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You Would Not Be Sacked, FG Assures Aero Workers 



The Federal Government has intervened in the crisis rocking Nigeria’s second largest commercial carrier, Aero Contractors Airlines, and has assured protesting workers of the firm that they will not be retrenched.

Aero on Wednesday announced the suspension of its scheduled flight services and directed its workers to proceed on an indefinite leave with effect from September 1, 2016, a development that triggered protests by employees of the firm.

In a bid to calm the angry workers, the Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, paid an unscheduled visit to the headquarters of Aero in Lagos on Friday where he met demonstrating employees of the airline.

Addressing the protesters, Sirika said the primary purpose of government was to encourage existing businesses and to provide jobs for the populace.

He said, “The primary purpose of government is to help to promote, nurse, sustain, develop, keep businesses so that they can continue to provide services and employ our people. So it is not the government of APC that will kill jobs and close down shops. Our intent is to promote jobs and promote businesses in Nigeria so that businesses will be growing.”

He appealed to the workers to disperse till Monday and promised to return with a feedback after his meeting with the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria, Aero and other critical stakeholders.

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“We will look into your demands, and come out with solutions that are mutually beneficial to the staff, management and the government,” the minister said.

The General Manager, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, Mr. Yakubu Dati, in a statement sent to our correspondent, noted that the protesters agreed to the minister’s request to suspend the demonstration and disperse till Monday.

Sirika was accompanied to the headquarters of Aero by the Director-General of Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, Capt. Usman Muktar, Director of Maintenance and Engineering, FAAN, Engr. Oluwafemi Ogunode, and Dr. Ibrahim Idris from the minister’s office.

The President, National Union of Air Transport Employees, Mr. Benjamin Okewu, the Chairman, Airline Operators of Nigeria, Mr. Noggie Megison, and other stakeholders were also present during the visit of the minister.

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