NCAT’s Memorandum At The Senate Committee On Aviation Three-Day Stakeholders’ Public Hearing
On Monday 2,2020, the Senate Committee On Aviation organised a three- day stakeholders public hearing on six Executive Bills to amend the Acts establishing the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority(NCAA), Nigerian College of Aviation Technology(NCAT), Nigerian Airspace Management Agency(NAMA), Nigerian Meteorological Agency(NIMET), Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria(FAAN) and Accident Investigation Bureau(AIB) not only for effective management but also in line with global practice.
The public hearing started on November 2 and ended on November 4,2020 with stakeholders in the aviation sector making useful presentations and submissions .
Some of the stakeholders that made presentations at the hearing are: Airline operators, major unions in the industry, Bi-Courtney Aviation Service Limited, Aviation Round Table(ART),Society of engineers,NBA among others.
NCAT, one of the agencies in the aviation industry also presented a memorandum. Below are the college’s submissions and the amendment sought by the foremost aviation college.
NCAT, ZARIA MEMORANDUM ON A BILL FOR AN ACT TO REPEAL THE NIGERIAN COLLEGE OF AVIATION TECHNOLOGY ACT, CAP N96 LFN 2010 AND TO ENACT THE NIGERIAN COLLEGE OF AVIATION TECNOLOGY, ACT 2019. SB 193
The NCAT Amendment Bill 2019 was patterned after the Federal Polytechnics Act Cap F17 Laws of the Federation 2004, in order to statutorily formalise the College as a tertiary institution.
However, before the new NCAT Bill 2019 could be passed, the National Assembly passed the Federal Polytechnics Amendment (FPA) Act 2019.
The amendments recommended in our memorandum are to accord with the Federal Polytechnics Amendment (FPA) Act 2019.
- THE NECESSITY OF THE NCAT, BILL 2019
The Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT) was established by Act of Parliament No 31 of 1964 with commencement date as 1st December, 1965.
The said Act is fifty-four (54) years old. The College has undergone a lot of changes while the Act establishing it has remained unchanged.
The 1965 Act has become out dated hence the need to repeal the said Act to give room for the re- enactment of a new Act that will reflect the resultant changes in the College and as well give room for further improvement of the College.
The changes which the College has undergone in 54 years that are not supported by the current Act are summarized below:
The College is currently accredited by the National Board of Technical Education (NBTE) to run National Diploma (ND) and Higher National Diploma (HND) courses.
The College admits its ND and HND students through the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) and our graduates currently participate in the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).
The proposed bill will legalise the new status of the College and enable it to be listed by the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND) to benefit from TETFUND funding, which will allow the College to fill significant infrastructural gaps through the TETFUND.
The College is currently designated by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) as a Regional Training Centre of Excellence (RTCE). The new bill if passed will provide legal backing for this ICAO designation.
- SUMMARY OF AMENDMENTS SOUGHT
(a) GOVERNING STRUCTURE OF THE COLLEGE
The NCAT Bill did not provide a Governing structure for the College as a tertiary institution. We have therefore, in line with the Polytechnics and University laws recommended the creation of a Governing structure for the College.
This consists of the School Board, the Department Board, the College Management Committee in addition to the Governing Council and the Academic Board that has already been provided for in the Bill.
(b) EXPANSION OF MEMBERSHIP OF COUNCIL
The membership of our Council in Section 3 of the Bill does not accommodate the College Congregation and our very large alumni base. We have recommended in our memo for one representative respectively for the congregation and our alumni. This will give our alumni a sense of belonging thereby encouraging them to support the College.
(c) APPOINTMENT AND TENURE OF PRINCIPAL OFFICERS OF THE COLLEGE.
In our Universities and Polytechnics, this Honourable National Assembly has passed laws providing for the Appointment and tenure of Principal Officers.
In line with this trend, we have recommended in our memo for the Bill to specifically create the Offices of the Principal Officers with a single term of 5 years as is the case with other federally owned tertiary institutions in Nigeria. This will prevent the bitter politics of self-succession
(d) CREATION OF A DISCIPLINARY COMMITTEE.
For the purpose of fair hearing in disciplinary cases we have recommended the creation of a Senior and Junior Staff Disciplinary committee as is the case in other tertiary institutions, with a specific mandate and tenure. This is to ensure speedy disposal of disciplinary matters subject to Council approval.
(e) APPEAL PROCEDURE WITHIN THE COLLEGE.
We have also proposed amendment to the NCAT Bill, 2019 to allow an internal appeal process for those who may be dissatisfied with Disciplinary measure taken against them. We recommended an appeal procedure which should be exhausted before the Courts could be approached by aggrieved persons.
(f) PROVISION ON ACTING RECTOR
Circumstances may occur when the post of the Rector may fall vacant without a substantive appointment being made. The NCAT Bill did not envisage this. We have therefore recommended a procedure for the emergence of an acting Rector pending when the Visitor may appoint a substantive Rector.
We thank the National Assembly for the opportunity to be part of its law-making process through this Public hearing. I will not bore the Distinguished Senators with a long speech. We have already submitted a very detailed memo which captures the details of what I have highlighted in this presentation. We pray the Distinguished Senate will consider our memo for amendment of the NCAT Bill, 2019 worthy of their esteemed consideration.
Thank you for listening.