Aviation workers protest against poor conditions of service

By Sumaila Ogbaje




By Sumaila Ogbaje

Abuja, Dec. 14, 2018 (NNN) Aviation workers under the aegis of National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) and Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN), on Friday, protested against “poor condition of service’’.

In the protest staged at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, the workers accused the National Salaries and Wages Commission (NSWC) of frustrating the review of their conditions of service for about 15 years.

The 3rd National Vice President of NUATE, Mr Chris Omagbemi, said that the protest was to sensitise the public, particularly air travellers to impending consequences if the condition of service was not approved.

Omagbemi explained that the protesting workers were drawn from Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet), Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) and Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB).

He said that the condition of service for NiMet had not been approved since 2003 while those of FAAN, NCAA, NAMA and AIB had been with the commission since 2001.

According to him, condition of service is supposed to be reviewed every five years but NSWC had refused to effect the review without any cogent reasons.

“The condition of service of all the aviation agencies have been held hostage by the commission and we are only sensitising the government and the general public to what is going on.

“Salaries and wages commission has become a demi-god, so people should know that if tomorrow the aviation workers decide to go on strike, they should know why.

“Before now, the commission said they would want to harmonise the allowances of FAAN, NAMA and NCAA but we have explained to them why that will not be possible because they have different specialisations.

“For that of NiMet, only God knows the reason because since 2003 they have been renewing it and the commission held it for just no reason.

“While the one of 2003 was with them, we renewed the one of 2008; they also held it and that of 2013 also, till date for no cogent reason,” he said.

Omagbemi said that the workers would take their protest to the commission and Ministry of Labour and Employment to press home their demands.
ATSSSAN Chairman, Mr Samuel Wuyep, said that the union would take a step further by shutting down operations in the airport if nothing was done to address the issue.

Wuyep said the union would make a statement during the 2019 general elections if their agitations were not resolved.

Mr Utori Sunday, a member of NUATE, said that the protest was to let the public to know that the unions had what it took to disrupt movement of materials for the 2019 elections.

According to him, if the union shuts down airports, election materials will not move.

“When we said they should answer us we mean business and they have no reason to hold our condition of service because everything has been done, safe for the approval by the wages commission,” he said. (NNN)



FG evacuates 360 Nigerians from Dubai, Pakistan



The Federal Government on Friday successfully evacuated 300 stranded Nigerians from Dubai, 56 others from Pakistan alongside four Pakistani in line with the new protocols for evacuation.

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, disclosed this via his verified Twitter handle @GeoffreyOnyeama.

“Eventually, 56 Nigerians and 4 Pakistanis were safely evacuated from Islamabad to Abuja on a chartered aircraft operated by TARCO AVIATION Co. Ltd.

“An Emirates flight from UAE conveying about 300 Nigerians is expected to land at about 3.55 p.m from Dubai,” Onyeama twitted.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the new protocol for evacuation requires all returnees to undergo the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) testing within 72 hours.

They are also expected to go into the 14-day self isolation.

Edited By: Modupe Adeloye/Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)
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General news

Gov. Ortom inaugurates Benue Assembly Service Commission



Gov. Samuel Ortom of Benue on Tuesday inaugurated the State House of Assembly Service Commission.

Ortom, while inaugurating the commission in Makurdi said, it was to ensure smooth administration and running of the House including recruitment, promotion and discipline of staff.

He enjoined members to be guided by the extant laws governing the commission and also charged them to be committed, conscientious and patriotic in all their dealings with the staff and the public.

He thanked the lawmakers, particularly the Speaker, Mr Titus Uba for the expeditious approval of the commission members.

He listed members of the commission to include, Dr Sylvester Atachin as Chairman, Mr Benjamin Dowgo, while Mr Terseer Tsumba, Mr Avine Agbom and Mr Ezekiel Adaji will serve as members.

“As pioneers, you have the task of laying the foundation on which future the commission members would build.

“You have been appointed based on your previous experience, competence and adherence to the doctrine of fair representation.

“It is important to note too that your appointment is a four-year mandate, which may only be renewed once.

“Let me emphasise that the commission cannot afford to function as an island, but shall have a harmonious working relationship with the National Assembly Commission, the State Civil Service Commission and the leadership of the House among others for optimal results,”he said.

He expressed happiness that a milestone has been achieved during his tenure as governor of the state and under the leadership of Uba as speaker.

“It is my belief, therefore that the autonomy of the legislature is for administrative convenience and will not stop us from continuing to work together in harmony.

“As a matter of fact, it should accentuate the mutual respect and co-operation between the two arms of government for the overall good of Benue people and the nation,”he said.

Atachin thanked the governor for finding them worthy of the appointment and pledged members  unflinching support for his administration.

Edited By: Remi Koleoso/Ali Baba-Inuwa (NAN)
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Naira Marley: Aviation minister suspends executive Jet Service



Minister of Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, has ordered the suspension of a private airline, Executive Jet Services, from operating in the country with immediate effect.

The airline had conveyed musician Azeez Fashola, popularly known as Naira Marley, to Abuja for a musical concert in defiance of the restrictions on inter-state movement over COVID-19 pandemic.

The minister announced the suspension of the local airline during the daily briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 in Abuja on Monday.

“The return flight that conveyed the musician to and from Abuja was originally approved by the Ministry of Aviation to convey Justice Adefope Okojie.

“An approval that was fraudulently used by the airline charter company,” Sirika said.

He said the conduct of the Executive Jet Services was a gross violation of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 regulations and protocols which allowed only flights on essential services.

“As much as government would encourage the operation and growth of all operators in the aviation industry, it would not condone actions that undermine government policies and constitute risks to public interests,” he said.

Edited By: Tayo Ikujuni/Maharazu Ahmed (NAN)
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Kaduna State Fire Service records 7 deaths from 79 fire outbreaks in 3 months



The Kaduna State Fire Service said on Monday that seven persons lost their lives during the 79 fire outbreaks it recorded between April and June.

Mr Paul Aboi, the Director Fire Service, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Kaduna.

According to him, 14 persons were rescued, 12 sustained injuries while seven persons lost their lives within the period.

He however said the fire service could not ascertain what triggered most of the fire incidents, but attributed the remote causes to negligence.

Aboi said that outdated wiring often caused systems to overload and start electrical fires.

“If a home is over 20 years old, it may not have the wiring capacity to handle the increased amounts of electrical appliances in todays average home, such as computers, wide-screen television sets, microwaves and air conditioners,” he said.

The director advised residents of the state to install circuit breakers which would cut off power supply when overloaded by too much electricity.

He noted that the quick intervention of the service during fire outbreaks was dependent on how fast the office was notified.

The director also disclosed that the service was able to meet its response time in recent times due to COVID-19 lockdown imposed in the state.

“Due to the lockdown we were able to meet our response time of seven minutes as there was no traffic on the roads.”

Aboi advised residents of the state to be very careful with their electrical appliances and always disconnect them from power sources when they were not in use.

Edited By: Ejike Obeta (NAN)
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