Abuja - Stakeholders in the local aviation sector have largely welcomed the sacking of all Heads of Aviation Agencies by President Goodluck Jonathan.
It was announced on Tuesday Jonathan had relieved the officials of their duties for undisclosed reasons.
Those affected includes George Uriese of the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Fola Akinkuotu of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Engr Nnamdi Udoh of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, and Chinyere Kalu, Rector of the Nigeria College of Aviation Technology (NCAT).
Those appointed to replace the sacked heads were also announced by the president in a statement signed by Sam Nwaobasi, the special adviser on media to the secretary to the government of the federation.
In his reaction to the sack, Bunmi Oni, convener of Aviation Stakeholders Forum said that the action of the President was long overdue as he alleged most of the sacked heads constituted a major problem to the sector.
Oni said that during the reign of the last sacked Aviation Minister, Stella Oduah, most of the aviation heads were working at cross purpose with each other and even contributed to the mistakes of the minister.
“I believe that the president should have sacked these people long before now. If you have been watching developments in the aviation sector, you would have the inefficiency of these heads. Most of them are working at cross purpose against the overall interest of the sector. We need fresh air and fresh experienced people in the sector and I believe that the president is on the right track,” he said.
Also reacting to the sack, Chief Biodun Balogun, an executive member of the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) described the action of the President as timely and appropriate.
“Those heads of aviation clearly contributed to the failure of the last minister of aviation. It was obvious from their activities that politics and internal scheming had become their game. I believe that president may have become aware of this hence this action,” he said.
Meanwhile an aviation expert, Tunde Aremu, told our correspondent that the development might not be in the best interests of the sector.
Aremu noted that such action was capable of scaring investors aware since they are now never sure of what the government may do next.
“The aviation sector is a sensitive one. We don't expect such development every now and then. It does not tell well about us and our policies. Today you appoint somebody, tomorrow the person is gone. First it was the minister now it is the heads of agencies. Nobody knows what next the presidency will. I assure that the international community are watching and may take some cautious steps in dealing with us,” he said.
Human rights activist, Debo Adeniran, said it was not enough for the President to announce the sack without telling Nigerians the reasons for his action.
“Without being told, I can guess that this sack is not unconnected with the investigation into the BMW cars allegedly bought at inflated prices. But the question is, is that the end of the matter? We need to know the reasons for these changes, particularly if they have to do with corruption,” Debo said.
Debo nonetheless urged the president to extend the exercise to other agency of government such as the petroleum sector.
– CAJ News
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