The Nigerian Union of Pensioners (NUP), the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), has warned the Minister of State, Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika against concessioning airports to Arabs.
The warning is coming just as the Minister said that the Federal Government would concession the four major and viable airports in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Kano to concessionaires for better management and quality service delivery.
The group said that the antecedents of Arab states is giving the union a source of worry, wondering why Arab companies should be considered in the concession programme.
According to NUP, “The union is asking this important question why ARABS companies. We all know the antecedents of Arab states. Where we find all types of people with questionable characters (we are afraid).
The group asked the minister to produce the blueprint of those he wants to concession Nigeria’s sovereignty to, to enable security agents investigate their activities.
The group gave the warning in a statement jointly signed by the National Chairman, Comrade Rasaki Ope and the Administrative Secretary, Comrade Emeka Njoku and made available to journalists
NUP posited that airports are not built to make profit but to link Nigeria with other countries in the world and that it should be guided with all necessary machinery.
It further argued that presently the Chinese are still constructing and expanding international airports, which the minister wants to concession to foreigners, adding that it is a clear case of colonisation.
The group contended that the minister attributed the lack of management performance at these airports as the cause of the problems, adding that if the minister feels the present management of airports are not competent, he should look for good hands to manage the four airports.
According to NUP, “We want to posit that, these four viable airports are being managed by Nigerian over the years and it was graded category A and not foreigners. The union is asking this important question why ARABS companies. We all know the antecedents of Arab states. Where we find all types of people with questionable characters (we are afraid).Let the minister bring out the blueprint of all those he wants to concession our sovereignty to, so that the security agents can investigate their activities.”
NUP recalled that some years ago KLM was brought in to manage Nigeria Airways Limited and that KLM left the national carrier worst than it met NAL without putting any meaningful structure in place.
The group also noted the high level of incursion into the vast acres of land at international wing of the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos with the connivance of people from the Aviation Ministry thereby stalling room for future expansion of the complex.
NUP advised the minister to focus his attention on the previous, some present officials and unofficial land grabbers, who have bought acres of the airport land.
“We are therefore sending a warning signal to the Minister of Aviation to retrace his steps as regards the planned concessioning of the four international airports which were made viable by Nigerian cum workers of FAAN. We now ask again, why not concession all the unviable airports to the so called experts or investors to make those viable?