The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has reacted to the purported recruitment of 100 employees into the regulatory authority without seeking approval from the ministry of aviation, saying such information was untrue.
The Director General of NCAA, Captain Mukthar Usman in a statement said he only recently sought and obtained ministerial approval for the renewal of 45 aviation safety inspectors whose contract as staff of the authority had expired.
The request, he said became expedient to ensure that the regulatory authority is adequately staffed and well armed to provide a robust safety oversight as statutorily required.
Usman said: “In addition, this same ministerial approval was granted to director general’s request to proactively beef up staff strength in some critical areas in the Authority.
“These are Medical Assessors, Engineers, Air Traffic Controllers (ATC) and additional Aviation Safety Inspectors (ASI) – all totalling 33.”
Usman recalled that during Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) recertification and the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Audits part of the Open Items identified by the team was prerequisite technical manpower.
He said there was an impending International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) Universal Safety Oversight Audit Programme (USOAP) scheduled for November, 2015, which would require that the NCAA have the requisite personnel to discharge its oversight duties.
He said: “The request and ministerial approval obtained is to ensure that Nigeria possesses adequate manpower to come out in flying colours again.”
He also clarified issues arising from the non – payment of salaries to the staff that have been recalled and the outstanding employees yet to be recalled.
According to him, 113 applicants were employed before he assumed office. However, due to the impropriety of the employment the minister directed that they should be relieved of their appointments.
He said: After ceaseless agitations and representations the decision was rescinded and they were recalled.
“At the process of documentation, it was discovered that there were irregularities and proper procedure was not adhered to.
“The ministry therefore gave approval for a fresh interview for those who were not properly interviewed. After the exercise, those successful were recalled and have since commenced drawing salary from the authority. On the other hand, 47 others are yet to be regularised.
“The Authority is at the Federal Character Commission (FCC) for procedural confirmation. It is at the end of this that appointment letters will be issued to the candidates.”
By Pita Ochai