…As Unions Plan Fresh Protest
There are indications that workers of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) may resign in droves following the determination of the Federal Government to go ahead with the concession of the four major airports in the country.
A competent source told abelnews at the weekend that workers of the agency, who have served the agency for 10 years and above and who are not comfortable with planned concessioning of these facilities are considering resigning.
Recalled that the Federal Government through the Minister of Aviation, State, Senator Hadi Sirika listed the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos, the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport (NAA), Abuja, Port Harcourt Airport and Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport (MAKIA), Kano, as airports penciled down for concession in the first phase.
To further demonstrate its seriousness and determination to concession these facilities, the Federal Government also via the Sirika set up two committees last week to drive the process.
He gave the names of the committees as; Project Steering Committee and Project Delivering Committee, which according to him would ensure the success of the planned concession.
Abelnews learnt that parts of the arrangements was the re- training of FAAN’s staff to be absorbed by the concessionaires, while the concessionaires on their part would give the agency commissions based on whatever revenue it generates monthly.
The source pointed out that some of the staff are alleging that the minister was planning to concession the airports to his cronies and friends at a give a way price, adding that the proposed training of workers that would be absorbed may never materialise.
“There are lots of murmurings ongoing in FAAN at the moment over the plan to concession the four airports by the government. As I’m talking to you now, plans have reached an advanced stage to implement this plan of the government, but the staff of FAAN who are about 7,000 are not carried along.”
“In fact, there is a lot of skepticism on the plan of the government. Sirika said the staff would be trained by the concessionaire, but that has never happened before. It was the same thing Maevis said they would do when they took over the all the revenue points of FAAN for over four years, but it never happened till they were pushed out.” the source lamented
It was further learnt that the arrangements were not different from the defunct and questionable concession agreement FAAN had with Maevis Nigeria Limited a few years ago, which never yielded good results.
Recalled that Maevis, who was in charge of the aeronautic and non-aeronautic revenues for FAAN was later chased away at 12 mid night in commando style by aviation unions backed by FAAN management.
Maevis before it was chased away was accused severally of paying what the agency described as “peanuts” to it.
The concessionaire was also accused of not disclosing how much it generated but that it only pay any amount to agency at the end of each month without scrutiny by a third party.
Meanwhile, a source close to aviation unions told Abelnews that plans are in top gear to commence another round of protest against the planned concession and that the peaceful protest would take place any moment from now in all the airports.
If the unions go ahead with the protest, what that means is that they are not in support of the concession despite meeting with the Aviation Minister in Lagos on the issue last week.
The Minister had last week stated that aviation unions protested the proposed concession of the four airports for lack of proper information and conception that the airports were going to be sold to private individuals.
Attempts to reach the General Manager,Corporate Communications, Mr Yakubu Dati to speak on the matter failed.