How not to end 2018

2018 workers, Jerry nigerian, Airport Hotel

Two days to the end of 2018, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) announced that it had sanctioned four erring airline operators for various degrees of violations.

According to the spokesperson of the authority, Sam Adurogboye, the various operators “were fined ranging from one million and five hundred thousand naira only to two million naira only (N1.5m – N2m). While the other operator involved in deliberate violation of the regulations had its Air Operator Certificate [AOC] suspended for 180 days.”

Furthermore, the affected airline operators included both scheduled and non scheduled operators.

Adurogboye in a statement issued and circulated declared that the affected operators ran into trouble when, “during a spot inspection carried out by NCAA Aviation Safety Inspectors (ASI) on those operators, a number of deficiencies, including non implementation of training programmes of maintenance personnel as required, irregularities concerning helicopter flight identification, deliberate violation of the regulations, performing maintenance programme without necessary approval and using outdated manual were discovered.”

As commendable as the action taken by the NCAA would have been, the manner engaged by the regulatory body left a sour taste in the mouths of many stakeholders across the country.

For the greater part of last year, many key players had expressed their displeasure at the lackadaisical attitude of the authority towards critical issues in the sector.

At a point, the regulatory agency either looked the other side while critical safety issues are being downplayed or waited till the last minute before taking action.

The ineffective attitude of the NCAA was mostly responsible for the woes that befell the sector in the immediate past year.

It is however sad that this ineptitude on the part of authority continued until the end of year as displayed in the action taken by the  it towards the four airlines that violated the safety regulations.

Since the announcement of the fine and suspension slammed on the so called erring airlines three days ago, the atmosphere has been engulfed in mixed feelings.

Among many questions calling for answers include: why the NCAA that was bold to announce the sanctions failed to avail the public of the identities of the affected airlines.

Why would the NCAA push out a scanty information to the public deliberately leaving out the critical aspect and what does it stand to gain by shielding the affected airlines.

Many airlines who made lesser mistakes in the past apart from been punished did not enjoy the protection the latest four enjoyed.

Or is it a case of NCAA pushing its responsibility to the media and the general public to unravel the identity of the airlines on their own.? What happens if in the cause of doing this, there is misinformation? Obviously, the regulatory agency will also result to blame game.

The latest incident would not be the first time the authority had engaged in the hide and seek game a situation which had complicated issues in the sector.

There is no doubt that in responding to this type of controversy, the regulatory body had often in the past attributed its decision for not disclosing the violators to the need not to ‘kill’ their business.

While there is the need to protect peoples’ business, but it is becomes unacceptable if the NCAA chooses to protect them when actions taking by any airline or other investors deliberately violate safety rules.

In the new year, there is the need for the regulatory body to wake up from its slumber and do the needful. It should stop sitting on the fence and take its proper position in carrying out its oversight functions.

Throughout last year, its actions fell below the expected standards and it is hoped that it will play its role effectively without waiting to be pushed to do so.

While thanking God that the sector did not record any misfortune in 2018, it is hoped that this will not be taking for granted in this new year.

The post How not to end 2018 appeared first on Tribune Online.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: