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Nigeria: Radical Restructure of Aviation Bodies Announced

Pictured, Mr Festus Keyamo, Honourable Minister of Aviation, Nigeria.

FG suspends, removes heads of Aviation agencies; replaces with immediate effect.

The Nigerian Federal government, on the 13th December, approved the suspension, removal, and replacement of Heads of parastatals in the Aviation Ministry with immediate effect.

This was contained in a statement signed today by Chief Ajuri Ngelale, Special Adviser to the President, Media & Publicity.


The statement reads, “Managing Director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, Mr. Kabir Mohammed has been removed from office. He is replaced with Mrs. Olubunmi Oluwaseun Kuku.


“Managing Director of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, Mr. Tayib Adetunji Odunowo has been removed from office. He is replaced with Engr. Umar Ahmed Farouk.


“Director-General of the Nigerian Safety Investigation Bureau Engr. Akinola Olateru has been replaced with Mr. Alex Badeh Jr. Mr. Badeh jr is now the substantive Director-General of the Nigerian Safety Investigation Bureau.


“Director-General of the Nigerian Meteorological Agency, Prof. Mansur Bako Matazu has been removed and replaced with Prof. Charles Anosike .


“Rector of the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology, Capt. Alkali Mahmud Modibbo has been removed from office. He is replaced with Mr. Joseph Shaka Imalighwe as Acting Rector. This is pending the appointment of a substantive Rector, in accordance with Section 13(2) of the NCAT Act, 2022.


“Director-General of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, Capt. Musa  Nuhu has been suspended from office. This is to enable the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission conduct unfettered investigation into the activities of the suspended DG and other senior officials. Capt. Chris Najomo assumes office as the Acting Director-General of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority immediately.

Furthermore, President Bola Tinubu approves the commencement of a diligent process to be conducted by the Minister to recruit a substantive Vice-Chancellor and other principal officers of the African Aviation and Aerospace University (AAAU).

“The President anticipates that the new leadership across this critical sector will uphold the safety, convenience, and comfort.

“Due to the high cost of under-performance in the sector, the President demands the immediate establishment of world-class policy design, implementation, and regulatory frameworks to reposition the sector in alignment with his Renewed Hope Agenda."

The following day, all Directorate post holders were relieved of their duties.

The Federal government in a statement signed by Head/ PPA, Odutayo Oluseyi stated that all directors had been removed.

The removal directive however did not affect the agencies’ Board Secretaries and Legal Advisers.

The statement read, “ I am directed to inform all directors of the following agencies that they have been relieved of their appointments forthwith. They should hand over to the most senior officer in their various directorates with immediate effect.

“The Directors of the affected agencies are as follows:Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Nigeria Metrological Agency (NiMET). Nigeria Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Nigeria Safety and Investigation Bureau (NSIB).

“I am also to inform all the agencies’ Board Secretaries and Legal Advisers that they are not affected by this directive. All affected directors are to ensure strict compliance, please. “ It read.

Recall, barely ours to the end of his administration, President Muhammadu Buhari through the Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika made massive changes.creating Board of Directors and appointing Agencies’ directors. Similarly, some heads of parastatals were appointed at this time.

Our take.

This is a radical move by the Federal Government in Nigeria. We are monitoring the fallout and the re-establishment of the leadership teams in the key agencies in Nigeria. Whilst the move introduces an element of risk in the sector we need to analyse the reasons for the change and how quickly the sector is stabilised. We are all aware that there are issues and challenges in the sector in Nigeria and this perceived radical shake up could be, infact, the positive action that is required to move the sector forward in Nigeria.

Due to politics and agendas we have seen the sector stagnate in Nigeria for a number of years, we are hoping that this may finally be the catalyst for the structural change in the modus operandi of the regulatory environment in Nigeria.

So far, everything that the new Minister of Aviation has done has been a breath of fresh air for the sector. It is still early days but we are very encouraged with the dynamism and outlook of Mr Festus Keyamo.


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