Aviation unions and workers of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) yesterday staged a protest to express their disapproval over plans by government to concession the Lagos and Abuja Airports.
Scores of FAAN workers stormed the Freedom Square leading to the entrance of the authority’s headquarters to draw attention to what they described as illegal selling of the airports to people who are unknown to workers.
The protest came just as there was a battle for supremacy among three aviation unions : Association of Nigerian Aviation Professionals ( ANAP), National Union of Air Transport Employees ( NUATE) and the Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria ( ATSSSAN ).
The friction was occasioned by alleged inadequate representation among the unions over who should spearhead the protest .
Addressing workers, ATSSSAN National President, Comrade Illitrus Ahmadu said the workers were opposed to the concession of airports because the template is not clear to them and the parameters used by government.
Ahmadu said the workers will use every instrument at their disposal to battle government to frustrate the concession of airports.
He said the unions must be united to protect their collective interest of protecting their jobs.
Also speaking, General secretary of National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), Comrade Olayinka Abioye said the unions will mobilize to frustrate airports concession moves by government.
He said government needs to engage the unions before government could consider the concession of the airports.
Abioye said issues that will arise from the concession of the airports including job losses should be properly looked into.
He said the minister of state, aviation, Hadi Sirika should demonstrate transparency on the concession of airports.
He said FAAN has 64 legal cases over concessions that have not been resolved, yet government wants to go ahead to concession the airports.
He vowed that despite approval by government, aviation unions will mobilize against the concession.
Abioye alleged that Sirika has not shown transparency in his handling of issues in the industry.
He canvassed corporatisation or commercialisation of FAAN, to form airport companies to bring about effective airport systems.
He said the airports could only run effectively until officials of the ministry stop unbridled interference in the activities of aviation agencies.