In a significant move just hours before the end of his administration, President Muhammadu Buhari, through the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, has constituted the boards of aviation agencies that have long operated without proper boards.
Despite the statutory requirement for the boards of six aviation agencies, including the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet), and the Nigerian Safety Investigation Bureau (NSIB), the boards had remained inactive during the tenure of the present administration.
Stakeholders in the aviation industry have consistently criticized the former Aviation Minister for the absence of these boards, which are mandated by the Acts establishing the agencies.
This failure to comply with legal requirements has drawn widespread condemnation.
It was revealed that the boards were initially constituted during President Buhari’s first term in office.
However, their inauguration was delayed as it was discovered that their composition did not align with the Acts establishing the agencies. Regrettably, replacements were never appointed since then.
In a statement issued by the Ministry of Aviation on Sunday, it was announced that President Buhari has now approved the composition of the boards.
The statement outlined the chairpersons and members of each board, including their institutional representations.
The statement signed by the Head of Press and Public Affairs in the Ministry, Odutayo Oluseyi indicated that NCAA is chaired by Mr Lai Are with two institutional members representing Ministries of Aviation and Defence.
FAAN would be chaired by Captain Fola Akinkuotu with five institutional members representing the Ministries of Aviation, Defence, Justice and Tourism and NCAT while Capt. Mukhtar Aminu and Mr Chris Aligbe are members.
NAMA has Captain Bashir Sodangi as Chairman with four institutional members representing the Ministries of Aviation, Communications and Digital Economy, Transportation and Nigerian Air Force as well as two other members to represent public interest. They are Mr Richard Aisuegbon and Suleiman Balarabe Ismail.
NSIB would be chaired by Engr Ezekiel Danboyi Zang with six other members including Engr. Suraj Abdulwahab, Engr. Ita Awak, Mall. Nasiru Anas, Alhaji Sani Maida, Engr. Pantani Esugo and Lawrence Fubara Anga, SAN.
The NiMet Board will be chaired by Dr Imoro Kubor with four institutional members representing the Ministries of Aviation, Agriculture and Natural, Resources, Environment and Transportation with Dr Adebayo Yinka and Prof. Aliyu Umar Tambuwal as members.
NCAT would be chaired by Captain Jonathan Ibrahim with institutional members which include the Ministry of Aviation, NCAA, Nigeria’s ICAO representative; Representative of the aviation sector, Engr. Bashir Saad; Hajia Binta Aminu Iya representing the community; Representative of the College elected from the congregation who should be a non-teaching staff and the college registrar.
The Ministry emphasized that the newly constituted boards align with the recently promulgated Acts of the Agencies.
The President hopes that the appointed members, with their institutional affiliations, will contribute to the growth and development of the aviation sector as a new administration takes over.