Restructuring of aviation agencies will ensure justice, reposition sector – Sirika
The Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika has reiterated that the ongoing restructuring in the aviation agencies was to ensure justice in the system and reposition the sector for profitability.
Sirika said this in a statement issued by the Deputy Director, Press and Public Affairs, Ministry of Transportation, in Abuja.
He said the restructuring at the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) was far from over, adding that the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and the Nigeria Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) were next.
Sirika, while addressing stakeholders in Lagos at the weekend, explained that government had started re-deploying, demoting and terminating appointments of staff over improper placement at these agencies, especially in FAAN.
According to him, the restructuring became imperative because of top-heaviness in these agencies with a combined total of 88 general managers on grade level 17 and above on the payroll.
“Government is handling the restructuring in phases with a view to creating leaner and more effective agency instead of the over-bloated workforce that has provided little or no impact in the system.”
Sirika clarified that the planned concession and the ongoing Chinese-funded terminal projects across the country would not have any effect on each other.
He explained that the Chinese-funded terminal was not a concession or Build Operate and Transfer (BOT) but a loan, stating that both were not contradicting the same purpose.
“The Chinese terminals are not BOTs. It was a loan of which the Chinese provided 500 million dollars and Nigeria provided 100-million-dollar counterpart funding.
“Even at that, the biggest of those terminals will be doing 1.5 million passengers annually but what we are looking at is different and larger.
According to him, Abuja terminal will be relocated as it is blocking the control tower and the fire service.
The minister said the government, “having committed this faux pas”, would spend not less than 30 million dollars to move the fire service and another 40 million dollars to move the control tower.
However, he said this was not economical, adding that if the planned concession was done transparentlywith stakeholders’ buy-in, the process would work.
Sirika said that the ministry was set to reposition the Aviation Security (AVSEC) apparatus of FAAN into something similar to the U.S. Transport Security Agency (TSA).
“We have the approval and have gone to the Ministry of Interior to inquire what was needed; we are engaging them in an inter-ministerial capacity and when we iron it all out, you will see the changes,” he said.