FG’s footprints in aviation are indelible, but tearing down agency offices a mistake – union leader

A Nigerian aviation industry union has described the federal government’s achievements over the past seven years as “indelible”, but expressed concern that the planned demolition of three of its agencies’ offices in Lagos will undo all the successes of recent years.

Comrade Ocheme Aba, Secretary General of the Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN), told our correspondent that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has recorded unchanging successes thanks to Senator Hadi Sirika, Minister of aviation, and other general managers. (CEO) in various agencies.

He said that although the large footprints are not visible to the general public, huge modernization programs and projects have been carried out at the Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NiMet), Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) , Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) in recent years.

He explained that these projects implemented by the various agencies have had a great impact on the development of human capacity in the country, while the flight experience has also improved.

He said: “We therefore formally dedicate our appreciation to the broad imprints of the Muhammadu Buhari administration on the aviation industry in Nigeria. The progress made through the efforts of the Minister of Aviation and the CEOs of agencies over the past seven years is indeed indelible.

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“These achievements have not only significantly improved the experience of flying in the Nigerian airspace, but have also had a great impact on human capacity development and safety. Unbiased industry insiders can only praise these efforts. that clearly go beyond what the industry had witnessed before.

The big problem: Aba, however, expressed sadness that these achievements may be ruined by the planned demolition of the Lagos offices of the NCAA, FAAN and NAMA, which until June 2020, remained the headquarters of the aforementioned agencies.

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He also pointed out that the alleged concessioning of the four airports, Lagos, Abuja, Kano and Port Harcourt by the Minister was another decision that could bastardize the noble objectives of the aviation roadmap as presented to stakeholders. industry in the last quarter of 2015.

Doubtful actions: Aba explained that the activities around the implementation of the roadmap by the minister had aroused the mistrust of several actors in the sector.

For example, he claimed that key decisions and actions on projects were taken outside the statutory bodies of the Infrastructure Concessions Regulatory Commission (ICRC), the project delivery team on which trade unions were represented. .

According to him, these questionable actions included the appointment of transaction advisors and the approval of business cases for all projects without the participation of all stakeholders.

He added that since the government had proposed the concession of the four main airports, unions had consistently and strongly opposed the idea, even when the business case had been made public.

“We discovered several traps, outright lies and deliberate manipulation of facts to distort the transaction against Nigeria’s interests, which we communicated to the minister and other branches of government,” he alleged.

For example, Aba claimed that the Minister had extended the perimeter of the concession to the approaches to the terminals, to the FAAN housing estates without taking them into account in the valuation of the assets.

Unsustainable capital budgets: He also said that the terminals did not require additional investment during the envisaged duration of the concession, but lamented that the minister, without any real basis, determined “massive investment budgets” for future concessionaires.

Furthermore, the union leader accused the minister of having arbitrarily fixed the profit-sharing ratio (60:40) in favor of the concessionaire, adding that the government was also silent on labor issues, among others.

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