Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, has given aviation agencies under the Ministry 45 days to relocate their corporate headquarters to the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja.
This, according to the Minister, is to ensure efficient and effective coordination and enhanced service delivery, as well as reduce the cost of governance.
The proposal is expected to ignite a fresh labour war as Aviation unions have jointly rejected the proposal, insisting the conditions to be fulfilled before the relocation are yet to be implemented.
Some stakeholders have equally kicked against it arguing that Lagos remains the centre of Aviation and almost 80 per cent of flights emanate from Lagos, the commercial nerve centre of the country.
Daily Trust reports that past efforts to relocate the headquarters to Abuja by previous governments have met brickwall.
It would be recalled that when the idea was also mooted during the era of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, the ex-president rejected the idea on the ground that Lagos is the centre of Aviation.
Besides all Aviation service providers, airlines, ground handling arms are domiciled in Lagos.
But in a letter dated 4th May, 2020 FMA/PMD/7061/T/4 and signed by the Director, Human Resource Management, Alhaji Mohammad Shehu on behalf of the Minister of Aviation sighted by our correspondent, the Minister argued that the relocation order is based on the premise of the current global economic situation and reducing cost of governance.
The letter captioned, Relocation of Aviation Agencies to Abuja read: “I am directed to remind you of a Presidential directive issued in 2012 requesting all the agencies under the Ministry of Aviation to relocate their corporate headquarters to the Federal Capital Territory (Abuja) for efficient and effective coordination and enhanced service delivery and note that eight (8) years after the directive, the agencies are yet to comply.
“Accordingly, considering the current situation and the economic impact worldwide as well as the need to reduce the cost of governance and manage scarce resources in a sustainable way, it has become imperative and further to the honorable Minister’s directive (Copy attached) to request that you facilitate and complete the relocation of your corporate headquarters within the next forty five (45) days in line with this earlier directive.”
The agencies whose corporate headquarters are affected by the order are, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) and the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB).