Akpabio Calls for Privatization of Ibom Airport

23 Nov
Akwa Ibom International Airport

Akwa Ibom International Airport

Governor Godswill Akpabio has called for the privatization of Akwa Ibom International Airport in partnership with Federal aviation authority for greater result and productivity.

Chief Akpabio made the call Friday when a 13-member committee on the “Production of Scheme and Conditions of Service for Akwa Ibom Airport Development Authority” headed by Mrs Cecilia Udoessien, state Head of Civil Service presented the report to him at Governor’s Office, Uyo said “My suggestion is that in future, the airport needs to be privatalised in serious partnership with the aviation sector”.

He remarked “The Ibom airport is a state-owned organization, but airport business belongs to the Federal Government where all aviation agencies of the Federal Government are involved. We would have waited for the airport to be completed before we talk about the the final scheme of service for the airport. We would have completed building the airport before employing staff, but the last administration needed to engage a lot of staff because that administration was thinking of getting a work force ready that would be employed in the diffrent arms of the airport. So, we had to train our children in the technical unit abroad to acquire skills to work at the Maintenance, Repairs and Overhaul (MRO) facility so that we can have a ready market when we have an operator.

“So, due to the excess number of staff at the airport, we must agree to the scheme of service and give a brand new appointment letter, which would specify that the letter is subject to the the state government being in charge of the Ibom airport. And if a federal aviation operator comes in, the staff have to abide by the federal scheme of service and since our children were employed for a long time and are rebellious, we then wanted to ensure their career growth”.

“The State Government is giving the airport staff confidence that you won’t be left behind and would make sure your interest is protected. And while we are struggling to build the airport, we would not want you to grow old before promotion as you had already waited for five years now.

“For now, we have frozen further employment at the airport until the staff are properly placed, which some of the staff would be sent to the state civil service depending on their disciplines and some who are professionals in their field could be sent to Akwa Ibom State University”, the Governor hinted.

Governor Akpabio said with the implementation of the scheme of service, all the illegal strike actions at the airport would come to an end, disclosing that an implementation committee would be set up to start the process immediately.

Speaking earlier, the Chairman of the Committee, Mrs. Udoessien had disclosed that one of the reasons for the scheme of service was the incessant strike action and other management conflicts at the airport, which saw the need for the state government to prepare the scheme of service which she said include conditions of service, salary structure and conduct of staff.

Udoessien explained that the scheme of service consists of eight sections that are arranged according to departments, professions and work groups to guide the management of the Ibom airport.

She explained that the report on the conditions of service is an approved guidelines pertaining to workers benefits, rights, privileges and methods of appointment, and said the committee had to review the salary structure, which had an estimate of N31.3 million monthly with additional N5.8 million or 15 per cent.

Insight News

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