Merger in avi­a­tion in­dus­try will com­pro­mise safety--Unions

Daily Trust - - NEWS - From Chris Agabi, La­gos

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.

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