Aviation professionals raise alarm of impending air crashes over alleged appointments of incompetent persons into key positions
Professionals in the industry have raised an alarm of impending air crashes in the country.
This alarm is coming barely 24 hours after the Minister of Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika carried out some changes in the sector.
Two professional bodies in the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (Nimet); Professional Meteorologists Association of Nigeria (PMAN) and Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals (ANAP) in a joint letter, dated May 24, 2023, declared that most of those appointed in key positions in the agencies were incompetent and warned that this may spell doom for the sector.
Mr. Kalu Onumah and Bisi Adegbenjo, Chairman and Secretary, respectively, signed on behalf of PMAN, while Folorunsho Daniel and Jacob Bwala, Chairman and Secretary, ANAP signed on behalf of the association.
The two bodies, specifically alleged that the appointment of Daniel Okafor and Charles Anosike to the positions of Director of Weather Forecasting and Applied Meteorological Services, respectively may affect the recent safety enjoyed in the sector, claiming that they lacked the wherewithal to man the key positions they have been appointed.
They insisted that the appointment of these individuals by Sirika, showed that the former minister lacked the capacity and intellectual ability to comprehend the sciences of meteorology, stressing that the “two appointments to these critical directorates depicts that very soon, planes would start falling off from the sky.”
The groups claimed that the appointment of the two, was an attempt to sabotage the incoming government in the industry.
The group said: “From the meteorology professionals and the union, we recognise that this singular attempt is to sabotage the incoming government to fail in the aviation sector.
“The two new appointed directors do not have the minimum qualification of meteorology to handle the office. In fact, they do not qualify to be on Level 8 in the meteorological cadre.
“After a recent meeting by critical professionals in the agency, they have decided to take this malfunction appointment to the incoming administration on the looming catastrophe in the aviation sector. Also, the professional meteorologists have equally informed the union in the sector on a Save Our Soul (SOS) signal on this appointment.”
The meteorologists in the letter, rejected the appointments of the two and threatened to embark on a nationwide protest to press home their demand.
According to the group, Okafor for instance was engaged in contract scams for Sirika, maintaining that he was brought into the system by the former minister and put in the critical safety department of Nimet, even without the requisite experience.
They also accused the Nimet management of giving out ambiguous and sham contracts to the cronies of the minister, alleging that the agency was mis-appropriating funds and legitimising impunity and fraudulent contract scams.
They alleged that Sirika reduced Nimet to an arm of his private company with all sense of impunity and violating public service.
They also accused the Director-General of Nimet of being the conduit pipe for Sirika in the last eight years and appealed to the next administration to critically look into the activities in the agency to prevent it from total collapse.