NATIONAL Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) has again lampooned the approach of the Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika with regards how Nigeria’s aviation industry is being handled like a one-man-show stressing the dangers of the act.
NUATE in Saturday’s May 1, 2021 Workers’ Day Celebration pointed out the recklessness in what the minister was doing and how he has failed since 2016 when he was appointed to deliver on any of his said promises, from the suspended national carrier to the aircraft leasing company and national aircraft Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facility.
National President of the Union, Comrade Ben Nnabue also used his May Day address to express the union’s frustration over the unjust treatment meted to workers of aviation agencies by the Salaries and Wages Commission and the Head of Service.
Nnabue said, “We have persistently pointed out the folly of one-man-show in the governance of the sector. As we all know, there being no governing boards for all the agencies in aviation, and the CEOs being direct employees of the Minister of Aviation, and the Minister being the Chairman of all the so called Interim Boards, the affairs of the entire aviation industry has been contrived to be totally in the hands of one man.
“This is extremely dangerous, preposterous and truly objectionable. All our protestations on the subject over the past years have fallen on deaf ears. That stakeholders in the industry have tolerated this circumstance for all of six years is quite honestly incomprehensible.
On the aviation promises, Nnabue said,” Whereas a State government, Akwa Ibom, has since successfully launched its own airline without any fanfare, which is fast becoming the industry leader, our country has woefully failed in its attempt to birth a national carrier after over ten years of labour and colossal financial waste. The proposed aircraft leasing company, national aircraft Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facility and aerotropolis development, all flagship programs of this federal administration, have all suffered paralysis, despite massive support from all stakeholders and informed Nigerians.
“ They all followed the same path; bitten by the bug of hidden agenda, suffered the ailment of ill-motive to death, presently in the coffins of infidelity to the national cause, and waiting to be buried in the grave of onemanism. I enjoin all NUATE members to join hands in prayer for a better tomorrow for our dear nation’s aviation industry.
The union leader also spoke on the concession being singlehandedly championed by the Minister describing it a travesty aimed at draining the nation,”The case of selective airports concession is already well told. Our irreversible opposition to the unjustifiable program is based on unassailable evidence of unwholesomeness and is well documented. We call on the National assembly, the Federal Executive Council and the Presidency to work together to put a halt to the travesty called airports concession and save our dear Nation from further draining of the national treasury.
On the union’s frustration over what he described as the unjust treatment meted to workers of aviation agencies by the Salaries and Wages Commission and the Head of Service,he stressed,” We have become tired of begging for our rights in respect of the stated issues of Conditions of Service and minimum wage which has been denied aviation workers for two years running. And we have lost our patience on the matter. Accordingly, all our branches in the agencies concerned should follow the example of NCAA and convene their respective JAC meetings for the purpose of mobilizing for industrial action, as several ultimatums on the matter have gone by without any result whatsoever. Actions will be ordered as from 17th of May, 2021.