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Ministers jittery as Buhari roots out heads of all 4 Aviation agencies

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A clear indication emerged Monday that the Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Serika may be among prospective victims of looming ‘Hurricane Cabinet reshuffle’ as President Muhammadu Buhari sacked the heads of four aviation agencies and promptly appointed their replacements.

Analysts say the early sack may mean the kind of surgical operation the presidency is planning for the entire Federal Executive Council (FEC) any moment from now, even though the sub sector had been enmeshed in series of crisis ranging from missing luggage, to flights cancellation, customer service abuses, aviation fuel crisis and poor handling of the planned closure of Abuja Airport for repair works.

The parastatals in the picture include the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, Nigerian Meteorological Agency, Nigerian College of Aviation Technology, and the Accident Investigation Bureau.

In a terse statement signed by the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Mr. Sabiu Zakari, on behalf of the Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, stated that Buhari approved the appointment of Capt. Fola Akinkuotu as the Managing Director of NAMA.

“Capt. Akinkuotu is a seasoned transport pilot, flight and aircraft maintenance engineer, airline chief executive and a trained aviation industry regulator,” the ministry said in the statement.

Akinkuotu, until his appointment, was the Chief Executive Officer of Aero Contractors, Nigeria’s oldest and second largest commercial carrier.

He also previously served as the Director-General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority.

The permanent secretary also stated that Buhari appointed Prof. Sani Abubakar Mashi as the Director-General of NIMET.

“A professor of Geography with specialty in environmental application of remote sensing, Mashi is currently a deputy vice chancellor at the University of Abuja,” the statement added.

Based on the latest appointment, Mashi replaces Dr. Anthony Anuforum while Capt. Abdulsalam Mohammed was appointed the Rector of the NCAT, Zaria, and he is an alumnus of the college.

“Capt. Mohammed is a renowned civil aviation trainer and examiner with accreditation by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority and the Federal Civil Aviation Administration,” the ministry noted.

The fourth appointment, according to the ministry, is that of Mr. Akinola Olateru, who is to serve as the Commissioner of the AIB.

The ministry described him as “an engineer of international repute, a trained air accident manager and certified safety officer with aircraft maintenance engineering licences in Nigeria, the United States and the United Kingdom.”


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