The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has said that it has reached a compromise with airline operators in the country to ensure that debts owed the agency are reconciled and payment plan agreed on that would be favourable to all concerned
This is just as the regulator said that between now and 2024, it will be developing all its regional offices providing adequate training, manpower to ensure that the regulatory agency provides its services in all books and cranny of the country.
Director General of the NCAA, Captain Musa Nuhu made this known on Wednesday when he played host to the House of Representatives Committee on Aviation which came on their oversight function of the industry.
In a previous interview, Nuhu had said that airlines owe about N19 billion and $7 billion.
Captain Nuhu who expressed some of the immediate needs of the NCAA said the regulator understands the difficulty brought by the pandemic and will institute a payment plan that will be favourable to both the agency and operators.
On the need to develop regional offices to reduce the cumbersome nature of regulation and ensure its gets to the operators
According to him,” We are empowering five regional offices to ensure the the job in smaller areas get done and they do not have to refer to Lagos or Abuja. It brings regulation closer to the operators outside Lagos and Abuja opening more regional offices in the far reaches of the country.
” Already Port Harcourt takes care of of the south East and south-south buyer are looking at opening a regional office in Enugu for the South East. We are looking at another one in either Maiduguri or Yola for the North East, Ilorin for the middle-belt and Uyo or Calabar for the South-South.”
The DG also explained that training for the inspectors and other regulatory staff are key to the agency and that the NCAA was competing for manpower especially pilots and engineers with airlines that pay better .
Captain Nuhu however said it was key because these inspectors with the CAA needed more training to be better or r par with the trends in the industry so they an do their job better and that the only way to retain these pilots and engineers was to make the remuneration nearly at par with the airlines to keep them.
Reacting, the Chairman House Committee on Aviation, Nnolim Nnaji said the House is on its oversight function and would look at what the NCAA has done and intends to do with what as been allocated and would be allocated to them
He also commended the NCAA for a job well done especially during the peak of the pandemic and how the regulatory agency handled it.