It has been learnt that underground employments are ongoing at the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) with no fewer than 50 people hired as support staff of the regulatory body’s Abuja office thus casting doubt into the current restructuring of the aviation agencies.
Nigeriaflightdeck has learnt that these people have been brought in same way others have brought in so-called support staff only for them to unseat core civil service professionals to the detriment of their growth within the ranks.
Information reaching us also indicates that there is an exercise involving the minister, the Director General of the NCAA and civil service commission with some personnel, and that about 15 of the support staff are undergoing documentation as at the time this report is was being typed.
Also the process to the employment of these individuals is said not to be following the right procedures leading to low grumbling around the industry.
In the course of investigations, Nigerianflightdeck spoke to the Deputy Director Press of the Ministry of Aviation, Mr. James Odaudu who refuted the Minister, Senator Hadi Sirika’s complicity in the matter:
“The Ministry supervises the agencies and parastatals, it does not act for those agencies or parastatals. I am not aware that the Ministry or the Minister for that matter has employed 50 staff for any agency and a minister carrying out restructuring for the agency will not employ support staff.”
“However, if any of the agencies has feels the need to have support staff they will do what they need to and the ministry’s job will be only approval, so to the best of my knowledge the minister has not employed anyone.”
Currently, the support staff strength of aviation agencies lie at about 70-75 per cent while technical or professional staff are 30-25 per cent, an anomaly that has been decried continuously and has led the agencies to have top-heavy work force with hundreds with the position of General Managers and above in just three agencies, NCAA, FAAN and NAMA.
Nigerian flightdeck also tried to get in touch with the Director General of the NCAA, Captain Usman Mukhar but as at the time of posting this online he has not responded to the message sent or picked his call to ascertain if he actually directed the employment of the 50 support staff causing ripples in the industry.
However, a text message by the General Manager Public Affairs, NCAA, Sam Adurogboye stated,” I would like to inform you that there is no employment that didn’t follow laid down rules. There is Federal Government approval for every employment carried, Federal Character policy was duly followed.”
The employment of support staff is following the trend of some of the preceding Ministers from Ambassador Kema Chikwe to Chief Babalola Aborishade, Chief Femi Fani Kayode as well as Princess Stella Oduah all of whom brought in hundreds of people to fill various parastatals, a situation that has led to the current over-bloated workforce of aviation agencies.
During the time of Ambassador Kema Chikwe as Minister of Aviation, in just one day she put 70 people into the same Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and it was unclear how many more in other agencies, till they were eventually shown the door.
Ministers, Chiefs Babalola Borishade and Femi Fani Kayode did same thing in both the NCAA and FAAN respectively, Femi Fani Kayode to be specific employed a record 45 managers for different parastatals under the Aviation Ministry from his native Osun State.
Reports have it that he went further to retire many officers of the director cadre, replacing them with incompetent cronies and those willing to do his bid.
Recall also that there were protests by various unions when former Minister of Aviation and now a senator, Stella Oduah employed close to 2,000 people, most of them said to be support staff, while there are not enough air traffic engineers, aircraft inspectors and air traffic controllers.
Record shows that over 300 persons were recruited into AIB when there were practically no vacancies. Many of them had no offices and only came to work when they wished to come while drawing salaries from the agency.
The faulty appointments were not limited to AIB, record equally shows that many of the recruits who just graduated from universities less than five years ago were promoted over and above those who have served the agencies.
Some were hurriedly appointed Assistant General Managers (AGMs) while very few ended as directors in many of the parastatals.
For the NCAA, there is serious shortage of aircraft inspectors. This situation has, in no small measure, put a lot of pressure on the agency in its oversight functions as a regulatory agency.
Stakeholders fear that this act is being perpetuated by the Minister of State Hadi Sirika and is following same trend and from the NCAA he would be moving to other agencies.