Unions in the aviation sector have kicked against the Federal Government’s appointment of ‘an outsider’ as the General Manager, Finance, of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN). The unions maintained that the position was for career civil servants.
They made their position known during a peaceful protest at FAAN headquarters at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos.
The protest was organised by the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), the Air Transport Senior Staff Services Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN) and the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers(NAAPE).
Addressing the protesters, General Secretary, NUATE, Mr Olayinka Abioye, said the Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, had assured the unions that outsiders would not be given positions meant for career civil servants.
“After a critical analysis of the appointment, we have observed that there was an error in bringing in an outsider to head the Department of Finance, FAAN, and we are saying no to such appointment.
“The position he is being given is a career position and the minister has already told us that he doesn’t want outsiders to come and hijack any position in FAAN,” Abioye said.
On his part, ATSSSAN President Mr Ilitrus Ahmadu said it was unfortunate that career civil servants were not being given the opportunity to challenge those coming in from outside for such positions via written tests.
“They need to prove that they are better than the people already on ground and that they deserve the jobs but unfortunately that has not been the case, “ Ahmadu said.
This is just as some union members alleged ethnic bias in the appointment of some directors in some agencies.
The unions have vowed to protest the bias, which they said was not healthy for the industry.
The agencies are FAAN, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB).
The union members alleged that seven northernershave been appointed directors in less than a dozen appointments in the three agencies.
They include Ahmed Abbas Sanusi, director, Human Resources and Administration, NCAA, Bilikisu Adamu Sani, director, Finance and Accounts, NCAA, while Hashimu Ilyasu Wali, an engineer, and Captain Dayyabu Mustapha Danraka were appointed directors of Engineering and Operations at AIB .
At FAAN, three northerners were appointed. They are Group Captain USA Sadiq , director of Security Services; Captain Rabiu Hamisu Yadudu, director of Airport Operations, and Salisu Nura Daura, an engineer, director, Engineering Services.
The Ministry of Aviation, however, declined to comment on the matter .