The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has announced that it is carrying out economic and financial audits of eight remaining domestic airlines in Nigeria.
The Director-General of NCAA, Capt. Musa Nuhu made this known during an interview with journalists in Lagos on Wednesday. He noted that the exercise was necessary in order to determine the financial health conditions of the airlines.
According to him, anything that affects safety will not be compromised, adding that airlines should stop operations than witness a major incident.
Captain Nuhu added that they have commenced intensive financial and economic audits on 3 other indigenous airlines, which will be followed by the other 5 airlines soon.
“While Aero Contractors voluntarily suspended its operations, NCAA grounded the services of Dana Air, following its alleged failure to run safe operations. The remaining 8 scheduled airlines are: Air Peace, Arik Air, Max Air, Green Africa, United Nigeria, Overland, Azman Air and Ibom Air”, he said.
He added that the scarcity of foreign exchange and high price of Jet A1, has brought about challenges in Nigeria’s aviation industry, and urged that the regulator will not keep its guards down on safety.
“We are currently conducting financial and economic audits of airlines in the country. We have done two or three and other airlines will be taken in batches. I will discuss with the airline’s management on the way forward.
“Like I said, we have a financial crisis and we don’t want it to cross over into a safety crisis. We need to manage the situation.
“For now, we remain focused while working to address the solution to the financial difficulties in the airlines. This cannot go on forever, so we are working round-the-clock to find a solution.
“Yes, it is a very difficult situation, but we are just going to do what we are doing. We are working together and collaborating with others to address the situation in the industry,” he added.
Speaking on the suspension of Dana Air operations, he said that during the financial and economic audit of the airline, the NCAA discovered some “grave concerns” in the operations of the airline that could affect safety. He, however said the airline’s audit was still ongoing and the agency would give it a clear chance to resolve whatever issue it was having.