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Air traffic controllers lament irregular recruitments in NAMA, dearth of technical manpower

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The Nigerian Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) has decried the recent lopsided recruitments in the aviation agencies, especially at the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), saying it negated the Act of setting up the agency.

NATCA, which is the parent body of Air Traffic Controllers (ATCOs), said that while there is a dearth of requisite technical manpower and inadequate human capital development in NAMA, insisted that the type of manpower being recruited into the agency is completely at variance with the real needs of the agency.

The President, of NATCA, Mr. Abayomi Agoro, stated this on Wednesday in Port Harcourt at the 52nd Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Conference of NATCA with the theme: ‘Airspace Management and Contingent Cost Recovery Plan: Proposing a New Approach.’

According to him, the recruitment was at loggerheads with the agency as an Air Navigation Service Provider (ANSP).

Agoro challenged the management of NAMA to do a holistic evaluation of the staff strength of the agency on a departmental or directorate basis in line with the core mandate of the agency as well as the standard template accepted by the Civil Air Navigation Service Organisation (CANSO) and industry best practice.

He added:

The former Minister of Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sriika had appointed tens of personnel in various aviation agencies on May 23, 2023, less than a week before the expiration of the former government.

Sirika had appointed Mr Tayib Odunowo as the new Managing Director of NAMA, Director, Operations; Matthew Lawrence Pwajok, Director, Public Affairs and Consumer Protection; Khalid Emele, Corporate Services; Mr Uchendu Chibuzo Oji and General Manager, Public Affairs; Amaka Ude Walker

Besides, Dr Gabriel Olowo, the immediate past President of Aviation Round Table (ART), said that pilots still fly blind in some spots between Lagos and Abuja, despite the huge investment in the Total Radar Coverage of Nigeria (TRACON).

Olowo who is also the chairman of the event, said that some airports should have been shut down by the government due to their deplorable conditions.

He lauded Mr Festus Keyamo, the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development for the audacious step taken to shut down the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos.

He also proposed that the huge foreign currency spent by the Federal and State governments on pilgrimage to holy lands should have been used to settle the trapped funds belonging to foreign airlines in Nigeria.

He explained that this would go a long way to bring succour to the airlines and the travelling public.

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