How conflicting signals from aviation unions on airline check-in are creating disaffection among workers

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Chinedu Eze

Aviation unions have fought against the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority’s (NCAA) plan to issue an Air Operator Certificate to the new carrier, NG Eagle.

While some unions have insisted that the new airline should not be allowed to operate because it is reborn from the ashes of Arik Air and has taken over its assets but is shirking its responsibilities; other unions insist that the new airline be allowed to operate.

The unions which opposed the issuance of a license to NG Eagle are: Association of Nigerian Aviation Professionals (ANAP) and Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, (FAAN) branch of the National Union of Pensioners (NUP).
Recently, the unions petitioned the House of Representatives Aviation Committee, which advised the NCAA to continue issuing the license until the CEO has met with the committee.

The National Assembly directive appears to have angered the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE), which on Monday issued a stern warning to the National Assembly, especially the House Committee on Aviation, to avoid NCAA activities. , claiming his recent comment amounted to political interference on security issues.
The NAAPE insisted that it was not for the National Assembly to determine who and when the regulator should issue the Air Operator’s Certificate (AOC) to applicants.

Three days ago, the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) called on the presidency to intervene in the simmering crisis of the non-issuance of the air operator certificate to NG Eagle, the airline envisaged by the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), saying this would avert the crisis that could potentially affect the industry, especially the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority.

The union notably called on the secretary of the government of the federation (SGF) and the chief of staff of the president (CoS) to intervene urgently on these issues and to facilitate an immediate ceasefire and to chart a course for progress. on sensitive issues.
In a conversation with reporters, NUATE Secretary General Ocheme Aba said the Association of Nigerian Aviation Professionals (ANAP) and the FAAN branch of the Nigerian Union of Retirees (NUP) have urged the NCAA not to issue AOC to start-up airline NG Eagle for fear Arik Air could turn into NG Eagle and thus escape its heavy indebtedness to FAAN and other aviation agencies.
There are also insinuations that the Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), the receiving manager of Arik Air, was using the airline’s assets to float NG Eagle.

Abba said the only quarterback that can end a chaotic end of Arik Air and stop “the NCAA desecration” was the presidency.
He also explained that the issue of Arik Air’s indebtedness to FAAN and NCAA was just a smokescreen, adding that the real issue was the policy of a new national carrier.

“The indications are that there is fear on the side of the Minister of Aviation that AMCON has positioned its new airline, NG Eagle, to metamorphose into a national carrier, as the Honorable Minister has worked during the last six years to create one which he named Nigeria Eagle.

“As AMCON and the department are both agencies of the federal government, there is clearly no possibility that the two airlines will operate side-by-side as national carriers. The fear is that if NG Eagle is successful, the Nigeria Eagle project will be abandoned. This means that one of the airlines has to pull out. This is, we understand, the crux of the matter, ”he said.

He insisted that this in no way minimized the importance of Arik’s debt to FAAN and others, adding rather that it suggested that there was an urgent need to find a solution to the “heavy heap of debt”. Arik.

“The above situation pitted FAAN and NCAA on the one hand against AMCON on the other. NCAA and FAAN are parastatals of the Federal Ministry of Aviation, while AMCON is a parastatal body of the Federal Ministry of Finance and is also overseen by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). The two ministers, the governor of the CBN and the heads of the other agencies are all senior officials in the executive branch of the Federal Government of Nigeria.

“Therefore, this executive fiasco hints at the executive’s failure to tidy up his house. Unfortunately, this paints a picture of a government at war with itself. And if this war is not over soon, we fear that the aviation sector of the national economy will suffer disastrous consequences, especially at this time when the sector is going through a heavy struggle with the serious negative effects of the pandemic. of coronavirus in decline. , “he explained.

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