40% Deductions: Aviation Agencies Mere Cost Recovery Organizations, Non-Profit, Says Unions
Five major aviation unions in Nigeria have called on President Bola Tinubu to intervene in efforts to stop the 40% revenue deductions from aviation agencies to the federal government, stating that “all the aviation agencies are mere cost recovery organizations and absolutely non-profit. Therefore, deduction of a whole 40% from their financial accruals is akin to removal of life support from the agencies”.
A statement jointly signed by National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN), Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals (ANAP), National Association of Aircraft Pilot and Engineers (NAAPE) and Amalgamated Union of Public Corporation Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employees (AUPCTRE) says “On the basis of the forgoing, we humbly request Your Excellency to exempt aviation agencies from the deduction in order to preserve the vital safety functions of the same agencies without which the industry will collapse with its catastrophic impact on national economy”.
“Since it has sadly become obvious that both the Ministry of Aviation and the Ministry of Labour and Employment seem overwhelmed by the task of getting the conditions of service released.”
Apart from the concept of 40% deduction from the financial accruals of the aviation agencies as prescribed by the Finance Act 2022, the unions also want President Tinubu to look into the staff Conditions of Service (CoS) of aviation agencies who have been operating without valid staff Conditions of Service (CoS) for many years.
In a letter dated 19th June, 2023 addressed to the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu of which was copied to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation; Head of Service of the Federation; Ministry of Aviation; Ministry of Labour and Employment; Chairman Salaries and Wages Commission and DG Budget Office, the aviation unions stated that, despite having concluded Management-Unions review of the CoS many years back, the National Salaries, Incomes & Wages Commission (NSIWC), Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation (OHCSF), the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation, and the Budget Office have continued to hold their members hostage “by their dereliction of duty and plain inhumanity to man”..
According to the unions, for the past decade, the unions have cried and shouted themselves hoax over this matter to no avail, adding that despite several interventions by the then Minister of Aviation and the Minister of Labour, the above mentioned Federal agencies have remained unperturbed and remorseless on the issue.
In the letter jointly signed by Principal Deputy General Secretary (ATSSSAN), Comrade Frances Akinjole; General Secretary (NUATE), Comrade Ocheme Aba; Secretary General (ANAP), Comrade Abdul Rasaq Saidu; Deputy General Secretary (NAAPE), Comrade Umoh Ofonime and General Secretary (AUPCTRE), Comrade Sikiru Wahab, the unions stated that “We feel restrained by the fact of the newness of your administration, and the likelihood of misinterpretation of any strike action against the government in our airports at this critical point in time. On the other hand, we are under severe pressure to secure amelioration of this impasse by the long suffering of the affected hapless workers”.
“Your Excellency Sir, it is because of the above that our Unions passionately and humbly seek your golden intervention to call to order all the agencies involved that are using the instrumentality of government to wreak havoc and cause untold hardship on our members in the aviation industry”.
“This plea is predicated on the need to avert imminent danger that will befall the aviation sector in the event that the aviation agencies become incapacitated and unable to render their safety related functions. This is because, even the full financial accruals of the agencies are grossly inadequate in meeting the financial obligations of the agencies, and are normally supplemented by the Federal Government on annual basis.”