The danger of lopsided recruitments in aviation

AN ongoing air of misgivings is presently spreading across the country’s aviation sector over what stakeholders term the lopsidedness in recruitments into various positions across the various aviation agencies.

The latest information making the rounds has the Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika as the man at the centre of the one-sided recruitment which stakeholders said was not done in line with equity and representations of the national outlook.

Though the lopsided recruitment has become the order of the business in the sector, key players have particularly faulted the recent shortlisting of 35 candidates to be trained and subsequently recruited into the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) as air traffic controllers.

The decision of the Minister to approve the recruitment of such a large number of candidates hailing from the same zone has elicited reactions from various key players in the sector.

According to the news making the rounds, the latest of such illegalities was the alleged recruitment of 35 candidates for air traffic controllers job from the Northern part of the country out of which 18 came from Katsina.

Obviously, questionable recruitments laced with ethnic jingoism has been on the ground for years which has greatly contributed to lack of absolute commitment on the part of many of the beneficiaries of such injustice due to incompetence on their parts as they got the jobs on a platter of gold. Nevertheless, there is an urgent need to nip this in the bud for the growth of the sector.

It is no more hidden that the aviation sector is one of the most regulated globally because of the sensitive functions it plays in line with international standards which must be devoid of tribalism or any colouration.

A similar attitude of the previous ministers had greatly contributed to the decay and myriad of administrative challenges bedevilling the sector as some of the workers who came into the agencies through this ‘man know man’ had robbed the sector of the required adequate standards.

The latest controversial recruitment which has attracted criticisms from the sector becomes more pronounced following the critical safety issues the entire country is presently going through which has not exempted its aviation sector.

Besides the direct attacks so far unleashed on some of the airports by the undesirable elements presently operating under different names should have served as a guiding principle to anyone such as the minister when recruiting people to sensitive positions like air traffic control.

While the minister may have the privilege to give jobs to people he likes, it however becomes pertinent to do so without disregarding the principle of national interest as laid down by the policy of federal character and as enshrined in the constitution of the country.

The latest recruitment and many that had taken place in the recent past had failed all required principles as stipulated by the federal civil service commission as it has been gathered that the recruitment was conducted without any interview and background checks conducted on the candidates.

What the minister simply did in the latest recruitment may have a very negative impact on the safety of aviation in future as secret recruitment without due diligence could result in recruiting moles who could become insider threats of homegrown terrorists.

Without a doubt, those raising eyebrows over the manner the minister engages in bringing in people into the various agencies should be a cause for concern for all stakeholders in view of the imminent negative impacts which may spell doom for the entire sector.

The present predicaments the sector has found itself can be traced to similar unpopular decisions taken by many of the previous ministers who used their privileged positions to impose their friends and tribesmen on the various aviation agencies even when there were no vacancies.

All these illegalities must have to stop as the sector, particularly the government agencies, belong to all Nigerians and therefore all privileges such as recruitments into positions must have a national outlook to prevent any safety and security compromise.

Conducting questionable recruitments under the guise of providing jobs for friends, tribesmen or political affiliates in a regulated sector like aviation, where activities are done with absolute caution is another way of further compounding the myriad of challenges already tearing it down.

The aviation sector as a sensitive sector should not be turned to one of those government establishments where politicians believe they can extend their politicking.

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