By ORU LEONARD
The Federal Government of Nigeria has put in place a policy to regulate the engagement of expatriate in the Aviation Sector.
The Minister of State, Aviation Sector Hadi Sirika disclosed this recently when members of the Joint Aviation Trade Unions and Professional Associations Forum (Head of the different trade union in the aviation sector) visited him in his office in Abuja recently.
The Minister said with the policy on ground, the only areas where expatriates will be engaged will be areas where there is no licensed Nigeria professionals to handle.
Senator Sirika said, this policy will help to engage the Nigerian teeming professionals who do not have jobs’. He added that the Nigerian Government s eager to do what is correct and proper to develop the aviation industry. Furthermore, he said, there is no reason why we cannot fix aviation now as he, a seasoned aviator heads the industry in Nigeria and three other Nigerians(President, General Secretary and Second Vice President) at the leadership of ICAO Council, the highest aviation body in the world.
The Minister also said that the establishment of a National Carrier was on course and that soon as necessary approvals are given, the deal will be done.
Concerning NCAT, Sirika said upgrade of the school is ongoing, he mentioned it’s status as a regional Centre of Excellence and approval of Automated Fire and Smoke Simulator as part of the upgrade.
Senator Hadi Sirika added that the construction of a second runway was on course as preliminary consultations are on. He said monies was budgeted for it in 2017 budget and that the 2018 budget will also make a provision for the Runway which in government thinking will done before the expiration of this government term in 2019.
Sirika assured the Union leaders that labour matters will be addressed during concession in the most humane manner; thereby allay the fears of the Union that their members will be negatively affected.
While appreciating their comportment and concerns relating to development of the aviation industry, the Minister pledge to regularly meet with the unions to discuss issues that will help the development of the industry.
He also said he was disposed to constructive criticism which will allow him know areas of concern. He promised to appoint a desk officer in the ministry to deal with labour Issues.
The Chairman, Joint Aviation Trade Unions and Professional Associations Forum, Barr. Safiyanu Daudu Mohammed who spoke earlier said the visit of the Joint Trade Unions was to foster partnership with the government to see how best to fix and move aviation sector forward. He said he was glad that minister, advisers and CEOs of the aviation agencies are all aviators.
The Chairman added that the unions ‘was also to know the vision of the Minister on improvement of the Airports in Nigeria and to present to the minister the Union’s observations concerning concession agreements and their workability in the industry, and how these agreements will affect members of the different unions.
The chairman however said the Unions were in total support of the establishment of a National Carrier by the government.
Barrister. Safiyanu concluded by appreciating the minister for his disposition towards them and enjoin the minister to continue, while pledging their cooperation to the minister