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Senate warns Sirika to shelve demolition of aviation agencies headquarters plan

by Business News Report

Senate has warned Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika to as a matter of urgency put a stop to the planned  demolition of aviation agencies headquarters offices in Lagos. According to the Senate, the directive became imperative pending the outcome of the intervention of the Senator Biodun Olujimi, led Committee on Aviation. Resolution of the Senate was as a result of a motion titled “Urgent need of Senate’s intervention in the intending warning strike by Aviation Unions and moved by Senator Biodun Olujimi. In her presentation, the former Senate Minority leader who  expressed worry over the rampant cases of strike actions by workers in the aviation industry, said that the strikes usually had attendant disruption of flight operations, citizens’ movement, economic paralysis and grave security implications.

Olujimi said, “the strikes have become too many and too frequent to be let low as issues in contention are not new.” According to her, some of the issues have lingered for over eight years with several Agreements signed between the unions and the government, just as she said that the  issues bothered on “non-implementation of the Consequential Adjustment to the National Minimum Wage by some of the agencies as agreed as at Feb. 2022. Non release of reviewed Condition of Service by relevant government agencies for upward of a decade. Continuous threats of outright demolition of the Aviation Agencies (FAAN, NCAA and NAMA Headquarters) in Lagos without making reasonable provisions for a befitting regional offices in Lagos being the nation’s aviation hub.”

According to her, the Committees in both the Senate and House of Representatives are  working hard  to ensure that there was amicable resolution of the issues. In his contribution, Senator  Sani Musa, who supported the motion lamented that the aviation sector was “in a state of decay”. Musa said that the level of decay of the airports since inception was as a result of poor leadership in the sector. He further said “the operators have been left on their own in spite of the intervention funds that the federal government had been given to that sector. If you go to our airports, it does not translate that there is any support coming. Of course, the aviation workers will go on strike. Because it is only when the aviation industry is functioning very well, the operators are making it, that the welfare of those workers will also be taken care of.” He also urged the Senate to call the Aviation Minister to order.

Also, the Deputy Chief Whip, Sen. Sabi Abdullahi, APC, Niger North who  that the sector was too critical to be left without professional touch, said: “One of the core constraint bedeviling that sector is the fact that professionalism has been compromised. Whatever we are going to do, we need to allow people who know the workings of that sector to be put in the right space so that they can do the work and put our aviation sector at per with international best practice.” In his remarks, the President of the Senate,Senator  Ahmad Lawan, approved the single prayer of the motion.

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