Aviation Unions warn Tinubu about booby-traps set by Aviation Minister in airports concession 

By Christian Appolos, Abuja 

Coalition of unions in the Nigeria aviation sector, have called on the incoming government of the President-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu to be aware of “the booby-traps being enacted for its downfall by the outgoing government, regarding the raging issue of the concession of some airports in Nigeria.

They also described the recent Federal government pronouncement of the concession of Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport and the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport to an American firm; Corporacion American Airports Consortium, as exercise in abnormality and absurdity.

The Unions; National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN), 

Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals(ANAP) 

and Nigeria Union of Pensioners FAAN Branch (NUP), also warned that “anyone or entity that may proceed to commit any form of resources to such endeavor is engaging in sheer wastefulness.”

According to a statement jointly signed by the General Secretaries of NUATE, ATSSSAN, ANAP and NUP, Comrade Ocheme Aba, Comrade Frances Akinjole, Comrade Abdul Rasaq Saidu and Comrade Emeka Njoku, respectively, the Union went on to say; “

This present exercise falls far short of legal and acceptable limits and standards of airports concession by global best practices. 

“We shall stand against it mightily and courageously in the interest of fatherland and the workers. We shall not allow any illegal concessionaire near any airport facility in Nigeria, and any effort to use force against us will be met with equal and opposite reaction.

“We wish however, to state strongly and categorically that our commitment to ensuring that the stated shady concession exercise does not see the light of day is total and unwavering. There can be no concession of Nigerian airports until there is resort to legality and normality.”

The statement earlier said; “The Federal Ministry of Aviation (and Aerospace) has announced that the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja and the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport (MAKIA), Kano have been ‘successfully’ concessioned to Corporacion American Airports Consortium. The Ministry said this was the outcome of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting of 17th May, 2023 which ‘approved’ the concession.

“All such concessionaires know the global standards, particular as regards settlement of labour issues before any concession. If they had been given the impression that Nigeria’s case can be different, then this serves as wake up call to them to awake from their dreams of delusion.

“Our Unions have consistently and persistently called attention to the many unwholesome aspects of the airports concession program of the Ministry of Aviation and asked for retuning of the process to make it beneficial to Nigeria and its people, including the workers and pensioners of FAAN. 

“We are convinced that our inputs can only assure a more robust concession process that can guarantee better outcomes for FAAN and its workers.

“The present one man show has only shortchanged our collective aspirations and vision for the future of our airports and the aviation industry. Our effort to bring this situation to the public domain is to enable public outcry to compel the government into positive action to save the concession program, and to alert the incoming government to the booby-traps being enacted for its downfall by the outgoing government.”

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