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The Hitch-free Succession Process at FAAN

The Hitch-free Succession Process at FAAN

Chinedu Eze

On Tuesday the former Managing Director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Captain Rabiu Yadudu, officially handed over to his successor, Kabir Mohammed at the head office of the agency at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

Captain Yadudu who completed his four-year tenure last weekend, left FAAN in a very eventful manner. He bowed out after conducting a very successful FAAN National Aviation Conference (FNAC) with the theme: Sustainability of the Aviation Industry in Nigeria. Anyone who attended the conference and listened to his presentations would have fond memory of him as a one-time Managing Director of FAAN who etched himself in the history of the agency.

His presence at the conference was like an epilogue of a virtuoso performance, the crowning of four years of steering the affairs of the most strategic aviation agencies that is managing 22 airports and providing critical manpower to the other existing airports in the country. His candour during the conference seemed augury, as he seemed to be delivering a valedictory speech. Did he have an incline? Was he aware that he was making a parting presence as FAAN boss? So, when it was announced he was leaving, the news raked up emotional nostalgia and not a few spoke about his performance at the FNAC conference.

However, the federal government seemed discerning this time. It chose the right man to succeed Yadudu in person of Kabir Mohammed, who is a man of immense goodwill, invaluable experience and intellectually deep.

Mohammed is a seasoned airport manager who has understudied many past managing directors in FAAN and whose modern thinking and orientation will solidify the new trajectory in development started by Yadudu. Last year Yadudu set up AviaCargo Committee headed by the travel expert, Ambassador Ikechi Uko whose team unveiled the undiscovered wealth in cargo freighting by air. What is potentially great is that Nigeria has so much to be taken out of the country, a huge market that has only been nibbled at but when fully maximized will boost the revenue of FAAN. Kabir Mohammed is highly inclined to turn the lead to gold. As Uko revealed during his presentation at FNAC, last year Ethiopian Airlines, known globally as passenger airline made the bulk of its revenue from cargo. COVID-19 was an eye opener to the wealth inherent in cargo freighting.

Before taking over as the Managing Director of FAAN, Mohammed was the Regional General Manager, Central Region Airports, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and Chairman Aviation Roadmap Implementation Committee.

From his precedents, Mohammed will be the one that will manifest the vision of a new FAAN that would spearhead a new front in airport infrastructural development. This is confirmed by what he did in the last position he held, managing the Abuja airport. He literally transformed the landscape of that airport and made it a very attractive facility that THISDAY authoritatively learnt that it has become the airport of choice to many Nigerians returning to the country. This has also reflected in the growing passenger traffic.

In the statement issued by FAAN during his handover, it described Mohammed as a seasoned administrator and an astute aviator with stints in both the public and private sectors that formed his wealth of experience in aviation safety and security.

“He is expected to consolidate on the lofty achievements of the immediate past Managing Director/CE, Captain Rabiu Hamisu Yadudu,” the statement said.

Mohammed is an alumnus of the International Visitors Leadership Program of the United States Government, and he holds a diploma in Airport Executive Leadership from ACI/Concordia University. He is an International Airport Professional (IAP).

Prior to his appointment as the Managing Director and Chief Executive of FAAN, he had served the organization in various capacities including: Special Assistant to the Managing Director; Head of Servicom, Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport (MAKIA), Kano; Chief Liaison Officer, FAAN Liaison Office, Abuja; Chief of Staff to the MD/CE; General Manager, Special Duties, and Regional General Manager, North Central/Airport Manager, Abuja Airport.

“We congratulate the newly appointed MD/CE and also welcome him as he takes the mantle of leadership. We thank Captain Rabiu Hamisu Yadudu for his innovativeness and hard work while his tenure lasted. We wish him all the best in his future endeavours,” the statement said.

Last year Mohammed won the 2022 Distinguished leadership award of International Airport Professional/Community of Practice (IAPCOP) due to his outstanding achievements as an aviator.

The Distinguished Leadership IAP award, according to IAP, was given in recognition of aviation professional for his/her role as a community leader and an active participant in the growth and improvement of the aviation community.

Mohammed has worked in various government and private organisations, such as the Presidency, Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, State House, Office of the Head of State, Commander-in-Chief, among others.

He is expected to prepare major airports under his control for certification by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and by extension the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). The Lagos and Abuja airports that were certified in the past must be renewed to ensure that the airports are operating in tandem with international practices. In addition to that, it is expected that the airports in Kano and Port Harcourt would be certified.

The media is inundated with reports by passengers who are not satisfied with the deplorable facilities in some airports in Nigeria. It is expected that the new helmsman will apply his modern thinking in rejuvenating these facilities and make them more functional and to meet the expectations of the travelling public.

While many are expectant that Mohammed will bring in transformational development at the airports, industry stakeholders should be ready to heck at meddlesome ministers who do not allow agency heads to do their jobs to the best of their ability.

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