The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arrested three staff of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) following their arrest by for allegedly stealing N100 million.
The EFCC in a statement revealed that the fraud was carried out over a period of three years by a level six officer of the Accounts Department of FAAN, Christy Olabode, her younger brother who worked in the Commercial Department of the agency in Ilorin, Kwara State, Abdul-Shehu Obaze, and an IT officer at FAAN headquarters, in Lagos, Dominic Ojo.
According to the EFCC, the arrest followed an anonymous petition alleging that the individuals diverted the funds by inserting names of non-FAAN staff into the payroll.
It adds that when questioned, Mr Obaze revealed that other FAAN officials are also involved in the fraud.
The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) will hold a simulation exercise today to demonstrate its readiness for any aircraft emergency at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos.
This exercise will be done in collaboration with other parties in the industry including the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), the Nigeria Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), security agencies and the Lagos State Fire Services, and some government hospitals.
The simulation exercise is carried out every two years according to global standards to test the competence of the personnel in case of real emergencies.
The Authority assured Nigerians and international community, especially airport users, that the exercise would not hamper flight operations neither or affect airline schedules.
They also advised that persons within the airport should not panic when they notice unusual movement of airport operational and security staff during the period.
The General Manager, Air Traffic Control Operations of the Nigerian Air Space Management Agency (NAMA), Mr John Onyegiri, has described the plane that was sited at Dapsey Oil Station in Igando, Lagos on Thursday as a tricycle.
According to him, the wingless plane which he also referred to as a “junk plane” was being towed by a van to an unknown destination for “education purposes”.
Onyegiri said “you can’t call this one an aircraft anymore; this is like towing a junk”.
He further explained that the wings of the plane had to be taken off to ease movement and traffic on the road.
He called the plane a “tricycle” after the wings had been removed.
“Aircrafts have wings, so to be able to tow it as a junk, they have to take off the wings and it becomes a tricycle.
So they hook it up and take it somewhere else for tourism, for education purposes”.
He also said the airport is littered with “eyesores” like that that are yet to be removed by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).
The federal government has launched a revised National Civil Aviation Policy (NCAP) as part of efforts to ensure safety and security in the aviation industry.
Presenting the new policy in Abuja, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Aviation Reforms, Ms Anne Ene-Ita announced that the new policy is aimed at strengthening the existing regulatory framework and facilitate the growth of domestic airlines.
She said the policy will improve performance and encourage new routes in addition to ensuring that the nation’s airports are better integrated into a wider transport network.
She also told the gathering that the federal government remains committed to transforming the nation’s aviation industry.
Also speaking at the event, Director, Commercial Business Development of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Dr Adeniyi Balogun announced the commencement of an automated entry into the nation’s airports as part of efforts to track vehicles and ensure adequate security for all passengers.
The first NCAP was first introduced in 1989 and it led to the establishment of the NCAA and FAAN.
The 2013 policy which entailed 10 parts identified the need to establish a national safety programme in compliance with the International Civil Aviation (ICAO) safety management standard.
The programme is expected to ensure that aviation service providers have adequate safety management system. An overview of part IV of the policy contained regulations that bother on Aviation Training Organisations (ATOs).
NCAP 2013 On Private Jets
Approval or clearance from the Director-General, NCAA, will not be required from Nigerians operating non-revenue flights with appropriate insurance policies in the following cases:
*For private aircraft owned or leased by individuals, only the family members of the owner/lessee of the aircraft will be permitted on board as passengers. *For private aircraft owned or leased by companies or corporate entities, only the employees and members of the Board of Directors of the company will be permitted on board as passengers. *For aircraft belonging to non-scheduled or scheduled operators, only the employees and members of the Board of Directors of the company or the corporation may be permitted on board as passengers; all operators will declare the identities of all passengers on non-revenue charter flights in the appropriate general declaration forms prior to obtaining ATC clearance.
Nigerian carriers operating revenue passenger charter flights will be required to have a current non-scheduled or scheduled operator permit with operations manual that contains flight duty time limitations, which will be strictly monitored on regular basis.
Retention of foreign registered aircraft in Nigeria will not be permitted beyond a period of 15 days from date of entry. However, the Minister of Aviation may, in certain circumstances, grant the extension of this period for up to 60 days.
With the revised national civil aviation policy which takes immediate effect, it may no longer be business as usual for airline operators who cut corners as the federal government says issues of aviation safety will no longer be compromised.
The Senate Committee on Aviation has directed the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) to immediately set up service stations at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
The committee also directed that similar action be carried out in other airports across the country. The committee gave the directive following explanations from officials of PHCN and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) on the cause of the blackout at the airport on Saturday which had some aircrafts hovering in the air for hours.
The Chairman of the committee, Senator Hope Uzodinma, said the blackout at the airport was a huge embarrassment to the country. He, however, assured the people that “every necessary step” must be taken to forestall any such occurrences in the future.
He also directed the Minister of Power, Professor Barth Nnaji, to ensure a dedicated power line is provided at the airport, noting that the current arrangement was deficient.
Abdulganiyu Umar, the Chief Executive Officer of Abuja Electricity Distribution Company, had told the committee that the power outage was caused by the ongoing electrical work by FAAN contractors at the airport.
The Head, Electrical Department of FAAN, Mr Sam Dahua, also told the committee that after the power went off, the generators were immediately switched on but they equally failed after a while.
Senator Uzodinma appealed to the government agencies concerned to work together to ensure smooth operations to address the occurrence of such blackouts. He noted that if FAAN had worked in collaboration with PHCN, the blackout would have been averted.
He also stressed on the need for officials of the distribution company at the airport to be present at their duty posts at all times.
Mr Dahua said all the parties, namely the committee, PHCN, FAAN and the National Integrated Power Projects (NIPP), signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) after consultations.
In the MOU the agencies agreed to collaborate to construct a new 33kv line from Apo transmission substation to the airport.
They also agreed that all the street lights and other electricity consumers would be connected to the line to free the double circuit 33kv feeders dedicated exclusively for the Airport.
The agreement also states that the airport authority shall always inform PHCN whenever it needs to carry out maintenance work on its electrical installations to enable PHCN to provide technical support.
The agreement also states that PHCN shall set up a full-fledged service centre at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja, while FAAN will provide office accommodation for the PHCN technical crew.
The parties agreed that PHCN and FAAN would carry out joint due diligence on all the electrical facilities at the airport to re-affirm their state and adequacy for smooth operations.
The MoU was signed by officials of the three agencies and the chairman of the Senate Committee on Aviation.
The power outage at the airport occurred at 4 a.m. and forced passengers on a British Airways flight to wait in the aircraft for more than an hour for the restoration of light before embarking.