The Federal Governmenť has said there in no link between last Thursday visit of Acting President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, in company of the Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, and the Friday sack of nine directors of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).
Two of the directors have since been recalled.
Spokesman to the Minister of State for Aviation, James Odaudu recalled that Osinbajo and Sirika undertook an inspection visit to the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.
“The visit was to assess the state of facilities at the nation’s number one airport, and to see possible areas of immediate attention.
“However, a section of the nation’s Media decided, rather inexplicably, to establish a link between the Acting President’s visit and the recent reorganisation at nation’s aviation agencies.
“It must be made clear that the link between the two events has no basis, as the reorganisation in the Agencies is part of an ongoing process to reposition them to properly and adequately carry out their regulatory mandates.
“Recall that the Buhari Administration, at inception, placed Aviation among top priority areas that would be reorganised and repositioned to contribute more to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product and develop as a sub-regional hub for air transportation. It therefore amounts to an error of judgment to attribute the reorganisation efforts to the visit of the Acting President to the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.,” Odaudu stated.
Meanwhile, the two directors recalled are Alhaji Adamu Abdullahi,Director of Consumer Protection, and Capt. Ayodele Sasegbon, Director of General Aviation.
Those whose sack remain are Alhaji Salawu Ozigi (Director of Finance and Accounts), Dr Joyce Nkemakolam (Director of Aerodrome and Airspace Standards) and Mr Aba Ejembi (Director of Administration).
Others are Mr Emmanuel Ogunbami (Director of Licensing), Mr Benedict Adeyileka (Director of Airworthiness), Mr Justus Wariya (Director of Air Transport Regulation) and Mr Austin-Amadi Ifeanyi (Director of Human Resources).
They were ordered to handover to their next subordinates to oversee the various departments.
Last month, four heads of aviation agencies were sent home by the federal government.
They were the DG/CEO, the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) – Dr. Anthony Anuforom; The Rector/CEO, the Nigeria College of Aviation Technology (NCAT) Zaria, Capt. , Samuel Caulcrick; the Commissioner/CEO, the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) Mr. Felix Abali and the Ag. MD/CEO, the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Mr. Emmanuel Anasi.
Capt. Fola C. Akinkuotu, was immediately named Managing Director, Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA).
The government named Professor Sani Abubakar Mashi, as the new Director-General, Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMeT).
Capt. Abdulsalam Mohammed was named the Rector, Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT) Zaria. An alumnus of the College, Capt. Mohammed is an Civil Aviation Trainer and Examiner with accreditation by the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority and the Federal Civil Aviation Administration.
Engr. Akinola Olateru is the Commissioner, Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB). He is is a trained Air accident manager and certified safety officer.
Last October, 22 directors and general managers of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) were either sacked or demoted.