SLAMEN Advocates Good Salaries, Training Prioritization, Expatriate Quota Review
The President, Society of Licensed Aircraft Maintenance Engineers of Nigeria (SLAMEN), Eng Chukwuka Iloeje has called on the employers of labour in the aviation industry such as airlines, Aircraft Maintenance Organizations (AMOs) and others to “pay engineers good salaries that are commensurate with the very high responsibility bestowed on us by our duty. Our families need to be very comfortable for us to be in the right frame of mind always to perform safely and efficiently. We also passionately request our employers to give priority to training and utilizing Nigerian licensed engineers for their various fleets rather than giving prominence to employing foreign personnel. Please see this as your positive contribution towards developing our own economy.”
Speaking during SLAMEN’s Quarterly General Meeting held at NAF Hangar, Ikeja, Lagos, Iloeje said: “We are indeed most appreciative for your providing us with the opportunity to practice our profession and meet our societal obligations. Please continue to give due recognition to the importance of our profession as stipulated in the Nig. CARs and NCAA-approved company manuals. Provide the required tools, spares, and equipment. Maintain good working conditions for licensed Engineers to perform optimally.”
Addressing the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), he said: “We look forward to increasing enforcement of the provision of the Nigeria CARs. We request more surveillance as regards Expatriate Quota. Foreign engineers are employed to perform aircraft maintenance while local engineers are out of work or are not trained to carry out the duty. We request that the Authority uses its economic audit to determine the continued financial capability of an organization that does not pay salaries for two months at a stretch – a serious safety issue. We request the Authority to open a channel for anonymous reporting of violations to avoid fears of reporting or victimization of reporters. Necessary and appropriate control should be taken in these issues.”
“SLAMEN acknowledges and applauds the government’s determined effort to provide an enabling environment for aviation growth. We are happy with the recent move to restart a National carrier Nigeria Air. However, we request that after the next three years of its stabilization, the full ownership should be restored to Nigerians. Nigeria is too big and proud to allow a foreign African country to own the giant share in our national airline.
Also, on the proposal to establish the national Approved Aircraft Maintenance Organization, as the professionals who will be mainly engaged in it, we request to be involved in its set up, ab-initio.
Furthermore, Nigeria, as the giant of Africa, should prepare for Aircraft manufacture just like Brazil in South America. We should not allow another African country take the lead in this very important and nationally uplifting issue. On all the above issues, we pledge our unalloyed support and participation. We humbly request all stakeholders and lovers of aviation to support our Society morally and financially to enable us stand firmly and contribute to a progressive, prosperous and stable aviation industry, Iloeje said.
The society of Licensed Aircraft Engineers was founded as a wholly professional body when concerned licensed Engineers put heads together and decided to improve the professional outlook of Aircraft maintenance in Nigeria. .
Prior to this moment, the National Association of Airline Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE) had effectively carried out both professional and trade union functions. However, when Nigeria Airways started sliding towards being moribund under the military government, those roles could not be effectively performed as the military perceived NAAPE as just an opposing Trade Union. It therefore became necessary to separate both roles. Hence the need for SLAMEN.