It was a gloomy day today at the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) as the Federal Government approved the sack of all the directors in the regulatory agency.
No fewer than 10 directors were unexpectedly sacked from their duty posts by the government.
Our correspondent learnt from a source in NCAA that the Director-General of the NCAA, Capt. Muhtar Usman conveyed the sack message to the affected directors in a meeting at the agency’s headquarters at the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos.
A source close to the meeting confided in our correspondent that Usman had called for a meeting with all the directors who were in the dark about what was to befall them, but in the course of the meeting, he broke the news of the disengagement to them.
Those affected are Engr. Benedict Adeyileka (Director of Airworthiness), Mr. Justus Wariya (Director of Air Transport Regulation), Alhaji Adamu Abdullahi (Director of Consumer Protection), Capt. Ayodele Sasegbon (Director of General Aviation and Mr. Austin-Amadi Ifeanyi (Director of Human Resources).
Others are Alhaji Salawu Ozigi (Director of Finance and Accounts), Dr. Joyce Nkemakolam (Director of Aerodrome and Airspace Standards), Barr. Aba Ejembi (Director of Administration) and Mr. Emmanuel Ogunbami (Director of Licensing).
The General Manager, Public Affairs, NCAA, Mr. Sam Adurogboye in a telephone interview with our correspondent, confirmed the sack of all the directors but declined to give details when pressed further.He simply said: It is true that all the directors have been disengaged, but I don’t have details of their disengagement.” However, a source close to NCAA confided in our correspondent that the relationship between Usman and his directors had been frosty in the past one year. The source told our correspondent that most of the directors had overtime complained about his managerial style, which they were not comfortable with and had confronted him severally.
The source alleged that the directors specifically told him to sit more in the office and attend to more safety matters, rather than junketing around the world with the Sirika.
Our correspondent gathered that this did not go down well with Usman who then vowed to ensure their removal through the ministry.
The source said: “The relationship between Usman and his directors has not been rosy in the past one year because they challenged him on his frequent stay out of office. He saw this as an affront and decided to deal with them.
“In fact, he specifically told Sirika that he was no longer comfortable with the directors and feared that if they still remained in the saddle, some of the shady deals perpetuated in recent time with Sirika would come to the open.”
All the sacked directors were political appointees.