2006 Civil Aviation Act.”

“For the legacy debts,” he continued, “what we have done is to enter an MoU with all the operators; we know they can’t pay all at a time, but they have to pay us a reasonable amount of money on a monthly basis at least. I think almost all the airlines are complying with this, except a few that we are working on.

“What we have said is that if they don’t pay this legacy debt, we are not going to renew their licenses; AOC, ATL. That is one of the conditions and most of them have entered into the agreement. My account people are sitting with them so that they can make an arrangement on payment of a reasonable amount so that the debts can be cleared off over a short or middle time period,” he explained.

According to Captain Nuhu everybody is having challenges, difficulties and this is not restricted to the industry stakeholders alone, the airlines, ground handlers and other service providers as even the agencies have the same problem in the issues of funds.

He said that at a point in time during the COVID-19 pandemic when the airlines ran into troubles, a lot of the agencies too had the same challenges of paying the salaries of their workers.

“So we are all in the same boat. You can imagine FAAN running about 27 airports and the funds are not there, NAMA has facilities all over the country that they must maintain, equipment are imported and they must be maintained. I had to train my inspectors overseas.

“We are all in the same boat and we all need to work together, collaborate and get out of the problem. We need to stabilise the system and ensure there is improvement.”


Aviation sector to benefit from RIDF



Aviation is set to be part of key economic drivers that will benefit from President Bola Tinubu’s proposed Renewed Hope Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF).

In a statement by Ajuri Ngelale, the fund targets strategic sectors like agriculture, transportation, ports,  energy, healthcare, and education along with aviation.

The initiative plans to inject funds into vital national projects to foster growth, bolster local value addition, generate jobs, and spur innovation.

Efficient use of low-interest loans and financing options will secure advantageous arrangements for project financing and operation.

The focus on aviation enhancement involves modernising major airports nationwide with targeted investments and infrastructure upgrades.

The statement reads, “On aviation enhancement, the focus is on the revitalization and modernization of major airports nationwide. Through targeted investments and infrastructure upgrades, major airports will undergo comprehensive refurbishment, including improvement in terminal facilities, runway expansions, and the implementation of cutting-edge technologies to enhance safety and operational efficiency.”

For agricultural infrastructure, the focus includes developing robust networks like storage facilities and irrigation systems.

In port revitalisation, the goal is to modernise facilities and attract investments to enhance Nigeria’s regional trade hub status.

“By modernizing port facilities and implementing advanced monitoring systems, the goal is to optimize efficiency, attract investments, and bolster Nigeria’s position as a regional trade hub,” the statement read.

Key road projects like Lagos-Calabar Coastal Road aim to enhance connectivity and stimulate economic growth.

Rail projects like Lagos-Kano and Eastern lines will modernise transportation networks for speed and reliability.

President Tinubu’s approval of the RHIDF absorbs the PIDF, expediting project delivery for Nigerians’ benefit.

Projects funded under the RHIDF will have a national spread, reflecting the commitment to equitable development.

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ICAO Aviation security audit team debriefs Nigeria, indicates strong outing



The Team Lead of ICAO Security Audit Programme, Callum Vine, announced Nigeria’s strong performance during a debrief after its Audit.

Nigeria recently concluded the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Security Audit Programme the continuous Monitoring Approach (USAP-CMA) according to a statement emanating from Director, Public Affairs and Consumer Protection, FAAN, Obiageli Orah.

The USAP-CMA aims to improve aviation security compliance by analysing Member States’ performance and implementation of security standards. It focuses on Annex 17: Security Standards and Annex 9: facilitation compliance, along with associated procedures and security practices.

The event held at NCAA Headquarters saw Vine praise Nigeria’s robust policies and agencies, acknowledging their speed in addressing identified deficiencies without complaints.

He mentioned that the full audit report would be available within 60 days, followed by a 30-day period for comments.

FAAN’s Managing Director, Mrs. Olubunmi Kuku, affirmed using the audit results as a roadmap for continuous improvement.

She urged stakeholders to collaborate closely, share best practices, and uphold the highest security standards in the industry.

The debrief was attended by Dr. Emmanuel Meribole, representing the Minister, and Captain Chris Najomo, Acting Director General of NCAA.

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Arik Air receives Best Sustainable Airline Company award



Arik Air has bagged the award for  Best Sustainable Airline of the Year,  2024 by the World Quality Alliance and Quality Standards Journal.

The airline’s Public Relations and Communications Manager, Mr Adebanji Ola, disclosed this in a statement made available to newsmen in Lagos.

Ola said the award was presented to the airline at the National Quality Summit 2024 held on March 22 in Abuja.

According to Ola, the Award General Committee of the National Quality Order of Merit, said the award was meant to celebrate leadership innovations and creativity in quality management.

Ola noted that Dr Ovie Shaka, Vice Chairman, Organising Committee of the National Quality Order of Merit Awards 2024, explained that the award was aimed at identifying, recognising and rewarding companies.

“The award also aims at rewarding personalities and products that apply quality assurance culture and quality management best practices.”

He said the award was presented by Stanley Ohenhen, on behalf of the Organising Committee and received by Arik Air’s Director of Safety, Capt. Jide Bakare.

Ola quoted Arik Air’s Chief Executive Officer, Capt. Roy Ilegbodu, as saying that the award is another testament of the airline’s fastidious adherence to operational safety standards.

Ilegbodu said Arik Air was committed to continual improvement of the management system and operational performance.

Recall that Arik Air also won the 2023  Best In-flight Service Airline by the Nigerian Aviation (NIGAV) Award.

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