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FG commences merging aviation agencies, ignores unions

The federal government had in May this year accepted the recommendations of the Steve Oronsaye Committee, which, among other things, recommended the merger of the…

The federal government had in May this year accepted the recommendations of the Steve Oronsaye Committee, which, among other things, recommended the merger of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET), into a new body to be called the Federal Civil Aviation Authority (FCAA). The committee also advised that those agencies’ respective enabling laws should be amended accordingly to reflect their new status.
A letter from the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation with reference number, SGF/12/S.II/C.9/42, dated 14th July, 2014, to the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Aviation and made available to some media houses directed the affected agencies to send a progress report on the proposed merger to the government on or before Monday 21st, July, 2014 so the government can proceed to merge the agencies.
The letter was signed by the Permanent Secretary, Mohammed Abubakar for the Secretary of the Government of the Federation and sent to the Ministry of Aviation.
Each ministry was also directed to set up Ministerial Technical Committees (MTCs), for the implementation of the decisions of the white paper on the restructuring and rationalisation of federal government agencies, parastatals and commissions and to forward to the government day-to-day report of the committees.
Some aspects of the letter also read: “Accordingly, I am to inform you that the Secretary to the Government if the Federation/Chairman  of the Implementation Committee of the White Paper on Restructuring and Rationalisation of Federal Government Agencies, Parastatals and Commissions has directed that each ministerial technical committee should submit a progress report on its assignment to the undersigned on or before Monday 21st July, 2014.”
As it relates to aviation, a letter from the Federal Ministry of Aviation, dated 17th July, 2014 on the subject matter with reference number CAO12/003/772/II and signed by the Director, Human Resource Management, A.A. Tsafe, for the Honourable Minister of Aviation, also ordered the affected agencies’ CEOs in aviation to send their progress reports through e-mail to [email protected] before close of day on Friday, 18th July, 2014.
Aviation stakeholders have been consistent in condemning the planned merger.
Just recently, the former Aviation Minister, Felix Hyat, kicked against the controversial merger.
Hyat, who was the Aviation Minister during late President Musa Yar’Adua’s regime, said in Lagos recently that the federal government was ill-advised on the matter, adding that he believes the agencies would perform better as separate entities.
The former minister advised that rather than merge the agencies, the federal government should ensure the right legal framework for private investors to invest in the sector.
Speaking on the matter recently, the Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN) said the merger would be detrimental to the aviation industry and may even lead to the country losing its certifications from ICAO and FAA if government insists on going on with the plan.
The president, Aviation Round Table, ART, Capt. Dele Ore, said what the government was planning to do was wrong.
He said the implementation of the recommendation would take the industry further back into the 1995 era, adding that the agencies would be demerged within the next two years.

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