The Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria says that it will ensure that full allowances are paid to its members that will be relocated to Abuja.
The association said this while reacting to the directive by the Ministry of Aviation that all its agencies must relocate their headquarters to Abuja within 45 days from May 16.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that on May 16, the Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, had ordered all aviation agencies to relocate their headquarters to Abuja within 45 days.
ATSSSAN’s President, Illitrus Ahmadu, told newsmen on Monday in Lagos that the priority of any union was to protect the interest of its members, pledging that the association would not fail to ensure this at any time.
Ahmadu said ATSSSAN was not against the relocation order by the Minister, but that staff welfare should not be taken for granted by concerned agencies of the ministry.
He also said the unions would kick against the crippling of activities in Lagos by the government as a result of the relocation order.
He said: “We will not accept a situation where you ask anyone to go without first paying him his relocation allowance and my advice is that you cannot relocate people out of Lagos to Abuja and cripple activities in Lagos.
“You should provide enough capital resources to continue to drive operations in Lagos, while you move those few people to Abuja.”
Ahmadu recalled it was not the first time such directive would be issued to the agencies, adding that some of their staff were relocated in 2012, but the order was later halted.
He said: “Basically, it is not saying that everyone should move from their various formations to Abuja.
“It is just the corporate headquarters.
“In our industry today, the Chief Executive Officers spend about three to four days in Abuja.
“So, it makes sense by relocating the agencies’ corporate headquarters to Abuja.
“The operational offices can stay wherever they are.
“I know that the agencies were allocated plots of land some time ago, but most of them are yet to build their corporate headquarters, while others are in the process.
“In the US, the Federal Aviation Administration has its presence in virtually all the states, but its headquarters is in Washington DC.
“They oversee the affairs of the industry from there.
“I don’t think the relocation will affect the running of the agencies.
“But we expect the CEOs to empower the offices at the regions or various formations so that those who are there will be able to perform their duties effectively.
“We want to see some level of authorities to the people at the regions and formations.”