Aviation workers under the aegis of the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) have declared that the aviation sector is in danger of what it called one-man governance.
This is just as at the union threatened industrial action from May 17th over what it called “unfair treatment” meted out to it by the National Salaries and Wages Commission (NSWC).
President of the union, Ben Nnabue, who spoke during the workers’ day celebration said while the Covid-19 pandemic continues to ravage the world especially the aviation sector, the situation in Nigeria has been worsened by the seeming absence of corporate governance in the running of the affairs of the sector.
Daily Trust reports that the union spoke against the backdrop of the non-constitution of the boards of aviation agencies; the situation which has made the agencies operate without boards for more than six years.
Nnabue said, “We have persistently pointed out the folly of one-man-show in the governance of the sector. As we all know, there have been no governing boards for all the agencies in aviation, and the CEOs being direct employees of the Minister of Aviation, and the Minister being the Chairman of all the so called Interim Boards, the affairs of the entire aviation industry has been contrived to be totally in the hands of one man.
“This is extremely dangerous, preposterous and truly objectionable. All our protestations on the subject over the past years have fallen on deaf ears. That stakeholders in the industry have tolerated this circumstance for all of six years is quite honestly incomprehensible.”
The President also decried the inability of the Federal Government to fulfil its promise of establishing a national carrier, noting that Akwa Ibom state government “successfully launched its own airline without any fanfare.”
“The proposed aircraft leasing company, national aircraft Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facility and aerotropolis development, all flagship programs of this federal administration, have all suffered paralysis, despite massive support from all stakeholders and informed Nigerians,” he added.
The union restated its opposition to the airport concession project which it described as a “travesty” and called on the National Assembly, the Federal Executive Council and the Presidency to work together to put a halt to it and “save our dear Nation from further draining of the national treasury.”
On the Conditions of Service, he said, “We have become tired of begging for our rights in respect of the stated issues of Conditions of Service and minimum wage which has been denied aviation workers for two years running.
“And we have lost our patience on the matter. Accordingly, all our branches in the agencies concerned should follow the example of NCAA and convene their respective JAC meetings for the purpose of mobilizing for industrial action, as several ultimatum on the matter have gone by without any result whatsoever. Actions will be ordered as from 17th of May, 2021.”