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Unions demand pending relocation allowances for aviation agencies workers three years after

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Nigeria airport

Three years after the forceful relocation of aviation agencies workers from their various headquarters at the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos by the former Minister of Aviation, Mr. Hadi Sirika, many of them are yet to be paid their relocation allowance.

This is as the industry unions have asked the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Mr. Festus Keyamo to ensure the removal of aviation agencies from the compulsory 40% contribution of their revenue generation to the Treasury Single Account (TSA).

The unions, led by President, Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN), Comrade Ahmadu Ilitrus, made these known in Abuja during a meeting with Keyamo.

Illitrus regretted that three years after the relocation of the agencies to Abuja, many of the staff were yet to be paid their required allowance.

He mentioned the affected agencies to include the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and Nigeria Safety and Investigation Bureau (NSIB).

Sirika had compelled the aviation agencies to relocate their headquarters to Abuja in the Covid-19 pandemic year.

In the process of the relocation, the headquarters of the former Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB), now Nigerian Safety Investigation Bureau (NSIB) was demolished with assets worth N5 billion destroyed.

Illitrus also mentioned capacity building proposals for the leadership of aviation unions, promotional exercise for deserving staff, tenure policy and retirement age of non-academic staff in the Nigeria College of Aviation Technology (NCAT) as some of the issues the unions wanted the minister to critically look into.

Illitrus further appealed to Keyamo to use his good offices to ensure the removal of the aviation agencies from the compulsory contributions to the TSA.

Forty per cent revenues of agencies like the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), NCAT, NCAA and the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) are deducted at source into the TSA.

The Chief Executive Officers of these agencies had complained severally that this deduction was negatively affecting their performances and was in gross violation of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) standards and recommended practises.

In his response, Keyamo promised to look into the challenges affecting the sector and the demands of the unions.

He, however, asked the union leaders to make a detailed presentation of their demands and other observations in writing.

Keyamo also canvassed for industry harmony with the government.

Besides, he suggested quarterly meetings for synergy between the union and their various managements.

He appealed to them to sustain the support and pledged to work with them in achieving the economic and human capital development.

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