According to Nuhu, Nigeria would do whatever it takes to remedy the holes found in the most recent ICAO audit, even if it means closing numerous airports.

    Nigeria scored 70% on a comprehensive audit. We conducted a thorough audit, the last of which was in 2016. Following the audit, you will receive their findings after 90 days, at which point you have 45 days to take action, according to the NCAA DG.

    Aviation industry stakeholders have voiced concerns that after the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) finishes auditing all of the nation’s airports, a number of them would close.

    The NCAA’s director general, Musa Nuhu, had announced over the weekend that an audit of all airports will take place shortly and that any that were found to be lacking would be grounded.

    The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) recently audited all Nigerian airports and awarded the nation a score of 70%, highlighting the need for the NCAA to close the gaps in air navigation services, ground aids, infrastructure, qualified technical personnel, surveillance, and safety concern resolution.

    “There are 45 more days left, followed by 30 more days. According to my calculations, it took the ICAO 210 days to formally notify us. You have the chance to fix some problems and fill in the gaps at that time.

    He said that if a nation has not completed airport certification, it is nearly hard to get more than 70% with the ICAO. Nigeria, he revealed, has not completed its airport certification for the five international airports because of various obstacles and constraints.

    Since I am aware that our airports do not adhere to the standards, I do not feel obligated to sign the airport certification. Nigeria will suffer even more from it, and there’s also the issue you refer to as the Significant Safety Concern (SSC). Some states receive it from ICAO, which implies that a state’s supervision role is essentially fraudulent. He stated, “We did not receive an SSC.

    He promised that Nigeria would have completed airport certification and closed some deficiencies within the next 12 to 18 months following the implementation of a proactive action plan.

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    In actuality, we will inspect all airports following this audit—not just the international airport. We are going to audit every airport in Nigeria to assess their current state of affairs. He said, “Any airport with a deficiency will be grounded to the extent of their status.”

    Responding promptly to the DG’s comments, stakeholders reiterated that, should the NCAA be honest in its audit, a number of airports will be closed because the majority of them have flaws.

    The Kaduna Airport’s terrible state was brought to the attention of Festus Keyamo last week by Uba Sani, the governor of Kaduna State, and the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development.

    The governor stated, “I had to come to your office so we can decide what to do because the airport is an eyesore and no aircraft is landing there at the moment.”
    The governor went on to say that whenever someone tries to fly into Kaduna, they use the Zaria air wings or the NAF Base as an alternative, or they regard Kano Airport as an option.

    “At this time, I have discussed the possibility of starting flight operations at the airport with Air Peace and United Airlines, but we have discovered that some facilities need to be upgraded and improved in order to provide efficient aeronautical services,” the governor continued.

    Nigeria has 32 airports, of which 26 are controlled by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN). Of these, no more than seven offer assured nighttime landing aids. Night landings are permitted upon request at some airports, including those in Uyo, Enugu, and Anambra. Before clearing the audit, it is anticipated that some of these airports will receive permanent landing lights and additional assistance.

    BusinessDay was informed by security expert and former military commandant John Ojikutu of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos that he was perplexed as to why uncertified airports were ever in operation.

    What criteria does the NCAA mention on its checklists that airports must meet in order to receive certification? He stated that in order to ensure proper administration, services, and maintenance of runways, taxiways, runway approach safe zones, perimeter/security fences, and aerodrome control services, there must be a sufficient number of trained workers.

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    According to Ojikutu, the state of the airports is the cause for the bad grade they received in the previous audit. They also stated that if an airport is not operating up to the criteria set by its approved program, they should be grounded in the same way that an airline is grounded.

    Aviation stakeholder and Mainstream Cargo Limited CEO Seyi Adewale stated that the results of the most recent audit show that the NCAA was unable to adequately oversee the airports in line with its primary mandate, which is outlined in the ICAO Annexes.

    “First and foremost, my suspicion would stem from inadequate budgetary provisions, allocation, or approval for the same.” Second, given certain oversight challenges, particularly in relation to the “alleged overarching powers and interferences” from the previous Minister of Aviation, who seemed to directly oversee the operations and management of both government agencies, the NCAA’s oversight role regarding the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) may be questionable, according to Adewale.

    Although he does not have a comprehensive list of all airports in Nigeria, he pointed out that there are currently a large number of airports in the country that are supported by various state governments as evidence of infrastructure initiatives.

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