Home » Aviation: Nigeria’s NCAA stops the Air Operator Certificate (AOC)process for Omni-Blu Aviation (OBA) Amid Conflict of Interest Concerns

Aviation: Nigeria’s NCAA stops the Air Operator Certificate (AOC)process for Omni-Blu Aviation (OBA) Amid Conflict of Interest Concerns

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Omn-Blu Aviation

The Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has taken action by suspending the Air Operator Certificate (AOC) processes for Omn-Blu Aviation (OBA), effectively halting its progress towards becoming a scheduled operator.

According to nairametrics.com, Ombi-Blu currently operates as a chartered helicopter and jet company.

A letter to the Managing Director, OBA, with the reference number: NCAA/DOLTS/LRO/OBA/VOL I/O3323, from NCAA, dated October 3, 2023, and obtained by Nairametrics, indicated that the apex aviation regulatory body suspended the certification due to “conflict of interest.”

READ: Aviation: NCAA To Implements Six-Aircraft Minimum Fleet Requirements By 2025 as Nigerian Airlines Grapple with Policy Change

The Omni-Blu Aviation currently has two helicopters; an Agusta AW 139 and a Sirkorsky 76C++ for the oil and gas off-shore operations in its fleet, while it also operates and manages privately owned aircraft, including HS 125-850XP, Challenger 604 and Bell 407 Helicopter.

Conflict of Interest
According to the NCAA, the outcome of Phase Two of the certification exercise revealed that the airline’s major financier, Engr. Akin Olateru, is also presently the Director-General of the Nigerian Safety Investigation Bureau (NSIB).

READ: News: NCAA boss claims that Nigeria’s Civil Aviation workers are among the least paid in Africa

The letter also references the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) Form, Form O-Ops002, Civil Aviation Act 2022, and Nigerian Safety Investigation Bureau Act 2022, emphasising Conflict of Interest regulations in the process.

The letter partially reads: “As a result, the Authority has temporarily suspended the variation process and requested further clarification from Omniblu.

“According to the Civil Aviation Act 2022, Paragraph 19 outlines categories of government officials affected by Conflict of Interest, including the Minister of Aviation, Governing Board Members, Director-General, and Ministry of Aviation and Authority employees.”

Contravention of Civil Aviation Act 2022
The letter noted that these individuals were prohibited from engaging in aviation enterprise management while in office, going by Paragraph 19 of the Civil Aviation Act 2022.

Paragraph 22 further reinforces this prohibition, preventing them from influencing actions or decisions impacting their financial interests in aviation enterprises.

There are five phases of AOC application. They are Pre-Application Phase, Formal Application Phase, Document Evaluation Phase, Demonstration and Inspection Phase and Certification Phase.

There are also reports that the immediate past Minister of Aviation, Mr. Hadi Sirika is one of the financiers of the airline company.

Joint Venture
Earlier in the year, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Tingo Incorporated, a United Kingdom-based company, Dozy Mmobuosi, had claimed that the company had entered into a Joint Venture and Mutual Cooperation Agreement (JVMC) in 2020 with Omni-Blue to set up an airline to be known as Omni-Tango Aviation Services in Nigeria.

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