Finally, the aviation unions carried out their threat to disrupt activities at MMA2 terminal not minding the implication to airlines, banks, shop owners, and passengers flying from the terminal
I had earlier in my many articles warned that we should try as much as possible to avoid anything that would further de-market an industry that has suffered more than enough in the last few years.
I understand the issue is because the terminal managers disengaged their redundant staff and they decided to join the unions to fight the owners of the terminal back. In all of these, what role has the NCAA played in ensuring a peaceful resolution? Do passengers have to suffer because two elephants are fighting?
A stakeholder had earlier advised the unions to think out of the box in carrying out their activities. While acknowledging the rights of the unions to embark on a peaceful protest to push their claims, he said ‘we cannot talk about government impunity and disobedience to court orders when we are governed by same. Leadership is at every level and not only government. Many travelers rights are being infringed upon airlines operations disrupted, many man hours are lost so also the financial losses are more to airlines and passengers who have business appointments to keep.’’
Some months back, our Nigeria Air plan was suspended and not many were surprised as we already knew it was a joke of a project. The FG needs to do a lot to get investors in the sector and this will start with respecting concessions. The case of Babalakin and Richard Branson in the sector are still recent and the government thinks the international community is not watching?
Sometimes I am forced to believe that the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority is the biggest problem of industry. This is not the first time passengers’ rights are infringed and the NCAA folds its arms and watches. Is the NCAA really in charge of the aviation industry? Do they just regulate some aspect and leave the others? Why can’t these unions be called to order? Is there any law that prohibits an employer from disengaging redundant staff?
It is a known fact that some of these employers of labour are known shylocks, but the industry comes first. If there are no passengers, there won’t be any regulator or airline or industry. We should be more patriotic than parochial in our approach to solving these issues which ordinarily shouldn’t attract negativity to the industry or the country.
We are witnesses to how the issues affect our image and how the international community rates us and the government needs to take urgent steps to correct the anomalies before we witness a total collapse.
Emeka Gbulie, Abuja.