By Chinelo Obogo
Following threats by the Nigerian Union of Pensioners (NUP) to stage a nationwide protest over the non-implementation of the Condition of Service agreement between retirees and the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), a senior management staff of the Authority has alerged that the retirees’ demands are unconstitutional and untenable.
An insider who prefers anonymity told Daily Sun it was the responsibility of the Salary and Wages Commission to determine what civil servants and retirees earn, hence, pensioners have no right to order the Managing Director of FAAN, Capt. Rabiu Yadudu, to implement any increase in allowance without recourse to the Commission.
The NUP, FAAN branch threatened to embark on a nationwide protest from May 4, 2021 if the Authority’s management fails to implement their Conditions of Service (CoS) agreement. At a rally held at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja, the National Secretary of NUP, FAAN branch, Emeka Njoku, said the management of Authority refused to implement recommended CoS as agreed with the committee set up by FAAN to negotiate issues of disparity in salaries.
Njoku revealed that the committee recommended that 18 per cent increment should be paid to workers from level one to 14, to bridge the wage gap between those at level 14 and below and 15 and above. He said that rather than implement the agreement, the management of FAAN dragged in the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, into a matter he says could have been handled by the agency.
He explained that the Act establishing FAAN gives the managing director powers to manage the affairs of the organisation and that while FAAN retirees are still trying to get 18 per cent, the Federal Government awarded 33 per cent to federal pensioners. But source who spoke to Daily Sun said that the demands being made by the pensioners are illegal and that Capt. Yadudu knows he cannot flout public service rules.
“They are not being realistic. During the review of staff salaries, those from level 15 and above got domestic servant allowance and other allowances were added to other categories. All of a sudden, the pensioners said they want whatever increment that was added to staff salaries like hazard allowance to be added to theirs. The way civil service is, if for instance at the time I retire, I am being paid N1, 000, that is what I will continue receiving. But in FAAN, anytime there is any increment for staff, the pensioners would start protesting and insisting that they also benefit from the increase. That is not how it is supposed to be.