Senator Ibn Na’Allah, a member of the Senate Committee on Aviation, has apologized to Nigerians over its directive to the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, to suspend the issuance of Air Operators’ Certificate, AOC, to the start-up carrier, NG Eagle Airlines.
The senator made the apology on Wednesday, in Abuja, at the 50th Annual General Meeting, AGM, of the Nigerian Air Traffic Controllers Association, NATCA.
Recall that the committee, in a letter dated Oct. 11 and signed by its Chairman, Smart Adeyemi, had directed NCAA to suspend the process of issuing the AOC to NG Eagle Airline.
Mr Adeyemi said the directive was necessary following the huge debts Arik Air owed the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and other government agencies in the sector.
However, the directive was condemned by stakeholders and associations in the sector, who insisted that it was tantamount to political interference by the Senate in the statutory functions of the NCAA.
Mr Na’Allah, in a statement, specifically said that the committee was misled on the controversial issue of NG Eagle’s AOC, warning against political interference in the autonomy of the NCAA to carry out its duties.
The senator urged NCAA to go ahead with its duties and perform its statutory functions as the industry regulator, without interference.
He said: “The senate does not wish to interfere in the statutory functions of NCAA as NG Eagle’s right will be breached unfairly if its AOC is not released after the company had complied with all mandatory tasks successfully.
“NCAA will also be in gross violation of these rights should the House Committee on Aviation be interested in recouping public funds a resolution could be passed citing the relevant section of the economic regulations, if applicable.”