The Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria, (FAAN), Benin, Edo State yesterday handed down an eviction order to over 40 concessionaires doing businesses at the Benin domestic Airport amid protest from affected shop owners.
LEADERSHIP gathered that the eviction order was consequent upon a letter signed by the Head of Department (Commercial), Namah Habila, on behalf of the Airport manager which ordered all shop owners to vacate the airport premises before Tuesday 20th November, 2012.
Portion of the letter which was made available to LEADERSHIP reads, "Am directed to inform you that you are to dismantle the temporary structure from the car park area and remove them out of the airport within seven days of this letter. You are to ensure compliance by Tuesday 20th November, 201. We regret any inconvenience this action may cause you".
However some of the affected concessionaires who spoke under anonymity described the short notice as a violation of an earlier agreement it entered with airport authority before any occupant can be evicted.
According to a restaurant owner "We just came here yesterday (Saturday) morning to see this eviction order without adequate notice to look for an alternative place out side the airport. What happen to some of us whose rent is yet to expire? This is the only business we have to carter for our family, am appealing to the authority to give us at least three month quit notice, she pleaded.
Benin Airport Manager, Segun Ayodele, when contacted on phone yesterday said the eviction order is in line with the federal government's on-going reform at airports in Nigeria adding that the earlier agreement entered with concessionaires was provisional and subject to revocation at any time.
"The issue is that they are asked to leave because of beautification going on at the airport, the said letter is a provisional one and can be revoked at anytime. It is an effort to reclaim the car park area," he explained.