Air Nigeria workers consider mass resignation

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Air Nigeria

Air Nigeria

Investigations by Daily Independent revealed that the management is equally apprehensive about its decision, for fears of losing some of its best hands.

More worrisome is the allegation that the ‘owner’ is systematically using staff of Global Fleet to replace the airline’s staff, a situation that may cripple the airline that was regarded by stakeholders as one of the best in the country before it was acquired.

A source, who spoke to our correspondent on developments in Air Nigeria, alleged that “what the owner does is to stylishly ease out staff of the airline and bring in people from Global fleet, to replace them.”

The source said that a former general manger in one of the ‘owners’ companies was brought into the airline and made director of finance but that the same man has been fired for daring to pay workers’ salaries as and when due.

He told our correspondent that the decision did not only heighten the fears of the workers, but that it also gave them the impression the sack hammer could fall on anybody.

Daily Independent learnt that workers of the airline are beginning to compare the pre-Jimoh Ibrahim era with the present situation, which according to them is not comparable.

Workers argued that “under the previous management, the company was able to chart its course under six months and was able to define where the airline was heading to by repositioning it without any fund from any quarter. Today apart from the bringing –in of two airplanes, nothing has changed”, wondering what then is the duty of the investor?

The source added that it would not have been an issue if the quality of the replacement were in order, but that it became an issue as a result of the quality compared to the ones that are now gradually and systematically being eased out. 

The airline, he alleged, is being managed like a personal property, adding that everything is at a standstill when the ‘owner’ is not around and that the managing director of the airline is just a figure-head.

“When he is not around, nothing moves and the managing director is just there doing ‘sit-down and look’” he said.

He said that duty of the investor is to inject funds into the airline, warning that the airline may go down if care is not taken.

According to him, all is not well with the airline, calling on the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to investigate the airline.

While reacting to the allegations, Media Officer of Air Nigeria, Sam Ogbogoro, said that the allegations are not true, as the airline is committed to meeting international standards in all it actions .

According to him, “Air Nigeria has further reiterated its commitment to continually meet its obligations to its seasoned workforce across all cadres to keep them well motivated. Air Nigeria is set to embark on a recruitment drive to fill vacancies that currently exists in addition to retaining the present workforce. The airline therefore has no plans of laying-off any member of staff even as there is an ongoing assessment of skills, competencies of the workforce towards ensuring that well trained personnel are in positions of authority”.

 He noted that despite the global challenges affecting the aviation industry, Air Nigeria is in a strong financial position, adding that the timely payment of salaries and other benefits to members of staff as well as meeting obligations to other suppliers and vendors is a major achievement.

On the delay of flights as a result of the high price of aviation fuel, Ogbogoro said that the airline has also initiated purchase partnership negotiations with fuel marketers to mitigate flight disruptions, adding that the outcome of these discussions will further boost scheduled integrity and improve on time performance in the coming weeks.

“The airline continues to employ global best practices in its day-to-day flight operations, maintenance and management of its fleet with its pool of well trained and qualified engineers and professional manpower supported by expertise from Lufthansa Technik, who provide the technical support that ensures that safety is not compromised. Air Nigeria takes safety seriously and it operates in line with the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations as well as International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) standards,” he added.

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