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Minister, airline operators clash over composition of NCAA board

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The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika and the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) disagreed at the Senate on Monday over the composition of the board of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).

The AON had demanded the inclusion of its members in the NCAA board at the opening of a three-day public hearing on the six executive bills meant to reorganise and restructure the six agencies in the aviation sector.

The AON representative, Chinasa Unaegburam, had proposed an amendment to Section 5 of the NCAA Act to make provisions for the airline operators on the agency’s board.

She said: “They (AON) are people who are operating the airlines and they can give the perspective of policies.

“If we have a member of AON on the board, we can give a perspective particularly in the instance where the NCAA is going to be the sole regulatory body.

“If there is a member from AON, it is not going to change the policy but it is going to give an insight from the operator view.

READ ALSO: NCAA threatens to stop domestic flight operations over breach of COVID-19 protocols

“We are moving forward so we want to move the sector forward. It is something that we should consider.”

The AON called for amendment of Clause 23 of the NCAA Act, seeking a five percent reduction in contract and service charge.

However, the minister interjected and told the gathering that the AON could not speak at the forum because of a pending court case.

He said members of the AON have been causing problems for the aviation sector because of their indebtedness.

He said: “We have concerns and they are very genuine. NCAA operates on a cost-recovery basis. They (AON) are owing us $6.9million and another N19.3billion. We are here so that we get a very robust civil Aviation Act.”

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