Aviation Stakeholders Express Concerns Over Minister’s Appointment of 47 Directors

Key stakeholders in Nigeria’s aviation industry have raised concerns about the perceived over-bloated directorates created by the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo. The minister appointed 47 new directors in December 2023, replacing those appointed at the end of the administration of ex-President Muhammadu Buhari.

Critics argue that the increase in directorates from 36 to 47 will add more financial and bureaucratic pressure to an already burdened sector. The stakeholders believe that the move is counterproductive to the development and survival of the aviation industry. Olumide Ohunayo, the secretary-general of the Aviation Round Table Initiative (ARTI), expressed concerns about the financial implications and efficiency of running agencies with an excessive number of directors.

The stakeholders also allege that the new directors brought in personal aides from outside agencies, drawing salaries from the agencies’ accounts. Former Commandant of Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos, Capt. John Ojikutu, questioned the rationality and economic sense of increasing the number of directorates, suggesting that it might be a way of creating jobs for political associates.

In response, the Minister of Aviation, Festus Keyamo, requested stakeholders to list the new directorates created before responding. The ministry’s spokesman, Tunde Moshood, defended the increase, stating that it was aimed at blocking revenue leakages. He urged aviation stakeholders to give the minister time to turn the sector’s fortunes around.

As concerns grow over the impact of the increased directorates on the aviation industry, industry watchers call for transparency, efficiency, and a strategic approach to addressing the challenges facing the sector.

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