The Trade Union Congress (TUC) has rejected planned concessioning of four major airports in the country.
TUC president, Comrade Quadri Olaleye in a statement, called on the federal government to use non-viable airports to experiment rather than using the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA); Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA); Port Harcourt International Airport (PHIA) and Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport (MAKIA).
Olaleye expressed his displeasure over the “arrogant declaration” that the concession is a “forgone conclusion,” adding that it is the peak of impunity which the current administration preached against.
He wondered why government would not invest in other airports scattered across the country. “Why do they want to stifled and incapacitate Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, (FAAN) – a parastatal created by an Act of Parliament?” he asked, noting that past concessions of “our common patrimonies have always been bedeviled with tales of woes. The Murtala Muhammed Airport 2 (MMA2) owned and operated by the Bi-courtney Aviation Services Limited is an eloquent testimony. The controversy surrounding the deal as per number of years to operate and amount of money owed FAAN are still lingering issues.”
“The Ethiopian Airports Authority, Egyptian Airports Authority, among others, are all doing great. Nigeria is more endowed in all ramifications than these countries but it is obvious they have better economy managers. How can we claim to be “Giant of Africa” and yet cannot manage little things? What we have are powerful individuals while our institutions suffer,” he pointed out.
The congress, he stressed, is vehemently opposed to any move to concession/privatise the airports, while urging government to kick -start this project with the underutilised airports as a pilot scheme. If successful, he said, this can be replicated in other airports.