Nigeria FG to probe 3,000 illegal jobs in aviation

Indications have emerged that the Nigerian Federal Government is set to probe the recruitment of about 3,000 jobs allegedly done without due process between 2011 and 2013 in the aviation industry.

A source who spoke on condition of anonymity told Punchng in Lagos on Tuesday that circulars had been sent to the chief executive officers of agencies within the ministry, notifying them of an impending verification exercise.

A director in one of the agencies also hinted that as many as a thousand workers could be affected by the exercise, as government is prepared to give attention to technical areas of operations said to be understaffed.

The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, the Accident Investigation Bureau, the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency and the Nigerian Meteorological Agency are some of the agencies listed for the exercise.

According to the source, the verification exercise may lead to the sacking of many workers whose qualifications do not meet the criteria laid down for the positions they currently occupy.

He said the impending probe was fuelled by concerns in the government circle over the dearth of skilled professionals in virtually all the agencies.

About 2,000 people were reportedly employed as support workers within the period under review while vacancies for positions such as air traffic engineers, aircraft inspectors and air traffic controllers were left unfilled.

SUNDAY PUNCH gathered that many of the new recruits, who were fresh graduates and, in some instances, with less than six years experience, got promoted over and above those who had served the agencies for years.

Air traffic controllers, under the aegis of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, had recently raised the alarm over the shortage of ATCs in the country.

At various times also, there have been complaints of shortage of aircraft inspectors at the NCAA, a situation that is putting immense pressure on the agency in terms of oversight functions.

Responding to the impending shake-up, stakeholders have expressed their delight, saying that the government’s action would be good for the industry and correct a lot of things that were handled wrongly.

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