BY EMEKA EJERE
Air travellers in Nigeria may soon begin to suffer flight delays as the Nigerian Air Traffic Controllers’ Association lamented poor working conditions and threatened industrial action following the death of their colleague, Aniekan Effiong Inuk, at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
In a statement jointly signed on Tuesday by their President and Secretary, Abayomi Agoro and Agbonlahor Felix, the group said in the last two years, they have lost nine members on active service due to stress-related health complications which seem associated with poor working conditions and inadequate staffing.
The association gave an ultimatum of two weeks commencing from the date of the press release for their demands to be addressed otherwise, they said, “we cannot guarantee industrial harmony,”
They also announced the commencement of three-hour flow control for two days to press home their demands.
The three-hour flow control means flights will be delayed with many passengers stranded across the airports from today.
“Nigerian Air Traffic Controllers’ Association (NATCA) rose from an emergency meeting conveyed over the tragic, painful, and avoidable exit of one of our diligent and dedicated colleague, Mr. Aniekan Effiong Inuk in the early hours of Monday November 22, 2021.
“Several appeals to management and other stakeholders in the industry and inactions by appropriate managers on communiqués from the Association’s past Annual General Meetings had failed to address the issues.
“The death of Mr. Aniekan Effiong Inuk on active duty at Abuja airport whose sad event is not unconnected with the unavailability of an operational vehicle to move him to a hospital in record time amongst others is one too many.
“Hence, Air Traffic Controllers are embarking on a three (3) hours flow control for two days, 23rd and 24th November 2021 from 0600UTC to 0900UTC to register our displeasure and call the attention of relevant authorities and the public to quickly address our concerns without further delay,” the statement read in part.
The Association demands that NAMA management and relevant authorities should immediately do the following: