The Aviation Safety Roundtable (ART) has said it considers the last minute activities of the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika as capricious, despicable and unwarranted in the twilight of the Buhari administration.
The industry think tank group in a statement signed by Olumide Ohunayo also condemned the pressure being mounted on employees of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) stressing that this should be avoided as it affects the country’s stand in the global community.
According to the ART, the external pressure being mounted on the regulatory agency, NCAA, must stop stressing that such pressure should be avoided at all costs.
The statement read,”The NCAA is required by ICAO guidelines to be independent. We consider it detrimental to the function of the NCAA and the safety of the operations in the industry when individuals are not permitted to operate according to best practices and according to the requirements of their job.
“We applaud the choice of officers to remain steadfast and committed and once again call for the total independence of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority. “
The ART in their statement also said it could have rated the tenure of the outgoing Minister a total failure but for the fact that he did appoint capable and qualified individuals to run the various departments and agencies under him.
“These astute professionals, the statement read, “in our view discharged their duties creditably well in spite of the Ministerial bottlenecks placed on their path.
It frowned at any decision of the Minister to appoint a new Director General, Managing Directors or Directors with barely ten days to the eve of the new administration, thereby foreclosing the opportunity for new presidential appointees that will be more suited to the agenda of the incoming administration.
“The ART is of the view that a more appropriate action would have been to nominate a new candidate for appointment by the incoming Minister and there is nothing wrong in extending for a further 30 days, the term of the existing Managing Director and Directors on a transitional basis, to enable the new administration pick the men/ woman to driver their agenda. It is the hope of the ART that the incoming President will attend to these challenges expeditiously
“For eight (8) solid years The Minister of Aviation appropriated the required governance structure under his personal control by neglecting to appoint the statutory Governing Boards required to ease the functions of the agencies and parastatals under him.
“The ART is of the opinion that this amongst other actions taken by the Minister regressed rather than grow the organizations. The Minister’s direct control resulted in transactional rather than functional operation of the agencies, thereby impeding their progress and his rating.
“The Minister through his micromanagement activities has further demonstrated the need to scrap the Ministry of Aviation and place the various departments with proper governance structures back in the Ministry of Transport, while granting independence to Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority under the appropriate internationally recognized structures for regulating the Nigerian aviation sector to achieve global best practices.