Unions flay FG over undue interference in aviation industry
By Oyise OGHENE
Aviation unions under the auspices of the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) and the Air Transport Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN) have flayed at the undue interference of the Federal Government saying it is posing as a threat to safety in the industry.
Speaking to newsmen in his office, the Acting General Secretary of NUATE Comrade Abdulkareem Motajo affirmed that the undue interference of the Minister of Aviation Princes Stella Oduah in the aviation industry was becoming too much adding that if not curb on time it could lead to Chief Executives of the various agencies making mistakes which could be disastrous to the industry.
He said”In the aviation industry, you don’t make mistake and come back to correct it, the pilot of Dana Air will never come back even all the investigation done and confirmed that these were the reasons for the crash, nobody is coming back to correct that mistake, it has been done and it has caused a lot of damage, that is the level of danger in our industry and that is why we cannot allow mediocre to come around”
“As long as the unions are always there, we will always raise our voices against such things, we have said it in our press conference the other day that these undue interference of the honourable minister Princes Stella Oduah is causing a lot of problem and one of the undue interference for instance, some contracts were given by some parastatals to the tune of 9 to 18 million and of course the head of that parastatal is not authorized to sign over N2 million for instance, so which means that the authority must have come from above and if the authority that is coming from above is to the effect that you should go and do a wrong thing and you don’t have any other means of stopping it, majority of the heads of parastatals, they are job seekers as well, so when they get this job they want to continue being on the job and by then they will not want to refuse. Of course when they are employed they become public servant who must obey orders but as long as the unions are always around and we have our workers working there, we will get to know of this and we will continue to cry out”
Comrade Motajo further pointed out that the situation has even gotten worse to a stage whereby the National Assembly could no more be trusted on issues raised by the unions saying that if nothing was done to stop this undue interference of the government that one day the aviation industry would come crashing down all at once.
“We have written series of letters that nobody want to listen to us now, we have now cried to the world because even the National Assembly cannot be trusted because several reports that we gave to the National Assembly, they will not even address it. A public hearing was heard over a petition that we wrote about somethings that was happening in the industry and the Senate Committee on Aviation headed by Senator Hope Uzodimma called a public hearing and they did not even allow the unions to talk, when we were to talk, they said ok we give you 10minutes while other persons have been talking for more than three hours and we are the petitioners it was on the basis of our petition that they called the hearing, so by the body language they displayed we knew that they were not going to address the issue and at the end of the day nothing happened to the extend that the Chairman called myself and Mr. Benjamin Okewu President of ATSSSAN that come, please I like your presentation give me all the facts and we did supply them and up till today as we speak nothing came out of it, so we can tell you that they themselves cannot be trusted” comrade Motajo affirmed.