…Say Process Not Transparent, Shrouded In Secrecy
Aviation unions made up of Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN) National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals (ANAP) and the National Union of Pensioners (NUP) today staged a peaceful protest on the concession of the airports.
The unions as early as 8 am mobilised workers of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), to join in the peaceful protest that started from Freedom Square domestic airport saw workers coming out in their numbers to join the struggle.
The workers who sang solidarity songs as they marched on the Murtala Muhammed Airport Access road protested the concession of the Murtala Muhammed Airport(MMA), Lagos, Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport(NAA),Abuja, Port Harcourt, Port-Harcourt and Mallam Aminu Kano Airports(MAKA), Kano.
As the marched from the domestic terminal, through MMA2 terminal and international wing of MMA Lagos carrying placards with different inscriptions such as, “Don’t concession our airports to your cronies and friends, We are going to resist any form of concession that is not transparent, fair and that does not have human face, FAAN Workers have been patience enough, job losses loom in the aviation industry,” among others.
To ensure the success of the protest members of the four unions ensure that the main gates leading to FAAN head office were padlocked.
This to a very large extent AbelNews learnt disrupted business activities in the agency.
To give the protest further bite, aviation unions were joined by members of the Lagos state Nigeria Labour Congress(NLC).
Speaking during the protest, General Secretary, NUATE, Comrade Ocheme, stated that there was the need to hear the workers voice who would be directly affected , adding that the exercise is their stake and their service record.
He contended that the concession embarked by the Aviation Minister, Senator Hadi Sirika was not transparent and the unions do not have confidence in the Minister any longer.
In his words, “They equally come out to let Nigerians know that this is beyond what will happen to the workers of FAAN and this about what will happen to the common patrimony and the common heritage of Nigerians.”
On his part, ATSSSAN Chairman FAAN branch, Comrade Ahmed Danjuma argued that the planned concession was an injustice to workers in FAAN, vowing that unions would resist it with whatever it takes.
Speaking further, he said that from day one when the Aviation Minister started the process he has never been sincere or transparent about the concession.
According to him, “He approached the unions to be members of that committee incidentally myself and the president of NUATE and members of that committee in order to monitor initially we refused to join that committee.”
Also speaking, ANAP General Secretary, Comrade Abdulrazak Saidu, said the unions have held meetings with the Minister but that none yielded positive results.
He said that the Minister embarked on a one man concession project in connivance with the Infrastructure, Concession and Regulatory Commission(ICRC).