FG restructures, downgrades directors, GMs’ of aviation agencies

*NAMA may get a new MD next week

*Sack looms

The Federal Government may have begun the restructuring of some of the aviation agencies as no less than ten General Managers in the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) were demoted to what the Ministry of Transportation said is their appropriate grade levels.

Some of the General Managers are said not to have the requisite qualifications to man some of the sensitive positions they held, as some of them including Deputy General Managers were said to have left universities ten years ago and could not have qualified for the office they held.

Equally affected is a female director who had been redeployed to Ministry of Tourism while an Acting Director of Finance was demoted to Grade Level 10 and redeployed to the department of Information Communication and Technology (ICT). He is said to be the son of a former Military Governor of Imo State and a former Minister of Foreign Affairs.

The affected officers were demoted from Grade Levels 17 and 16 to levels  10, 12 and 14, indicating that other agencies like the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) could also be visited with the same situation in the coming days, owing to the over bloating of these agencies.

This is coming as there are indications that NAMA may get a new Managing Director this week. The agency which leadership is enmeshed in high profile sleaze necessitating their on-going trial at the Federal High Court, Lagos has remained unstable for more five months.

The government is said to be worried with the engagement of close to 40 General Managers, creation of many directorates that amounted to duplication of duties, thereby raising the overhead of FAAN to over N800 million monthly.

But while the government has perfected plans to reduce workers strength by way of restructuring to cope with the current economic reality, there were unconfirmed reports that Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika has caused the appointment of about 40 persons in top management cadre of NCAA, including some in lower cadre of the agency, prompting stakeholders to call the restructuring a charade.

faan

It was gathered that some of the downgraded workers in FAAN had been handed their letters, asking them to report to their hitherto junior colleagues who had now as a result of the exercise become their superiors.

Also on the card is the plan by government to prune the number of directorates in the aviation agencies in its restructuring exercise.

The reduction in the number of directorates, would affect two major aviation agencies FAAN and the NCAA.

The exercise could affect NAMA but not as much as others agencies. The two other agencies’ directorates (FAAN and NCAA) were expanded four years ago by former Minister of Aviation, Ms. Stella Oduah, to between six and 10.

The implication of the exercise expected to be carried out would lead to job losses. A director in one of the agencies, who confirmed the development to New Telegraph under strict condition of anonymity, said workers are already bracing up to the reality of job losses. He added that this is coming at a time the government is talking about creating jobs.

The source stated that the creation of these directorates led to efficiency and huge revenue generation to the coffers of government, adding that reduction in the directorates would not guarantee efficiency and productivity.

Aside the directors that could be out of job whenever the government decides to carry out the exercise, many of the general managers could also lose their jobs. Under the directorates that were created, many departments also emerged, headed by General Managers and Deputy General Managers. This could bring the total number of people to be axed to over 1,000 aside people who risk sacking because of ‘redundancy and inefficiency’.

Four years ago, Oduah expanded the directorates in FAAN from six to 10. The six were Directorates of Administration, Commercial, Finance, Engineering Operations and Security.

After the expansion, Directorate of Legal Service, which was a department under the Managing Director’s office, emerged, alongside Directorates of Cargo, Projects and Human Resources. The new exercise would see Directorates of Human Resources and Administration come together as it was before; Directorate of Project go back to Engineering Directorate and Cargo Directorate revert to Directorate of Commercial.

At the beginning, the NCAA had Directorate of Airworthiness Standards (DAWS), Directorate of Airports and Aerodrome Standards (DAAS), Directorate of Operations and Training (DOT), Directorate of Finance and Administration (DFA), and Directorate of Air Transport Regulation (DATR). Almost immediately Oduah assumed power, the DFA was split to three directorates and two departments.

They are Directorate of Administration (DOA), Directorate of Human Resources (DHR) and Directorate of General Aviation (DGA), with the creation of office of Company Secretary and Legal Adviser. The directorates in NAMA are Operations, Engineering, Human Resources, Administration and Finance.

The minister had explained that the expansion was done to bring ‘efficiency and creativity’ to the parastatals.

Wole Shadare