MMS Plus x-rays the activities of transport agencies in the third quarter of 2018. Parastatals in the sector were crippled by the financial constraints with indebtedness even on the most negligible amount of money earlier but the funds were finally released. How did the major agencies in the transport sector fare in the third quarter this year?
For the grading system: A =90-100%, B+ = 80-89%, B =70-79%, C+ =60-69%, C =50-59%, D =40-49% and E = 30-39%, F = 0-30%. Enjoy it:
Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA)
The Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) is the agency saddled with the responsibility of providing air navigation services and safe guard air space users to ensure safe, efficient, expeditious and economic flight operations.
We would score the agency based on its performance on each of its responsibilities and each carries 10 points.
Provision of Air Traffic Services
In December 2018 NAMA began the upgrade of its Instrument Landing System (ILS) at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja to Category three (CAT3). This was to provide more manpower in terms of air traffic controllers because of the increase in traffic as well as improve the ability of airplanes to land in very poor visibility. Score= 9/20
To maintain a healthy and productive workforce
In a bid to create an effective work force that will help in the realization of the agency’s objectives, NAMA intensified efforts to improve condition of service. However, no achievement has been made in this aspect. NAMA workers had for several months since 2015 threatened to down tools over alleged poor welfare package and condition of service. In December 2018, the workers accused the National Salaries and Wages Commission (NSWC) of frustrating the review of their conditions of service for about 15 years and threatened to shut down aviation agencies. Score= 5/20
Efficiency, Safety and Regularity of Air Navigation
The agency has made a slight progress in improving navigational infrastructure in strategic airports across the country in a bid to boost socio-economic activities in such areas. We gathered, in the last quarter of 2018 that Lagos, Abuja and Kano airports would get new Category 3 Instrument Landing System (ILS) navigational aids to boost flight safety and efficiency. The Managing Director of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Captain Fola Akinkuotu, also noted that the Category 3 ILS for Lagos and Abuja airports would be ready by January 2019, adding that the equipment will be provided in kano later. In January 2019, Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) installed Category II Instrument Landing System (ILS) at the Benin Airport; however no news as been heard concerning the promises of providing this system in Lagos and Abuja Airports that was made in December 2018. Score=10/20
Maintains Adequate Communication at Airport
Effective communication is an important part of airlines activities and the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), has continued to provide new communication needed for maintaining adequate and proper information around the airport. It could also be concluded that virtually all areas in Nigeria’s airspace had good communication system. Score= 12/20
Provision of Aerodromes in Nigerian Airports
Nigerian Airspace Management Agency is saddled with the task of providing aerodromes at major airports across Nigeria. The agency has not also done much in providing these facilities in airports. Score=3/20
The agency recorded modest improvement in the development of manpower with the training of core aviation professionals within the agency; it gets an abysmal 39% in its performance for the last quarter of 2018. However, one can be optimistic that the agency would improve in its performance by installing the needed navigational aids and equipment that will further enhance air transportation in the country in 2019.
Total Score = 39/100
Grade E (39%)
Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA)
Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) would be assessed based on five cores responsibilities with each function carrying 20points.
Regulating the safety of aircraft operations, air navigation and aerodrome operations
However, several incidents transpired as passengers were trapped for hours in fog unable to land. While Max Air on September 17th had passengers suffer a near-death experience as its aircraft spent 2hours 15minutes from Lagos to Abuja, Air Peace on September 22nd held passengers for over 3hours from Owerri to Lagos, with the plane unable to land and returning to Port Harcourt to refuel before eventually landing in Lagos.
Monitoring aircraft operating environment for safety and security
Although there were reports of repeated burglaries and theft in the Lagos airport early in the year but NCAA seem to have put some machineries in place to checkmate such incident. NCAA intensified surveillance via checking, rechecking, training, retraining, and inspections as much as possible to avoid recurrence of whatever happens is in the past on the operating airlines in the country following incidents that occurred in the nation’s aviation industry earlier in 2018.
NCAA should continue to adhere strictly to the eight critical elements of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in order to prevent an accident from happening in the system, in its bid to consistently carry out safety oversight functions of operating airlines in the country.
Regulating methods of entry and conduct of air transport business:
NCAA didn’t rest on its oars but continued to beam its searchlight on all operators in order to prevent aviation disaster.
Balancing the economic interest of operators, users of aviation services
One could see the arbitrary charges and obvious extortion of passengers by operators who increase their charges at will and little or no regulation has emanated from NCAA. Only recently that the Consumer Protection Council (CPC) came to the aid of passengers but NCAA Director General picked offence and accused CPC of usurping NCAA duties.
Setting of Aviation Training Standards and approval of Training Institutions:
The industry may have compromised some of these core responsibilities. The image and rating of the nation’s aviation sector cannot be said to have reached the optimal trainings and necessary standards expected from NCAA.
NCAA ended the year 2018 with the investigation into Air Peace’s oxygen mask incident. There were modest achievements in 2018 but a lot is expected in 2019.
Total score: 31/100.
Grade = E (31%)
Nigeria Institute of Transport Technology (NITT)
NITT was established to provide trainings in order to maintain professionalism in the sector. MMS Plus x-rays NITT performance in the last quarter of 2018 based on three major statutory functions.
Provide Management Training for Personnel employed in all modes of transport:
The agency continues to suffer gross under-funding as those in-charge of the various modes of transport in the country remain highly unskilled and unprofessional.
Score = 6/33
Serve as a Transport Intelligence Centre for monitoring transport and logistics systems;
Majority of the personnel saddled with managing various modes of Nigeria’s transport system remain unprofessional and highly unregulated.
Score = 7/33
Provide equipment and facilities for the encouragement, promotion and conduct of applied research in all modes of transport;
There was no tangible information in this regards in the period under review.
Score = 5/34
NITT is an agency saddled with the arduous task of professionalizing all cadres of players in the nations transport sector but there is no indication that the agency is fulfilling this mandate. The institute seems to be retrogressing day-by-day even as operators prefer to get their certification from other private driven institutes. 18% is poor by all standards, so the institute needs rebranding.
Total Score = 18/100
Grade F (18%)
Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB)
The Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) is charged with the responsibility of investigating any civil aircraft accident and serious incident arising out of, or in the course of air navigation and occurring either in or over Nigeria, or occurring to Nigerian aircraft elsewhere.
The agency introduced a new App that would assist in investigating aircraft accidents and incidents.
The App is targeted to reach no fewer than 15 million passengers within the country’s airspace and beyond, featuring a live reporting menu, whereby (pictures/videos) could be uploaded by any user who witnessed events that could result to aircraft accidents.
The last quarter of 2018 was accident free so it amounts to a good grade for AIB. The AIB has already been more active with the recent investigation on the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo’s helicopter crash. MMS scores AIB 60/100
Grade B (60%)
Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT)
NCAT is saddled with the onus to train aviation professionals.
In the last quarter of 2018 the agency didn’t do much in terms of meeting up with this obligation. However, there are ongoing plans to admit more trainees this year. The reduction in the number of available aircrafts is driving a number of pilots and engineers out of jobs, the solace anticipated with the proposed take of the national carrier ‘Nigeria Air’ has dissipated with the indefinite suspension of the project.
Total score = 35/100
Grade E (35%)
With the 2019 general elections coming up next week, a lot of attention is likely going to tilt towards the elections but agencies shouldn’t consider this as an excuse not to deliver on their mandate in 2019.