Stakeholders in the aviation sector are divided over the Federal Government’s bid to concession the nation’s four major airports across Lagos, Abuja, Kano and Port Harcourt.
While the airport workers in private aviation companies are in support of concession, their counterparts in the public service opposed the plan.
The Secretary-General, National Union of Air Transport Employees, Ocheme Abba believes that the concession plan would not succeed due to many legal tussles and other issues around the operations of the four airports.
According to him, the bidders were not aware of these concerns, adding that the union and its partner associations in the sector would make issues public soon.
He said, “The concession exercise is carrying too much baggage and they (government) cannot succeed. It will not work because of the too much baggage. However, our views will be documented and unveiled by next week Tuesday.
“There are a lot of liabilities and labour issues that have not been addressed at all. There are economic issues surrounding the airports themselves, including many concessions that are already on and are legally binding.
“There are many legal unresolved issues. So the issues are too much and I think this information has not been communicated to interested bidders. So, we intend to issue a caveat emptor shortly.
“There is a N120 billion actuarial valuation for the over 12,000 workers of FAAN that has not been captured by the Outline Business Case. This is not in the public domain and bidders are not aware of it.
“On economic issues, most businesses of FAAN are currently under multiple concessions that are already ongoing and are legally binding at these very airports.
“There are over 50 legal cases on various aspects of operations of the airports that are currently in court. So these are just a few reasons why the plan to concession the airports won’t work.”
On the other hand, a source at the Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria told Nairametrics that its members are in support of the plan.
He said, “Our union has an affiliation with workers in the private and the public sectors.
“Our members in the private sector such as airlines are pro-concession because they want better services and quick turnaround time at airports, the employees in FAAN say they don’t want it.”
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The Federal Government had released a request for qualification for the concession of four international airport terminals and other related services.
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Aviation, Mr Hassan Musa, made this announcement in a statement issued on Monday by the Director, Public Affairs of the ministry, Mr James Odaudu.
Nairametrics reported that the four major commercial airports are Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja; Murtala Muhammed Internatıonal Aırport, Lagos; Malam Amınu Kano Internatıonal Aırport, Kano; and Port Harcourt Internatıonal Aırport.