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Published On: Wed, Oct 22nd, 2014

Aviation union, others warn against delay of new NCAA DG

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Osita-ChidokaFrom Suleiman Idris, Lagos

The delay for the resumption of duty by the new Director General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA )Capt. Usman Muhtar is causing ripples in the aviation industry.

Capt. Muhtar was recently confirmed as the substantive head of the country’s air transport safety regulatory agency but is still unable to take charge at the NCAA headquarters in Lagos.

Stakeholders are worried that the action shows flagrant disregard for global standard and one that portray the country in bad light.

A civil societies representative in the federal government Medium Term Strategy, MTSS Alhaji Abdulrasaq Saidu bemoaned the six months period for a substantive head to takeover the helms of affairs weeks after his confirmation by the National Assembly.

Saidu warned against politicising the regulatory body NCAA as its autonomy was questionable with all that has happened in the last six months.

“Its unfortunate but not surprising that aviation has been bastardized with unnecessary political intervention, we should have learnt our lesson in aviation and work to sustain the autonomy of NCAA”

He lamented that the office of the director general of NCAA has been politicised instead of bringing in professionalism and noted that professional know-how and legal frame work of the organisation was not allowed to take its cause.

“If it is not an act of tribal and political sentiments, why should someone be appointed and cleared and confirmed by the National Assembly couple with a letter from the presidency to the ministry in the person of Capt Muhtar former AIB boss and somebody somewhere is

foot dragging to allow him to resume.”

“The civil society group in the aviation sector is highly worried and unhappy with such uneasy calm and bickering in the aviation sector particularly NCAA”

He told reporters in Lagos.

Alhaji Saidu called on the government to allow the substantial DG to assume office without further delay as the aviation ministry will be held responsible for any misdeeds adding that gone were the days when airplanes were falling down from the sky.

Also, the president of Aviation Round Table ART Capt Dele Ore said what was happening in NCAA was strange in the eyes of International Civil Aviation Organisation as acting director general should be in office for at least two weeks.

The former head of the Presidential fleet said ” When the President and Commander in Chief makes an appointment of DG in line with the civil aviation act of 2006 its subject to the Senate confirmation after a hearing. However the day he is appointed or the next day will see the DG that is appointed resume immediately. We have seen DGs in finance and communication resuming immediately”

Ore against compromising safety adding that the ministry was getting it wrong this time and said embarrasses the image of the country especially with a Nigerian as the ICAO president.

“We should be doing what is acceptable to the world and not what we think and l believe that the system is wrong and all these things have safety implications and when things happen they start shedding crocodile tears”.


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