Aviation professionals in the country have petitioned the Minister of Transportation, Hon. Rotimi Amaechi complaining about gross neglect and lopsidedness in the workers’ welfare, postings, promotions and employments in the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMET).
The professionals under the aegis of Association of Nigerian Aviation Professionals (ANAP) in a letter addressed to, Hon Amaechi said that the irregular employments, promotions of junior officers above their seniors to constant indiscriminate filling of vacant positions from outside the agency without internal and external advertisements of such vacant positions as required by law is unbecoming and disturbing in the industry.
In the letter signed by the Secretary General, Comrade Abdul Rasaq Saidu, ANAP said that in the past years, various Director Generals and Chief Executive Officers of NiMet have openly violated the Public Service Rule through the aforementioned activities carried out on the bases of demographic representation or political sentiments, thereby placing the existing Serving Career officers in the agency at serious disadvantage, their long years in service notwithstanding.
ANAP in the official statement made available to journalists yesterday complained bitterly that a lot of long serving meteorologists were cheated in 2005, stressing “In 2005 , for example, the then CEO and his management team carried out an employment exercise for fresh meteorologists to G1.08 with First Degree to complement the workforce of the agency at that time, but to the surprise of everyone, they placed some of their candidates with same First degree as others on G1.09, that is a grade level higher without any justification.
According to the professional body, the exercise done 12 years ago was done to position the meteorologists for leadership over their colleagues, jus at they warned that such step was a danger trend which became an order of the day in MiMet.
With such system, the professionals pointed out that subsequent DG/CEOs and other management see it as an opportunity for them to also position their own in leadership positions in the agency regardless of the provisions of the Public Service Rules of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as it concerns promotions and employments.
To correct the rot in the agency, ANAP stated that it wrote a letter dated 27th July, 2017 to the Director General of NiMet, Prof Abubakar Sanni Mashi when he resumed duty at the office this year.
The letter which was acknowledged by Nimet on 31 July, 2017, according to ANAP was intended to create a platform whereby ANA, the DG, NiMet management and other stakeholders to discuss the issue of workers welfare to the best interest of industrial peace and harmony in the agency.
Unfortunately, ANAP said “but up till this moment, the DG/CEO has not responded to ANAP letter, instead he also used decided to take advantage of recent filling of vacant directorship positions in the various directorates of the agency by the Ministry of Transportation (Aviation) and issue out letters of promotion to some selected staff of the agency, some of whom were promoted from GL.15 assistant General Managers (AGMs) to GL.17 General Managers (GM).
By this ANAP calculations are that they automatically become seniors to their colleagues AGMs who have put in more years in service when they have without any form of interview.
“More so, these officers just got promoted alongside their colleagues to level 15 in 2015”, ANAP hinted
“What then is the yardstick used by the DG/CEO in handpicking few officers and giving them double promotion in less than 2 years’, ANAP queried.
Stating that Prof Mashi’s action is unacceptable, provocative, ANAP calls for an immediate reversal of the selective exercise on promotion and appointments carried out in the agency.
It also said that “we are also calling on concerned federal Government authorities to immediately look into NiMet nominal roll duly attached for ease of reference for correct placements and repositioning of NiMet staff otherwise, the union should not be held responsible for whatever action deem fit in protest of illegalities already perpetrated to deprive the workers of NiMet by management”.
ANAP equally warned that they have directed their members strategically positioned at Abuja NiMe headquarters including all out stations airports, particularly the four international airports to be on standby as they are fully prepared to give it all it takes should all issues stipulated in the letter is not urgently and amicably resolved after 21 days that this letter was received.
In a separate letter addressed to the DG/CEO of NiMet, Prof Mashi dated 5th September, ANAP had once again reminded and also requested for an urgent union/NiMet management meeting to be held on the 19th September, 2017, just as it also emphasized the need for NiMet to recognize ANAP executive members of Port Harcourt Zone under Eastern Zonal Council of ANAP.