Cyclone Idai: Nigeria donates 30,000 tonnes of medical equipment, vaccines, $500,000 to Malawi

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…As Aviation unions issue 7-day ultimatum to FG over new NCAA organogram***

The Nigerian Government, on Monday in Lilongwe donated 30,000 tonnes of drugs, medical equipment, insecticide treated nets and 500,000 U.S dollars to the Republic of Malawi, that was hit by a tropical disaster called Cyclone Idai.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyeama, who led the delegation of Nigerian Government handed over the relief materials to Mr Nicholas Dausi, the Minister of Homeland Security and Disaster Management Affairs of the Republic of Malawi.

Onyeama said Nigeria had a special duty and responsibility to be a big brother in Africa, adding that any tragedy or misfortune that befalls any African country in Africa or outside the continent befalls Nigeria and it was a burden for the country.

“We share this burden and the loss with you in this country.

“When the hurricane happened, Nigeria was conducting election, nevertheless, President Buhari instructed us that as quickly as possible we had to mobilise resources to bring to this country.

“We mobilised over 8,000 medical items, equipment to assist and also cash donation of 500,000 U.S dollars.

“The amount is huge, 30, 000 tonnes of items , which will be transported to Malawi in the next one or two weeks maximum.

“Some of our big transporters C130 will deliver the equipment may be in two trips but we sent some of the equipment with a small plane, for this occasion,” Onyeama said.

The Minister, therefore, extended the sympathy and commiseration of President Muhammadu Buhari to the people of Malawi, over the unfortunate incident that claimed many lives and displaced thousands of people.

“Please, accept our deepest sympathy and the statistics are very disturbing, 86 000 people displaced, with some deaths and injured.

He said Nigeria during the years of apartheid in South Africa was considered a front line state because it was part of the struggle for the elimination of apartheid.

Responding, Mr Nicholas Dausi, Minister of Homeland Security and Disaster Management Affairs of the Republic of Malawi, thanked  government of Nigeria for the assistance , which would go a long away to help victims of the disaster.

“On behalf of the Government of the Republic of Malawi and the people that are scattered across 67 camps in the disaster and over 886,000 people affected, I want to sincerely express our deep thanks for your thoughtfulness.”

He said Malawi had benefited a lot from Nigeria in the areas of education and other sectors since 1960, adding that Nigeria had rendered both human and material support to Malawi during the struggle to end apartheid.

It would be recalled that March 8, was a tragic day for the people of Malawi as flooding, triggered by heavy rainfall, caused death of at least 60 persons and displaced not less than 86,000 houses and public infrastructure , while destroying farmlands destroyed.

However in Nigeria, some aviation unions have given the Federal Government a seven-day ultimatum to review the newly -approved organogram for the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) by the Federal Ministry of Transportation.

The unions, which issued the ultimatum on Monday, during a peaceful protest at the NCAA Headquarters in Lagos, vowed to embark on a warning strike if their demands are not met.

The unions were the Air Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN), and the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE); the Association of Nigerian Aviation Professionals (ANAP), and the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE).

The protesters, who carried placards with various inscriptions, accused the Federal Ministry of Transportation of trying to create redundancy in the NCAA through the merger of key directorates in the agency.

They also decried the non-promotion of some NCAA staff for well over three years due to lack of vacancy, which they claimed had affected the morale of workers.

In his speech, the President of ATSSSAN, Mr Illitrus Ahmadu, condemned the collapse of the directorates which included: Consumer Protection, Licensing Standards, General Aviation, Aeromedicals and Legal Services, in the new organogram.

Ahmadu, represented by Mrs Sarah Rimdams, First Deputy National President, ATSSSAN, said that the move was a flagrant violation of the agreement entered between the aviation unions and the Ministerial Committee set up to resolve the vacancy issue.

“Rather than address the vacancy issue to enable the promotion of our officers, they elected to embark on mergers of Directorates/Departments and the total constriction of the obsolete NCAA organogram.

“This will annihilate several existing manned positions of Assistant General Managers, Deputy General Managers, General Managers and Directors in the various Directorates.

“These to us, is a classic recipe for future redundancy which we will not accept,’’ he said.
Ahmadu said the unions therefore reject the new organogram, adding that the NCAA management, the Ministry of Transportation and other aviation stakeholders should urgently review the move in the interest of industrial harmony.

However, Mr Sam Adurogboye, General Manager, Public Relations, NCAA, highlighted that the unions were within their rights to voice their complaints over the new organogram and that the matter would be looked into by the management.

Adurogboye explained that the collapsing of the directorates was done by the committee because they were established outside of the NCAA Act.

“On the issue of promotion, what happened is that everybody cannot be promoted when the positions available are few, so management has to use different criteria.

“Management is still looking at the issue and is considering posting some persons outside the headquarters to create more spaces for them,’’ he said.