President Muhammadu Buhari, yesterday approved the appointments of new heads of aviation parastatals.
The appointment was announced in an official statement signed by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Aviation, Sabiu Zakari on behalf of Honourable Minister of State, Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika.
The statement reads in part “President Muhammadu Buhari; GCFR has approved the following appointments: Captain Fola C. Akinkuotu as Managing Director, Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA)”.
Captain Akinkuotu is a seasoned Transport Pilot, Flight and Aircraft Maintenance Engineer, Airline Chief Executive and a trained Aviation Industry Regulator.
According to the statement, Professor Sani Abubakar Mashi has also been appointed as Director-General, Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET)
A Professor of Geography with specialty in Environmental Application of Remote Sensing, Professor Mashi is currently a Deputy Vice Chancellor at the University of Abuja
While Captain Abdulsalam Mohammed -has been appointed as Rector, Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT) Zaria, Engr. Akinola Olateru has also been made the Commissioner, Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB)
An alumnus of the College, Capt. Mohammed is a renowned Civil Aviation Trainer and Examiner with accreditation by the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority and the Federal Civil Aviation Adminisrtation.
On his own part Olateru, an engineer of international repute is a trained Air Accident Manager and Certified Safety Officer with Aircraft Maintenance Engineering licenses in Nigeria, USA and the United Kingdom.
Since assumption of office the Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika has embarked on a wide range of restructuring processes cutting across manpower, security and infrastructural developments.
Senator Sirika has in many fora reiterated that the ongoing restructuring in the aviation agencies was to ensure justice in the system and reposition the sector for profitability.
Speaking on some changes made in some of the agencies recently, the Minister said the restructuring at the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) was far from over, adding that the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and the Nigeria Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) were next.
Sirika, while addressing stakeholders in Lagos had also explained that government re-deployed, demoted and terminated some appointments of staff due to improper placement at these agencies.
According to him, the restructuring became imperative because of top-heaviness in these agencies with a combined total of 88 general managers on grade level 17 and above on the payroll.
“Government is handling the restructuring in phases with a view to creating leaner and more effective agency instead of the over-bloated workforce that has provided little or no impact in the system.”