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Four years after, Sirika fails to inaugurate board of directors into aviation agencies despite appointments

Four years after the current administration came onboard in the sector, Hadi Sirika, the Minister Aviation is yet to inaugurate board of directors into respective agencies, despite their appointments and approvals.

About two years ago, President Muhammadu Buhari had approved the appointment of board of directors to five out of the six agencies in the sector, while Adams Oshiomhole, Chairman, All Progressives Congress (APC) also gave a deadline for the inauguration of the board members over a year ago, but in spite of the approvals and directives, Sirika was yet to inaugurate the board members.

The agencies with board of directors, according to the Acts setting them up are the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT).

Others are the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMET) and the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), while Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) does not have a board of directors.

It was gathered that the Act setting up NCAA stipulated the appointment of professionals as Chairman and members of the board, as well as representatives from three ministries.

A source close to the Ministry of Aviation, over the weekend said that the inauguration of the boards was stalled by Sirika, claiming that their compositions and appointments negated the Acts setting up some of the agencies.

It was learnt that the minister said that the Acts establishing the agencies stipulated the qualification of the persons to be appointed into the boards, a requirement he alleged the Federal Government did not allegedly consider when announcing their compositions.

Besides, another source in one of the agencies, confided in our correspondent that “some people in the ministry are not comfortable with having a board to direct their affairs, rather, they want to be the only ones regulating and controlling activities in the agencies without supervision.”

Also, the agency source added that if the composition of the appointees negated the Acts setting up some of the agencies as claimed by the minister, he ought to have officially met with the appropriate authorities to address the perceived challenge in the composition, saying that the minister had always been reluctant to inaugurate the board members.

Some of the stakeholders said that the non-inauguration of the boards would have a grave effective on the agencies as the Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) had a limit of what they could spend without recourse to the board of directors.

Olayinka Abioye, the immediate past General Secretary of the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) said that the non-inauguration of the boards indicated that something was actually wrong in the sector.

He insisted that since the Acts setting up the agencies stipulated that they should have board of directors, arguing that the minister ought to have set them up the boards immediately they were appointed.

He purported the minister may have willfully delayed their inauguration in order to continue to have influence on the agencies.

He said: “The implication is that the minister wants to still control the happenings in the parastatals. You are aware that by the Acts establishing these agencies, they are supposed to report to a board and in the absence of a board, the minister takes charge. So, if the minister has the audacity to set aside the directive of Mr. President, it goes to show that something is definitely wrong with our system.”

Besides, John Ojikutu aviation analyst in a recent interview, observed that it was not the first time the directive of Buhari would not be implemented by the ministry.

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