Unions vow to resist planned concession of airports


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Unions vow to resist planned concession of airports

Unions vow to resist planned concession of airports

The Federal Airports Authority (FAAN) Tennis Club, Ikeja has called on the sports authorities to upgrade of all sporting facilities in the country to enhance sports development

By Dirisu Yakubu

Against the backdrop of possible job losses owing to the planned concession of four most prominent airports in the country, aviation unions in the land have vowed to resist the moves.

The Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika has commenced the process to concession the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, the Malam Aminu Kano International Airport Kano, the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos and the Port Harcourt International Airport.

Regarded as “The Big Four,” the Minister has in many fora insisted that the planned concessions
would open . The Minister had consistently said the concession would open the sector for more investment.

However, the unions made up of the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers, NAAPE, Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals, ANAP, National Union of Air Transport Employees, NUATE, and the Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, ATSSSAN, have kicked against the move, describing as ill-motivated.

As part of their planned systematic opposition to the concession, the unions staged a demonstration late Monday evening at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International airport, threatening to shut down the aviation industry.

Addressing journalists, NUATE chairman, Comrade Ahmed Yusuf said, “We are protesting because while we were in a lockdown, the Minister of Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika surprising received the Outline Business Case, OBC, certificate for the concession of the four most viable airports out of the 22 airports in Nigeria. This came as a surprise and an insincere act. It lacked transparency and the staff were not carried along.

“We totally reject the concession because it is not transparent. If the four viable airports are concessioned, the remaining 18 airports will die because these four airports sustain the other airports. It is a disaster waiting to happen and definitely jobs will be lost. The Lagos airport alone can sustain the 22 airports so why the concession?” he asked.

On his part, Comrade Samuel Wuyep, the Abuja chapter Chairman of ATTSSAN added: “The Unions have never agreed that the concession should happen. We oppose it and we will continue to oppose it. Procedurally, there are certain steps to take. There is no transparency in it” he said.

Vanguard News Nigeria

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Source: Vanguard News.

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