Unions in the aviation sector have vowed to resist the proposed planned concession of four major international airports in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Kano.
This is coming on the heels of the recent approval by the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) and receipt of the outline business case certificate of compliance by the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika in Abuja.
Arising from an extraordinary emergency Joint Action Committee meeting, the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN), Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals (ANAP) and the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) branch said due process was violated by government and thereby the interests of Nigerians and workers cannot be protected.
According to them, with the current situation, the FAAN workers and pensioners nationwide have been placed on alert for further directives.
A source who attended the meeting told Daily Sun that the unions are going to fight the concession until the government does the right thing by making the process transparent.
The source said that unions were supposed to be part of the procedure and discussions but they were sidelined by the ministry causing breakdown in communication and trust.
“The project delivery team which are union are member was sidelined and this is not the first time. For a national project like this it ought to be very transparent
it gives confidence to the process.
Now we can’t trust anything coming from there,” the source said.
On Tuesday, June 23, Minister of Aviation, Captain Hadi Sirika, received the Outline Business Case Certificate of Compliance for the concession of Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Kano International Airports from the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC).
Receiving the certificates of compliance from the Director General of the commission, Mr. Chidi Izuwah, in his office, Sirika said that with the certificates of compliance, “we will go-ahead to the Federal Executive Council for approval for the full business of concession to proceed and that will turn the airport terminals to its full potential in private hands as millions of dollars would be pumped into the airports.”
Meanwhile, the unions also threatened to embark on strike if the management of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) goes ahead with its plan to pay incomplete salaries and entitlements of their members in the month of June.
In a statement signed by the Deputy General Secretary of ATSSSA, Frances Akinjole; General Secretary, NUATE, Abah Ocheme; General Secretary, ANAP, Abdul Rasaq Saidu and Acting General Secretary, AUPCTRE, Musa Ukpo, the unions said to avoid embarrassing consequences on the nation, workers’ salaries and entitlements must be paid in full by June 29, 2020.
“We have again been reliably informed that NAMA management is contemplating a payment of incomplete salaries to staff of the agency for the month of June this year. If this is true, it is our unions’ opinion that the intended action would amount to gross embarrassment to our aviation industry, the Federal Government of Nigeria and the entire people of this great country. Our unions therefore strongly advise against the attempt because, the consequences may be more damaging than what might have been envisaged
“Going forward, we are compelled to suggest that management be properly guided on how to address issues that concern salaries of our members in the agency. While we sincerely concede to the effectiveness of management continuous rapport with our in-house branches executives in NAMA for effective management of workers’ welfare and sustenance of industrial harmony, the correct position is that it is wrong for Management to even discuss any alteration to our members salaries without a recourse to the national unions.
“In light of the management’s intention against our members’ salaries, we hereby, strongly demand that full salaries and other entitlements as due to our members be paid on or before the 29th day of June 2020. Failure of this demand to be met may attract any action we deem necessary to protect the dignity of labour of our members without further warning from our unions,” they said.