A massive retrenchment exercise was carried out at the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) on Wednesday by the Nigerian government.
A reliable source close to the agency revealed that Nigerian government sacked at least 22 management staff, including General Managers and Deputy General Managers but one, Managing Director Saleh Dunoma. He further stated that staff from the Ministry of Transport arrived at the agency early in the morning to distribute the letters to the affected staff. SaharaReporters
It was learnt that some of the General Managers that were not sacked by the government were heavily demoted. For instance, a General Manager on Grade Level 17 was demoted to 10, as was the agency’s Ag. Director of Finance.
SaharaReporters was informed that some of the affected General Managers graduated only in 2008 and 2010, but were placed on Levels 16 and 17 when they were brought into the system by a former Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah, about five years ago.
It was also gathered that under a new restructuring plan, the ministry might reduce the directorates in FAAN from its present 11 to six.
The demotion exercise followed a petition written to the then Ministry of Aviation by the industry unions who complained that personnel was improperly placed in the agency.
The petition led to the formation of a committee headed by the Head of Service, Winifred Oyo-Ita, while the President of the Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN), Comrade Benjamin Okewu, as a member.
The committee carried out what it termed ‘Operation show your certificate,’ where it was discovered that several personnel who were brought into the system did not have the required qualifications or experience to hold the critical positions they were given. It was also discovered that some of those employees even lacked letters of employments, having been engaged in the system by means of referral notes by highly-placed people in the government.
A letter was issued by the Ministry of Transport in June for the demotion of some of the personnel to levels 10, 12 and 14, but it was not effected due to the power play by some of the affected staff.
The government is said to be worried that FAAN’s overhead cost is about N800 million monthly