…plans to shut down aviation industry
By Louis Ibah
Labour unions in Nigeria’s aviation sector have issued a 15-day ultimatum to the Federal Government to halt plans to concession the international airports in Kano, Abuja, Lagos and Port Harcourt or they will shut down activities across all airports in the country. Secretary General of the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), Mr. Olayinka Abioye who addressed a press conference in Lagos on Tuesday described the planned concession of the four lucrative airports as a fraud. He alleged that the haste with which the Minister of State for Aviation, Mr. Hadi Sirika is going about the concession plan gives a lot of room to suspect that the plan was to sell the airports to cronies of government. “The government does not want to talk to organised labour and the whole concession project is shrouded in a lot of mystery or secrecy as it is the Minister and very few persons that actually know what they want to do,” said Abioye. “We will not accept it because it is a fraud; it is corruption. Our worry is that this government that claims it doesn’t have money has set aside N1.5billion to Transaction Advisors without budgetary provision to effect the concession of the four airports and we will resist this fraud,” Abioye added. Abioye said the government had 15 days from October 10 (Tuesday) to halt the process and return to the negotiation table with stakeholders, especially labour and workers of FAAN. “We can be part of this fraud. After the expiration of this 15-days ultimatum, if the government does not talk to stakeholders and labour on what they want to do, we will shut down activities in the aviation industry,” said Abioye.