National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) has applauded the federal government for implementing a retirement policy in respect of general managers on level 17 who serve eight years in agencies in the ministry of aviation.
Assistant Secretary General of NUATE, Mr. Olayinka Abioye disclosed this while speaking in an interview in Lagos, Abioye stating that there had been political interference in the management of government ministries, departments and agencies.
“How did we get there? We got there because of political interference in the day- to-day affairs in federal government establishments. The government set up a committee to look at how public sector can best be reformed and a lot of recommendations were made. One of which was that if you are a political appointee from grade level 17 upward, that is general managers, directors, managing directors and so on, if you spend the first four years, it is renewable for another four years. So, you have what is called eight-year tenure of office,” he said.
He added: “When you join the public service, your aim depending on your qualification and expertise is that you get to the top at a particular time. If political patronage took over and people are now being appointed to critical positions where public servants are supposed to be and where politicians are already aiming at, their progression would be stunted.”
He reiterated that “labour is in full support of the tenure policy, adding that “when political appointees have spent eight years, it is believed that they have nothing to prove anymore and that as a result they should give room for others to come in.”
“For us as labour, we support the management; we support the government in asking these people to go after eight years. When you have spent eight years in a particular position, we believe you don’t have anything new you want to offer. Therefore, such people should go and give room for others. If government has not been bringing people into the system, the system would have functioned more effectively than we are seeing now,” he added.
Speaking further, he said successive ministers of aviation had recruited university graduates without experience into the system as assistant general managers, adding that “prior to the time anyone who became a general manager must have spent over 20 years.”
“These are people without cognate experience in public service except that they belong to the ruling party and they are personal and technical assistants to these office holders; drop them on us at very colossal cost. So we are very much in support of the policy. In aviation (ministry), before one became a general manager, one had to spend more than 20 years,” he said.