Media Rights Agenda (MRA), an institution that promotes the right to freedom of expression and access to information, has accused the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) of indulging in needless spending of the nation’s money.
According to the organization, the NCAA uses taxpayers’ money illegally and for reasons not connected to the purpose and vision for its establishment. MRA also accused the NCAA of funding court cases fighting requests for the disclosure of information by hiring lawyers to “assist its efforts to advance an illegal and unjustifiable culture of secrecy.”
Organizations and individuals who have attempted to question the NCAA on how its funds are spent include the West African Bar Association, Enough Is Enough, Public and Private Development Centre, the Zero Corruption Coalition, Femi Falana, and MRA.
“MRA noted that since 2011 when the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act was passed into law, the NCAA has failed to comply with its duties and obligations under the Act, saying that the agency prefers to squander public resources in fighting any request for the disclosure of information by engaging the services of lawyers to assist its efforts to advance an illegal and unjustifiable culture of secrecy,” the group said.
MRA urged the aviation authority to disclose to the public the ways in which it spends its funds and urged the presidency to make an inquiry to reveal how much the NCAA has spent on litigations.
“An agency that performs such important functions and activities as the NCAA should be open and transparent. The Buhari administration should direct an investigation into a number of public funds that the NCAA has wasted in unjustifiable litigations aimed at avoiding its duties and obligations under the FOI Act and ensure that the funds are recovered from those officials responsible for every decision not to comply with the law in all cases resulting in legal expenses,” MRA said.