[UPDATE 20 MAY] Employees of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) affiliated to the Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN), the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) and the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE), are to proceed with a strike beginning Monday 20 May at 00h01. The walkout has come about as result of an ongoing wage dispute with the organization's management.
Monday, May 20, 2013
Saturday, February 2, 2013
■ NIGERIA: NAAPE endorses Senate's report recommending Demuren's sacking and Dana Air's AOC revocation.
Nigeria's National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE) has come out in support of Nigerian Senate & House of Representatives whose recent Joint Committee on Aviation Report unequivocally condemned the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) as being staffed by "unqualified persons working as Aircraft Inspectors" and which recommended the immediate withdrawal of Dana Air's (9J) Air Operators Certificate, reinstated in early December.
Wednesday, June 13, 2012
If its not strikes grounding Air Nigeria (VK), then its likely government departments acting too little, too late in the interests of public safety.
Ten days after Dana Air flight 9J-992's tragic crash whilst on approach into Lagos' Murtala Muhammed International Airport in which 153 people perished, Harold Demuren, the Director-General of Nigeria’s Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) himself under heavy pressure since June 3, ordered grounded, the country's second largest carrier so as to carry out a safety audit.
"It is a routine action to enable us look at the airline’s operations before allowing it to go back to operations again, having been on strike for days. This is normal." quoted NCAA spokesman Sam Adurogboye.
Air Nigeria boss Jimoh Ibrahim swiftly moved to deny that his airline had been grounded insisting instead, that his airline had willingly ceased operations of its own volition, and not, as reported, under duress.
“We are not grounded by anybody, but we decided not to fly today because we just felt that we should reorganize and create particular awareness because we’re coming out of (a) strike,” Ibrahim said. He said flights should resume Thursday.
The whole debacle started, it seems, with the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE) strike of 1 June where one of the grievances was that management had not availed enough money to the Engineers to allow them to maintain the aircraft adequately. On ending the week-long strike, NAAPE President Isaac Balami rescinded that claim, and restated that in actuality, the strike had only been about "social benefits".
Then, following the Dana Air crash, John I. Nnorom, a former Executive Director for Finance at Air Nigeria who resigned his appointment with the airline on April 1, 2012, published a stinging article in the Nigerian press, condemning Air Nigeria's safety record, and imploring people not to fly the airline for safety reasons.
Read More Here [SaharReporters]
"He (Nnorom) disclosed that Air Nigeria is in financial crisis because money loaned by Bank of Industry of N35.5Billion has been diverted into Mr. Ibrahim’s NICON INVESTMENT LTD, a non-finance company popularly called wonder bank, leading to air safety being compromised, and stressed that there is a great possibility of a disastrous Air Nigeria crash, which can occur at any time.
John Nnorom (MercyJohnson)
He recalled that in Jan 2012, Licensed Engineers in Air Nigeria went on strike because they were being forced to certify unfit aircraft into the air, and another strike was averted in March 2012 following the intervention of the DG-NCAA, Demureen. Both events, he said, were based on failure on Failure To Meet Safety Standard, and are verifiable information the public is aware of."
Naturally, Air Nigeria moved to rebuff Nnorom's claims by labelling him an "illiterate in the maintenance of aircraft and a criminal".
Then, Nigerian Press investigations revealed that Air Nigeria's claims to have signed a deal to buy four Boeing 787 Dreamliners for $887 million through a loan with the U.S. Export-Import Bank was denied to The Associated Press by officials at both Boeing and the bank
So, could there be an element of truth in Nnorom's claims? Or is he simply a butthurt ex-employee out to smear his former employers?
In the end, the age old dictum that states "there are three sides to every story: Yours, mine and the truth" is most relevant, though when dealing with Nigeria one can only be assured of ever hearing the "Yours and Mine" part; the Truth? Well good luck with that one...
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Air Nigeria (VK) has come clean and admitted that a 5 day old strike by members of the Nigerian Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE) is starting to impact its domestic and regional flights, though its international operation to London Gatwick has remained unaffected.
The NAAPE strike is focussed around 4 core issues namely:
- Delayed payment of salaries to both local and foreign staff
- Pension deductions not remitted for over seven (7) months
- Co-operative deductions not yet remitted
- Tax refund and tax clearance issues
|Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos|
Air Nigeria management however, has refused to budge from its own position and in a statement has labelled the strike as "blackmail" and "uncalled for" and claimed that the union did not seek recourse in order to resolve their grievances. It also alleged that the NAAPE was in cahoots with competitors jealous of Air Nigeria's progress.
"It is very unreasonable and cheap blackmail for NAAPE to embark on strike action based on non payment of May salaries at the mid night of May 31st when infact some of the staff had collected their salaries with the rest of the staff still being processed.
It is therefore illegal and criminal for NAAPE to allow itself to be used by Competitors, who are envious of the giant steps already taken by Air Nigeria and Management is already working on a policy that will put a permanent stop to this cheap blackmail’
Passengers at Lagos' Murtala Muhammad International Airport have been subject to delays and flight cancellations which has led to angry scenes at check-in counters and ticket booths.
The NAAPE has been a perpetual thorn in the side of Air Nigeria's management, as in November of last year, they again moved to strike following the sacking of Air Nigeria's Head of Maintenance Department James Erigba, because of a disagreement over an aircraft's airworthiness.