The consumer Protection Directorate in the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA is responsible for passenger complaints and ensure they get a redress,they also protect the rights of airlines. Over the years the directorate has been alive to its duties, to this end recently at an award in Lagos, the directorate won an award for their selfless service to consumer in the industry. Director,CPD, Mallam. Adamu Abdullahi also won an award as the Aviation Director of the year 2016.
In this interview, Director, Consumer Protection, NCAA, Mallam Adamu Abdullahi speaks on the award and other issues.
You recently won the award as the Aviation Director of the year 2016 and your Directorate, the Best Overall Consumer Services Unit, how does this make you feel?
It is recognition for things that the organizers considered we have done well beyond that it started with our own DG first and foremost with a corporate ward to the DG because NCAA has been doing things right, as you can see we have recorded 3 straight years of accident free aviation now and we have minimized incidence in aviation and even the consumer protection issues that we have been getting complaints in thousands now it’s now in trickles because the airlines now know what to do and they have been doing the needful so that customers get the services they pay for and all in all, I would say we are very glad that we are being recognized and I have done at the venue, I dedicate the two awards to the men and women of the CPD who through rain, through sun, through shine have been in all the airports in the country trying to deliver and more kudos and more grease to their elbows.
Air passengers are your responsible now that AMCON has taken over arik air, what happens to the teeming passengers whose monies are stoke them with ticket purchased for local and international flights?
Yes this true, this has even become more compounded because arik management, the new arik management has come out openly to say that they have suspended flights into most of their international routes, JFK is out now, London Heathrow is no more but what we have done is to talk to the new management of the airline and through our DG also speak to AMCON and inform them that yes the airline’s accounts have been garnished but then there are some responsibilities that have to be carried out, in that consumers, that is the airline passengers have to be catered for and so far, I would say, the new management has been doing the right thing because since I spoke directly with the new management, we have noticed that they now carry passengers along, they have a robust customer service department now which I can vouch for which I know have been addressing passenger and addressing the peculiar needs of individual passengers to the extent that most the passengers have now virtually left unless off course you have booked your tickets for a much later flights and even at that, if by then the airline has not resume those operations they will endorse you on another airline that’s what they have been doing or they would refund you your full fare which they have also been doing. I will say they have been doing well, so far, so good, things have taken their right course, there are no more course and I will say, we don’t have much number of aggrieved passengers any more and not since last week.
What assurance are you giving to passengers that what happened last year would repeat itself again?
You see the issue of assurances of what happened would not happen again is not a possibility because in a aviation, delays, cancellations, miss routed bags, missing bags etc is a continuous thing, it most happen, it’s the handling that we have to look at that aspect of it because the regulations are very clear, if you delay a flight this is what the airline should do and this is what the passenger should do, if you cancel the flight, this is what the passenger should do , they have both obligations and they have their responsibilities. So therefore, in as much as the airlines do what they are suppose to do we don’t have any quarrel, you can cancel all the flights you want to cancel but give the options that the regulations say you must give, take the passengers on another flights where possible, if not, refund them their money immediately, so that they can and go and buy another tickets and apply all the other rules, that’s it, once that is done, nothing to worry about.