An expert in the aviation industry and former Director of Operations in the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Nnanna Ugbaga has said that the biggest challenge the agency and other parastatals in the aviation sector are faced with is government’s bureaucracy process.
He said that whenever invitation for training of personnel in the aviation sector, either at overseas or workshop comes up, the agencies usually battle for approval, from the ministry and before approval comes the time for the training would have been over.
Ugbaga who disclosed this to aviation correspondents in an interview, opined that NAMA as an agency in aviation sector had missed several of such training opportunities due to bureaucratic bottle-necks of government, while some other countries of the world’s personnel usually made it to the training destination.
“I know most of my mates in Ghana and you find out that when we here in Nigeria have done ten courses, they have done more than twenty courses comparatively.
“Each time we meet we are usually baffled that we Nigerians do not actually know what they are talking about. Another thing is that controllers in Nigeria are not even enough, and so there should be deliberate efforts towards increasing their number”.
“There is no amount of money you can use to quantify safety. You cannot use money to buy lives. When the money is not there, we understand. If the money is not there, and you are supposed to be training about fifty persons, then you can just train about twenty of them”, Ugbaga said.
The former NAMA director however explained that any dynamic change in aviation sector cannot be seen as negative, because such change has to be tested by the International Civil Aviation organisation (ICAO) before implementation.
He said that a country cannot just start bringing changes on their own in their aviation sector without being authenticated by the body that is in charge of approval adding that air safety is not like road safety.