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2019 Transport Agencies Rating: How FAAN, NPA, NAMA Fared

2019 Transport Agencies Rating: How FAAN, NPA, NAMA Fared

By Kenneth Jukpor & Okuneye Moyosola

MMS Plus presents the scorecard of more transport sector agencies based on their performance in the first half of 2018 with regards to their core functions. In this week’s appraisal, we x-ray; Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) 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:

 

Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN)

FAAN is statutorily charged to manage all commercial airports in Nigeria and provide services to both passengers and airlines. FAAN journeyed into a new administration with the appointment of Rabiu Yadudu as its Managing Director in May this year. How has FAAN fared in 2019 and what achievements did the Authority make under the new administration? To ascertain this, we look at FAAN’s core functions unbundled into five (5) parts and each carries 20 points:

Develop, provide and maintain airports facilities

FAAN has the responsibility to develop facilities in the commercial airports within the country that will engender safety, and ensure economic and expeditious operations of air transport within the commercial airports in Nigeria.

In the year under review, all the country’s international airports had Emergency Operation Centres as part of the criteria to deal with crisis situations when they arise.. On the issue of aviation fuel, the authority partnered with the Department of Petroleum Resources to address the gaps in the supply chain of aviation fuel. The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria and FCI International Limited also disclosed plans to set up a centre for development and international trade promotion at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.  The facility would be called the Nigeria Aviation Conference and Exhibition Centre and would start early next year in three development stages. The 2,500-square metre centre has also been planned to project the best of Nigeria’s businesses and enterprises and stand as a centre of industry promotion and excellence.

In a bid to also improve the facilities at the airport, the House of Representatives Committee on Aviation urged the Federal Government to create a consolidated fund for developmental projects at the nation’s airport.  The idea of a consolidated fund would enable the government to create a developmental plan that would make FAAN come up with long term projects. Similarly, the authority also began the rehabilitation of the runway at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu.

The agency made a lot of achievements in the year 2019 in terms of infrastructural standards at the airports. However, there is still a lot to be done by the agency.

Score: 10/20

Provide adequate conditions for passengers and their goods to be carried by air

The Authority has a unique responsibility of creating a conducive environment for efficient air transport. It is the function of FAAN to make provisions for adequate conditions, such that could enhance the air transportation of the passengers and their luggage and their belongings.

Amid rising tensions of Ebola outbreak in some African countries, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) in the year ensured that  it provided scanners at airports to detect any possible Ebola case at the airports. it also made it  compulsory for airlines to indicate the exact number of travel luggage checked in by passengers on their boarding pass. The guideline was in response to recent complaints over wrong tag of passengers’ baggage.

The authority towards the end of the year began the process of creating awareness on food handling across airports in the country. The agency started the programme following an increase in food poisoning incidents around the airports within the country and globally. This is a good move in safeguarding the well being of passengers and staff at the airport.

Score: 8/20

Charges for the services provided by the airports authority

The Authority has a charge for every service that is provided to the airports. In May, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria withdrew its aviation security and aerodrome rescue and firefighting personnel from Gombe and Kebbi airports over N732.4m indebtedness.

The agency seems to be taking the issue of charges seriously with the closure of these airports. However, some of these airports do not generate enough money needed for funding and the payment of these charges. The operational environment is also not conducive enough to facilitate more revenue generation by these airport. FAAN need to examine the reasons why the airports owe such large amounts of debts in order to make more informed decisions.

Score: 8/20

Provides decent accommodation and quality facilities for efficient and effective handling of passengers

FAAN is saddled with the responsibility of providing decent office accommodation within the commercial airports across the country. The availability of these facilities will allow for efficient and effective handling of passengers and freight in the Nigerian airports.

FAAN is moving towards this direction as free trolley and wheelchair services were provided at new terminal of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja during the year. The terminal is also is equipped with free Wi-Fi with the capacity to process 15 million passengers annually.

As part of preparations to ensure seamless facilitation of passengers, the VIP Protocol lounges at the terminals in Lagos and Abuja, were also refurbished to give maximum comfort and value to our customers. In addition, airport security and other logistics were also upgraded and strengthened to address passenger traffic in and around the airports.

FAAN also partnered with Airline Operators of Nigeria and the Airline Operating Committee to find solutions to service gaps at airports across the country. The new management said it would be open to advice and constructive criticisms, and concentrate on delivering structured, time-bound, sustainable and improved services to all stakeholders. Good service delivery is part of the airport operations; therefore the authority has to create effective means of delivering satisfactory services to passengers at the airport.

Score: 8/20

To provide adequate facilities and personnel for effective security at all airports

The Senate earlier in the year, resolved to investigate FAAN over poor security at the Nigerian airports. This made the authority to boost its security at the airport . It deployed security personnel to Katsina airport and other airports across the country during the year. The total number of FAAN Aviation Security officers deployed to Nigeria’s 22 airports under the authority’s management was over 700.

FAAN also acquired devices to detect hazardous liquid at the airports.  The detectors would improve the security measures at airports, and effectively combat terrorism. The devices are specifically configured to identify the presence of potentially harmful and explosive liquid gels in sealed containers. The authority also ordered for new technology-based security facilities to be installed at major airports nationwide. This is a good development but the authority has to keep evolving in terms of security in order to keep up with evolving threats at the airport.

Score: 8/20

TOTAL = 42/100

Conclusion

There were several security breaches at the airport during the year.  However, Nigeria scored 96.4 percent in improved security in civil aviation in a certificate presented by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) after assessing the country’s aviation security system.  The aviation sector also needs more improvement in terms of infrastructure and FAAN has a lot of job to do. We hope that more improvement will be made next year in this regard.

Grade = D (42%)

Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA)

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

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

The roads leading to the nation’s foremost ports in Lagos are underwent reconstruction throughout the year. While the Apapa-Wharf road was completed speedily, Tin Can- Milie 2 axis remains work in progress. However, there are no lighting systems. It was expected that the Executive Order which called for 24hours port operations would lead the Authority improve the port infrastructure especially in the provision of lighting systems to enable work at night. This has remained a pipedream while the other port infrastructure remained the same, at best.

Score = 10/20

•         Leasing and concession of port infrastructure and setting benchmark for tariff structure

The Authority has been neck-deep in the negotiation on the review of the concession agreement it has with terminal operators. The Authority consulted widely, reaching out to the World Bank for expertise and having general as well as one-on-one meetings with the terminal operators. However, NPA didn’t expand its consultation to relevant industry operators and agencies such as; maritime lawyers, Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), maritime workers’ unions, journalists, professional bodies, among others.

In 2020, maritime stakeholders expect a better synergy between NPA and these organizations and associations to guarantee an improvement in concession agreement and consequent development of the ports and fair tariffs.

Score = 8/20

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

Under the leadership of Ms. Hadiza Bala-Usman as the Managing Director in the year under review, the Authority displayed resilience in monitoring and enforcing agreements. However, it hasn’t displayed such topnotch tenacity in keeping its obligation to terminal operators in the aspects of dredging, pilotage, lighting, and security, among others.

Score = 12/20

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

NPA managed to deploy tugboats efficiently while entering partnership with the Nigerian Navy on hydrographic survey. New cafeteria and health facilities were commissioned at the Lagos Port Complex this year.

NPA also displayed commitment to maintaining sustainable ecosystem and curb the menace of oil spillage on the nation’s territorial waters as it unveiled modern pollution and environmental equipment namely Drones, Jet Skies and Booms for surveillance, monitoring and containing oil spillages. Others are Blowers, Pressure Washers, Skimmers, Power Pack Absorbers and Multiple Dispersant Sprays. Score = 10/20

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

In the area of safety and security, NPA Security personnel displayed corrupt practices in collaboration with the Nigeria Police, extorting truckers and other port users at the port gates throughout the year. On other occasions the officers were negligent as unauthorized persons gained access to the ports without scrutiny.

On the aspect of port regulation, the Authority’s battle with private operators of the Secure Anchorage Area (SAA) has been commendable. Score = 8/20

TOTAL = 48/100

Conclusion:

The Authority almost reached the 50% pass mark in the first quarter of 2018. There is room for improvement in several areas, although the doggedness of the NPA boss must be commended.

Grade = D (48%)

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:

Air Navigation

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.

NAMA commenced the trial run of the newly installed Category III Instrument Landing System (ILS) at Runway 18 Right, Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos towards the end of the year. it also gave the assurance that the CAT III ILS would be available at both Lagos and Abuja airports by the third week of December 2019.

Score: 9/20

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.

During the year,  NAMA successfully split the Lagos Sub-Flight  Information Region (Sub-FIR) airspace into two sectors to improve the quality of air traffic services in the country. The two sectors were the Lagos West Area Control Centre on 120.9MHz radio frequency and Lagos East Area Control Centre on 127.3MHz frequency. The agency also disclosed plans to employ more controllers to reduce the stress of overstretched workers. NAMA also began the process of multilateration in the Gulf of Guinea in order to capture low level aircraft in that region.

Score: 7/20

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.

NAMA trained 80 personnel this year at the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology, Zaria in safety electronics and engineering services. The properly trained personnel  can successfully execute timely system maintenance procedures at communications, navigation and surveillance stations across the country.

The training which held at the headquarters of the agency in Lagos bordered on areas such as Global Air Navigation Plan and its priorities, Global Aviation Safety Plan, Global Aviation Security Plan, National Air Navigation Plan and the National Aviation System Block Upgrade Implementation Plan.

The agency, in the year,  also created a National Air Navigation Planning unit, vested with the mandate to oversee the domestication and replication of ICAO global and regional plans for the enhancement of air navigation in the country.

Score 10/20

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.

However, NAMA did not do much in this area during the year.

Score 3/20

 

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. During the year, NAMA didn’t do much in this regard.

Score=3/20

TOTAL = 32/100

Conclusion:

The agency seems not to carry out its duties effectively this year.  However, the House of Representatives Committee on Aviation disclosed plans to support NAMA to ensure it dutifully carries out its functions of Communication, Navigation and Surveillance (CNS) as well as support the agency in its planned upgrades of its facilities. We hope that this assistance will ensure that the agency records more notable achievements.

Grade = F (32%)

Expect ratings of other transport agencies next week!

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