The National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) and the National Union of Pensioners (NUP) have explained the reasons for their anti-concession stance as expressed by their protests this morning at the Murtala Mohammed Airport, Ikeja, Lagos. The reasons as highlighted by members are as follows
- The plan was to enrich politicians only. According to the National Organizing Secretary of the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), Comrade Augustus Arokoye, the concession plan was just a gimmick being used by politicians to obtain and share national assets between themselves.
- Government was not recognizing the wishes of the people. Arokoye said that although the unions and other sector workers have made their position known to various arms of the government, there was no response indicating that the government was not really for the people but for themselves.
- Past attempts have failed woefully. Citing NEPA, NITEL and Nigerian Airways, the unions said that privatization, liquidation and all such plans had failed woefully. Hence, the likelihood of another failure was high.
- Some members of the unions believe that it’s another attempt by the FG to Islamize Nigeria, and possibly allow for the entry of possible insurgents into the country. For them, it’s a security threat. “Our position is that we say no to concession and even, they are selling our assets to Arab nations,” he stated. “We all know what is happening in Arab nations today. We are telling the government that we don’t want another insurgency in Nigeria. We are still battling with Boko Haram, we don’t want our security to be compromised. We know the countries they want to sell these assets to and we are saying no. This rally is because of [the] security problem.” A member of the NUP told Sahara Reporters.
- What happens to the Chinese concessionaire already in place? This was another question that the unions were placing to the FG. This, in their view, is another evidence of ulterior motives by the government.