Director General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has announced that his agency will meet with airline operators in the country with a view to ensuring that debts owed the agency are reconciled and a payment plan agreed in a way that they are able to meet the terms of payment.
He made the disclosure to members of the house of Representative Committee on Aviation who visited the agency as part of their oversight function of the industry Tuesday in Lagos.
Nigerian operators are owing a shocking US$6, 993, 284 million and N19, 365, 374,336 billion as non-remittance of Ticket Sales Charge (TSC) and (CSC) collected on behalf of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).
In his presentation to the committee, Captain Nuhu also disclosed that there is a lack of technical manpower in the industry and that the Civil Aviation Authority is in competition with operators to keep its trained staff.
“We are in competition with airlines for staff. It is a global problem and we need to get staff and give them good remuneration so they can stay and do the job. ’’
He explained that training for the inspectors and other regulatory staff are key to the oversight roles of the agency and as a result, adequate funding is key to ensuring continuous training and retraining of manpower especially pilots and engineers.
The DG also expresses optimism that the regional offices of the agency will be developed providing adequate training, manpower to ensure that its services are available in throughout the country.
He disclosed plans to decentralize the NCAA in an effort to ensure that its services get to airlines in every region of the country. This he said would go a long way reducing the weighty nature of centralized regulation.
‘’We are empowering five regional offices to ensure the job in smaller areas gets done and they do not have to refer to Lagos or Abuja. It brings regulation closer to the operators outside Lagos and Abuja opening more regional offices in the far reaches of the country. Already Port Harcourt takes care of the south East and south-south buyer are looking at opening a regional office in Enugu for the South East. We are looking at another one in either Maiduguri or Yola for the North East, Ilorin for the middle-belt and Uyo or Calabar for the South-South.’’
The Chairman House Committee on Aviation, Honorable Nnaji Nnaji in his response to the DG’s presentation commended the NCAA for a job well done especially in its handling of the Covid-19 pandemic. He assured that the committee would look at efforts of the NCAA so far against the backdrop of its planned projects to ensure the agency receives its allocations adequately.