Sack and Appoinments-Matters Arising

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By CAPT DELE ORE
(AVIATION LEGAL CONSULTANT)

Speaking during a media briefing in Lagos, on Monday, November 9, I stressed the need for a stronger leadership in NCAA and that the industry needs very strong regulatory authority, which is lacking in the current director general, Captain Murtar Usman who was spared in the latest sack of the aviation agencies heads.

I observed that If there are better alternatives and the CEOs are not performing, they should be booted out, adding that the industry needs a stronger leadership in NCAA.
“There should be qualified persons at the helms of affairs in the parastatals while unqualified persons should be booted out, ”

After months of speculations, media briefing, the Federal Government removed heads of parastatals including the Acting Managing Director of Nigerian Airspace Management Agency(NAMA), Director-General, Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET), Rector, Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT) Zaria and Commissioner, Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB).

President Muhammadu Buhari, had approved the appointment of Captain Fola C. Akinkuotu as Managing Director, Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA ), Professor Sani Abubakar Mashi – Director-General, Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET), Captain Abdulsalam Mohammed -Rector, Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT) Zaria and Engr. Akinola Olateru – Commissioner, Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB).

All these events occurred after my media briefing of 9th January 2017.

However, Managing Director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Saleh Dunoma and the Director General of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Captain Usman Mukhar retain their positions. This action is very correct with due regards to Nigeria Civil Aviation Act 2006.
The incoming NAMA boss, Captain Akinkuotu as a seasoned Transport Pilot, Flight and Aircraft Maintenance Engineer, Airline Chief Executive and a trained Aviation Industry Regulator; He was also a former Director General of the NCAA .
Professor Sani Abubakar Mashi – Director-General, Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET), a Professor of Geography with specialty in Environmental Application of Remote Sensing is currently a Deputy Vice Chancellor at the University of Abuja
Capt. Mohammed , an alumnus of the NCAT, is a renowned Civil Aviation Trainer and Examiner with accreditation by the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority and the Federal Civil Aviation Administration(FCAA).
While Olateru, an engineer of international repute and a trained Air Accident Manager and Certified Safety Officer with Aircraft Maintenance Engineering licenses in Nigeria, USA and the United Kingdom.

The Honourable Minister of State for Aviation Senator Hadi Serika was perfectly right not to have removed Captain Murktar Usman as DG of NCAA by fiat without due process as it was done by his predecessors. The Nigeria Civil Aviation 2006 makes provisions for the appointment and conditions to remove a Director General from Office. Those conditions especially that of non-performance is enough to start the preceeding to remove Captain Murktar Usman from office with due process.

However, I am inundated with enquiries and insinuations as to the rationale behind the appointment of Engineer Akin Olateru as Commissioner of Accident Investigation Bureau.
In this industry today while avoiding recycling the old brigade, it is my considered opinion that the Hon. Minister got it right as to Engineer Akin Olateru’s suitability and qualification being one of the best around now.

For the benefit of the doubting Thomas I hereby oblige you the Personal Profile of Engr Akinola Olateru (M.Sc. CMILT, MRAES)
Akin Olateru is a multitalented, resourceful Aviation industry professional with vast Airline and Business Aviation management expertise. His industry experience and pedigree acquired in more than 27 years’ versatile work exposure, crisscrosses the Aviation Industry in the UK, Europe and Nigeria: at hands-on operational, management and top executive levels.
He is passionate, “breaths and dreams aviation and aviation safety” and has strategically grown his career pathway through the core aviation units of aircraft engineering maintenance, ground handling and airline passenger and cargo transport operations in the bid to becoming well-rounded and grounded in the business of air transportation.
An Aircraft Maintenance Engineer with Nigerian, UK and USA licences, he began his career in engineering maintenance with Pan African Airlines and the Nigerian Police Air Wing from where he left Nigeria for further studies abroad; in the course of which period he also worked with multiple airlines in Europe including KLM, Martin Air in Holland, British Aerospace Engineering UK and British Midland Airways UK. He is a trained Air Accident Manager and Certified Safety Officer of repute which is relevant to his new appointment

On his return to Nigeria in 2003 and armed with an M.SC in Air Transport Management from the City University, London (the 2nd Nigerian citizen to bag that degree at the time), where amongst other specializations he studied and made in-depth research and simulations into accident investigations at post graduate level, Mr. Olateru worked with Skypower Aviation Handling Company Limited (SHACOL) a 100% government owned company prior to its Privatization. There he served sundry roles including Head Safety and Quality Assurance and Group Head Operations, Marketing and Business Development during which time he developed and supervised organization wide safety and quality management systems bordering more than 10 internal departments with over 1,000 staff strength; drastically reduced incidents and accidents resulting in significant cost savings, through a well formulated, articulated and awareness program initiative of hazard identification and risk mitigation procedures across 19 airports station offices in Nigeria; and increased company revenue generation by over 120% within 18months.
It is worthy of note that in the history of SAHCOL, he was the first and only person to have superintended 3 departments of such enormous responsibility all because of his avowed leadership qualities.
He has successfully set up and managed two airlines, the latter being Omni-Blu Aviation Limited incorporated in 2013 and duly granted an Air Operators’ Certificate by the NCAA in December 2015.
As CEO he has grown the company into a multi-million dollar organization in contracts and strategic partnerships within 12months of obtaining its license.
Akin Olateru is also a full member of the Royal Aeronautical Society, United Kingdom and a Chartered Member of the United Kingdom Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport.

Please note that the time has come for the industry to support Senator Hadi Sirika for his resolute and tactical approach to correct the challenges that presently plague the aviation sub-sector in Nigeria presently.

From: Capt. Dele Ore
Aviation Legal Consultant

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