The National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) has threatened to call its members out for protests over the reluctance of the Federal Government to remove the aviation agencies from the Treasury Single Account (TSA).
The union said that aviation is a cost-recovery industry, rather than revenue revenue-generating sector, arguing that as a result of this, the agencies included in the direct deductions of their 40% revenues should be removed from the scheme.
The President of the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), Comrade Ben Nnabue, stated these on Thursday at the ongoing 11th Quadrennial National Delegates with the theme: ‘A New Partnership For Aviation Development,’ in Benin City, Edo State.
Nnabue emphasised that the continuous deduction of the sum was unhealthy to the industry.
He decried that this is further worsened by instances of multiple deductions.
He also drew the attention of the Federal Government to the present precarious financial state of affairs of the aviation agencies brought about by the implementation of the Fiscal Responsibility Act.
- “At the current revenue levels vis-à-vis expenditure levels, and recognising the high level of regulation in the industry, it is impossible for any of the agencies to sustain its operation under the present yoke of the Act.
- “If the deductions continue, it is almost certain that the agencies will collapse, which will spell a heavy crisis for the national economy. May I, therefore, use this medium to appeal to President Bola Tinubu and the Hon. Minister of Finance to first stop the double deductions, then grant special waivers to the aviation agencies without which the sector will be unable to perform their statutory duties. It is my fervent hope that this appeal will be heeded in the national interest.”
Besides, the President of the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE), Engr. Abednego Galadima said the association aligned with NUATE on the call for the removal of the aviation agencies from TSA.
He explained that it was very pertinent for the government to have a rethink of its policy on the TSA
Nigeria Air forensic audit
Besides, Nnabue called for a forensic audit on the failed national carrier project, Nigeria Air.
He insisted that it was important for the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development to investigate the activities of the botched national carrier, stressing that it should not be swept under the carpet.
- He said: ” I wish to humbly urge the Honourable Minister of Aviation to carry out a forensic audit on the national carrier project, recast the general directions and represent them for delivery.
- ” It is important to state that the national carrier project is exceedingly vital to the growth of Nigerian aviation. The delivery should, therefore, not be undermined. We demand that the project be remoulded to be of benefit to all stakeholders and fit the needs of the industry and national.”
Nnabue, further emphasised that the national carrier was good for the country.
Need for Partnership
Also, Capt. Rabiu Yadudu, the immediate past Managing Director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), called for partnership between the industry unions and employers.
He explained that this would further inspire confidence between the employers and prospective inspectors on one hand and the unions.
Besides, he cautioned the unions against picketing organisations in a bid to press home their demands, saying that this act had become archaic.
- “NUATE leadership should evolve from the way they were doing things in the past. The global aviation industry and the world have changed. Things have evolved and the unions are expected to evolve alongside it.”