- To shut the Airport down for one week
RISING from a congress at the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) unions have jointly vowed to shut the airport for one week over what they described as imposition of untested and unqualified personnel as Directors in the highly technical regulatory agency unless government rescinded those appointments.
This is just as they have expressed fear over the state of safety in the industry especially as they have stated that the newly appointed Director of Airworthiness and Safety Standards (DAWS) was not competent as he has never practiced thus asking why government would appoint such to a highly technical area.
Following the sack of Directors at the NCAA a fortnight ago, Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) approved the appointments of Group Captain Edem Oyo-Ita (Director of Air Transport Regulations, DATR), Ahmed Abbas Sanusi (Director, Human Resources and Administration, DHR & ADMIN), Bilikisu Adamu Sani, (Director of Finance and Accounts, DFA), Odunowo Tayyib Adetunji (Director of Aerodrome and Airspace Standards, DAAS), Engr. Ita Awak, (Director of Airworthiness Standards, DAWS), Lawrence Mathew Pkwajok, (General Manager, Air Navigational Standards, ANS).
However, these appointments are receiving stiff oppositions from the unions who insist that they have competent personnel to fill all technical positions in the authority instead of introducing greenhorns that would start a new learning curve.
Air Transport Senior Staff Services Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN), NCAA branch in the congress backed by National executives of the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE) and the National Union of Air Transport Employees(NUATE) stated that they had to come together to combat the injustice meted on the system and by extension members.
General secretary of NUATE, Comrade Olayinka Abioye while speaking stated,”By this morning we have done a critical assessment of the five directors and have found that only three two qualify to be regulators. I am aware the DAWS is not suitably qualified for a man who for 25 years has never handled a spanner. He is not qualified and if you bring someone who is unqualified aeroplanes will start falling out of the skies.”
“ The Director of Finance should go back to where she is from because she has no qualifications to be director finance except she has been brought in to mismanage all the monies saved in the NCAA. She has a degree in education which is not accounts or finance so what qualifications does she have to run the place unless she wants to run it to the ground.”
The NAAPE General Secretary, Comrade Ocheme Abba expressed sadness at the appointments but stated nevertheless that the unions will rise against it.
“Shouldn’t the new appointees taking over from the previous be more knowledgeable than who they are taking over from? How can the most sensitive and critical areas be taken over by those who know little or nothing? Do you think the Minister doesn’t know what he is doing? He is deliberately doing it to destroy the industry. It’s not personal and I do not know these appointees and in truth, they may be good fellows but they are not qualified to do the job.”
Taking a different turn however, National President of ATSSSAN, Comrade Ilitrus Ahmadu stated that it wasn’t about picking out who was or was not qualified but that staff of the NCAA were qualified enough to handle those positions that were given out without regard for technicality.
According to Ahmadu, the situation calls for concern in the industry and must not be isolated.
“ All those appointed, in-house we have the capacity and capability to handle those positions. I am not concerned about who handles what position in NCAA so long as that person is qualified and right now the system is being unfair to qualified personnel who can do this job.”