NAMA partners NEMA, others on live air crash simulations

…enjoins staff to comply with tenets of TSA

By Isaac Tersoo Agber

Ahead of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) audit coming up in March 2016, the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency has joined forces with the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and other critical stakeholders responsible for managing aviation crisis with a view to scaling the potential risks to air safety and marshaling out curb-able measures.

Other organisations also mentioned in the synergy include: the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Nigerian Air Force (NAF), Nigerian Navy and local divers. The get-together was done in a live aeronautic simulation of an air crash into the Atlantic Ocean at Oworonshoki Sand Beach in Lagos.

The simulation Code named “Ja’ Sokun,” the National Aeronautical Search and Rescue Exercise (NASAREX) focused on a disaster that could result from an air crash and create mass casualty incident, which requires a coordinated response from the critical stakeholders saddled with the responsibility of managing aviation crisis incidences in Search and Rescue and Epidemic Evacuation Plan (SAREEP).

National Daily gathered that the mock air crash search and rescue exercise, which was largely successful enabled stakeholders to assess their level of preparedness in emergency responses.

Speaking at the end of the exercise, the NEMA Director of Search and Rescue, Air Vice Marshal (AVM) Charles Otegbade, commended participants on the “combined effort in achieving an impressive outcome.” He also assured that “all gaps recorded in the simulation exercise would be closed by the relevant stakeholders.

It would be recalled that a similar Air Crash Simulation exercise was carried out last year on land in Abuja as an annual requirement from ICAO.

Meanwhile, NAMA’s Acting General Manager, Public Affairs, Mrs. Olajumoke Adetona, reported to aviation correspondents that the agency was also doing its best to be in tune with the Federal Government’s directive on Treasury Single Account (TSA). She said the Managing Director of the Agency, Engr. Ibrahim Abdulsalam, had already put an official call to all its staff to adhere strictly to the tenets of the newly introduced TSA policy, including tax policy and other policy initiatives of the Federal Government.

According to him, these initiatives were all targeted at repositioning the economy towards greatness.
Abdulsalam reportedly made these remarks at a one-day workshop attended by top management staff of NAMA at the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) Training Centre, Annex at the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos.

He explained that TSA is a unified government accounting system which enables consolidation and optimal utilisation of revenue, adding that in the light of dwindling oil fortunes, there was the need for stakeholders to support and encourage the reforms of the Federal Government both as individuals and as an organization so as to succeed.

These policy initiatives, he said, were bound to give the Nigerian economy and by extension the aviation sector the needed boost and turnaround in the long run. The NAMA boss also charged participants to look inwards and device new frontiers where the agency could generate more revenue from non-aeronautical sources. He also cautioned against waste and frivolous expenses.

“The present economic realities have left us with no other option than to align ourselves with the policy direction of the Federal Government by prioritizing our expenditure and also blocking leakages,” he said.