The Minister of Aviation, Festus Keyamo says political interference in the operations of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), would be dangerous as safety is key in aviation management.
According to him, aviation safety is completely in the hands of the aviation regulatory body.
The Minister who spoke at the inspection of facilities at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos said, “There should be very little political interference in safety matters. Don’t expect me to interfere in safety matters.
“That is completely in the hands of the NCAA and they are totally responsible and answerable to the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). I am not going to interfere with safety. One of my cardinal programmes should just be to ensure that NCAA enforces its rules and regulations to the hilt; that is my duty. I will not interfere in matters of regulations.”
The statement by the Minister may have rekindled the hope of better air safety as successive ministers had been accused of interfering in the operations of the NCAA.
The government’s persistent interference in the operations of the industry regulator, the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has been identified as contributing significantly to the growth of the sector and posing a threat to the security and safety of airlines and airports across the country.
The law set up by the International Civil Aviation Organisation, (ICAO) which Nigeria is a party to, states that all Civil Aviation Authorities under ICAO across the world must exercise autonomy and must not be influenced by the presidency or its minister.