Top aviation sources told Globalgistng that aviation Minister Hadi Sirika deliberately withheld workers ‘ salaries and benefits in an attempt to raise enough money to run in the next Katsina state gubernatorial election.
It was also gathered that the minister in a bid to raise funds needed to realise his ambition, was doing all he can to sell the country’s airports.
He is said to be working hard to prove that government could no longer manage the facilities just so he can auction them off and raise some money for his governorship ambition.
He is said to be keen on selling the four major airports in Nigeria — Lagos, Abuja, Kano and Port Harcourt.
Sirika has also been accused of using his cronies to head agencies like Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria, National Airport Management Authority, Accident Investigation Bureau, and Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority.
The minister is believed to be raising money illicitly through these agencies to fulfill his governorship ambition in Katsina State.
Despite owing salaries, the minister has just recruited 280 more staff into FAAN, who are all from the Northern part of the country, it was gathered.
About 26 of them have been posted to Lagos international airport and have started documentation without taking any tests as normal employment procedure demands.
Angered by this and other issues affecting their welfare, aviation workers under the platforms of National Union Of Air Transport Employees, Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association Of Nigeria, And Association Of Nigeria Aviation Professional, in a letter addressed to the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja, Lagos, said that they would embark on immediate strike action if their demands were not met.
“Due to continuing unilateral actions by the management of FAAN resulting in ever increasing delays and staggering of salaries payments which has become unbearable, our unions have decided that the situation can no longer be tolerated due to the uncontrollable damage to workers welfare and smooth operation of FAAN.
“Accordingly, management is hereby notified that if within seven days from the date of the notice all shortfalls in salary payments are not fully rectiﬁed and settled, our unions will commence an indefinite industrial action against the authority,” the letter partly reads.