A marching order has been given to all aviation agencies operating in Lagos airport to relocate their headquarters to Abuja within 45 days.
The order, according to the Minister of Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, is aimed at cutting cost of governance by the Federal Government.
Persecondnews recalls that currently, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) and the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) have their headquarters in Lagos.
Two other key parastatal agencies under the ministry already have their headquarters in Abuja and Kaduna — The Nigerian Meteorological Agency’s headquarters in Abuja, while the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology is in Zaria, Kaduna State.
A circular issued on behalf of the minister, the agencies were reminded that the the directive to move to Abuja was given by ex-President Goodluck Jonathan in 2012.
The circulated dated May 4, 2020 with reference FMA/PMD/7061/T/4 and signed on behalf of Sirika by the Director, Human Resource Management, FMA, Muhammad Shehu, said: ”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 years after the directive, the agencies are yet to comply.”
It said it was imperative for the agencies to heed the order following the economic realities globally.
“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 minister’s directive to request that you facilitate and complete the relocation of your corporate headquarters within the next 45 days in line with this earlier directive.”
Some workers of the affected agencies, however, received the order with mixed feelings, saying “asking us to relocate from Lagos to Abuja during this COVID-19 pandemic is unfair as it violates the interstate movement lockdown order.
They also said no mobilisation fund has been provided for the movement.
The staff members also complained that some of the offices in Abuja were still under reconstruction and that Lagos still require more staff as over 60 per cent flight operations in the country take place at Murtala Muhammed Airport.