Aviation workers protest planned airports concession
Aviation worker’s union on Monday embarked on demonstrations to protest the planned concession of the nation’s airports by the government.
The staff of Federal Airport Authorities of National (FAAN) occupied the domestic terminal of Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, (MAKIA) protesting move by the government, fearing that such measure could impact on job security in the sector.
The members of the Air Transport Service Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN), National Union of Air Transport Employee (NUATE), and Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals (ANAP) had set aside Monday 31st to embark on the peaceful protest to register their displeasure on the government position.
Chairman of Air Transport Service Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN), Hassan Aliyu insisted the concession plan will force many staff on retrenchment while the future of those retired may not be assured.
Aliyu cited the concession plan of Murtala Muhammad (MM2), Lagos and the defunct NEPA that failed to yield positive output but rather crippling carrier and sending retirees to early grave.
Aliyu disclosed that FAAN staff are satisfied with the traditional pension scheme being operated by FAAN and would rather not succumb to any forceful attempt to return aviation workers to PENCOM.
However, in spite of the protest, domestic plight operations were not affected by the peaceful protest as passengers were seen embarking on their busy movement.
Nigeria’s minister of aviation, Hadi Sirika said in response to the challenges in the sector, the government is planning to concession some of the country’s airports to generate more revenue and ease the pressure on government funding.
According to him, his ministry has concluded the business outline and intends to go ahead with the procurement of the concession of the airports.
“If government is not able to fund us because of the challenge of income, then government should not take the little we have. Every single agency in civil aviation is so critical that we need to fund it and because we understand the nature of this business, that was why we have now introduced the concession of our airports.
“We have now done the outline business case, we are now going ahead for the procurement to concession this airport.
He said the reason the government chose concession over privatization of the airports “is simple and that is because this government, the APC administration, is social democratic in nature, it does not want to sell national assets.