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2019 Half Year Rating: How NPA, NCAA, AIB Fared

2019 Half Year Rating: How NPA, NCAA, AIB Fared

By Kenneth Jukpor & Okuneye Moyosola

MMS Plus brings you an assessment of the major parastatals in the transport sector for the first half of the year 2019. The first six months was centered on pre-election, elections and post-election drama, but how did transport agencies and institution attack their core functions.

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 Ports Authority (NPA)

For the purpose of this study, the functions of NPA, also known as the landlord of Nigerian ports, were grouped in five major areas, with each carrying 20 points:

•         Ownership and administration of land and water within port limits/ Planning and development of port operational infrastructure

Port infrastructure, especially the Lagos port access roads still remains in shambles as truck fall almost every week. The construction of the road has been hampered by the frequent rainfalls. Empty container holding bays for storage of their empty containers is still an unresolved issue. Following the executive order for trucks to leave the port access roads, they have moved their menace to the neighbouring communities. These problems have persisted throughout the first half of 2019 election days when the trucks mysteriously vanished.

Score = 4/20

•         Leasing and concession of port infrastructure and setting bench mark for tariff structure

The Authority continues to show no concern about the work environs and challenges facing port terminal operators; continuously reneging on promises made to concessionaires in aspects of dredging while it collects duties.

Score = 3/20

•         Day to day monitoring of operations and enforcement of relevant sections of respective agreements.

NPA has displayed resilience in monitoring and enforcing relevant national policies like the monetary payment into the Treasury Single Account (TSA).

NPA is still carrying out the amendment of the concession agreement with the operators and other key agencies of government to eliminate the multiple challenges in the system.

Score = 12/20

•         Responsible for Nautical/Harbour operations and Hydrographic survey/ Marine incidents and pollution

NPA tugboats were utilized at several times in the first half of the year and the Managing Director, Ms. Hadiza Bala-Usman lauded the Nigerian Navy for taking the lead in producing the first navigational chart of the Nigerian waters. Nevertheless, over 80 per cent of Nigeria’s waters are yet to be surveyed to modern standards, with more than 90 per cent yet to be charted with recent survey data. These statistics were revealed by Usman during the unveiling of the first indigenous Navigational Chart of Nigerian territorial waters at the Naval Dockyard, Victoria Island, Lagos.

Score = 5/20

•         Maintenance of safety and security at the common user areas/ Enacting port regulations and bye-laws as well as monitor and enforce them

The Authority’s role in ensuring safety appears to have been abandoned as NPA officers at the ports care more about the security of their pockets. MMS Plus late night visits to the Apapa and Tin Can ports confirmed that NPA officers still collect bribes at port gates.

Score = 3/20

 Conclusion:

The first half of 2019 was one where the Managing Director of NPA seemed to have been distracted by politics and electioneering. The Authority is expected to make significant progress in the latter part of the year; however, there are also rumours that Usman may be given a Ministerial appointment as Buhari picks his new cabinet.

Total Score 27/100

Grade = F (27%)

Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA)

Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority is the regulatory body for aviation in Nigeria.  The Authority regulates Aviation Safety without political interference, and also to carry out oversight functions of Airports, Airspace, Meteorological Services, as well as economic regulations of the industry.

NCAA’s core functions would be unbundled into 5 parts, each carries 20 points:

Regulation of safety of aircraft operations, air navigation and aerodrome operations

In the first half of the year, ahead of the rainy season, NCAA issued weather alerts to warn pilots and airline operators on the issue of bad weather and attendant thunderstorms. The apex regulatory authority also directed all pilots to recourse to utmost restraint whenever adverse weather is observed or forecast by Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET). The agency is working towards ensure safe aircraft operations by stating ahead of time what to expect and recommended precautionary measures.

In a bid to ensure better management of weather related challenges, NCAA asked pilots to obtain en-route and destination weather advisory before embarking on any trip. The authority also carried out surveillance inspection of existing structures within the Nigerian airspace on aerodrome or off aerodrome to ascertain the compliance level of the structures with safety measures.

In attempt to ensure safety of all aircraft, NCAA also ordered all airlines not operate an aircraft with worn out tyres based on safety checks put in place by the agency. The authority also ensured that flight operations are in line with the International Civil Aviation Organization, Standard and Recommended Practices and Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations.

Score: 13/20

Monitoring of aircraft operating environment for safety and security

In order to ensure air safety, NCAA threatened to demolish 8,805 telecommunication masts belonging to Globacom Nigeria Limited, banks and other financial institutions.

The demolition exercise affected some banks and other financial institutions who discountenanced the Authority’s regulatory requirements on the clearance to erect any high structure within the navigable airspace in Nigeria. This threat made some telecommunication operators to  take steps to do the right things as required by the authority.

Following the demolition threat, the authority and telecommunications operators also held a meeting over the planned demolition of masts in different locations within the country by the aviation agency.

NCAA’s Inspectors, in the first half of the year, ensured that all parts of aircrafts comply with the applicable airworthiness requirements before every flight. NCAA also placed onerous responsibility of the first line of safety on the operating airlines Pilot-In-Command of each flight as well as the assigned engineer that authorized each flight.

 Score: 10/20

Regulating of methods of entry and conduct of air transport business

Director General of NCAA, Capt. Muhtar Usman, in the first half of the year, supported the National Agency for Prohibition of Traffic in Person (NAPTIP) in its fight against the scourge of human trafficking in Nigeria. The authority also issued an Approved Maintenance Organization (AMO) certificate on Non Destructive Testing (NDT) to DAV-AAKY Nigeria Limited, an indigenous company based in Lagos. The certification enables the AMO to carry out NDT inspection to ensure airworthiness and serviceability of aircraft. The firm, with AMO/5N/DAV, is the first of its kind in Nigeria. The company is now approved to inspect and carry out NDT on aircraft and aircraft components with specifications covering Eddy Current Testing, Magnetic Testing, Dye Penetrant and Ultrasonic Testing inspection on all types of aircraft and aircraft components.

In the first half of the year, the authority also showed commitment to ensuring the safety of air passengers as it revoked the Airline Transport Pilot’s License of a pilot, working for one of the charter airlines in the country for violation of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations (Nig.CARs). The revocation was a consequence of the pilot operating flights on non-schedule operations while his medical certificate had expired.

Score: 10/20

Balancing the economic interest of operators, users of aviation services as well as the general public and the nation as a whole

Following the harrowing experience some passengers in the Nigerian aviation industry go through to locate their travel terminals, (NCAA) summoned the affected airlines to a meeting and directed them to henceforth display the flying point for each route on their system to avoid the recent confusion.

This was a notable directive marked out to ensure that air travelers can easily locate their travel terminals. However, no achievements were recorded for the operators.

Score: 9/20

Setting of Aviation Training Standards and approval of Training Institutions

In the first half of the year, NCAA made a record breaking achievement in this aspect. Universal School of Aviation, popularly known as USA became the first approved aviation school in Nigeria to have an approved satellite campus in the history of aviation training in the country. USA also  has a  full service training organization which was approved by the NCAA to run both regulated and non regulated courses.

The International Aviation College in llorin also received new approval to train pilots for two years from the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority in the first half of the year.

In January, NCAA also approved the Leadstream Aviation Training Institute in order for the organization to carry out B737 series type rating training. The institute made an outstanding performance during the ATO process and completed the five phases of the ATO certification process.

Score: 11/20

Grade C: 53%

Conclusion:

NCAA lived up to its constitutional mandate and responsibilities as regards oversight and regulatory activities related to Nigeria’s airspace management in the first half of the year.

The agency however needs to continually ensure that it implements all the safety recommendations issued by Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) to advance the safety of Nigerian Airspace.  The authority also needs to be more proactive and innovative towards airspace regulation.

Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB)

The Nigerian 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.

In a bid to conform with changes in global aviation, AIB, in the first half of the year, reviewed its regulations in order to increase aviation safety in Nigeria.

AIB also released final reports on six plane accidents in the first half of the year. The released reports include that of the serious incident involving a Delta Air Lines Airbus A330-223 aircraft which occurred on February 13, 2018 at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos and  the Cessna 208B Caravan aircraft which crashed on October 25, 2012 involving the late former Taraba Governor, Danbaba Suntai,

Also included is the incident involving a Diamond 40 aircraft belonging to the International Aviation College, Ilorin on November 25, 2013 and the incident involving Dana Air MD 83 aircraft with registration number 5N-SRI, which occurred at the Port Harcourt Airport on February 20, 2018.

Others are the crash of a Bristow Helicopter aircraft which occurred in Lagos on February 3, 2016 and the incident involving Gulfstream 200 aircraft belonging to Nest Oil which occurred on January 20, 2018 at the Abuja Airport.

24 safety recommendations were generated from the six final reports, which makes it a total of 46 final reports and 178 safety recommendations that the bureau has since inception.

MMS scores AIB 45/100

Grade D (45%)

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