• Wednesday, April 24, 2024
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BusinessDay

NAMA staff lockout: NATCA calls for aviation ministry intervention

As the crisis between the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) continues, the Nigeria Air Traffic Controllers’ Association (NATCA) has called on the Ministry of Aviation and Aerospace Development to intervene.

NATCA, speaking through Abayomi Agoro, its President in Lagos, warned that the repeat of locking out Air Traffic Controllers (ATCs) or any other member of staff of NAMA by Aviation Security (AVSEC), a department in FAAN may lead to industrial unrest.

AVSEC had on Wednesday at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja locked out some ATCs of NAMA and staff of the agency for not been in possession of current On-Duty-Cards (ODCs).

Apart from the ATCs, operational vehicles of NAMA were also barred from entering the restricted areas of the airport based on the alleged expiration of access permit.

This action led to flight delays, while some passengers were stranded for about three hours.

Agoro, regretted that it was not the first time NAMA staff would be locked out of their workplace over ODC issue, but insisted that the renewal of the card lies with FAAN, which the agency had failed to do.

No fewer than 20 NAMA staff were affected by this lockout on Wednesday.

Agoro explained that in a bid to forestall the embarrassments, it was necessary for the ministry to intervene by setting up a committee.

He also appealed to FAAN to always consult its data base for the capturing of its members for ODCs.

He said: “FAAN has a responsibility to ensure that everyone has unhindered access to their workplace. The operational vehicles were denied access to the airport.

“This is not the first time that AVSEC will behave in such a manner with us, but we want a permanently stop to it. We want the Ministry of Aviation and Aerospace Development to intervene in this matter and tell FAAN to do the right thing.

“Anytime NAMA is asked to produce the names of its eligible staff by FAAN, FAAN should do it early and inform them of every stages of the process. FAAN has no right to deny people their ODCs and still deny them access to work.

“To forestall all these embarrassments or whatever, the ministry should set up a body to investigate FAAN and NAMA operations and their activities. FAAN has a responsibility to ensure that everyone has unhindered access to their workplace.”