Barring any hitch, Nigeria will in a few weeks begin the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme ( USOAP). The continuous monitoring approach will offer another window in assessing the country’s capacity in the implementation its state safety oversight system in compliance with the requirements of the global body. KELVIN OSA-OKUNBOR reports.
The campaign to put in place safety management systems, processes, procedures and other interventions required to scale up regulation for civil aviation authorities is gaining traction in the global air transport industry.
To drive this move, more countries are ramping up their state safety interventions to meet up with the standards prescribed by the global civil aviation regulator – International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO).
To align with this objective, Nigeria in a few weeks will commence the ICAO, Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme (USOAP) Continuous Monitoring Approach (CMA) exercise.
NCAA’s Director General,Captain Musa Nuhu, who stated this in an interview, said the programme would be completed in the first quarter of this year.
Nuhu the NCAA was constrained to clarify the exercise because of misinformation making the round that the programme would focus on Annex 9 of ICAO, which covers facilitation rather than the global body’s Annex 17 which scope dwells on standards and recommended practices.
He said the exercise would take a greater look at such practices as it affects security of international air transport with amendment in addressing threats.
Shedding light on the exercise, Nuhu said: “ The USOAP audit is an activity during which ICAO assesses the effective implementation of the critical elements (CEs) of a safety oversight system and conducts a systematic and objective review of a state’s safety oversight system to verify the status of a its compliance with the provisions of ICAO Convention.”
Nuhu insisted that the safety audit had nothing to do with either facilitation or security audits, but admitted that some teething challenges needed to be addressed in the industry.
Nuhu explained that security has its separate audit, stressing that Nigeria performed well in the last security audit conducted in the sector by ICAO.
He recalled that in the last ICAO Security Audit (USOAP-CMA) of Nigeria – the Effective Implementation (EI), Nigeria scored 96.4 per cent and the country received ICAO Council President Award Certificate for its performance.
He explained further that the USOAP-CMA Audit (security audit) is now scheduled for the third quarter of 2022, stressing that NCAA’s aspirational Effective Implementation (EI) score for the USOAP-CMA Audit is 90 per cent.
He insisted that all hands were on deck to ensure this becomes a reality.
“NCAA will step up its oversight function and collaboration with all relevant stakeholders to ensure continued improvement in aviation security and facilitation. Security audit is different from safety audit. What we are doing is quite different from security audit and it’s not related to facilitation. I understand facilitation is good for passengers, but it has nothing to do with the audit.
“The last security audit we had, Nigeria scored 96.4 per cent and because of this performance, Nigeria received ICAO Council President Award Certificate for its performance. Yes, I accept we have some challenges in the industry, just like in the other countries around the world. However, to say Nigeria is not ready for audit is a misnomer. Someone is saying we are not ready for two issues that are not part of the forthcoming audit. I think that is wrong,” he said.
Nuhu declared last week that the country was fully prepared for the audit.
According to him, NCAA was on top of its game to ensure a successful outing for the Nigeria in the ICAO audit.
He added that its proactive approach and robust regulations had led to the over eight years of zero accident in commercial flights in Nigeria and vowed that the regulatory agency would continue to ensure excellence performance for the country.
Article first published on The Nation Online Website