The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) yesterday made good its threat to close airports indebted to it by shutting down Gombe and Kebbi airports over an N800 million debt.
The closure of the airports was contained in a FAAN notice on the withdrawal of its safety and fire rescue and aviation security personnel from the two airports.
FAAN had two weeks ago threatened to withdraw its services from the airports should the two state governments fail to clear their debts.
LEADERSHIP gathered that both state governments had not made any move to avert the situation despite the efforts of FAAN to collect the debt.
It was also learnt that the debt drive which is in phases would be shifted to other airports after that of Gombe and Kebbi.
Sources said that FAAN wanted to carry out the threat at once in all the affected airports but was stopped by officials in the presidency.
Consequently, FAAN narrowed its crackdown to defaulting state airports.
Aviation Unions To Close NCAA Over Obsolete Organogram
Meanwhile, aviation unions have vowed to shut down the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) over what they called “obsolete” organogram in the agency.
According to the unions, the issue had prevented some promoted staff to be rightly placed.
The unions also said that there was no going back in their plan to ensure the unionisation of workers in the country’s airlines before the end of the year.
The president, Air Transport Senior Staff Services Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN), Mr. Illitrus Ahmadu, disclosed the unions’ plans yesterday at the Workers’ Day celebration held at the Murtala Mohammed Airport (MMA), Lagos.
Ahmadu stated that some staff of NCAA went through a promotion exercise since 2017, but till date none of them had been properly placed due to the “obsolete” organogram in the agency.
He said that NCAA was still operating with the 2001 organogram, which it commenced with when its entire staff was 300, stressing that the management had refused to review it till date.
The union leader explained that as at date, 47 positions of assistant general managers (AGMs) had been flushed out, while directorates and departments had been merged.
Ahmadu said that the unions addressed the issue with the NCAA management and a ministerial committee set up by the minster of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, only for the agreement to be upturned in Abuja by “some people in government.”
He said: “As it is, there is lacuna in the organogram of NCAA, the management brought forward an obsolete organogram. Between 2001 till date, the organogram has not been reviewed. At inception, NCAA had only 300 staff, but today, it has grown to 1,200 personnel, yet, the organogram has remained unchanged.
“Many people did exams and passed, but till date, they have not been placed. This one is unacceptable to us. If the situation continues, very soon, we will shut down NCAA and that we will do very well.”
Also, Comrade Ben Nnabue, president, Nigerian Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), said that it would ensure the unionisation among the nation’s airlines.
Nnabue also said that the union would continue to resist the enslavement of its members in the catering sub-sector: Newrest ASL and Serve Air to ensure their total emancipation, while the cleaning services – Skycare and Lakewood, would be added to the unions shortly.
He lamented that most of the indigenous airlines had refused their workers joining the unions, while the foreign airlines fully complied with the law on unionisation. He emphasised that any tactic deployed by the management of the airlines would be resisted by the unions, stressing that they would continue to protect the interest of every worker in the sector.
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