… Asks FG To Act Honourably
..Says Technocrats Are Dilly –Dallying With Ex- Nigeria Workers Limited Money
The National President of the Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN), Comrade Ilitrus Ahmadu, has stated that aviation unions would embark on industrial action if the Federal Government after the final seven days ultimatum to pay the entitlements of the ex-workers of the defunct Nigeria Airways Limited (NAL), totaling N45 billion, which was approved by the President Muhammadu Buhari.
He said this while addressing workers during the celebration of the International Workers Day by ATSSSAN at the association’s headquarters at the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos today.
The ATSSSAN National President, who was not happy with the plight of the ex-workers, stated that unions had given the Federal Government 21 days to address the issue raised and that the union has also given the government another 14 days after the 21 days elapsed.
Ahmadu stated that aviation unions were working on given the government final seven days ultimatum, adding if the Federal Government fails to pay the ex- NAL workers, the unions would have no option but to embark on industrial action.
According to him, “The Federal Government has given order that the N45 billion should be paid but technocrats are dilly –dallying with the money by holding it back. Our appeal to government is let us do what is right and honourable by paying the ex-NAL workers the N45 billion approved for them by the President Muhammadu Buhari.”
On concession, the President added that the unions had earlier said that airports should not be concessioned, but that if government is bent on concessioning the airports, it would carry on with its plans.
He said that if the unions continue with the position that airports should not be concessioned , the unions may be the losers, as they would soon find out that they would be complaining from outside and that their members would be the losers.
The ATSSSAN boss added that that was the reason the unions decided chose the part of negotiation.
He added that there are many solutions to the issue, adding that 80 per cent of airports all over the world previously owned by government have been transformed.
Ahmadu stated that today the major challenge is funding , adding that what the government needed to do transform Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria(FAAN) to Airport Company , as this model has worked in both South Africa and Singapore.
According to him, “We don’t want our members to lose their jobs and that is the more reason we are concerned and proffering solutions to the airport concession issue”
He said that the unions are offering these solutions because they don’t want their members to lose their jobs, adding that the Minister of State, Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika has assured aviation unions that nobody would lose his job.
The unions, he stated had argued that whatever decision would be taken on the concession should be in the interest of the Nigerian people.
Earlier, ATSSSAN National Secretariat was jam-packed with the association’s members drawn from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority(NCAA),Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria(FAAN), Accident Investigation Bureau(AIB),Nigeria Aviation Handling Company (NAHCo) Aviance, Skyway Aviation Handling Company Limited(SAHCOL), Bristow Helicopters among other agencies..
The carnival like event according to the President is to celebrate the International Workers Day, celebrated on May 1 every year.
At its national secretariat, ATSSSAN members came out in their different colours to celebrate the day and this was further complemented by enough food to eat and drinks to go round.
The celebrants, who are the workers, were treated to good and ever green old school music which led to a display of some hilarious dancing steps.