The National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN) Nigeria Aviation Professionals (ANAP) and National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE) have stressed the importance of having an enduring Conditions of Service (CoS) in place for the workers of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).

According to the unions, the present condition of service has outlived its usefulness, hence, outdated.

Chairman of NUATE, Comrade Drisu Musa, while stressing that three circles of revision of the CoS had been lost, added that the parameters and indices used are no longer tenable.

Describing the present CoS as an empty shell of a snail with nothing inside, Musa declared that as a matter of urgency, a committee should be constituted for a revision of the present CoS and given a timeline of about two months to kick tart the process and complete the job.

The unions used the opportunity to raise concerns over what they called the unrealistic monies paid for both local and air transport while embarking on training, which they said contradicted the subsidy removal which has aggravated the present situation.

According to Comrade Musa, while air transport has become expensive with return tickets going as high as N300,000 or more depending on the routes, even with fares on the international routes costing more, adding that, as it is today, the removal of fuel subsidy has worsened the whole thing”.

He stated that, as training needs are currently being compiled for the year, the unions would write a memo and submit to management outlining demands and urging prompt action.

Comrade Musa who lamented how workers’ salaries can no longer afford them a comfortable apartment both in Lagos and elsewhere, described the situation as worse for their colleagues who have relocated to Abuja.

‘’The second issue of the rent is very, very unrealistic, I don’t know where our salary of N400,000 or N500,000 today can get us an apartment in Lagos, not to talk about some of our colleagues who have been relocated to Abuja. So we are saying that effective from this January management should put their acts together to see a living, an enduring and conducive housing allowance formulated for the staff of the NCAA. These are the issues, unions don’t like to go on strike, we know the consequences of strike, but when things are supposed to be done and it is not done that’s the reason for strikes and we call on management to, as a matter of urgency give us a housing allowance that is sustainable’’.

On promotion of staff, the unions, while condemning stagnation of staff on grade levels 15-17 without promotion, Musa stated: ‘According to our extant rules, January 1st should be the day I should be promoted. We will no longer wait for promotions to be deferred to December. Whatever it is, they should put their heads together, we will no longer accept our promotion right being violated, we are not going to take it’’.

The unions unanimously appealed to President Bola Tinubu led administration to exempt the NCAA from the 40% deductions from internally generated revenues, citing impacts of such deductions on oversight functions of the agency and the staff wellbeing.

According to the unions, the NCAA is not a revenue generating agency but a cost recovery agency and thus with the waiver granted to other government agencies on these deductions, NCAA should also enjoy it.

‘’The NCAA is not a revenue generating agency and what we do is cost recovery. Aeronautical charges all over the world is not revenue, it is for the NCAA to run the affairs of the CAA in the interest of safety of flight operations. Tell them, they should remove us from the 40% deductions. These 40% deductions have affected our oversight functions and the well-being of our staff. Just as they have done in certain quarters, the NCAA should also be given that waiver”, the unions add

The NUATE leader emphasised how the Single Treasury Account (TSA) of the government is doing a lot of damage to the system and the NCAA, saying ‘’If an operator wants to use a simulator facility abroad, they approach the NCAA and then charge them so that our inspectors can go, unfortunately as soon as they pay in the TSA, 40 percent of that to facilitate that journey is removed as they consider it as revenue. Please, we are appealing to the Federal Government under President Tinubu to remove the NCAA in the interest of safety and security of flight operations from the TSA.”

The labour leaders also highlighted the crucial role of the Board of Directors to the agency and thus demand for the urgent constitution of boards for NCAA and other aviation industry agencies.

‘’The importance of Board of directors in the life of parastatals cannot be overemphasized, let me tell you for instance, in the case of agitation in terms of improvement to promote our industry, it is the function of the Board. The unions don’t need to run to the budget office, ministry of finance, the board members are competent in that area. We are demanding as a matter of urgency that the FG should constitute a board for the NCAA and other agencies in the aviation Industry’’.

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