Despite misgivings and protest, aviation agencies have started relocating to Abuja in compliance with the 45-day deadline given by the Aviation Minister, Senator Hadi Sirika. Sirika had, in a letter dated 4th May 2020 FMA/PMD/7061/T/4 and signed by the Director, Human Resource Management, Alhaji Mohammad Shehu, ordered all agencies based in Lagos to relocate to Abuja.



The agencies are: Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) and the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB).

Stakeholders had rejected the proposal which they said was not realistic.


They said Lagos remains the centre of aviation and relocation of the bureaucracy could slow down activities in the sector.

As the 45 days elapsed, it was learnt that some Directors of some of the agencies have started relocating to the FCT. Already, all the CEOs of the agencies operate from Abuja while some of their Directors have been mobilised to relocate, it was learnt.

On Wednesday, the AIB said it had commenced the relocation of its corporate headquarters to Abuja from Lagos in line with the Ministerial directive.

The Commissioner/CEO, Engr Akin Olateru and other strategic officers had since been operating from Abuja. But aviation unions, which had earlier said the 45-day directive was not realistic in view of the COVID-19 pandemic and the fact that the cost of relocation was not captured in the 2020 budget, insisted that all entitlements of workers must be paid before relocation.

General Secretary of the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), Com. Aba Ocheme, said only AIB has relocated its headquarters, adding: “Other agencies are making it look like they are planning to relocate.”

President of Aviation Roundtable, Dr Gbenga Olowo, said the relocation directive does not make economic sense.