By Chisom Nwatu
The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) is carrying out economic and financial audits of eight domestic airlines operating in the country and has already begun with three.
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Musa Nuhu, NCAA director-general, who briefed journalists at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos on Wednesday, said the audit became necessary so as to determine the health conditions and functional level of all the domestic airlines operating in Nigeria.
“We are currently conducting financial and economic audits of airlines in the country. We have done two or three of the airlines and other airlines would be taken in batches,” Nuhu said.
“I will sit down and discuss with the management of the airlines 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,” he said.
This is coming on the heels of the recent suspension of the operations of Dana Air and Aero Contractors. Whereas Aero Contractors voluntarily suspended its operations in July, NCAA suspended Dana Air services over alleged failure to run safe operations, reducing the number of scheduled domestic operators to eight.
The remaining eight scheduled airlines include Air Peace, Arik Air, Max Air, Green Africa, United Nigeria, Overland, Azman Air and Ibom Air.
Nuhu did not, however, reveal the three airlines currently undergoing economic and financial audits.
“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 around the clock to find a solution to the problem,” the NCAA boss said.
“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 said.