There were fears yesterday among heads of aviation agencies following the sack of the Managing Director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Saleh Dunoma.
The affected agencies include the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) and Nigerian Meteorological Services (NIMET).
Sources said the removal of Dunoma may spark the process for cleaning up the sector by outgoing Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, who, it was learnt, may return to the industry as substantive minister.
Heads of the agencies were anxious about what may become their fate as Sirika ramps up inauguration of facilities at some airports at the weekend in Lagos, Benin and other locations.
The agency heads were worried about their inability to read the body language of the minister of state, who was seen touring airports with Dunoma last Friday only to fire him yesterday.
When The Nation visited the headquarters of FAAN, NCAA, NAMA, AIB and the liaison office of NCAT, scores of workers were discussing the development in groups.
Some directors in the agencies wore long faces, as the sack of the FAAN boss caught many of them napping, given the fact that Dunoma accompanied Sirika to tour facilities at the airport at the weekend.
Sirika, the workers noted, could not be predicted on the next line of action he may take.
He had asked Dunoma when some projects at the Lagos Airport would be completed, only to fire the FAAN chief a few days later.
Some aviation members, who declined to be named, urged the minister of state to extend the exercise to the NCAA.
They said the leadership of the apex civil aviation regulator had allegedly been insensitive to workers’ agitations.
NCAA workers alongside union members, last week, staged a protest at its headquarters to express their disenchantment over what they called lopsided organogram.
They said this resulted in the scrapping and merger of directorates in the authority.
In an interview yesterday, industry critic and Chief Executive Officer of Centurion Securities, Group Captain John Ojikutu (retd) said the sack of Dunoma was in order because he needed time to rest after serving FAAN for many years.
Ojikutu said Dunoma, having served as the agency’s Director of Engineering and Managing Director for 10 years, should be commended for achieving the certification of Lagos and Abuja airports within four years.
He said: “For me, he needs to rest after almost 10 years sacrifice’. He should be commended.”