Sirika Assures Aero Workers Of Government’s Intervention
…To Meet AMCON, Aero Management
The Federal Government through the Minister of State for Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika has assured workers of embattled Aero Contractors that none of them would lose their jobs as result of the suspension of flights by the airline.
He also promised protesting workers that the airline would be restructured.
Sirika said this while addressing protesting workers of the airline who occupied the airline’s headquarters at the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos protesting the indefinite leave given to them.
Sirika stated that the workers that the Federal Government would make sure that the problems bedeviling airline was looked into, adding that it is the duty of the Federal Government to create jobs,as result would not allow any business entity in the aviation under his leadership to go under.
He told the workers that he would meet with Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) and the management of Aero Contractors and that he would get back to the workers on Monday.
According to him, “I landed from Riyadh to Lagos and before I left Riyadh I was informed by the people in charge in Aero that things were getting worse and they have only one airplane operational at the moment and I said to myself since I have time between my flight to Lagos and connecting one to Abuja, I decided to come and see Aero and probably discuss a few issues with the managers and possibly see the staff, but unfortunately I came here and saw that there is a protest going on, so I had to stop by, listened, discussed and came to an agreement.”
He continued, “The primary purpose of government, especially this APC government is to help to promote, nurse, sustain, develop, keep businesses so that they can continue to provide services and employ our people, so it is not the government of APC that will kill jobs and close down shops; our intent is to promote jobs and promote businesses in Nigeria so that businesses will be growing.”
Sirika said the workers had the right to protest and as such they could not just be relieved of their jobs, assuring them that the Federal Government must address the issues affecting the airline to make it functional again.
In his words, “I think the protest is justifiable and I agree with the issues raised, but we will look into it and come up with a solution that will be mutually beneficial to all of us both the staff, the company and government itself. I have appealed to the staff and they have agreed that we will reconvene here on Monday and listen to each other and also develop a road map and agree on what to do to rejuvenate the airline, being a premier company in this country.”
He also noted that though AMCON which took over the airline because of the toxic loans it owed banks, but that the decision of the government agency was not out of place as its mission was to sustain the airline.
The Minister said that now that the airline is under threat, government would ensure that the airline was revived to continue to serve the public and keep its workers.
According to him, “I think what is going on now started sometime ago. The reason why AMCON came to rescue Aero Contractors or any other business was due to the wisdom of the government of the past and we respect that wisdom and because AMCON is constitutionally established by the Act of Parliament to take this responsibility, but in doing this job we must look at the fundamentals. So if there is a problem of this nature we must look and find out what is happening. We are aware of the problem of the legacy, we are aware of the management problems and we are aware of where the planes are and we are also aware of what has been going on with maintenance. We will try to resolve these problems.”