Aviation Unions dismiss Minister’s claims on concession of Abuja, Kano Airports
The aviation workers Unions have dismissed the claim of the Minister of aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika that Abuja and Kano Airports have been concessioned.
The Unions said the conssesion cannot work because the whole process is based of faulty foundation, lacks transparency, has labour issues, has legal issues and a one man show.
The Unions in a statement signed by Comrade Ocheme Aba,the secretary general of the National Union of Air Transport Employees, NUATE, Comrade Frances Akinjole, Deputy General Secretary of the Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, ATSSSAN, Secretary General of Association of Nigerian Aviation Professionals, ANAP Comrade Abdul Rasaq Saidu and Comrade Comrade Emeka Njoku, National Secretary, Nigeria Union of Pensioners, NUP FAAN brach stated that they have consistently and persistently called attention to the many unwholesome aspects of the airports concession program of the Ministry of Aviation and asked for retuning of the process to make it beneficial to Nigeria and its people, including the workers and pensioners of FAAN.
The Unions said they are convinced that their inputs can only assure a more robust concession process that can guarantee better outcomes for FAAN and its workers.
They noted that the present one man show has only shortchanged their collective aspirations and vision for the future of the nation’s airports and the aviation industry.
“Our effort to bring this situation to the public domain is to enable public outcry to compel the government into positive action to save the concession program, and to alert the incoming government to the booby-traps being enacted for its downfall by the outgoing government.
We wish however, to state strongly and categorically that our commitment to ensuring that the stated shady concession exercise does not see the light of day is total and unwavering. This present exercise falls far short of legal and acceptable limits and standards of airports concession by global best practices. We shall stand against it mightily and courageously in the interest of fatherland and the workers. We shall not allow any illegal concessionaire near any airport facility in Nigeria, and any effort to use force against us will be met with equal and opposite reaction”, the Unionsvexplained.
They pointed out that any concessionaire would have known that it has willingly purchased a lemon and cannot complain about unfair practice as they have persistently and loudly shouted buyers beware over and over in the past on the issue of airports concessions.
The Unions maintained that all such concessionaires know the global standards, particular as regards settlement of labour issues before any concession.
“If they had been given the impression that Nigeria’s case can be different, then this serves as wake up call to them to awake from their dreams of delusion.
There can be no concession of Nigerian airports until there is resort to legality and normality”, the Unions said
It will be recalled that the Federal Ministry of Aviation (and Aerospace) has announced that the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja and the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport (MAKIA), Kano have been ‘successfully’ concessioned to Corporacion American Airports Consortium.
The Ministry said this was the outcome of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting of 17th May, 2023 which ‘approved’ the concession.
The Unions informed Nigerians and International public that the action of the Federal Government is an exercise in abnormality and absurdity, albeit in futility.
The Unions maintained that, anyone or entity that may proceed to commit any form of resources to such endeavor is engaging in sheer wastefulness, as the claimed approval of the FEC, if such really exists, is a non-starter.
The Union said: “It is our believe that members of the Federal Executive Council were overcome by the spirit of Camaraderie as institutionalized in the present posture of the outgoing government for last minute bonanza for its principal officers, and so failed to scrutinize the request brought before it by the Hon. Minister of Aviation. If the Council did it would have availed itself of publicly available information and materials which our unions have persistently put before members of the Council and the Public about the many legally, economically and socially untenable aspects of the airports concession program of the Ministry of Aviation, and which are inimical to both orderly development of Nigerian airports and Nigeria’s social economic interest.
For the purpose of understanding, we are compelled, for the umpteenth time, to highlight the main issues in contention pertaining to the purported airports concession”.