The Senate Committee on Aviation on Thursday joined its counterpart at the House of Representatives to direct the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), to stop forthwith, the issuance of Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) to NG Eagle, a new start up airline being muted by the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON).
A letter signed by the chairman of the committee, Senator Smart Adeyemi, to the NCAA on October 11, 2021, made reference to a joint petition to the Senate by the Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals and National Union of Pensioners, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) branch, challenging the issuance of the AOC over huge debts to FAAN.
“The petition categorically stipulated that the application for AOC is unrealistic and unfeasible as the debt profile of Arik Air, which is presently under AMCON receivership is enormous. Therefore, the notion that AOC be granted to NG Eagle while it allegedly uses Arik Air aircraft, which accounts for part of the assets of Arik Air will invariably undermine the receivership.
“Having carefully considered the submission by the unions, the Senate Committee on Aviation in consonance with the House Committee on Aviation, hereby directs you to immediately suspend the issuance of AOC to NG Eagle. The essence of this suspension is to enable the committee and relevant authorities carry out a thorough investigation on all allegations levelled by the unions in the petition. The Committee expects full compliance with this directive until a workable resolution is achieved”, the letter reads.
The House of Representatives Committee on Aviation, had last week, also directed the NCAA not to issue Air Operators’ Certificate, (AOC) to the Nigeria Eagle Airline being midwifed by the Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON).
The Committee gave the directive in Abuja following a petition jointly addressed to the Chairman, Honourable Nnolim Nnaji by the Association of Nigerian Aviation Professionals, (ANAP) and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, (FAAN) branch of the National Union of Pensioners, (NUP), over debt issues.
But the Aviation Round Table (ART), condemned the interference by the House of Representatives in the issues involving the issuance of Air Operator’s Certificate to NG Eagle by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA)
In a statement signed by Olumide Ohunayo for ART, the pressure group noted with dismay how in the past, the lawmakers had interfered in the affairs and duties of the NCAA, saying such undermines and whittle the powers granted to the NCAA.
Also, the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), on Wednesday, called on the Presidency to intervene in the crisis brewing from non-issuance of Air Operator’s Certificate to NG Eagle, the airline being planned by the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), saying only this will avert the crisis that could eventually affect the sector, especially the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).
It particularly called on secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and the Chief of Staff to the President (CoS) to urgently intervene in these matters and facilitate an immediate cease fire and chart a path to progress on the sensitive issues.