FAAN, Affiliated Unions Stage Protest Over Airports’ Concession

FAAN protest proposed airports concessioning

Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, workers in Kano and two affiliated unions, staged a mass protest on Tuesday over the plan by the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Serika to concession the four major airports in the country, saying such move would endanger the jobs of over 6,000 FAAN workers.

The union called on President Mohammadu Buhari not to succumb to the plan of the Aviation Minister to concession the four viable airports in the country namely, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Lagos and Kano.

The Chairman of Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, Comrade Ahmed Lawal Fagge, who spoke on behalf of Nigeria Union of Air Transport Employees,NUATE, and Nigeria Union of Pensioners’, NUP, at the Aminu Kano International Airport, venue of the protest, said that the concession of the four  airports would lead to the “death” of FAAN workers.

Fagge noted that some cartel in government are only interested in buying the airports and concessioning them to Turkish investors, adding that this move will lead to serious national security breach as well as economic terrorism.

He said the workers’ union will mobilize against any such attempt in the name of Airport concession.

The protesters carried placards with inscriptions such as: “Cartel in Government are interested in buying the four viable airports”, “our airports cannot be sold in bits”, “airport concession is economic terrorism” and “workers say no to Airport concession,” among others.

Fagge said the unions had raised four issues on the planned concession of the airports.

“Let me put the record straight, the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, is generating N33 billion annually, out of which 25 percent goes to the coffers of the Federal Government, 20% is being paid for the new Terminal Building being constructed by a Chinese company across the nation, 2% interest is being paid on that, while 45% is the amount being used for the maintenance of the airports and the maintenance of workers and what have you.

“Now, what we are agitating for is that he did not carry the workers along. They just want to concession the four viable airports overnight, namely, Kano, Port Harcourt, Lagos and
Abuja.

“The destiny of over 6,000 workers across the airports is hanging in the balance. We are therefore calling on Mr President, whom we know is not aware of this dangerous plan. That is why we are crying out, so that this information would get to him.”

Fagge wondered why the authorities were bent on concessioning the viable airports instead of making plans to build new ones.




     

     

    He questioned the rationale behind the plans to concession the four major airports that are generating revenue, when the government is looking for ways to shore up revenue generation.

    “We don’t want a similar situation that happened to Nigeria Airways to happen to FAAN.

    “So, by the time these four major airports are concessioned, what happens to the minor ones.

    “What we are saying is that to concession the four major airports is an economic terrorism, it is a threat to the security of the country,” Fagge said.

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