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NCAA to carry out financial audit on Air Peace, Arik Air

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The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) announced it is carrying out economic and financial audits of eight remaining domestic airlines in Nigeria.

This was disclosed by Capt. Musa Nuhu, the Director-General, NCAA, during an interview with journalists in Lagos on Wednesday.

Last month saw the grounding of Dana Airlines and the temporary suspension of Aero Contractors services last month, due to the impact of the challenging environment on its daily operations, which led to failures in meeting financial obligations.

Captain Nuhu revealed that the audit is to determine the financial health conditions of the airlines, adding that they have commenced intensive financial and economic audits on three other indigenous airlines, which will be followed by the other five airlines soon.

“While Aero Contractors voluntarily suspended its operations, NCAA grounded the services of Dana Air, following its alleged failure to run safe operations.

“The remaining eight scheduled airlines are: Air Peace, Arik Air, Max Air, Green Africa, United Nigeria, Overland, Azman Air and Ibom Air,” he said.

He added that the scarcity of foreign exchange and high price of Jet A1, has brought about challenges in Nigeria’s aviation industry, and urged that the regulator will not keep its guard down on safety.

“We are currently conducting financial and economic audits of airlines in the country. We have done two or three and other airlines will be taken in batches. I will discuss with the airline’s management on the way forward.

“Like I said, we have a financial crisis and we don’t want it to cross over into a safety crisis. We need to manage the situation.

“For now, we remain focused while working to address the solution to the financial difficulties in the airlines. This cannot go on forever, so we are working round-the-clock to find a solution.

“Yes, it is a very difficult situation, but we are just going to do what we are doing. We are working together and collaborating with others to address the situation in the industry,” he added.

On the suspension of Dana Air operations, he said that during the financial and economic audit of the airline, the NCAA discovered some “grave concerns” in the operations of the airline that could affect safety.

Aviation

Aviation sector to benefit from RIDF

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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

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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

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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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