Aviation unions oppose Lagos, Abuja airport concession
By Louis Ibah
Labour organisations in Nigeria’s aviation industry have rejected the proposed concessioning of the Lagos and Abuja airports by the Federal Government.
According to the Chairman of Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN), Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Mr. Ahmed Danjuma, labour had to kick against the idea as it was not the panacea to the various challenges facing the industry.
Danjuma said it was the misplacement of priority and the politicians who continuously flooded FAAN with workers employed without due process that led to the rot at the airport.
In the same vein, the Secretary General, Association of Nigerian Aviation Professionals, Mr. Abdulrasaq Saidu, said workers in FAAN, the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Nigerian Meteorological Agency (Nimet), and the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) had resolved at their Zonal Council meeting on Tuesday to oppose any form of concessioning of the two airports.
“We say no to it (concession) and we shall fight it with everything we have,” said Saidu. “We wrote to President Muhammadu Buhari, on the danger the concessioning of the airports will pose to the security of Nigeria and we asked questions, which have been unanswered,” he added.
Saidu said at present, almost all the revenue points at the two airports have been concessioned and that nothing was left for FAAN.
Also, the Chairman of Century Security, Group Capt John Ojukutu retd, said there should be clear terms as to what the government wants to concession at the airports.
Ojukutu also suggested that anyone taking over the Lagos airport and Abuja airport must also take responsibility of the smaller airports under these two airports.
He queried the rationale behind the concessioning of only two airports out of the over 22 airports across the country, calling for the concessioning of all the airports in the country.
Meanwhile, hundreds of former workers of Nigeria Airways staged a peaceful protest at the Lagos airport to air their grievances on the delay of their over N78 billion severance benefits.
They expressed concern that over one year since the amount was approved by President Buhari, they are yet to be paid. The ex-workers said the President should step in and compel the Ministries of Transportation and Finance to expedite action on the disbursement of the funds to them.