NLC insists on National carrier, says concession joke of the century, urges workers not to panic


.…frown at the absence of Boards of Directors

The National President, Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Comrade Joseph Ajaero says, the body throws its weight behind government’s decision to establish National Carrier.

According to him, Nigeria needs a National Carrier because the country cannot continue to depending on foreign carriers.
Speaking during a visit to one of the Aviation unions, the Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals, ANAP, in Lagos, Comrade Ajaero emphasized that, the country establishing a national carrier was long overdue and that due process must be followed.

According to him, the country can not be supporting foreign airlines to rip off the country and to the detriment of its local airlines.
“But we would demand as a matter of right a National Carrier, Nigeria must have a National Carrier, you mentioned here, air, land and sea, we cant be depending on foreign carriers, at a stage trying to give them subvention and we keep on mouthing that government has no business in business and government now has business in another person’s business and if an individual is running an airline, government will be giving individual money to survive but government cant use debt money to run it owe business”.

He however assured the union not to fret over the proposed concession of the five major international airports in the country and the demolition of the office buildings of FAAN, NAMA, NCAA and others in Lagos to pave way for the airport city project called Aerotropolis, as the idea is a joke of the century and was dead on arrival.

“I don’t think any human can concession here without paying entitlement. Any body that takes over here as a concessionaire is spending your money for nothing. We have pass through privatization and so we know how it works and we know the dangers, so they are joking”.

‘I equally saw the Minister of Aviation talking about illegalizing the unions in the aviation and that is the highest joke of the century because he doesn’t have such powers, don’t listen to anybody that is telling you he wants to take over the aviation industry, he cant without following due process and then. You cant shave somebody’s hair in his absence, you can’t say that you concession here and there, there can’t be an abortion without pregnancy, things must follow due process, that is the way it is, so nobody should panic”.

The NLC President condemned the failure of the Aviation Minister to inaugurate Boards of Aviation Agencies, adding that, all contacts awarded and appointments made are illegal, null and void.

Comrade Ajaero who expressed surprised that there was no Board of Directors in the different agencies said, this no doubt had led to some strange practices in the sector like the appointment of some persons from outside the aviation industry to head some directorates, stressing that, this does not allow growth of career civil servants in the system.
”All these issues would have been addressed by the board assuming it was in place”.

According to him, having an interim Board currently alleged in place was a miss-normal.

“The issue of interim board, that one is an illegality, an interim Board is not the same thing as a Board, a properly constituted Board by the Act and even in the Act, you see people who are supposed to be the Board members and their responsibility. If anybody, is running his office, his wife, his children, his PA as a Board, he cant take over the responsibility of a properly constituted board and until that is done, he cant even take any major decision including concessioning decision, he cant so, whatever they might have done as at now is void ab-nitio, it is not voidable but void ab-nitio so, it is good we understand it”.
The NLC boss advised all the aviation unions to work together to achieve their goals. 

Earlier in his welcome address, Secretary General, ANAP, Comrade Abdulrasaq Saidu said, they were elated to have the NLC President visit the union describing his visit as a great honour to them.

He listed the challenges they want addressed by the National body to include, the concession of airports, Condition of Service, CoS, planned demolition of agencies buildings, weakening the power of the unions as regards aviation workers penned as essential workers and the absence of Boards of Directors in the past eight years.

Comrade Saidu revealed that for the past seven years there was no written approved  condition of service for workers even after the review.

He noted that, one man’s decision in the aviation industry had negatively affected the day to day running of the organizations in all the agencies.

The President General, ANAP, Comrade Kabir Gusau, also added his voice calling on the NLC to urgently address these issues.
He applauded the NLC President’s call for the establishment of a National Carrier as this would not only create jobs for the teeming unemployed pilots, engineers and technical staff, it would also help to stimulate business activities in the industry.

Highlights of the meeting was the singing of the solidarity songs and group photographs with the leadership of other unions from the maritime, rail, transport, Lagos State NLC among others.


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