Federal Airport Authority General Managers Resign over Demolition

It has a dark moment at the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) over the recent sack and demotion of top officials of the agency, even as most of the downgraded general managers resigned yesterday.

The headquarters of FAAN was like a ghost town yesterday when New Telegraph visited, as many were seen discussing in hushed tune, expressing uncertainty over their own future.

Five of the former general managers who spoke on condition of anonymity, said they had already tendered their resignation letters shortly before they got wind of the exercise, which brings to an end almost four years of their service.

The Federal Government had, last Wednesday, begun the restructuring exercise in FAAN with the demotion of some directors and several General Managers of the agency, even as the Ministry of Transportation insisted that the new positions are the officials’ appropriate grade levels.

The Winnifred Oyo-Ita committee on restructuring of the aviation agency had recommended proper placement of personnel in all the aviation agencies. Some of the general managers are said not to have the requisite qualifications to man some of the sensitive positions they held, as some of them, including deputy general managers, were said to have left universities less than 10 years ago and could not have qualified for the office they held.

Equally affected are virtually all the directors, but an influential female director and the managing director were spared. An Acting Director of Finance was demoted to Grade Level 10 and redeployed to the department of Information Communication and Technology (ICT).

The affected officers were demoted from Grade Levels 17 and 16 to levels 10, 12 and 14, indicating the exercise could also be replicated in other agencies such as the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) in the coming days owing to the over-bloating of these agencies.

Government is said to be worried with the engagement of close to 40 general managers, creation of many directorates that amounted to duplication of duties, thereby raising the overhead of FAAN to over N800 million monthly.

Consequently, government has perfected plans to reduce workers’ strength by way of restructuring, to cope with the current economic reality. It was gathered that some of the downgraded workers in FAAN had been handed their letters, asking them to report to their hitherto junior colleagues who had now, as a result of the exercise, become their superiors. Also on the card, is the plan by government to prune the number of directorates in the aviation agencies in its restructuring exercise.

Meanwhile, The National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) has lauded the Federal Government’s decision to sack and demote 22 top officials of FAAN. NUATE’s General Secretary, Mr. Olayinka Abioye, said that the restructuring should be extended to other aviation agencies.

Abioye said: “We have written several letters to government about it and it was part of our demands. We want it to be carried out in all the aviation parastatal agencies. We also believe that there should be less interference in the running of these agencies.