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The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has been asked to suspend the recruitment of personnel into the aerodrome fire rescue and safety departments after claims of manipulation involving politicians.

The recruitment exercise became enmeshed in a manipulation scandal after some candidates’ names were allegedly replaced, on the orders of some unnamed politicians from the Ministry of Aviation. Specifically, some of the candidates who went through the rigorous recruitment process were replaced on the behest of the unknown politicians.

In 2017, 107 Aviation Security (AVSEC) and 109 Aerodrome Rescue and Fire Fighting Services (ARFFS) were commissioned by FAAN, with the personnel recruited to complement security at the airports and beef up the capacity of the fire fighting arm of the agency.

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The recruitment exercise was supposed to be carried out by FAAN. However, the regulator reportedly lost control to politicians.

About 300 candidates who were shortlisted to fill the vacant positions in the departments are allegedly being weighed for possible replacement by officials of the Ministry of Aviation, with names from a section of the country.

FAAN Recruitment scandal, Nigerians hit with over 60% delayed and cancelled domestic flights in 2018
Nigerian airport

Unions are fighting back: The National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) on Monday, petitioned the Managing Director of FAAN, condemning the recruitment exercise in Kaduna. The location of the recruitment didn’t sit well with stakeholders, raising further eyebrows about the recruitment.

[READ ALSO: Reps raise concern over Aviation Ministry’s debt profile]

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FAAN accused of operating against rules of the public civil service and disregarding technical, safety and security requirements. In the statement by NUATE, FAAN was accused of the following;

  • The catchment areas provision in the civil service rule for lower cadre employees has been completely jettisoned.
  • Maximum age requirement for recruitment was thrown overboard as well as technical and physical fitness.

Why FAAN is letting Politicians takeover: FAAN is powerless against politicians to involve, due to the influence these individuals wade in the political space, this, according to report, is why the current management of the airport authority is feeling reluctant to exercise its power.

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Aviation stakeholders and unions are said to be protesting this move to overturn the exercise to favour unqualified candidates.

NUATE urged FAAN to stop the recruitment exercise to enable a review of the process and adoption of the normal system. There are plans by some unions to meet and deliberate on the next course of action.

Note: About 1000 additional aviation security and aerodrome rescue fire fighting unit is reportedly needed to replace the aging workforce.

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