Stakeholders in the nation’s aviation sector have raised the alarm over shortage of safety inspectors in the nation’s aviation sector due to poor remuneration and other conditions of service.
Speaking to LEADERSHIP, the president national association of aircraft pilots and engineers (NAAPE), Com. Abednego Galadima, said over 30 professionally qualified safety inspectors have dumped the nation’s aviation sector for other countries.
Galadima who, however, called on the government to halt the brain drain in the industry, said the few inspectors left in the country are overworked and not motivated.
He said, “Recall that in 2019, aviation unions went on strike in the NCAA over conditions of service (COS). Recall also that the minister of aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika despite his tight schedule, accompanied the union leaders to meet with officials of the salaries and wages commission to canvass for speedy approval and release of the document, but in spite of all that, as we speak, over two years after, the document is yet to be approved nor released.
“This insensitivity to the plight of workers has led to resignation of nearly 30 qualified and seasoned aviation safety inspectors (ASI) from the regulatory agency who have sought employment with airlines and other international organisations.”
“The poor remuneration and working conditions of the inspectors pose serious threats to safety, as there is dearth of qualified inspectors to carry out safety oversight on operators, and the few remaining inspectors who are over-worked and clearly demotivated would most likely fail to satisfactorily perform their job functions which are very critical to the sustenance of safety and security within the Nigerian aviation industry.”
NAAPE, therefore, threatened that the union will shut down the aviation sector as well as asked its members not to participate in the forthcoming International Civil Aviation Organisation’s (ICAO’s) audit activities.
“NAAPE, therefore calls on the minister of finance, head of civil service of the federation, salaries and wages commission, the management of the Nigerian civil aviation authority and all other concerned stakeholders to conclude, approve and release the documents within three weeks failing which our members’ services will be withdrawn and will be instructed not to participate in any pre-ICAO audit activities.”
We also want to reiterate our call for full financial autonomy for the NCAA as a panacea for a safe and secure aviation industry in Nigeria,” he concluded.