BY SAHARA REPORTERS, NEW YORK
There is growing disenchantment in the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) over a recent displacement of some staff members at the insistence of the Federal Government.
Sources close to the agency told SaharaReporters that a committee led by the Head of Service of the Federation had recommended no fewer than 50 personnel to be either demoted or placed in appropriate positions in the agency, but only 29 of them were eventually affected by the rejig.
According to a source, some of the staff penciled down for either demotion or outright sack by the committee were shielded by powerful forces in the agency as well as the Ministry of Transport. Some of them were posted outside the Lagos office of the agency to shield them from being sacked or demoted.
The Winifred Oyo-Ita-led committee on restructuring had recommended proper placement of personnel in all the aviation agencies. Some of the general managers were said not to have requisite qualifications for the sensitive positions they held, while others, including deputy general managers, were said to have left universities less than 12 years ago and could not have gained the experience required for the office they held.
The FAAN source alleged that the committee itself did not follow Civil Service rules in carrying out its exercise, stressing that rather than it looking at work experience, it depended on year of graduation in coming to its recommendations.
The source specifically accused Director of Human Resources, Hajia Salamatu Umar-Eluma, of allegedly shielding some staff members. She was also accused of encouraging manipulation of the quota system by some of her protégées when the quota for their original states had been exhausted, thereby denying indigenes of affected states their employment due.
It was said that one Hillary Omunna, Head of Operations in FAAN on Grade Level 16, who was recommended for outright sack, was demoted by one level to GL 15. Also, the General Manager, Servicom, General Aviation Terminal (GAT), Mrs. Uju Eze, who the committee recommended for demotion to GL 9, was demoted by only one grade to GL 14. She was also accused of backdating her letter to January 2015.
Also, one Miss Ojale, Landside Manager, Lagos Airport, reportedly escaped the demotion exercise. So also the Deputy General Manager, Advert, Mr. Victor Egu. In similar vein, one Ebere Enechukwu was demoted to GL 14 from GL 15, rather than GL 12 as recommended by the Oyo-Ita committee.
The source also cited Njoku Benedict Ibe with staff number 011075, who was allegedly employed without due process in 2013 and placed on GL 13, even though without any work experience.
SaharaReporters learnt that despite the recent purge in FAAN, more personnel are being employed and are placed between GL 10 and GL 14, despite the fact that the management had claimed there was no vacancy in the agency.
It was recently gathered that no fewer than 70 workers were employed in FAAN and posted to several stations, whereas those due for promotion were not promoted due to an alleged paucity of funds.
The source said: “Not much was achieved with the recent improper placement exercise in FAAN. Most of those that were recommended to be sacked or demoted by the committee were not affected by the purge. In order to escape the exercise, some people in the agency ensured that some of them were redeployed to outstations and till date, they are still in the system.
“Meanwhile, there are some senior staff in FAAN who had sat for promotional exams and passed, but were not promoted because the management claimed that it has no fund to give to them. In fact, the management is encouraging them to seek for transfer outside the station, but without monetary attachment. Some of them have agreed to move out of station in order to be promoted.”