Orosanye Report: Aviation Professionals Protest Proposed NCAA, NAMA, NIMET Merger

Source: thewillnigeria.com

BEVERLY HILLS, CA, April 09, (THEWILL) - Aviation professionals under the aegis of the Nigerian Aviation Professionals Association (NAPA) on Wednesday protested the decision of the Federal Government to merge its three agencies in the aviation sector as recommended by the Orosanye Committee on the rationalisation of government ministries, departments and agencies.

In a statement issued  and signed by its General Secretary, Alhaji Abdul Rasaq Saidu, NAPA said:  'We received with rude shock, the news from media houses that the Federal Government has approved the  committee's report and has decided to merge the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Nigerian Airspace Management Authority (NAMA) and the Nigerian Metrological Agency (NIMET) without wide consultations with all stakeholders in the aviation sector.

' Describing the decision as totally unacceptable and counter -productive, NAPA called for the total rejection of the move by all well - meaning Nigerians and air travellers in particular.

'We are part of the stakeholders and cannot fold our hands, close our mouths to allow the  destabilisation of the past gains in the sector to be wished away unchecked.

'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 association said.

It maintained that the challenges to safety and security which eventually forced all the foreign airlines to ignore flying into Nigeria but made use of West African sub-region should not be allowed to happen again.

'In 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 flights by foreign airlines  into Nigeria when NCAA focused on critical safety  issues that earlier led to their refusal to come to Nigeria,' NAPA stated.

According to the organisation,'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.

' It also stated:  'Globally, we have seen and heard of Ministry of Transportations in charge of Rail, Road, Water and Air Transportations and not creating the Ministry of Aviation differently.

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.

'The functions of the Ministry of Aviation do not add value to the parastatals, rather, it compounds their problems.

What are the functions of the Ministry when NCAA has been statutorily established in compliance with ICAO set standards and practices?' NAPA therefore called on President Goodluck Jonathan to stop the proposed merger, saying it is not the best way to sustain the Category 1 being currently enjoyed by Nigerians travelling to and from the United States of America and the transformation and remodeling of airports being embarked upon.

NAPA also called for the scrapping of the Ministry of Aviation and merge it with the Ministry of Transport, saying the Permanent Secretary of Transport divisions shall report to, and be supervised by the Minister of State who in turn shall return report to the Transport Ministry Do not merge NCAA, NAMA and NIMET together but let them statutorily function under the supervision and regulation of NCAA in terms of safety critical issues and the sustenance of Category.

' We have now made our position known and have also given patriotic advice and Mr.

President should please therefore be advised accordingly,' NAPA said.