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The Federal Government has announced that the NCAA will audit all local airlines. This decision comes after Dana Airlines was suspended when one of its planes skidded off the runway at Lagos airport.

Photo illustration of Aviation Minister, Festus Keyamo, and an airport

The Federal Government has announced that the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) will conduct a thorough audit of all local airlines across the country.

Aviation and Aerospace Development Minister Festus Keyamo revealed this during an interview on Channels Television’s “Politics Today” on Thursday. He emphasized that in addition to the suspension and audit of Dana Airlines, all other local carriers would also be audited to ensure passenger safety and the health of the civil aviation sector.

Keyamo, who took office in August following his appointment by President Bola Tinubu, has faced criticism from some civil aviation watchdogs who view his actions as “external interference” in the NCAA’s autonomy. On Wednesday, he instructed the NCAA to suspend Dana Airlines, citing serious concerns about the safety and financial stability of its operations. The directive was promptly implemented by NCAA Director General Chris Najomo.

The suspension of Dana Air came about 24 hours after one of the airline’s planes skidded off the runway at Lagos airport.

Some stakeholders believe the minister should respect the autonomy of the regulator and that it was inappropriate for him to direct the NCAA to suspend an airline.

In response, Keyamo defended his decision, arguing that he has the legal authority to guide the NCAA in matters of national security. He stated that “a series of incidents had happened two years ago that the airline is not healthy,” adding that aviation experts should consider the safety of their own families when judging the airline.

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Keyamo called for a swift audit of Dana Airlines and indicated that the audits of other local airlines would also be expedited. He emphasized the importance of ensuring the safety of Nigerians flying with local airlines.