Merger in aviation industry will compromise safety--Unions
Unions in the aviation industry say the planned merger of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMET) and the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority(NCAA) will compromise safety in the sector.
Rising from an emergency meeting in Lagos yesterday, all three unions - the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE) and Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSAN) said the decision would compromise safety and make foreign airlines avoid Nigeria’s airspace.
At a joint press conference, Mohammed Safiyanu, the National President of NUATE said:”This merger will clearly compromise safety of the Nigerian Aviation Industry. For instance, if NAMA violates safety procedure, who will reprimand NAMA after it is merged with NCAA? Same with NIMET. Who oversees NIMET when it is merged with NCAA? The global practice is that you have a standalone regulator of the industry. This decision is retrogressive and will take us 15 years backward”.
He also noted that the critical stakeholders in the aviation sector were not consulted before the decision was taken.
Also, Comrade Benjamin Okewu, the president of ATSSAN, noted that the decision would make the Nigerian aviation industry a pariah one. He said NiMET provides just about 10 percent of its services to aviation. Ocheme Aba, Secretary General NAAPE, said the decision is a mistake and should be corrected. “We won’t fight government but we will engage government constructively to make them see reasons. We will also engage the National Assembly and make them see reasons why they shouldn’t approve the merger”, he said.