5 March 2014

Nigeria: Jonathan Fires Heads of Aviation Agencies, Appoints New Bosses

Photo: The Nation
A Delta Airlines plane.

The wind of sack blowing through the aviation ministry yesterday consumed some more heads of parastatals.

President Goodluck Jonathan dropped the managing directors of four parastatals in the ministry, in what the Presidency referred to as a "reorganisation."

A statement from the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation said Jonathan removed the Managing Director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) Mr. George Uriesi, Managing Director of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) Nnamdi Udoh and the Rector of the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT) Zaria, Mrs Chinyere Kalu.

Also affected is the Director General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) Capt Fola C. Akinkuotu who is fairly new in office.

The SGF's statement, signed by his spokesman Sam Nwaobasi, said Capt Mukhtar Usman has been replaced as Commissioner, Accident Investigation and Prevention Bureau (AIPB). Usman is now the Director General of NCAA.

Engr. Saleh Dumona (Director Projects, FAAN) is to replace Mr. Uriesi as Managing Director of FAAN while Engr. Ibrahim Abdulsalam (General Manager, Procurements, NAMA) replaces Engr. Udoh as MD of NAMA.

Also, Capt. Samuel Akinyele Caulcrick (Government Safety Inspector & ICAO Focal Point for Nigeria Online Aircraft Safety Information Systems, OASIS) is to replace Capt. Chinyere Kalu as Rector of NCAT while Dr. Engr. Felix A. Abali (Director Licencing, NCAA) is the new Commissioner of AIPB.

Engr. Benedict Adeyileka will be acting as DG of NCAA pending the confirmation of Usman as substantive DG by the Senate.

Dr. Tony Anuforo retains his position as Director-General of the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMMET). He is serving his second term.

Uriesi was appointed as Director of Airport Operations in FAAN in January 2010 and subsequently as Managing Director/CEO in October 2011. He had just done about two and half years in office for a tenure of four years.

Engr. Udoh was appointed Managing Director/Chief Executive of NAMA by the President Jonathan on 4 October, 2011. He too spent just about two and half years into his four-year tenure.

Captain Akinkuotu, the sacked DG NCAA, was confirmed by the Senate as the Director General in July 2013.

Mrs. Chinyere Kalu, for her part, was also appointed to NCAT on October 4, 2011. She had just served for two and half years out of a tenure of four years.

There was public outrage over the controversial purchase of two BMW cars worth N255 million by the NCAA for then-Minister of Aviation Stella Oduah when the lid blew open last year.

After investigations by the National Assembly and a committee set up by President Jonathan indicted her, Oduah was eventually removed as minister.

The sacked heads of parastatals worked with Ms. Oduah during her tenure which witnessed two plane crashes which killed close to 200 people and several near-misses.

On June 3 2012, a Dana Air aircraft which left Abuja crashed in Lagos with over 163 people killed, while on October 3 2013, 13 people died in aircraft owned by Associated Airlines when it crashed few minutes after takeoff from the Lagos airport.

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