The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), which carried out one-week safety assessment of the nation’s aviation industry last week, has given Nigeria a pass mark under its ICAO Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme (USOAP).
In 2006, ICAO carried out similar audit under its safety oversight programme and Nigeria passed the assessment.
Since then, the country has followed ICAO regulations in the implementation of policies and programmes that guide the aviation industry.
The spokesman of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Sam Adurogboye, said a preliminary audit report presented by a four-man team at the closing meeting of the programme once again authenticated the progress and development of aviation industry in Nigeria.
These results, he said: “Clearly indicated that Nigeria has done excellently well according to the auditors.”
Adurogboye said the presentation was presided over by the team leader of the auditors, Mr. Jean-Claude Waffo, who was joined by three team members to present their assessment of the aviation industry in Nigeria.
Each member gave an individual assessment of all the delineated areas that include legislation (LEG), organisation (ORG), accident and incident investigation (AIG), air navigational services (ANS) and aerodrome and ground aids (AGA).
According to NCAA spokesman, during the presentation, the team leader and the members articulated all their systemic findings in the course of the 11-day USOAP Audit conducted on Nigeria.
“While there were areas that were identified as open items that need to be closed (areas that are yet to meet the given safety standards), the auditors were unanimously very satisfied with the level of improvement in the aviation industry in Nigeria. The auditors were highly impressed with the stellar preparation for the audit by all concerned and claimed that this made the exercise a huge success,” he said.
However, he said the final report would be produced and sent to Canada for review and final assent, adding that this would be done only when comments on the draft report have been received from Nigeria.
The leader of the team, Waffo, confirmed that the draft results would be produced 90 days after today’s presentation.
“Thereafter, Nigeria is expected to produce a Corrective Action Plan (CAP) which will provide room for comments and observations within 45 days.
“The final report is only to be expected and produced after 30 days of receipt and acknowledgement of comments,” he added.
Adurogboye said at the end of the presentation the auditors thanked the Director General of NCAA, Capt. Muhtar Usman and all the chief executives of the aviation parastatals.
Commendations were also extended to the Nigerian team that worked with the auditors during the audit.
Earlier, the Director General of NCAA in his opening remarks expressed his appreciation and acknowledged the demonstration of unparalleled dedication and the high sense of responsibility with which the auditors acquitted themselves during the audit.
He assured the auditors that all the open items would be closed forthwith, noting that this would be adequately communicated in the Corrective Action Plan (CAP) to be forwarded by the Authority as required.
“All the lessons learnt from this exercise will be used to enhance the development, safety and security of aviation not only in Nigeria but the whole of Africa.”
The Managing Director of the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Saleh Dunoma in a speech affirmed that all the areas that require improvement would be hurriedly and adequately carried out.
Other chief executives present at the meeting were the Commissioner, Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB), Dr. Felix Abali, Acting Managing Director of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Emmanuel Anasi, and directors from all the parastatals.