Transport

NG Eagle: Senate won’t interfere in statutory duties of NCAA – committee

A new airline, NG Eagle, which is being floated by the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) is yet to obtain an Air Operator Certificate (AOC) it needs to start operations because one of the aircraft needed to secure the minimum number of equipment that would qualify it for certification is not yet ready

The senate committee on aviation says it will not interfere in the statutory responsibilities of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).

The committee had, in a letter signed by Smart Adeyemi, its chairman, ordered the NCAA to suspend the process of awarding air operator’s certificate (AOC) to NG Eagle.

NG Eagle is an airline being birthed by the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), using some of the assets of Arik Air.

According to the letter, the directive was necessary following the huge debts of Arik Air to the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and other government agencies in the sector.

However, this directive was met with a flurry of condemnation by stakeholders and associations in the sector who insisted that it was tantamount to political interference in the statutory functions of the NCAA by the senate committee.

Bala Na’Allah, deputy chairman of the senate committee on aviation, said the committee was misinformed, adding that the lawmakers frown at political interference in the affairs of the NCAA.

Speaking on Wednesday in Abuja during the 50th annual general meeting of the Nigerian Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA), Na’Allah charged the NCAA to go ahead with its duties and perform its statutory functions as the regulator of the aviation industry without interference.

“The senate does not wish to interfere with the statutory functions of the NCAA because the right of NG Eagle will be unfairly violated if his AOC is not released after the company has complied with all mandatory duties with success,” NAN quoted him as saying.

“The NCAA will also be in flagrant violation of these rights if the house aviation committee is interested in recovering public funds, a resolution could be passed citing the relevant section of economic regulation, if applicable.”

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