Why NAMA AIS automation project suffered delay — MD

THE delay in the earlier completion of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency’s (NAMA) automation of Aeronautical Information Service (AIS) has been attributed to the spread of Coronavirus in Nigeria.

The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Captain  Folayele Akinkuotu, who dropped this hint in an interview in Lagos, said the agency was putting a lot of pressure on the contractor to deliver the project in December.

Akinkuotu while saying but for COVID-19, the project would have been completed in August this year, declared: “As a matter of fact, we had a meeting with the contractors last week, though we meet with them regularly to let them know that this project must be completed as soon as possible. Because of COVID-19, we shifted the commencement date to December. Although the contractor said he wants more time management has told them that we cannot wait ad infinitum to complete the project”.

Describing the  AIS project as one of the projects he inherited, Akinkuotu added that he had wrapped it up since he joined NAMA, even as he said the agency was making very good progress on the project.

The project, he said, comprises of two parts, with the first phase dealing with the portacabins that are going to house the equipment for the AIS project and then the VSATs which are part of the project, that will enhance their communication ability.

Akinkuotu stated: “We are doing both of them at the same time. We have been installing the portacabins (prefabricated joint briefing room) and I think the last one we did was Enugu. We have been installing VSATs in order to improve on communications in the Southeast corridor”, Akinkuotu said.

“Overall, the project is going on fine. Our initial projection date was to complete it by August this year. Unfortunately, COVID-19 came and it affected the manufacture of components outside because a lot of components are manufactured in Germany.”

“It also impacted on the ability to move around for our engineers during installations, but you will be amazed that they did go. I know they went to Jos, Yola and from Yola I was shocked when they said that they were going by road to Enugu. We had even thought of going to charter helicopters for them, but they opted that they could go by road if provided security.

“So, there are lots of sacrifices that have been made to ensure that the project goes on and it is going on very well. The management of NAMA is putting in a lot of effort towards the realisation of the project.”

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