Trouble Brews In NCAA, As DG Diverts N750M Training Funds To Build Agency’s Abuja Office
..Preaches No Funds Sermon, But Sponsors 22 Persons To Montreal
…There Is No Iota Of Truth In The Matter—NCAA
…Says Abuja Building Not At The Expense Of Staff Training
Serious problem is brewing at the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) that may throw the agency into turmoil following the alleged diversion of N750 million set aside for the training of technical staff for re-construction of the NCAA office in Abuja by the Director General of the agency , Capt. Mukhtar Usman.
Abelnewsng.com investigation revealed that the Director General between November 2014 and October 2016, employed more 200 persons from the Northern part of the country into the different departments of the regulatory body.
It was further gathered by the online platform that the technical personnel in NCAA, who were to attend trainings in 2016 as at the time of compiling this report have not done so despite the fact the trainings had been budgeted for.
Abelnewsng.com further learnt that the money for the training was approved by the Federal Government but that despite that Director General still went ahead to divert the sum for the re-.construction of NCAA annex headquarters in Abuja.
Abelnewsng.com learnt that whenever the issue of training technical personnel is raised with the Capt Usman , he often time hide under the claim that there was no fund for training, a situation that has forced some stakeholders to ask ;what is so important about the NCAA Annex In Abuja.
Checks by the online news platform revealed that some staff are murmuring and are not happy about the leadership style of the director general ,who they accused ‘taking care of himself’ alone by travelling round the world to accumulate estacode.
It was further gathered that barring any last minutes stoppage, the agency will commence the reconstruction very soon, as the agency had already done the bidding process secretly in Abuja last week.
In the same vein, the demolition of the existing structures might take place any moment from now as the Capt Usman led management was bent on spending the money on the project before 2016 runs out in order not to return the unspent funds to the Federal Government.
A Ministry source, who spoke under te condition of anonymity told abelnewsng.com, “If the Director General of NCAA, Capt Mukhtar Usman is saying there is no funds to train technical personnel in NCAA, how come the agency sponsored 22 people from the Ministry, NCAA and the unions to the just concluded international Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) conference in Montreal, Canada with a minimum of $8,000 for each participant.”.
The source stated that most of those, who attended the conference, had no business being there.
It was also gathered that a particular union scribe in the Ministry of Transport,(name withheld ),who could not make the Montreal conference was paid full estacode allegedly on the directive of Capt Usman , who have been preaching ‘no funds sermon’ to NCAA technical staff.
“Instead of approving staff for training as spelt out by ICAO, Usman is busy diverting the funds for reconstruction of NCAA office in Abuja. No staff this year has embarked on any training outside the country and this is putting the lives of airport users and passengers in jeopardy. He warned
The source continued, “If staff are not trained, how do you expect them to be current and be able to supervise the airlines and other technical personnel in the system? In fact, Usman wants to give the construction of the building to Sirika’s company and they both want the project executed before the end of the year. Even, some of the technical training he has gotten approval for are now domesticated and the rest are diverted to other purposes” the source further alleged
Technical training for staff is an open item in the International Civil Aviation Authority (ICAO) audit, which is compulsory for staff.
Meanwhile, there are feelings and accusations at the regulatory agency that Capt. Usman is being pursuing Northern agenda in NCAA.
A source, who spoke to ablnewsng.com in confidence, alleged that the Director General had boasted that his mission in the agency was to promote Northerner agenda
To buttress his point, the source told abelnewsng.com how two personnel in NCAA, one from South West and the other from the North applied for study leave in United Kingdom in 2015, paid their school fees and other required fees.
He alleged that while the Director General approved that of the staff from the North, who is in the Information Communication Technology (ICT) department within one week, he refused do same to the other staff from the South West.
The source added that confronted with this fact, Usman was alleged to have said, “Is the approval that was given not for a Nigerian? There is no amount of intimidation or blackmail from anywhere that can remove me from this seat.”
As at the time of compiling this report, the NCAA personnel from the North had since resumed in UK.
He was also alleged to have boasted that his second term of five years each in office as the director general of the agency has been secured, as the Aviation Minister, Senator Hadi Sirika had taken him see President Muhammadu Buhari.
To further compound the problem, Usman, who was at a point embattled when there were insinuation that the Federal Government was looking for his replacement directed those who care to listen to go to Shoprite if they shopping for NCAA DG.
But in swift reaction, the General Manager, Public Affairs, NCAA, Mr Sam Adurogboye, stated that there was no iota of truth in the matter, adding that though the agency is planning to build a befitting headquarters in Abuja but not at the expense of staff training.
According to him, “NCAA spending is in line with its yearly budget as approved by the National Assembly. Training of NCAA staff is not negotiable. It cannot be sacrificed for any other thing. So, d report is not true, but a mere imagination. Yes, we are planning to build a befitting Corporate Headquarters building at our Abuja Headquarters office, but not at the expense of staff training. Don’t forget that our staff training is a matter of international audit.”
Reacting to the allegation that NCAA DG is promoting Northern agenda for allegedly approving study leave for a staff from the north while he refused to approve for a staff from the South West, the NCAA image maker stated that he was not aware of that but that every approval followed due process.
“On the issue of study leave approval, am not aware. However, every approval follow due process ie, the line officers and Head of Dept must have given consent or refused before the file gets to DG because , if a Departmental head didn’t release a staff, DG will not as well. NCAA encourages self development in addition to the authority’s sponsored training” He said