According to reports, the Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, has said that the restructuring in the agencies under the Ministry of Aviation will continue and more workers in the organisations will have to leave or be redeployed.
He also said the ministry was set to rejig the Aviation Security Service in a way to enable its officials to carry arms.
A statement by the ministry on Sunday said the minister made the disclosures during a stakeholders’ forum in Lagos, where he declared that the ongoing restructuring at FAAN was far from over and that the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, and the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, NAMA would be affected too.
“Already, the government has started redeploying, re-assigning, demoting and even terminating appointments of workers in what it calls improper placement of staff members at these agencies, especially in FAAN, where the workers have felt the full positive impact of the restructuring,” the statement added.
In October, about 21 senior officials of FAAN were sacked in a major shake-up, with those affected including directors, general managers and deputy general managers.
Sirika said that the restructuring became imperative because of the high number of general managers in the agencies, adding that a total of 88 persons were general managers on grade level 17 in the agencies.
He said the Federal Government was handling the restructuring in phases and that it would go round in order to get leaner and more effective agencies.
The minister added that the ministry had received the approval from the Presidency to rejig the AVSEC, adding that the development would lead to the arming of its officials.
“Our aviation security is laughable, but we now have the approval to reposition AVSEC to take the shape of the Transportation Security Administration of the United States, fully kitted, well-trained and well-educated with firearms.
“We have the approval and have gone to the Ministry of Interior to enquire about what is needed. We are engaging them in an inter-ministerial capacity,” Sirika said.
On the planned concession of airports and the Chinese-funded terminals, the minister said, “The Chinese terminals are not Build, Operate and Transfer. The deal was a loan of which the Chinese provided $500m and Nigeria provided $100m as counterpart funding. Even at that, the biggest of those terminals will be doing 1.5 million passengers annually, but what we are looking at is different and larger.
“The terminals were done, kudos to the originators for the best of their thinking; the one in Abuja, we will have to move it for it is blocking the control tower and the fire service. But we are already building and we have to put it to use. The same story applies in Lagos.”