Lawmakers Pledges Support for Aviation Sector

Femi Gbajabiamila

By Chinedu Eze

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Femi Gbajabiamila has expressed the determination of the House of Representatives to continue to support legislations that would reposition the aviation industry for greater efficiency.

The Speaker stated this when he declared open the three-day public hearing on six executive Bills seeking to amend certain aspects of the civil aviation Acts recently.

He described the public hearing as an important law-making process that affords members of the public ample opportunity to voice their views either for or against any proposed laws before the parliament.

Gbajabiamila, however, urged the stakeholders to make meaningful submissions that would assist the parliament in coming up with amendments that would be in tandem with International Civil Aviation Organisation, (ICAO) best practices.
The Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Aviation, Mr. Nnolim Nnaji, earlier in his opening address noted that the House of Representatives in recognition of the importance of aviation in national economy had considered the Executive Bills and referred them to the committee for further legislative actions.

He said the need for these enabling Acts to be repealed were glaring, considering the urgent need to meet the contemporary demands and international standards for the general development of the aviation sector.

“It is pertinent to note that since the last review of these agencies’ Acts, significant changes and developments have taken place in the industry, which necessitated the review and amendment of these Acts so as to bring them up to date with the operational requirements and dictates of the industry,” he added.

The Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, in his opening remarks, said the journey to the proposal for the amendments of the Acts establishing the agencies under the Nigeria Civil Aviation commenced following the result of findings in the International Civil Aviation Organization, (ICAO) Universal Safety Oversight Audit programme, (USOAP) in the year 2006 as well as findings from the United States’ Federal Aviation Administration, (FAA) category one/Certification Audit in the year 2010 that establishment Acts of some of the aviation service providers contained certain regulatory powers.

He observed that the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, (NCAA) ought to be the only autonomous regulatory agency in Nigeria, adding that the anomaly necessitated the amendments to take a corrective action to address the audit findings.
The proposed Bills are; a Bill for an Act to repeal the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, (FAAN) Act, CapF5, LFN, 2010 and to enact the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, (FAAN) Act to provide for effective management of airports in Nigeria and for related matters, a Bill for an Act to repeal the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, (NAMA) Act, Cap N90LFN, 2010 and to enact the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, (NAMA) Act for the purposes of providing effective air navigation services in Nigeria, ensuring safety and regularity of air navigation in Nigeria and to any other place which Nigeria has responsibility of providing air navigation services and for related matters, and a Bill for an Act to provide for establishment of the Nigerian Safety Investigation Bureau for the regulation, prevention and providing effective administration for safety investigation in Nigeria and for related matters.