Unions in the aviation industry and staff of the Nigerian Civil aviation Authority (NCAA) have today protested against the recently appointed directors for the agency saying some of them do not possess the prerequisite qualification to hold the offices they are assigned.
The unions, made up of the Air Transport Senior Staff Services Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN), National Association of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) and National Association of Airline Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE) that gathered at NCAA headquarters in Lagos threatened to shut down the airports for one week over alleged imposition of untested and unqualified personnel as directors in NCAA unless government rescinded those appointments.
They condemned a situation in which the federal government would recruit outsiders who would be shown the ropes to fill all technical positions in the agency.
Addressing the unionists and NCAA staff, the general secretary of NUATE, Mr. Olayinka Abioye alleged that the new director of finance and accounts, Ms. Bilikisu Adamu Sani is an educationist by training while the director of airworthiness standards, Mr. Ita Awak is a politician.
“We have done a critical assessment of the newly appointed directors in NCAA and found that out of the five only three are qualified to hold the positions. I’m aware that the newly appointed director of airworthiness standards has been a politician through and through. Airworthiness directorate should not be joked with for it is a sensitive directorate except you want aircraft to be falling from the sky.
“The director of airworthiness standards is not suitably qualified; for 25 years he has never handled a spanner. He is not qualified and if you bring someone who is unqualified aircraft will start falling out of the skies.
“The director of finance and accounts has a degree in education. She is not an accountant; she is not a financial guru. Anyone occupying the position should be grounded in accounting.
“If you are making appointments to replace those you have sacked, it is very important to bring on board people who are better than the ones you have laid off,” he said
Also speaking, the national president of ATSSSAN, Mr. Ilitrus Ahmadu said the recent appointments in and transfers to NCAA had generated concerns among the stakeholders in the aviation.
“Certain interests are trying to hijack the process. If there are people who have been serving in acting capacity and you need to appoint substantive ones, why not give the people who are already in the system the opportunity to compete for the positions? I am not concerned about the person 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. We have people who are already in the system,” he said.