.Accuse Minister of plotting to kill FAAN
.Say AIB not doing much to justify such huge collection
Nigeria aviation sector may witness yet another imbroglio as two unions are set to engage the Minister of State Aviation, Hadi Sirika, in a battle over his directive to the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) to remit 5% of its total Passengers’ Service Charges (PSC) to the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB).
According to investigation, the directive did not go down well with the aviation unions and they are bent on showdown with Sirika should FAAN implement the directive.
A source close to FAAN told The Daily Times that the agency was grappling with the payment of gratuities of some workers who left service since May 2016 and the Minister was trying to deplete its revenue by directing that 5% of revenue from PSC be paid to AIB.
A document made available to The Daily Times showed that AIB has requested for ministerial approval to allocate 10% of FAAN’s Passengers’ Service Charge collected to fund accident investigation Bureau Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).
AIB argued that 10% will adequately fund it to enable it deliver on its statutory mandate with revenue generated from both local and international airlines. At present, AIB is surviving on 3% Ticket Sales Charge (TSC).
But stakeholders have argued that the AIB has no role to play as the agency remained dormant except when there was accident, describing the move as another conduit pipe to siphon funds from the industry.
But AIB, on the other hand, in a defensive move, said the 3% TSC and its meagre budgetary allocation had not allowed it to fulfill its mandate.
According to the AIB, the agency had not been able to train accident investigators employed since 2013 hence it has been unable to complete series of civil aircraft accidents and incidents close to ten years.
In a swift reaction, members of the Association of Nigerian Aviation Professionals (ANAP) and Nigerian Union of Pensioners, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) branch have condemned in totality the alleged directive by the Minister of State, Aviation, for FAAN to be remitting 5 per cent Passengers’ Service Charge to the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB).
Speaking jointly on the new 5% directive, the aviation labour unions accused Senator Sirika of a grand plan to destroy FAAN, stressing that they would not fold their hands and watch the minister have his way.
Querying the rationale of giving AIB 5 % passengers service charge, both unions maintained that AIB is not doing much and therefore, does not require remittance from FAAN.
According to them, if by any chance, AIB is in need of money, the Ministry of Aviation should be able to fund the bureau, adding that by law, AIB is supposed to be funded by the Federal Government.
Comrade Saidu said: “He spoke about concession, we have kicked against concession. There were ministers before him that wanted to enforce their own aims and objectives without minding the ICAO best practices, we kicked against it.
We are kicking against the concession again. To add insult upon the injury, we just heard that he has approved and announced that FAAN should be given AIB 5 per cent of IGR. When you look at the numerous responsibility of FAAN as the landlord, it is uncountable. That is why FAAN is intensifying efforts on their IGR improvements”.