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2009-07-02:Maintenance: NCAA won’t accept excuses from airliners

By Nahimah Ajikanle Nurudeen

The Director General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Dr.  Harold Demuren has said that the agency would not take excuse from any carrier in the country over maintenance of aircraft, training and other safety related issues involved in their operations

Speaking to newsmen in Lagos, he said the airline operators in Nigeria must take safety their priority and that any carrier that is not financially buoyant should be taking it leave out of the industry.

According to him, “the main thrust of this exercise is to ensure that the airlines have enough funds to carry out a safe operation and if NCAA is convinced that an airline can no longer carry out a safe operation, that airline will close shop. The concept is about safety and safety cannot be compromised and jeopardized. At the initial stage, we said that safety was number one and our goal has not changed. The goal is zero accident and that is what we want to achieve”.

He disclosed that NCAA has marked those airlines who are not financially healthy and that something will be done very soon.

“We have opened a searchlight on them; we are looking at some issues like defaulting in the payment of salaries, fuel, payment on insurance, a lot of bad debts. The truth is that you can owe a fuel marketer, for instance, if you buy a N200 million worth of fuel every day, you cannot pay that every day, you already have a credit line with the marketer. If you are credit worthy, you can owe but if you don’t service your credit, you don’t pay your debts, it shows that you are not credit worthy”.

However he said, insurance is a no go area because airlines are not allowed to carry passengers in public transport category for hire and reward without having adequate or immediately insurance cover.

“We have learnt our lessons from what happened in the recent past,” said Demuren.

Source:Daily Trust

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