….Fear grips workers over imminent job losses
From Uche Usim, Abuja
Fresh facts have emerged on why President Muhammadu Buhari approved the sweeping changes that consumed four out of six aviation chief executives on Monday.
Daily Sun authoritatively learnt that the mass sack, which left the Managing Director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Saleh Dunoma, and Capt Muhktar Usman of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) as survivors, was a prelude to more disengagements to come in the sector.
“Next in line are those at the Directors level, some General Managers and others found deficient in their duties. Expect this in the next one or two weeks,” a top government source told Daily Sun.
Before the Monday ‘tsunami’, the Minister of State, Aviation, Hadi Sirika, had informed the House Committee on Aviation during an oversight visit late last year that he would carry out major reforms and manpower realignment meant to reposition the sector for greater productivity.
He lamented that majority of aviation workers had no defined job cut out for them, noting that “spent forces” will be eased out, while square pegs will be appropriately placed in square holes.
Out of the four disengaged Chief Executives, Dr. Felix Abali, Commissioner/Chief Executive, Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) allegedly had loads of scathing petitions from aggrieved staff and stakeholders hanging on his head. Specifically, Abali, who was appointed in 2014, was alleged to have continually engaged his staff in fisticuffs whenever there was internal squabbles.
“The last one was a level 12 officer and the incident naturally attracted a flurry of petitions from angry staff. Go to the Minister’s table, you’ll see the piled up petitions. So, the Minister felt he had had enough of the mess. He felt there were more serious issues in the sector that needed to be urgently addressed than settling corporate disputes.”
So, after investigation, it was decided that the best for him was to go. The Minister had had enough,” the source hinted.
For the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), the Acting Managing Director, Emmanuel Anasi, was already due for retirement later this month. He was appointed Acting NAMA MD in 2016 following the indictment and prosecution of his predecessor, Ibrahim Abdulsalam, for graft related offences.
The source added that the Rector/Chief Executive, Capt Samuel Caulcrick, of Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), Zaria, was eased out to “bring vibrancy to the shrinking institution.”
He added: “Capt Caulcrick could not sustain the tempo left by Capt Adebayo Araba and Capt Chinyere Kalu. So, he was asked to leave the system.”
Caulcrick was appointed in March 2014 by former President Goodluck Jonathan. He succeeded Capt (Mrs.) Chinyere Kalu.
It was further gathered that most of the CEOs had been silently embattled as they were burdened by numerous operational and managerial issues that distracted them from manning their agencies effectively.
Meanwhile, most aviation workers are in fear of possible jobs in the event the government carries out another round of purge.
But the Aviation Minister says the action was necessary as he prepares the airports for concessioning and modernisation.