March 25, 2023

Nigeria Transport Hub

…the epicentre for all transport modes


4 min read

L-R: Comrade Kabir Yahaya Gusau, GM Aeronautics Information Service, AIS, NAMA, Mrs Atobatele, Prince Supo Atobatele, E-i-C, ATQ Magazine, Capt Fola Akinkuotu, MD NAMA, displaying his award, Mr Chris Aligbe, MD Belujane Consult, Chairman of the event

The interview below is with the Managing Director of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, NAMA, Capt. Folayele Christopher Akinkuotu.

The chat was on the sideline at the ceremony for the award bestowed on him by the Air Transport Quarterly, ATQ magazine, at the Lagos airport.

NTH: Congratulations on the recognition. How has NAMA prepared for the winter in case it comes stronger than expected?

MD NAMA: The perception that we have a perfect world, I will say is not true. We don’t have any perfect world. You look at it, if winter comes or harmattan haze, how heavy, or how excellent can you plan? How heavy the harmattan or winter will come, it’s in God’s hand. In everything we do, we plan. And in most times we do or make another plan based on circumstances we find ourselves.

NTH: What is the understanding of that statement?
MD NAMA: For example, everybody is wearing a mask today, 3 years ago nobody wore a mask why because COVID-19 has taught us all, and made us learn some new things. If the harmattan comes, and it blows just at the extent to which you have planned and prepared, yes good. But we know we must plan.

NTH: Are you or is NAMA ready to ensure safe landing even at zero visibility?
For zero visibility, you can have the equipment, but you need the manpower and the right equipment. You can have the ground equipment but you need the airborne equipment. You need the manpower to be able to fulfil it. And you need support structure like airfield lighting, and it’s also imperative you need continuous and uninterrupted and stable power.

NTH: Seems much emphasis is laid on power how do you mean?

R-L: Capt Fola Akinkuotu, MD, NAMA Fielding questions at the end of event, Prince Supo Atobatele, CE, ATQ Magazine with a representative of Nigeria Transport HUB, interviewing the awardee

MD NAMA: Now I’m in charge of the hardware, that’s the Instrument Landing Systems, ILS, but i am not in charge of power. Even the entire aviation industry has no control on power. Do you see what I mean?

Landing at zero visibility requires concerted effort, although NAMA is ready but it goes beyond us. Be it the airport managers, FAAN, the regulator, NCAA, the investigators of accident and incidents, AIB, NCAT, while NIMET can be prepared just as the people in the aviation industry and even at that, none of these agencies has control over power.

NTH: What is the level of compliance by NAMA to the ICAO’s directives on the medicals of Air Traffic Controller, ATC.
MD NAMA: NAMA is hundred per cent compliant with the ICAO recommendations on medical examination and fitness of ATCs. This we are doing to the letter.
Discerning Capt Fola Akinkuotu’s Philosophical response
The very terse interview above, in content and in its comprehension is akin to a very popular drum among many tribes in the Yoruba nation. The drum the Yoruba ancestors named “agidigbo” and in some other parts of Yoruba land called, “Molo”. Agidigbo or Molo is reserved only for the elderly to beat. Why? Because it requires vigour, strength. But the youths in their late teens and those in their twenties are wont to possess very strong biceps and raw energy yet, they are not regularly allowed near the Agidigbo or Molo drum.

To the elders, agidigbo is not just a drum you beat merely to dance, wriggle and jiggle parts of the body. Agidigbo when beaten by a skilful drummer speaks in proverbs which not all listeners are able to understand though all would hear the sonorous sound and shake their bodies with various dance steps. But therein lies the sensitive, specific communication disseminated by the drummer,

However, the kernel of the sounds agidigbo drummer produces is in the proverbs, dictums and parables which blare from the drum. In essence, only the experienced, matured, informed and those well-grounded in the language the drummer is talking with his drum, would be able to appreciate the drummer’s messages from the drum.

Can you share how or what you comprehend from the brief chat above?

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