NIGERIAN Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) seem to have negotiated an armistice between the ground handlers and the industry leading to the Aviation Ground Handling Association of Nigeria (AGHAN), shelving its impending indefinite strike that was scheduled to commence tomorrow, Friday.
Chairman of AGHAN, Mr. Olaniyi Adigun, said since the body made its intention known to embark on the indefinite strike, the regulatory agency had continued to hold series of meetings with it to avert disruption to smooth air services.
According to him, both parties compromised on their initial stands, but insisted that the meeting with NCAA was fruitful.
Adigun also said that the new rates would take effect very soon, however was silent on the when.
He lauded NCAA for its prompt intervention and the National Assembly for its oversight function, maintaining that all parties were working for the growth of the industry.
According to him, the intervention of NCAA was in accordance with the four cardinal points of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO); cost recovery, wider consultation, integrity and non-discrimination.
He said: Considering the impact of the strike on the economy, especially flight disruption, the strike has been called off. We actually reached some certain rates with NCAA, which will be communicated to all soon.
“We thank the National Assembly, NCAA, stakeholders and every Nigerian for their contributions to this development. It was a thorough journey and the last time we amended handling rate was about 36 years ago.”
AGHAN had over the weekend threatened to embark on an indefinite strike following the alleged interference of House Committee on Aviation on the implementation of new safety threshold handling rates approved for handling companies by NCAA.
Players in the sector had castigated the assembly for its interference, describing it as interloping.
They also warned that consistent political interference in the activities of NCAA, may lead to the loss of the United States Federal Aviation Administration (USFAA) Category One Status the country attained in 2006.
At the meeting on the side of AGHAN was Adigun, Mr. Ahmed Bashir, the Vice Chairman of AGHAN and representatives of Batuke handling company, SAHCOL and NAHCO, while Capt. Musa Nuhu, the Director-General, NCAA led the regulator’s team.