FG plans mass purge in aviation sector

Okechukwu Nnodim with agency reports

Baring any last minute change of plans, the Federal Government will any moment from this week, begin a mass purge of the workers in the agencies under the aviation arm of the Federal Ministry of Transportation, as part of its ongoing restructuring in the sector.

SUNDAY PUNCH learnt that the restructuring and mass sacking of directors would soon get to the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency and may extend to the Accident Investigation Bureau as well as the Nigerian Meteorological Agency.

Already, the reoganisation of the agencies under the aviation ministry had led to the mass sacking of directors in two key parastatals — Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria and Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority.

But the Federal Government has recalled two of the nine directors who were sacked from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority on Friday.

They are Alhaji Adamu Abdullahi, Director of Consumer Protection, and Capt. Ayodele Sasegbon, Director of General Aviation.

Mr. Sam Adurogboye, General Manager, Public Relations, NCAA, confirmed the development to the News Agency of Nigeria on Saturday in Lagos.

He said, “I can confirm that two of the directors, Abdullahi and Sasegbon, have been recalled and their sack rescinded.”

At least, 21 senior officials of FAAN were sacked in a major shake-up at the agency in October 2016.

Those affected at the time, including directors, general managers and deputy general managers, were reportedly given their termination of appointment letters at the agency.

In continuation of its restructuring, the government on Friday sacked about nine directors of the NCAA and replaced them with officials, who according to sources at the agency, are expected to resume duty on Monday.

Meanwhile, officials at the aviation ministry told our correspondent in Abuja on Saturday that the next restructuring exercise might be witnessed at NAMA, AIB or NIMET any time from now.

They noted that the Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, had made it clear that the government was going to weed out some workers in agencies under the ministry.

In May last year, Sirika stated that the Federal Government would trim down what he termed as the bloated workforce in the aviation sector.

“Even if I want, I don’t think I should indulge 40 general managers in FAAN; in fact, level 17. It is not the way to go, no! The structure must be slim, focused, clever, result-oriented, patriotic and be able to deliver the required services,” the minister had said.

It was further learnt that some of those affected in the previous mass sacking of managers and directors at FAAN and NCAA were political appointees who lacked the required technical know-how to man the departments headed before they were fired.

The Deputy Director, Press and Public Affairs of the ministry, Mr. James Odaudu, told our correspondent on Saturday that the minister had confirmed that the sector would be restructured for efficiency and that the exercise would cut across key agencies.

Asked if the restructuring would get to agencies like NAMA, AIB and NIMET, he replied, “You are aware of the changes in the heads of these agencies you mentioned. So, a further reorganisation is highly possible, going by the minister’s determination to make the sector work more efficiently.”

On January 9 this year, four chief executive officers of agencies under the aviation ministry were sacked by the Federal Government.

The CEOs affected included Dr. Anthony Anuforom of NIMET, Capt. Samuel Caulcrick of the Nigeria College of Aviation Technology in Zaria, Mr. Felix Abali of AIB, and Mr. Emmanuel Anasi of NAMA.

The CEOs of FAAN and NCAA, Engr. Salleh Dunoma, and Capt. Muhtar Usman, respectively, were spared in the mass sacking that happened earlier this year.

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Contact: editor@punchng.com

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