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Nigeria Passes Security Audit, ICAO Confirms Airports Secure

Nigeria’s aviation security system has scored over 90 per cent in the just concluded ICAO 9-day Security Audit, confirming that Nigeria’s airports are secure

Anthony Awunor

Nigeria has performed very well in the just concluded International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) security audit conducted in the nation’s aviation security system from June1-9, 2015. The team of ICAO Auditors revealed this on Wednesday, adding that Nigeria performed excellently in the 9 – day audit conducted on the nation’s aviation security system. The team leader Steven Neu who made the announcement was very impressed with the National Security Programme, confirming that there were very minimal open items to be closed.

Mr. Neu said “Nigeria surpassed our expectations. We reviewed the 2008 audit before we commenced this exercise but we discovered there have been massive improvements in the security systems at the airports.’’ To Nigeria’s credit all the minimal open items were closed immediately. The audit was focused on the eight critical elements. The team leader said Nigeria is one of the first countries in the world to go through the USAP Continuous Monitoring Assessment (CMA) Audit.

He heaped praises on all the security agencies at the airports – the aviation security, Nigerian police airport command, DSS, Port Health Services, Air Force, Nigerian Drug Law enforcement Agency (NDLEA) and Quarantine services. He said now that the USAP CMA activity has been completed draft findings and recommendations will be provided to the Regulatory Authority. After 60 days ICAO will forward the USAP CMA audit report to Nigeria.

In 30 days, Nigeria will submit its comments on the audit report if any. Within another 30 days, the country will submit to ICAO its Corrective Action Plan (CAP). The Director General, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, (NCAA), Capt. Muhtar Usman thanked the ICAO Auditors for a very thorough and transparent audit. He expressed joy that Nigeria’s performance was higher than the preceding audit in 2008.Usman assured ICAO that Nigeria will not rest on her oars but will continue to ensure that our air transport operation is secure and safe.

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, (NCAA), will soon commence preparation for the ICAO’s Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme (USOAP) coming up in November, later this year. While the USAP takes cognisance of states’ security at the airports, the ultimate goal of USOAP is promoting global aviation safety through regular audits of safety oversight systems in all ICAO member states.

Captain Usman while receiving the ICAO auditors last week had assured Nigerians that Nigeria will scale through the security audit. The NCAA boss stated that the objective of the Universal Safety Audit Programme (USAP) Continuous Monitoring approach (CMA) is to promote global aviation security through continuous auditing and monitoring of member – states’ aviation security performance.

He noted that recently ICAO Council approved for all subsequent audits under the USAP – CMA programme, the adoption of CMA. The Director General also stated that the USAP –CMA was to enhance states’ security compliance and oversight capabilities by determining the extent of compliance of the state in implementing Annex 17 standards and related provisions of Annex 9. Usman added that ICAO would similarly determine the sustainability and effectiveness of the states’ implementation of a security system through the establishment of legislation, programmes, regulations and a security authority with control and enforcement capacity.

The NCAA DG added that at the conclusion of the audit, recommendations and time windows would be provided for the closure of the open items and ensure compliance. “In all modesty, I can confidently affirm that Nigeria is ready. You will recall that in 2008, Nigeria went through a similar audit and performed impressively. The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has ensured that corrective actions have been taken on all open items through a developed and submitted plan.” He assured shortly before the audit commenced.

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