By Kenneth Jukpor & Okuneye Moyosola
MMS Plus presents the scorecard of transport sector agencies based on their performance in the first quarter of 2019 with regards to their core functions. In this week’s appraisal we x-ray the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA), Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC), Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA).
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 Shippers Council (NSC)
For the purpose of this report, only the functions of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council as Port Economic Regulator would be analyzed. There are ten (10) functions and each carries 10points;
• Provide guidelines on tariff setting in order to guide against arbitrariness
The Council has been negotiating with shipping lines on the need to curb arbitrary charges among other fiscal issues at the ports. However, the effects of such meetings are yet to be seen as several frivolous charges are collected by shipping companies and terminal operators.
Score = 4/10
• Monitor and enforce standards of service delivery to ensure availability, accessibility, affordability, stability, predictability and adequacy of services
Shippers’ Council has not been able to standardize freight rates for the port sector such as trucking, trains or carriage of goods via the waterways. The Council has also been unable to ensure standards of service delivery or ensure availability, accessibility, affordability of services.
• Encourage competition and guard against the abuse of monopoly and dominant market positions; This role has received more attention by the Council; with the Council striving to ensure a level playing field for all stakeholders.
Score = 5/10
• Perform mediatory role among stakeholders;
The Council was able to perform the role of an intermediary and an unbiased umpire amongst the industry stakeholders in the period under review.
Score = 6/10
• Establish accessible and modern dispute resolution mechanism
The Port Service Support Portal (PSSP) and Standards Operating Procedures (SOPs) have been crucial for industry stakeholders as mechanisms for dispute resolution.
Score = 6/10
• Regulate market entry and exit
Nothing to report on this aspect
Score = 0/10
• Promote efficiency in the provision of port services
The Council has been able to engage several service providers like freight forwarders, truckers, Customs, terminal operators, etc on the need to promote efficiency but few improvements were recorded because inefficiency earns some stakeholders like terminal operators, shipping lines and dubious Customs officers more money. Score = 5/10
• Minimize high cost of doing business and prevent its inflationary effect on the Nigerian economy
This role has received a massive push by the Council with NSC engaging several service providers on the need to minimize cost. The Council has also set to protest the unwarranted high war risk surcharge on Nigeria-bound cargo by the international maritime insurance community.
Score = 6/10
• Encourage private sector investment in the port sector
The Council was seen to play this role actively in soliciting sponsors and facilitators for the Inland Container Depots and Truck Transit Parks with the Kaduna Dry Port the most recording the most significant development.
Score = 5/10
• Monitor and ensure compliance by all parties with the provisions of the Port Concession Agreements
There is nothing significant to report in this area at the moment. Score = 2/10
Several efforts have been made to engage stakeholders ranging from port service providers, security agents, Inland Dry Port operators, Truck Transit Park facilitators, among others. The Council clamped down on erring companies and dishing instructions for the economic good of the nation but the sector still suffers gross exploitation via unnecessary charges. The Council should thrive to address this in the next quarter.
Grade = D (42%)
National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA)
The law establishing NIWA gave it the following statutory roles: – Provide regulation for inland water navigation; – Ensure development of infrastructural facilities for a national inland waterways connectivity with economic centers using the River Ports and nodal points for inter-nodal exchanges; –Ensure the development of indigenous technical and managerial skills to meet the challenges of modern inland waterways transportation. For the purpose of this report each of the core function carries 25points while the other functions carry another 25 points.
Provide regulation for inland water navigation:
The NIWA boss, Senator Adeleke Olorunnimbe Mamora assured the maritime community that he intends to develop on the existing regulatory framework for inland water navigation in the country, nothing of note can be reported in the quarter under review.
Score = 3/25
– Ensure development of infrastructural facilities for national inland waterways connectivity with economic centers using the River Ports and nodal points for inter-nodal exchanges;
The agency can count the take off of Baro port which is equipped with a Mobile Harbour Crane, Transit shed, Administrative block, fire hydrant system, water treatment plant, Reach stacker, 100KVA power generating set, and three numbers forklifts of various tonnages.
The NIWA boss has also solicited for private partnerships via PPPs to enhance the development of infrastructural facilities for national inland waterways connectivity. In 2018, there were plans to transform the agency’s Lagos office at Marina into an ultra-modern superstructure as a terminal where sea going vessels can berth and off-load cargoes. However, NIWA has been quiet about such plans in the quarter under review.
Score = 18/25
Ensure the development of indigenous technical and managerial skills to meet the challenges of modern inland waterways transportation:
The Authority has held several summits with indigenous operators and recently assured the Association of Marine Engineers and Surveyors (AMES) of its commitment to develop indigenous technical and managerial skills to meet the challenges of modern inland waterways transportation.
The Managing Director indicated that such provisions for trainings were made in the Authority’s 2019 budget. So, we could expect positive developments in this area in the second and third quarters of 2019.
Score = 8/25
Other functions and powers of the Authority include: – undertake capital and maintenance dredging;
– undertake hydrological and hydrographic surveys:– design ferry routes: – survey, remove, and receive derelicts, wrecks and other obstructions from in land waterways; – operate ferry services within the inland waterways system; – undertake installation and maintenance of lights, buoys and all navigational aids along water channels and banks; etc.
NIWA has been able to attack some of these responsibilities, especially the management of ferry services, survey and removal of wrecks and dirt. However, there is still so much to be done in this area.
Score = 12/25
It’s barely six months the Managing Director of NIWA, Senator Mamora was appointed as helmsman of the Authority; however, he has been able to guide NIWA to unfold an inland waterways transportation master-plan capable of providing the platform for the much anticipated multi-modal transportation system in Nigeria. The maritime industry can anticipate more success stories from the agency this year as Senator Mamora enjoys robust support of the management as well as the rank and file at NIWA.
Total Score= 41/100
Grade: D (41%)
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
The agency made some improvements in this area. Ahead of the commencement of the 2019 rainy season, NCAA advised Pilots and Airline Operators to exercise caution during flight operations in hazardous weather conditions. The warning came in response to NIMET’s SRP was contained in an Advisory Circular (AC) with reference no AC: NCAA-AEROMET – 27 addressed to all Pilots and Airline Operators and signed by the Director General, Capt. Muhtar Usman. The rainy season is usually accompanied with turbulence in addition to microburst, low level wind shear and sometimes events that could affect the safety of flight operations.
The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) had released the 2019 Seasonal Rainfall Prediction (SRP) indicating that rainy season would commence in March/April and May/June 2019 in the Southern and Northern parts of Nigeria. NCAA also noted that the airspace may be shut more often by the Air Traffic Controllers (ATCs) due to adverse weather condition usually experienced during the period.
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 agency ensured that flight operations are in line with the International Civil Aviation Organization, Standard and Recommended Practices and Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations.
Monitoring of aircraft operating environment for safety and security
Shortly after the crash of Ethiopian airline involving Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft, the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, whose mandate it is to issue advisory, issued an advisory that nobody should fly into Nigeria or out of Nigeria using Boeing 737 Max 8 and Max 9, pending the determination of the actual cause of the crash in Ethiopia and also pending the outcome of the response of the manufacturer, which is Messers Boeing. NCAA also assured members of the public of their safety.
Regulating of methods of entry and conduct of air transport business
NCAA bemoaned activities of unregistered travel agencies in the country, exposing the industry to quackery.
NCAA noted that over 400 travel agencies operating in the country are not registered by the regulatory agency and do not have the required local licenses to operate. There were only about 157 travel agencies in the regulator’s registry while over 600 were doing business in the country.
To address the issue, NCAA directed that all duly registered travel agencies should display their certificates of registration or licenses in all their outlets to curtail the activities of quacks.
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.
The meeting was presided over by a General Manager, Consumer Protection Directorate (CPD), a department in NCAA, was held at the agency’s headquarters at the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos.
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.
Setting of Aviation Training Standards and approval of Training Institutions
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. The satellite campus is located in the heart of Nigeria, Abuja. The variation in the school approval by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) that led to the Abuja campus also came along with newly approved courses for the school which includes; Dangerous Goods Regulations, Helicopter Landing Officers Course, Radio Telephony, Crew Resource Management and Weight and Balance (Load Control). Earlier in the year, Universal School of Aviation was awarded as West Africa‘s Most Impactful Aviation School, the school has also been nominated for several awards within and outside the country which will hold later in 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.
Grade C: 50%
Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA)
NAMA is responsible for the provision of air navigation services throughout the Nigerian Flight Information Region. This includes at the country’s 25 towered airports and at its two air traffic control centres. The agency provides air traffic control, air navigation, charting and consulting services. NAMA also strives to develop the Nigerian airspace infrastructure to a level consistent with the requirements of the ICAO Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs).
The agency’s core functions will be unbundled into 5 parts:
The provision of seamless, safe, efficient, effective and economic air navigation services in accordance with relevant Annexes to the Chicago Convention of 1944 as well as the ICAO-driven CNS/ATM concept is clearly the fulcrum around which the activities of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) revolves as Nigeria’s sole air navigation service provider.
As part of ongoing bid to upgrade infrastructure in the aviation sector, the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) installed Category II Instrument Landing System (ILS) at the Benin Airport in the first quarter of 2019.
The installation of the ILS was in line with an earlier pledge by the agency to upgrade navigational infrastructure in strategic airports across the country in a bid to boost the socio-economic activities in such areas.
The Aeronautical Division of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) also concluded that the capacity of the nation’s navigational infrastructure is able to guarantee safety of air travel in the country.
This declaration came at the end of an airport tour of facilities at the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) in Lagos recently. This shows that NAMA has made some improvements in terms of acquisition of critical infrastructure.
Air Traffic Control
Air Traffic Control Service (ATCS), presently referred to as Air Traffic Management (ATM) is one of the most important services provided by the Agency. ATC is divided into the following departments:
The service is the anchor towards the realization of the mission of the Agency in the area of safe, efficient and economic air navigation service provision. Air traffic control service (ATCS) is a service provided for the purpose of preventing collisions between aircraft; on the maneuvering area, between aircraft and obstructions; and to expedite and maintain an orderly flow of air traffic.
NAMA recently took a delivery of another consignment of critical spare parts required for the continuous service and operation of the Total Radar Coverage of Nigeria (TRACON).
According to the agency, the consignment, which was cleared at the Apapa port in Lagos from Thales Group in France include MES1 1400A power supply modules, control units and other critical units that will be used by its engineers to effect repairs on any of the nine TRACON installations across the country as may be required to ensure optimal functioning of the system.
Training of staff
The sustenance of the Agency largely depends on competent and well-trained staff. The agency coordinates all forms of training, which includes both administrative and technical training. Staff of the Agency is encouraged to develop themselves in their different career fields.
No activity was recorded under this function in the first quarter.
Regulation and standardization of aviation practices in Nigeria
In line with NAMA’s responsibility of ensuring safety in aviation, the regulation and standardization of aviation practices is very sacrosanct towards ensuring this function. The agency ensured that the standard equipment is available and used for travels, to reduce the rate of air accidents.
However, NAMA has not done much in this aspect in the first quarter.
Communication with aircrafts
NAMA is an air navigation service provider saddled with the task of providing radio communication with every flying Nigerian aircraft in the airspace. This communication helps to get updated with the traveling conditions and render assistance in cases of emergency.
In this first quarter, NAMA has procured, installed and maintained adequate communication, navigation, surveillance and air traffic management facilities at all airports in Nigeria
Not much has been achieved by the agency in terms of objectives in the first quarter of 2019. However, the agency took necessary steps to ensure safety in the aviation sector through the provision of various equipments needed by aircrafts and airports in the country.
Total Score 29/100
Grade F =29%