There were indications on Wednesday that the Nigerian government may have carried out a massive retrenchment exercise at the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).
A strong source close to the agency confided in our correspondent that all of the agency’s directors but one, Managing Director Saleh Dunoma, lost their jobs.
Gone in the exercise are at least 22 management staff, including General Managers and Deputy General Managers.
SaharaReporters was further informed that staff from the Ministry of Transport arrived at the agency early in the morning to distribute the letters to the affected staff.
It was learnt that some of the General Managers that were not sacked by the government were heavily demoted. For instance, a General Manager on Grade Level 17 was demoted to 10, as was the agency’s Ag. Director of Finance.
As of the time of filing this story, it was gathered that the committee responsible for the exercise was still in the FAAN boardroom sending out more letters to affected staff.
Our correspondent also learnt that a forthcoming round may still affect more members of the top management.
SaharaReporters was informed that some of the affected General Managers graduated only in 2008 and 2010, but were placed on Levels 16 and 17 when they were brought into the system by a former Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah, about five years ago.
It was also gathered that under a new restructuring plan, the ministry might reduce the directorates in FAAN from its present 11 to six.
The demotion exercise followed a petition written to the then Ministry of Aviation by the industry unions who complained that personnel was improperly placed in the agency.
The petition led to the formation of a committee headed by the Head of Service, Winifred Oyo-Ita, while the President of the Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN), Comrade Benjamin Okewu, as a member.
The committee carried out what it termed ‘Operation show your certificate,’ where it was discovered that several personnel who were brought into the system did not have the required qualifications or experience to hold the critical positions they were given. It was also discovered that some of those employees even lacked letters of employments, having been engaged in the system by means of referral notes by highly-placed people in the government.
A letter was issued by the Ministry of Transport in June for the demotion of some of the personnel to levels 10, 12 and 14, but it was not effected due to the power play by some of the affected staff.
The government is said to be worried that FAAN’s overhead cost is about N800 million monthly.