Friday, November 10, 2017 9:47 am
The controversies over the attempted backdoor reinstatement of Abdulrasheed Maina, the embattled boss of Federal Government’s Pension Task Force as a director in the Federal Ministry of Interior is yet to abate. Even as the controversies continue, workers in the Nigerian aviation industry are calling attention to what they described as an unfolding “Mainagate” in their own sector.
The workers, in a recent petition seen by this magazine also accused the management of NCAA of lack of adherence to stipulated rules in promotion of staff and bending the rules to favour some personnel who have been promoted beyond their qualifications. The petition was addressed to the Director General/ CEO of NCAA.
In the petition authored by National Union of Air Transport Employees, NUATE, it was alleged that the NCAA has refused to allow staffs who have grown within the system and thus, have acquired the necessary experience and qualifications and even passed the necessary promotion examinations to assume offices they are suited for.
The union noted that it has held several meetings with the management of NCAA over the issues raised in the petition in the past. But the Union regretted that that contrary to its promise, the management has refused to address the issues, citing as example, its continued refusal to release the promotion letters that would have enabled workers qualified for it to be appropriately placed.
On the contrary, they alleged that the NCAA management have been recruiting outsiders without the necessary qualifications into top positions that should have been occupied by career staff.
In the petition titled “Re: Demand For Release of Outstanding Letters of Promotion In NCAA“, signed by Olayinka Olu Abioye, its General Secretary, NUATE vowed to resist further imposition of those it called outsiders in top positions in NCAA: “May we also remind management that any attempt to foist an outsider on the NCAA within the career cadre shall be resisted with industrial action as we shall n longer accept any situation whereby these invasions erode the rights of career staff to the highest attainable level in the public service.”
The Union cited several instances of lack of adherence to extant rules in promotions and appointments in the petition copied to Head of Service of the Federation and the Minister of Transportation among others.
Specifically, the Union cited instances of three persons recently promoted to level 14 in the Finance and Accounts department of the recently promoted to level 14 in the Finance and Accounts Directorate of the NCAA. The Union pointed out that the NCAA Act stipulated that to be promoted to the position of Chief Accountant or Assistant General Manager in the Directorate, a candidate must be professionally qualified and must have spent three years in the previous position.
NUATE noted in the petition that one of those promoted was neither a qualified accountant nor a registered member of an accounting body. Another of the three, the union said was converted from executive to an officer position in 2016 and promoted again in 2017. NUATE said this is in breach of extant rules which stipulated that such conversion such be regarded as ‘promotion’ and that having got that promotion in 2016, he should not have been entitled to another one until three years after.
In addition, NUATE alleged that the third person promoted only qualified as a Chartered Accountant in April, 2017 whereas the promotion examination with which he was elevated took place a month earlier: “As we write this, he has not been inducted formally as a chartered accountant. Ordinarily, he is not qualified to be on grade level 14 or to be invited for the promotion examination in the first instance, let alone promoted to grade level 15.”
On the contrary, the Union claimed, four chief accountants in the Directorate of Accounts and Finance who sat and passed necessary examinations and are ‘most qualified in the Directorate professionally in accordance with scheme and conditions of NCAA and public service rules,” have not been given their letters of promotion. The Union is therefore demanding that NCAA issued letter of promotion to the four employees ‘immediately.’
Also, the NUATE asked the management of NCAA to allow one Mrs Ayotunde Rukayat who is presently the AGM, Training and Manpower to assume the vacant position of Training and Manpower while arguing that since she is qualified to be so appointed. “Or is the management wishing away the post of DGM Manpower and Training or planning to bring external persons to take it over?”, the union queried. Also, the Union is requesting that all the chiefs in the ATR Directorate who have passed their papers should be given their letters “since the management can create space for newly employed Ismaila Mariam AGM in the office of the DG/CEO…”
The Union is also demanding that all, regional managers who have been stagnated for nine years and above should be promoted since the management has deemed it fit to bring in a junior officer to fill positions of a GM to the detriment of the core staff who are more qualified than him to be a GM.
The Union said it will stop at nothing to ensure that all the improper conducts as related to promotions and appointments in the aviation industry is stopped.
The reaction of the NCAA and the Ministry of Transport to the petition is still being awaited. But NUATE warned that it may be forced to employ the call its members out for soon if the management of NCAA refused to give issues it raised in the petition adequate consideration.
It will be recalled that unions the aviation industry had earlier in the year also protested appointment of five new Directors and one General for the NCAA.
The General Manager, Public Affairs, NCAA, Sam Adurogboye listed those appointed and their designations as Capt. Edem Oyo-Ita as Director of Air Transport Regulations; Mr Abbas Sanusi, Director, Human Resources and Administration; and Adamu Sani; Director of Finance and Accounts, Odunowo Tayyib Adetunji, Director of Aerodrome and Airspace Standards, Mr Ita Awak, Director of Airworthiness Standards and Lawrence Kwajok, General Manager, Air Navigational Standards.
Abioye had alleged that two out of the five directors appointed by the federal government do not possess the prerequisite qualifications to hold the offices they were assigned during a protest by workers against their appointments.
He pointed out that the new Director of Finance and Accounts was an educationist by training, while the Director of Airworthiness Standards was a politician.
“We, the unions in the industry are not in support of a situation in which the federal government would recruit outsiders who will be shown the ropes to fill all technical positions in the agency,” said Abioye who added that out of the five only three are qualified to hold the positions.
The workers complained about what they described as neglect qualified personnel who are already in the system for outsiders who may not possess the perquisite qualifications.