A member of the senate committee on aviation, Mr. Ibn Na’Allah has admitted that the lawmakers were ill-informed on its directive to the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to put on hold the issuance of air operators’ certificate to the NG Eagle Airlines floated by Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON)
Recall that the committee had joined its counterpart in the house of representatives directing the NCAA to stop the issuance of AOC to the start-up carrier.
A letter signed by the chairman of the committee, Mr. Smart Adeyemi an dated October 11, 2021 referred to a petition to the senate by the Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals (ANAP) and National Union of Pensioners (NUP) Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) branch, challenging the issuance of the AOC over huge debts to the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).
“The petition stipulated that the application for AOC is unrealistic and unfeasible as the debt profile of Arik Air, which is under receivership by AMCON, is enormous. Therefore, the notion that AOC be granted to NG Eagle while it uses Arik Air aircraft which accounts for part of the assets of Arik Air will undermine the receivership.
“Having carefully considered the submission by the unions, the Senate Committee on Aviation in consonance with the House Committee on Aviation hereby directs you to immediately suspend the issuance of AOC to NG Eagle. The essence of this suspension is to enable the committee and relevant authorities carry out a thorough investigation on all allegations levelled by the unions in the petition. The Committee expects full compliance with this directive until a workable resolution is achieved,” Adeyemi wrote.
However, speaking yesterday at the 50th annual general meeting of the Nigerian Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) in Abuja, Na’Allah stated that that the committee was misled on the controversial issue of NG Eagle AOC and apologised to Nigerians.
The senate does not wish to interfere in the statutory functions of the NCAA,” he said and charged the NCAA to continue with its statutory functions of the aviation sector regulator without interference.