Concession of Four airports’ll lead to job losses unions cry out

Aviation unions have raised alarmed that the  planned concession of the Four most profitable airports in Nigeria will lead to job losses and the process is not transparent.

The unions are under the umbrella of the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE), Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals, (ANAP), National Union of Air Transport Employees, (NUATE) and the Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, (ATSSSAN).

The unions during a peaceful on Monday in Abuja at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport said they totally reject the concession because it is not transparent. 

The Chairman, National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), Comrade Ahmed Yusuf, said if the four viable airports are concessioned, the remaining 18 airports will die because these four airports sustain the other airports. 

According to him, “We are protesting because while we were in a lockdown, the Minister of Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika surprising received the outline business case (OBC) certificate for the concession of the four most viable airports out of the 22 airports in Nigeria. 

“This came as a surprise and an insincere act. It lacked transparency and the staff were not carried along,” he said.

“We totally reject the concession because it is not transparent. If the four viable airports are concessioned, the remaining 18 airports will die because these four airports sustain the other airports. It is a disaster waiting to happen and definitely jobs will be lost. The Lagos airport alone can sustain the 22 airports so why the concession?” he asked.

He said the unions suggested Greenfield concession where the concessionaire will acquire a virgin land, build, operate and transfer the airports adding that this will create more jobs during and after construction and to drive competition. 

Also, the Abuja chapter Chairman of ATTSSAN, Comrade Samuel Wuyep, said the unions have never agreed that the concession should happen. 

He said they oppose to it and they will continue to oppose it. Procedurally, there are certain steps to take, we just went through the first step and the minister abandoned it and when to obtain a certificate from ICRC. There is no transparency in it.

The Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, had recently commenced the process to concession the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, the Malam Aminu Kano International Airport Kano, the Murtala Muhammad International Airport, Lagos and the Port Harcourt Airport. 

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