Clean Sweep Reverses Last-Minute Appointments by Previous Administration
In a bold move signaling a major shake-up within the Ministry of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Minister Festus Keyamo has terminated the appointments of 33 directors, sparking debates and reactions within the aviation industry.
The unexpected decision follows the recent removal of chief executives of various aviation agencies, a move that took many by surprise, including those affected who reportedly discovered their dismissals through newspaper reports and social media. The decision to relieve the chief executives was reportedly approved by President Tinubu on December 14, as conveyed by the Presidential Adviser on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale.
Aviation experts have characterized this move as a “clean sweep and reversal of the last-minute appointments” made by the previous administration led by President Muhammadu Buhari, where Senator Hadi Sirika served as the Minister of Aviation. Sirika, just a week before the expiration of the Buhari administration on May 23, 2023, appointed 33 directors and reshuffled top positions within agencies such as the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA).
Six months later, Minister Keyamo’s unexpected decision has overturned these appointments, catching many directors and chief executives off guard. The sudden overhaul also affected agencies such as FAAN, NCAA, NAMA, NSIB, NIMET, and NCAT.
Among the key replacements are Mrs. Olubunmi Oluwaseun Kuku replacing Kabir Yusuf Mohammed at FAAN, Engr. Umar Ahmed Farouk stepping in for Tayib Adetunji Odunowo at NAMA, and Mr. Alex Badeh Jr. taking over from Engr. Akinola Olateru at NSIB. Additionally, Prof. Charles Anosike has replaced Prof. Mansur Bako Matazu at NIMET, and Mr. Joseph Shaka Imalighwe is now the Acting Rector at NCAT, succeeding Capt. Alkali Mahmud Modibbo.
In a statement by the aviation ministry’s Head of Press and Public Affairs, Odutayo Oluseyi, all relieved directors have been instructed to hand over to the most senior officers in their respective departments or directorates.
While the industry grapples with mixed reactions to this unexpected reorganization, some stakeholders, including former FAAN General Manager Alhaji Abubakar Bibi, have commended Minister Keyamo for taking what they call a “bold step” to reorganize the aviation sector. Others, such as union leaders, emphasized the need for diligence and fairness in appointing qualified personnel to maintain the administration’s focus on raising the industry’s standards.
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