Yesterday, the Senate shut down the Federal Government’s proposal to close the Abuja Airport for 6 weeks starting March. They anchored their decision mostly on the lack of proper provision of an alternative re-routing plan. The minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, had announced this plan alongside another one plan to fully arm the security operatives across Airports in the country.
Senate opposition to their strides regardless, the Federal Government seems intent on rejuvenating the Aviation sector, one of the worst hit by the many scandals and setbacks of 2016. Yesterday, four heads of government aviation agencies were sacked. They are: Acting Managing Director of Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Emma Anasi; Director-General of Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET), Dr Anthony Anuforum; Rector of the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), Zaria, Capt. Samuel Caulcrick and Commissioner, Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB), Dr Felix Abali.
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Aviation, Sabiu Zakari, said the sack was with immediate effect and so they have all been replaced by new heads – Captain Fola Akinkuotu, a veteran who used to head the National Civil Aviation Authority for NAMA; Professor Sani Abubakar Mashi for NIMET; Captain Abdulsalam Mohammed as the new Rector of NCAT while Engr. Akinola Olateru replaced Abali as the AIB boss.
Many stakeholders are however divided on the motives behind these fresh rounds of dismissal. But it must be said that many of the moves made by the current administration, whether or not it is true, have been viewed with ethnic and/or religious colourations.
Other stakeholders say the dismissals have been long in coming. This group lauded the move as as a step in the right direction despite the affect agency heads being from the Southern part of the country.the Managing Director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Saleh
The Aviation heads not affected by this round of sacks are the Managing Director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Saleh Dunoma and the Director-General of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Captain Usman Mukhar.