The house committee on aviation has said that the critical thing for the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) in the short-term is the passage of the NAMA Act so that it will conform to modern trend.
The chairman of the committee, Mr. Nnolim Nnaji stated this in Lagos today after he and his colleagues had undertaken a tour of the agency’s navigational facilities at the international wing of the Murtala Muhammed Airport.
Addressing aviation correspondents, the lawmaker also said continuous over sight of the agency was critical “because if you don’t oversight, sometimes people will derail.
Nnaji said with challenges and difficulties on the roads which make a lot of people to take to air travel, “it is not the time we should toy with air services.”
This is the time for everybody to come together to see how we can support the air transport industry…
“We are here to see how we can support the various projects and things the agency plans to execute. NAMA is a very critical agency that provides navigational aids. We are open to support NAMA; whatever we can do, both from the legislative point, we have a bill that was sent by Mr. President to us. Very soon we will call for public hearing.
“If there is anything, support, any amendment that you need, any advice that you need to give when we hold the public hearing, it is a joint task that we all come and make sure that the institution is very sound,” he said.
He added: “It is very important that every agency in the aviation industry comes together to push the industry forward and on our own side, we will do everything possible to make sure that NAMA becomes one of the best in Africa.
“During the budgetary allocations we will make sure we push a lot to see how NAMA will gain some funds for projects that are uncompleted.
Having visited the control tower, TRACON, localizer and gliding slope sites, he said there was the need to upgrade NAMA facilities.
“We visited the air side, different navigational aids and equipment, TRACON, instrument landing system and other supporting equipment for navigational services. We saw also the need for upgrade. We notice the manual operations in TRACON. When we got to the control tower, we also saw the digital aspect of it. It is highly commendable that we have such equipment on the ground, but we also believe that with government support, those facilities need to be upgraded. Other airports across the country need to follow suit, not just Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt,” he said.
Also speaking, the managing director of NAMA, Capt. Fola Akinkuotu appealed to the lawmakers to help in the completion of the aeronautic information service project which started in 2009 as well as the passage of NAMA bill.
“Two areas where the committee will help us are the passage of the bill and modification as required as well as funding. It is good the national assembly members are here to see what we have and what we need and what we need to upgrade,” he said.