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Controllers decry creation of ‘irrelevant’ directorates in aviation agencies

The Nigerian Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) has decried what it called “the systematic migration from core mandates of agencies and proliferation of departments that…

The Nigerian Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) has decried what it called “the systematic migration from core mandates of agencies and proliferation of departments that have no bearing in the aviation and aerospace system”.

NATCA President, Mr. Abayomi Agoro, stated this at the ATC-Pilots’ Interactive Forum held at NCAA Training Centre, Lagos with the theme, “Building Safety Capabilities for the Future.”

Daily Trust reports that the immediate past Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika created some departments and directorates before the last administration ended.

At a point, unions in the Nigeria Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) had kicked against the last minute appointment and creation of directorates by the last administration.

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During the forum which continues today, Agoro said, “We have observed with alarm the proliferation and establishment of departments that have no direct or incidental bearing to the core mandates of the agencies in the sector, most especially NCAA, NIMET, NAMA and NSIB. We are sure as a legal mind, you will agree with us that there are departments that have not been provided for or intended by the provisions in the NCAA Establishment Act 49 of 2022 and NAMA Establishment Act 48 of 2022 (all as amended and Gazette as No. 22). These are some of the issues that may significantly increase the financial overhead of the agencies and detract them from their original mandates.”

According to him, the manpower being recruited into NAMA is completely at variance with the real needs of the Agency as an Air Navigation Service Provider.

He added, “A holistic evaluation of the staff strength of the Agency on a department by department or directorate by directorate basis in line with the core mandate of the Agency as well as the standard template accepted by the Civil Air Navigation Service Organization (CANSO) and industry best practice, needs to be embarked upon without delay.”

The air traffic controllers also said the 50% deduction from the internally generated revenue of the agencies has left many of them handicapped.

“The Honourable Minister sir, as a very key interested party to the survival and achievement of the vision of this administration and the need to uphold and promote Nigeria’s position in the world stage. We beseech you to use your good office to reverse this policy as it affects these safety-sensitive and critical sectors, like NAMA and the other sister agencies in the sector. We sincerely believe that with a reversal or exception given to this sector, we will be able to achieve some mileage in addressing some of the financial burdens of the sector,” he added.

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