What is the big deal about redeployment?

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What is the big deal about redeployment?
Senator Hadi Sirika

Wonders will never cease in the country’s aviation sector in view of the catalogue of events that often unfold at any slightest opportunity and one of it is the recent redeployment in the sector.

Agreed that man made wonders are not peculiar to the sector, but it becomes more wonderful when most of the issues that are created by the wonders are allowed to heat up the atmosphere in a sector already saturated with critical issues such as inadequate funding, hostile environment for domestic airline business, expensive aviation fuel, ridiculous bilateral air services agreements, to government’s careless handling of core aviation issues to mention just a few.

Stakeholders in the sector have for weeks now been inundated with one of such wonders presently making the rounds about how one of the directors at the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria who was redeployed to a sister aviation agency, the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB)) has reacted negatively to the redeployment as she alleged that her transfer was done in bad fate.

The redeployment of the director which formed part of the general reorganisation carried out by the Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika affected over 55 workers across all the aviation agencies who were either redeployed, transferred or even promoted in line with civil service rules.

The action of the director in question has elicited sharp reactions from different key players with majority expressing disappointment in her action.

Some of those who have reacted have attested to the fact that the recent reorganisation of the aviation agencies involved promotions, redeployments of mostly senior and management staff numbering about 80, queried why the aggrieved director could attribute her redeployment to victimisation even when the minister had earlier in a similar exercise reassigned about 1,000 staff mainly of level 14 and below across the aviation agencies with no one calling for the heavens to fall.

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This issue of redeployment which has continued to generate different reactions from different interest groups has further gone to show Nigeria as a funny enclave to the outside world, looking at the energy being wasted on it at the expense of many critical issues calling for attention and reactions.

Since the drama over the redeployment of the director has continued to unfold, endless questions on the lips of stakeholders include: if the civil service rules of the country forbid that  a civil servant to be redeployed from one government agency to another one or if the rules say a civil servant must remain permanent on a position or in a government establishment until he or she wants and above all, who is answerable to who? This and several other questions are calling for answers.

As this drama continues, one fact that those playing sentiments with the redeployment of the director in question should realise is that there are over 55 workers equally affected in the exercise and, for sure, there may be either one or two others who may have issues about their transfer or redeployment but chose to accept their fate for the sake of the sector and in line with the civil service rules.

The whole scenario is unnecessary in view of the fact that the position of a director falls under political appointment which the government has the power to terminate or do otherwise with any time.

Besides the above fact, the case of a director being redeployed or transferred to a sister agency should not be an issue, considering many other qualified middle and lower cadre officers who have been due for promotions or been on a level for years without anyone considering them may be until now.

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From investigations, there were and still are many workers who remained on the position of a deputy general manager for 11 years without promotion only for outsiders who do not have required experience to be employed and be placed above them.

For those shouting blue murder over a redeployment, what have you to say about this group of workers who have not been adequately recognised for years? Are they not Nigerians and are they not qualified for promotions.?

It is the issue pertaining to this group of people and many other injustices done to many other workers in the sector that require the type of debate this issue of redeployment is generating.

It is a common knowledge in the country that any official who has reached the level of a director has reached the pinnacle of his/her career after which he/she should expect any action. Therefore,whichever action comes should be taken in good faith.

Any top management officer who is redeployed to another agency should thank God and count himself/herself lucky for still being retained in the system because many have been sacked without getting to the top of their career.


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