Sheath your sword, NCAA DG tells unions, group plan total airspace shutdown

The Director-General of Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Captain Musa Nuhu has waded into the two days warning strike, pleading with the workers’ unions to suspend the action.

This he has done by conveying a series of meetings with the union members, starting from April 16th, 2023 and another to be held today, Tuesday, April 18th, 2023 with the Salary and Wages Commission along with all Aviation Agencies Chief Executive Officers and their Heads of Finance Department.

Passengers left stranded at the Lagos airport over unions’ strike

Captain Nuhu dropped this hint in an interview with a television station monitored in Lagos on Tuesday, April 18th, 2023.

However, the meeting with the Salaries and Wages Commission is for the examination of their various account books with a view to determining whether or not the increases in salaries being demanded could be accommodated in their various Internally Generated Revenues (IGRs).

The outcome of this meeting will be forwarded to the Head of Service of the Federation for consideration and approval, he said.

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He also pleaded for more time and understanding of the Union.

On passengers’ delay and refund of airfares whenever flights are delayed or cancelled, the DGCA explained that such situations have been taken care of in the ongoing amendment of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations (Nig.CARs) 2015.

The aviation workers’ unions had on April 17th, 2023 embarked on a two-day warning strike that witnessed workers locked out at the various offices of the agencies and disruption to flight movement nationwide.

The aviation unions had become resolute in their agitations and had concluded plans to totally ground the sector after seven days if their demands are not met. Consequently, offices of agencies of the Ministry of Aviation in Lagos, Nigeria Airspace Management Agency ( NAMA), Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria ( FAAN), and the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority ( NCAA) were under lock and key as the industrial action entered its second day on Tuesday.

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For the second day, unions laid siege at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport ( MMIA) which led to heavy traffic leading to the airport where the unions vowed that seven days after the end of the warning strike they will totally shut down Nigeria Airspace.

Aviation Metric observed the presence of heavy security including the police and army around the strategic points at the airport armed to the teeth while the unionists were at the international chanting solidarity songs.

One of the unionists, Abdulrarak Saidu who spoke at the MMIA expressed disappointment that 8 years after nothing has been done to ensure the Conditions of service are adhered to.

He argued that an industry where the minister is leaving in the next month and wants to pull down offices of agencies and parastatals in Lagos state stating that he wants to turn his policy into law and lord it over the industry even when it is flawed.

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He said, ”For 8 years conditions of service were not implemented. Sirika. They wanted to coerce us to come to Abuja, but we didn’t go to the meeting. There was no conclusion, no genuine meeting with the Government”.

Union leaders in action

“He wants to destroy buildings in the sector for a Road map that was not approved for Lagos, even the one approved in Abuja for the Aerotropolis nothing has happened there and he wants to turn his policy to law.

“When you are going in the next month, and you want to pull down headquarters and leave nothing…

He said,” After seven days we go to a total shutdown, we will try to cut Nigeria away from other countries.”

Wole Shadare