From Suleiman Idris, Lagos
With anxiety already pervading the country’s aviation ministry since Monday when the federal government accepted to carry out a recommendation of a committee its set up to merges three key agencies in the sector, a group yesterday advice the President to completely scrape the ministry.
“We submit with all seriousness and act of patriotism, to strongly advise President Goodluck Jonathan to scrap the Ministry of Aviation and to allow NCAA to function effectively without any hindrance whatsoever as this shall be the solution to Aviation unabated logjams.” It said in a statement.
The pressure group, Nigeria Aviation Professionals Association (NAPA) said it received with rude shock, Federal Government approval of the committee’s report to merge NCAA, NAMA and NIMET together without wide consultations with all stakeholders in Aviation sector.
It is totally unacceptable as such decision shall be counterproductive and therefore should be rejected by all well-meaning Nigerians and air travelers in particular, it said further.
General Secretary of NAPA, Abdul Rasaq Saidu told reporters It will be suicidal for Nigeria to now decide to go back to a system which was tried and failed due to lack of compliance with ICAO practices and set standard.
“The functions of the Ministry of Aviation do not add value to the parastatals rather, it compound problems. What are the functions of the Ministry when NCAA has been statutorily established in compliance with ICAO set standards and practices?”
Because of those recorded challenges to SAFETY and security which compliance with the ICAO, IATA etc, the directorate of Safety, Regulation And Monitoring (DRSAM) under the then Ministry of Aviation
was transformed into NCAA. This led to the resumption of foreign Airline flights into Nigeria when NCAA focused on Safety Critical issues that earlier led to their refusal to come to Nigeria.”
It is a fact to say that NCAA must be free from any Government interferences in terms of funding and statutory function as in the global practices and Nigeria cannot be different. Globally, we have seen and heard of Ministry of Transportation in-charge of Rail, Road, Water and Air Transposition and NOT creating the Ministry of Aviation differently.” He said.