Nigeria Is Absolutely Prepared For ICAO Audit —–NCAA Boss

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...To See Country’s Capacity To Regulate Air Transport—Team Leader
Nigeria through the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has stated categorically that the nation’s aviation industry is 100 per cent ready for the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme (USOAP).
The audit is coming 10 years after the last audit was conducted IN 2006.
The Director General of NCAA, Capt Muhtar Usman made the declaration at the opening ceremony of USOAP at the agency annex international wing of the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos.
He explained that there has been a very encouraging cooperation and working relationship between all the relevant parastatals and the regulatory authority towards a successful outing.
“I wish to state unequivocally that Nigeria is absolutely ready for the exercise .The authority has left no stone unturned and all hands were put on deck to ensure adequate preparation”, he said
The NCAA DG noted that periodic audit and certification are not unfamiliar to the agencies and stakeholders in the aviation industry, adding that successive audit have been concluded with successes and that with all intent and purposes this exercise would be successful.
Looking into retrospect, the NCAA boss stated that Nigeria scored over 90 per cent in the counterpart ICAO Security Audit conducted last year, adding that this was an exercise where Nigeria was one of the first countries in the world to go through the Universal Security Audit Programme (USAP) Continuous Monitoring Approach (CMA).
Capt Muhtar explained that the ultimate goal of USOAP is to promote global aviation safety through regular audits of safety oversight systems in all ICAO Member states.
USOAP Audits, he said are usually focused on a state’s capability to provide a robust safety oversight system, adding that ICAO does this by assessing whether the state has effectively and consistently implemented the critical elements of a safety oversight system.
In addition, Muhtar stated that it was aimed at determining the state’s level of implementation of ICAO’s safety-related Standards and Recommended Practices (SARPs) with associated procedures and guidance material.
The NCAA DG said that the programme was expanded in 2005 to the USOAP Comprehensive Systems Approach (CSA) to include safety-related provisions contained in all safety Annexes to the Chicago Convention, adding that the USOAP CSA cycle which ended in December 2010 entailed about 40 safety oversight audits annually, with each ICAO member state to host an audit at least once during the cycle.
Capt Muhtar said that the media has a major role to play in this regard, stressing the media has been partnering the agency all along and that its contributions to the growth of the industry have been noteworthy.
He appealed to the media to refrain from speculative reporting and assumptions in the course of this exercise, adding that the success of this audit is collective success for Nigeria.
Usman stated that at the conclusion of the audit, there would be a closing meeting where there will be a debriefing and draft audit result will be presented.
Speaking at the event, the Team Leader of the International Civil Aviation Organisation ((ICAO), Jean Claude-Waffo, stated that the international aviation’s body officials were in the country to access the country’s capacity to regulate air transport in compliance with its standards.
He stated that ICAO would continue to monitor Nigeria even after the audit, adding that the do not wait till the next phase.
According to him, “We are going to refresh the data we have at the headquarters, we are assessing the capacity of the State to regulation the sector in compliance with ICAO, all the possible evidence and additional questions on site will be assessed”.
He continued, “We are on continuous monitoring approach where we monitor the state based on the information they provide, if we have a finding during this exercise, we will continue to monitor it for the adjustment and classification of Nigeria”.