Secretary-General of the National Union of Air Transport Employees, NUATE, Olayinka Abioye has said that the acting managing director of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Emma Anasi’s hands are tied in giving orders in the Agency, calling on government to immediately appoint substantive MD.
The NUATE scribe, who described the recent revelation on corruption at NAMA as a shame to the Nigerian aviation industry, also called on the Federal Government to extend its corruption search to other aviation agencies in the sector.
Speaking on Wednesday at the union’s headquarters at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, MMA, Lagos, he said that the unions especially NUATE had complained about corrupt practices in the agency in the past, but there complaints were treated with the pinch of salt by the government.
He however commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his efforts at sanitising the nation including the economy, stressing that this would serve as a deterrent to others.
EFCC had on February 12, 2016 arrested and detained about six top management staff of NAMA including its Managing Director, Engr. Ibrahim Abdulsalam Ibrahim over N6.9 billion fraud in the agency.
They were last Thursday arraigned before a Federal High Court in Lagos and are being prosecuted on a 21- count charge.
Abdusalam is charged alongside Nnamdi Udoh (still at large), Adegorite Olumuyiwa, Agbolade Segun, Clara Aliche, Joy Ayodele Adegorite, Randville Invesment Ltd and Multeng Travels and Tours Ltd. They were arraigned before Justice Babs Kuewumi.
Abioye insisted that the unions were happy at the developments in the agency, but, decried that since the arrest of Abdulsalam, there had been a lacuna in the system despite the appointment of an Ag. Managing Director for the agency by the government.
“That situation brought shame to the nation’s aviation industry. The unions had complained of several infractions in the agency over the years, but, all our complaints were thrown back at us for lack of evidence. Even, when we provide the government with evidences they asked us for, they still don’t act.
“We are happy at what is happening at NAMA, but there should not be a lacuna in the system. The government should bring in a substantive Managing Director for the agency. The Ag. Managing Director is incompetent because he complained that his hands tied”, he said.
He also alleged that most of the agencies in the sector are striving to pay staff salaries due to several corruption practices in the system, adding that succession plan had collapsed totally in the sector in the past 10 years.
By: Sade Williams