The new drone regulation in Nigeria: Pros and Cons

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A drone is an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV). The use of drones is becoming a fairly common occurrence in Nigeria. Young innovators and entrepreneurs, especially in the fields of media/video production, are putting these gadgets to creative use. However, by law, anyone who wants to fly a drone in Nigeria from now on is required to get a permit from the Office of National Security Adviser (ONSA) and the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).

The Drone Regulation in Summary

The official statement stipulates that:

“Therefore, no government agency, organisation or an individual will launch an RPA/UAV in the Nigerian airspace for any purpose whatsoever without obtaining requisite permit from the NCAA and ONSA.

“In addition, operators must ensure strict compliance with the conditions stipulated in their permits and the requirements of the Nig.CARs*.”

*Nig.CARs = Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations.

This development is bound to introduce annoying bottlenecks in the process of deploying drones by media outlets, multimedia production companies and the like. However, in a country where security is a big issue, perhaps the concern of government isn’t entirely out of place. One key question though: do Nigerian security agencies have the capabilities to police the country’s airspace and indeed monitor drone flights?

If the country does not possess such monitoring capabilities, this new regulation will only stifle innovation from legitimate use by individuals and organisations while criminals have a field day flouting the regulation anyway.

Are you interested in drones? Do read up articles about drones from the Mobility Arena archives.


  1. According to the statement, the International Civil Aviation Organisation, ICAO, is yet to publish Standards and Recommended Practices, SARPs, as far as certification and operation of civil use of RPA is concerned.

    So, you ban something, meanwhile you’re yet to come up with a policy guiding that?

    Very sensible!

  2. Smells to me like another generator scam – all designed to stifle innovation and creativity with only a tiny minority benefitting. Guess if I see one over my compound it’s fair game to pelt it?

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