CHIEF Executive Officer of West Link Airlines, Captain Ibrahim Mshelia has said that if statements credited to the House of Representatives Aviation Committee over withholding the Air Operators’ Certificate (AOC) of a potential investor holds true, then it is interfering with the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and is in conflict with its laws and those of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
This is just as he called on the NCAA to do its job by certifying a carrier if it deserves it and not be distracted stating that although the house has a function to perform it should not usurp the power of the judiciary for two private entities or the NCAA’s regulatory function of the industry.
According to him, if the Reps Committee on aviation does not rescind its pronouncement to withhold the AOC of a pending carrier after it follows the process and is certified qualified, it will be destroying the House they built and shortchanging the people they represent.
Mshelia who went back memory lane explained that Nigeria is a signatory to ICAO conventions and the global regulator oversights all member states, stressing that the military government recognized the importance of this and created decree 49 establishing NCAA to be effective 2000.
He said,”To be rated as safe state operationally, you needed to remove all political influences. Now, how does this become relevant? Political influence has been determined to cause serious safety concerns including fatal accidents. This autonomy is a solution to this problem and also a requirement by ICAO SARPS.
On their interference he said,”They will be going against the law themselves. Interference of any nature is a nuisance, depending on effect, it can cause serious damage. We the industry experts and investors are still baffled at that report and also worried that one day, someone can just petition us and then we get grounded… it’s a bad precedent that must not be allowed to see the light of day… fair enough they claim to be working on a petition.
“I also read the articles of petition. It is indeed in the purview of NASS to wade into all matters that come before them, but they must also be careful not to usurp the powers of the autonomy of the CAA or the courts. They are not a court. What’s happening between NG Eagle, Arik and AMCON is in public domain and whatever their issues are belong to the courts from the status. We see it.
” AMCON and it’s functions are not new to anyone let alone NASS. So why will NASS involve itself in issues between corporate entities when the courts are there??? They need a consultant for sure to explain issues to them going forward, if they have already, that consultant must be dismissed if not punished for misguiding our NASS to make such pronouncements that is now seen as callous.
“The National Assembly must be preserved. So those transiting as leaders must not be misguided by advisers, the members should also take time to hold free unbiased consultations before they make pronouncements, that way they will avoid the brouhaha that is currently rocking the system that is capable of causing harm to our civil aviation.
Mshelia said that if the NCAA can do it’s job by first ignoring the threat from NASS and complete the certification, it will be seen as victory and will earn NCAA the highest of respects around the globe.
He said,”If NCAA can do it’s job by first ignoring the threat from NASS and complete the certification, it will be seen as victory!! It’s a plus, it will earn NCAA the highest of respect around the globe. They will be hero’s of our time to reject that threat and do their job. It’s NCAA’s job to certify and approve airlines and not the National Assembly’s or even the judiciary or the executive arm of government.
“Those are the people ICAO wants to see not interfering at all! I hope NCAA can embolden itself and resist it. Otherwise they well know the implication.
He talked about how this may play a role in the country’s upcoming certifications if not handled professionally stated:
“ICAO audit is by the corner, FAA CAT-One is also coming. All these will show negative on them. They know better!! We will support them if they take the right decisions and get it right, if they don’t decide, we cannot decide for them. So they say, when two elephants fight, the grass suffers! This is where we now seem to be on the matter.
“But as an upcoming elder in the industry and the nation at large. I urge the Hon Members, who represent us all, to please for the sake of Nigerian Aviation today and tomorrow for our children, to rescind their decision and allow NCAA to do their statutory job and the courts to settle the disputed matters.”