Aviation unions have urged members of staff of the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) not to panic over plans by the Federal Government to concession four international airports, assuring them that their interests would be protected.
In a circular dated March 31 which was addressed to all FAAN workers and pensioners and signed by the General Secretary of National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE),Ocheme Aba, Deputy General Secretary of
Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN), Francis Akinjole, Secretary General of Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals (ANAP), Abudulrazaq Saidu and National Secretary of Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), Emeka Njoku, the unions said all labour issues and the status of FAAN workers pre and post concession are currently on the front burner.
The unions said the observations of the shortcomings of the Outline Business Case for the airport concession are being given full consideration and would be addressed in the course of the next stages of the concession program; Request for Proposal and Full Business Case.
The circular read: “The recent order by President Muhammadu Buhari to the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, to hasten the airport concession program of the Federal Government, coupled with the recent pronouncements by the minister, giving timelines for the same concession, have heightened fears among FAAN workers and pensioners as to their fate in the event of a sudden concession of airports. This has necessitated this update for the purpose of assuaging such fears.
“The FG, through the airport authority and authorised by the Minister of Aviation, commenced formal engagement with our unions through the agency of a FAAN management/unions joint committee on airport concession. Till date, the committee has sat four times. Whereas, the committee was intended to conclude its assignment in eight sittings over four months, there currently does not appear an end in sight for the committee’s work as its scope of work has become amorphous, unwittingly.
“At the last sitting of the committee, it was observed that the FAAN MD and other management members of the committee were unceremoniously replaced by all current members of the Ministerial Aviation Roadmap Implementation Committee. No formal notification was afforded our unions nor are we sure about the actual implication of this change other than it signifies a further complication of the committee’s already foggy purpose and scope of work.
“Our observations of the shortcomings of the Outline Business Case for the airport concession are being given full consideration and would be addressed in the course of the next stages of the concession program; Request for Proposal and Full Business Case. All labour issues including actual valuation, consequential adjustment, the status of FAAN workers pre and post concession and the continuation or otherwise of employment are currently on the front burner.
“We wish to assure all FAAN workers and pensioners that our unions remain absolutely committed to achieving the above stated objectives and are fully focused on ensuring that they are fully realised. There shall be no compromise. Fortunately, the Federal Government has clearly stated its favourable disposition to meeting these objectives, agreeing that they tally with the government’s general beliefs with regards to concessions generally.
“We wish to dissuade our members from undue panic, as we are monitoring the situation closely enough as not to be taken by surprise. However, we enjoin FAAN members to be on the alert and to stand ready for action should we have reason to make such call under short notice.”