Buhari sacks, replaces heads of aviation agencies
•Stakeholders divided over intent
The Federal Government yesterday sacked heads of four aviation parastatals in continuation of the restructuring plan of the air travel industry.Those affected are the Acting Managing Director of Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Emma Anasi; Director-General of Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET), Dr. Anthony Anuforum; Rector of the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), Zaria, Capt. Samuel Caulcrick and Commissioner, Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB), Dr. Felix Abali.
The development, though long in coming, has however put some of the agencies in panic mode, as more sack orders are still been expected.Stakeholders, who reacted to the news yesterday, either lauded it as a step in the right direction or simply described it an ethnic kite, as all the affected heads were from the south.
President Muhammadu Buhari immediately approved their replacements. Consequently, Captain Fola Akinkuotu emerged new Managing Director of NAMA; Professor Sani Abubakar Mashi for NIMET; Captain Abdulsalam Mohammed as Rector of NCAT while Engr. Akinola Olateru was appointed AIB boss.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Aviation, Sabiu Zakari, said the sack was with immediate effect just as the fresh appointments.The shake-up, however, left the Managing Director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Saleh Dunoma and the Director General of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Captain Usman Mukhar untouched.
The doyen of the industry, Capt. Dele Ore, said the shake-up was long over due, as regulation had been poor.Ore said the current situation needed the exit of a lot of people that have contributed little or nothing, though have served all 11 past ministers.
Zakari described Akinkuotu as a seasoned fransport pilot, flight and aircraft maintenance engineer, airline chief executive and a trained aviation industry regulator. He was also a former Director General of the NCAA.