14 September 2017

Nigeria: Controversy Trails Concession of Lagos, Abuja Airports As Unions Kick

Photo: Premium Times
Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

Lagos — Divergent reactions have started trailing the concessioning of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport and Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, two of four major airports in the country.

The Federal Government gave the approval as announced on Monday by the Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.

The Chairman, Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN) Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Comrade Ahmed Danjuma, said concession was not the way out of the present challenges facing the agency.

Ahmed said misplacement of priority and politicians' intervention in the running of the system by flooding the agencies, especially with relatives and cronies employed without consulting the management of the organization, were top culprits.

The union leader explained that most of the airports were built for political reason, without considering the economic benefits to the nation.

He said concessioning the major airports would affect other airports that depend largely on the viable ones to survive.

"Airports across the globe survive because they sustain the airports with revenue they generate but in Nigeria, we use the generated revenue from the International Airport Lagos, to maintain the others," he said.

Aviation analyst and Chairman of Centurion Security, Group Capt. John Ojukutu, said there were no clear terms as to what the government wants to concession.

He said government must declare the areas to be concessioned, warning that the airside should be a no-go area in the concession arrangement.

The former airport commandant of MMA urged the government to instead invite business gurus in the country to take over the management of the airport terminal buildings.

He queried the rationale behind the concessioning of only two airports out of over 22 owned by the Federal Government.

The Secretary General, Association of Nigerian Aviation Professionals (ANAP), Comrade Abdulrasaq Saidu said FAAN, NAMA, NCAA and Nimet resolved at their zonal council meeting to oppose any form of concession in view of past and present corrupt tendencies being applied to favour few individuals.

"We say no to it and we shall fight it with the last blood of our union. We wrote to PMB of the danger to the security of Nigeria. We asked questions unanswered which must be given full details," he said.

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