A lot has been said about the spate of air crashes in Nigeria with pundits churning out multiple and often contradictory reasons why we hardly go a year without a single air crash. However, a Thisday investigation revealed something quite chilling in my view. They interviewed an “inside source” in the NCAA and this is what he had to say
Our airworthiness inspectors are old and have retired and now want to come out of retirement, so whatever you give them as emoluments they will accept. NCAA inspectors have failed over time to ensure adequate maintenance the fleet of the airline (name withheld) because the problem has nothing to do with the aircraft type but with maintenance which proper inspection can solve. But the inspectors are not motivated because people in supporting department earn more than they do.
So the inspectors are not happy and the younger inspectors will not come because of poor welfare package and many of those in the system now lack the ability to go through the rigour the job demands. The former director general was sending the inspectors on training without funding, but those who were able to go with personal funds were paid. He was the one who started the huge debt profile in the agency
So essentially, the NCAA lacks younger and more agile employees who by now should be groomed to take over from the more experienced operatives. In addition, the current inspectors are poorly remunerated and lack adequate training a major disincentive for conducting a proper inspection.