As Nigerians celebrate 63rd anniversary of nationhood, aviation expert and prominent labour union leader, Comrade Abdulrasaq Saidu, Secretary General of Association, Nigeria Aviation Professionals (ANAP) says, the industry’s development since independence is not where its supposed to be.
Speaking in an interview on Nigeria’s 63rd Independence, Comrade Saidu said, the industry had not lived up to the expectations of Nigerians, adding that it had been one step forward and two steps backwards.
He noted that with the huge amount of money sunk into the sector, the industry still remained stagnant after many years of self rule describing it as shameful.
Saidu said the industry needed radical reorganisation in terms of management, allowing the sector to grow without interference from politicians, transparency and the enabling Acts to function.
The ANAP scribe stated that, the industry would grow when there is orderliness in the system such as setting up and inaugurating boards of parastatals, putting round pegs in round holes and adherence to professionalism.
According to the labour leader, “there have been serious mismanagement of funds, financial misappropriation of funds, empowerment racketeering in the system and serious abuse of office and serious violations of Federal character in terms of employment in the system”.
He decried the non implementation of roadmaps in the system without implementation by successive administrations.
Saidu however cautioned trade unions in the industry to remain focused and United to their jurisdictional scope which they have violated hence the lack of cohesion in fighting for workers welfare.
Explaining further, he noted that workers of the liquidated Nigeria Airways have been suffering untold hardship since the airline was unjustly liquidated by the Obasanjo administration instead of turning around the fortunes of the airline renewing its insurance.
“Nigeria Airways was liquidated illegally by Obasanjo, he did it by fiat and he was supposed to go to the National Assembly to repeal the act establishing it. Now, Nigeria Airways never owe the amount they are claiming they owe.
They were appointing liquidators and the were appointing their friends because nobody is aware of how much the airline was sold”.
He said that singular act had negatively imparted on the industry resulting in the dearth of professionals in the system today.
The ANAP scribe appealed to workers to remain steadfast as their interest were being taken care of especially in the area of Condition of Service that had remained stagnant.
Comrade Saidu called on the minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo to as a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, to do the needful by looking into the books of various parastatals with a view to improving on the system adding that they will support the him to succeed.