Barely three weeks after BusinessDay exclusively reported that the Federal Government was head-hunting for a qualified person to replace Richard Aisuebeogun, the managing director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), government yesterday relieved him of his duty, ending his four- year tenure in the authority.
Two other chief executives of aviation agencies were also replaced in the sweep. They are Ibrahim Auyo, managing director, Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) and Adebayo Araba, rector, Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), Zaria.
Replacing Auyo in acting capacity, is the director of engineering and electronics, of NAMA, Nnamdi Udoh. George Uriesi, a former director of operations, of FAAN, replaced Aisuebeogun while Chinyere Kalu ( a commercial pilot), former Head of Flying School, NCAT, replaced Araba.
Joe Obi, Chief Press Secretary to the Minister of Aviation, in a statement, directed the sacked chief executives to handover to their successors immediately. The statement was signed by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Aviation, Anne Ine Ita,
The decision yesterday, ended speculations that Aisuebeogun, who was appointed in November 2007, might be re-appointed managing director of FAAN.
Aisuebeogun, who was otherwise qualified for a second term, it was learnt, was ruled out by the Presidency because of his perceived lack-lustre performance and sundry other reasons, some bordering on transparency.
Auyo, who was yet to complete his four- year tenure (which was to end in 2013), has been in and out of office since his appointment, for medical reasons.
Uriesi, the new FAAN managing director, was born on August 8, 1968. His career spans more than 18 years, mostly in airline and airport operations, as well as safety and economic regulation of the industry.
He served with the then Nigerian Airports Authority and worked for ADC Airlines, until he moved to South Africa in 1996, to join the multinational consumer products company, Procter and Gamble , South Africa , as logistics manager.
He returned to the aviation industry three years later, to play key roles in the institutional reform and transformation of South Africa’s air transport industry, joining the executive team of the South African Civil Aviation Authority, first as executive manager for Aviation Safety Promotion and later, general manager, Aviation Safety. Prior to his appointment at FAAN two years ago, Uriesi, was US certified Business coach and airport management consultant, based in Atlanta , Georgia . He joined FAAN in 2009 as Director of Airport Operations.
Nigerian airports, have over the years witnessed a considerable deterioration - with cows, goats and other domestic animals, often contesting right of way with aircraft on many runways, in several airports across the country.
The Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos , has become a shadow of itself, with several key facilities malfunctioning or not functioning at all. The airport’s power plants pack up at will, and passengers and airlines frequently grope in the dark, in the sweltering terminal building.
The toilets are an eye-sore, while the fuel hydrants are not functioning, forcing airlines and fuel suppliers to use boursers to supply fuel to aircraft on the tarmac.