• Thursday, June 13, 2024
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Aviation group condemns last-minute changes by Sirika

HURIWA calls for legal action on former aviation minister over Nigeria Air fraud

The Aviation Safety Roundtable (ART), an aviation-based non-governmental organization established to advocate Air Safety has described the last-minute changes of Hadi Sirika, the aviation minister as capricious, despicable and unwarranted in the twilight of the Buhari administration.

The in a statement on Monday signed by Olumide Ohunayo, secretary ART said it condemns the change of name of the Federal Ministry of Aviation to that of the Federal Ministry of Aviation and Aerospace purportedly approved by the outgoing Federal Executive Council.

The group said it was convinced that the annexation of the underfunded National Aerospace Research Development Agency (NASRDA) into the Ministry of Aviation would impede the appreciable progress so far made by NASRDA under its parent ministry – the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology.

It further opined that the Centre for Space Transportation and Propulsion whose activities include the sustenance of rapid advances in propulsion systems and rocket science should not be impeded by the Ministry of Aviation’s operations.

“This deliberate attempt to muster the NASRDA under a Ministry that the Minister of Aviation is about to leave only creates organizational confusion for the incoming administration. The ART believes that the Aviation Ministry is already under stress with the existing workload and the departure of capable hands and is not equipped to handle the additional function of Space Research and Administration.

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“The ART believes that the nation will benefit tremendously if the Nigerian space agency remains an independent but properly funded organization with the inclusion of the Minister of Aviation or his representative on its governing Board alongside other ministerial appointees as provided in Section 2 of the NASRDA Act.

“The ART could have rated the tenure of the outgoing Minister a total failure but for the fact that he did appoint capable and qualified individuals to run the various departments and agencies under him. These astute professionals in our view discharged their duties creditably well in spite of the Ministerial bottlenecks placed on their paths,” Ohunayo stated.

According to him, the eight solid years the Minister of Aviation appropriated the required governance structure under his personal control by neglecting to appoint the statutory Governing Boards required to ease the functions of the agencies and parastatals under him.

He said the ART is of the opinion that this amongst other actions taken by the Minister regressed rather than grow the organizations, adding that the minister’s direct control resulted in transactional rather than functional operation of the agencies, thereby impeding their progress and rating.

He said the minister through his micromanagement activities has further demonstrated the need to scrap the Ministry of Aviation and place the various departments with proper governance structures back in the Ministry of Transport while granting independence to the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority under the appropriate internationally recognised structures for regulating the Nigerian aviation sector to achieve global best practices.

He said Nigerian aviation requires strong institutions with solid processes and systems rather than strongmen.

“The ART equally frowns at any decision of the Minister to appoint a new Director General, Managing Directors or Directors with barely ten days to the eve of the new administration, thereby foreclosing the opportunity for new presidential appointees that will be more suited to the agenda of the incoming administration.

“The ART is of the view that a more appropriate action would have been to nominate a new candidate for appointment by the incoming Minister and there is nothing wrong in extending for a further 30 days, the term of the existing Managing Director and Directors on a transitional basis, to enable the new administration pick the men/ woman to driver their agenda.

“It is the hope of the ART that the incoming President will attend to these challenges expeditiously,” the secretary stated.