6,000 Jobs Under Threat Over Planned Concession Of Four Major Airports

Port Harcourt International airportNo fewer than 6,000 staff of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) may lose their jobs if the proposed concession of the four major airports in Kano, Lagos, Port-Harcourt and Abuja is actualized.

Making this known shortly after a peaceful protest against the planned concession yesterday at the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport (MAKIA), Chairman of Air Transport Service Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN), Malam Lawal Ahmad Fagge, described the move as an unwise decision.

He said the protest was organized to draw the attention of the federal government to the inherent dangers in the planned concession of the four affected airports.

“The four airports of Kano, Port-Harcourt, Lagos and Abuja are generating N33bn annually and 25 percent of the money goes to the FG and 45 percent is being used for maintenance and payment of workers’ salaries. So it is unwise to sell these airports since they can sustain themselves”, Mal. Fagge said.

In a related development, aviation workers yesterday shut down the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) in Lagos over the planned concession.

The workers comprising the ATSSSAN, National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) and the National Union of Pensioners (NUP), carried placards with inscriptions such as, “Sirika our airports are not for sale”; “Airport concessions will lead to national security breaches”; “Airport concession is economic terrorism”; “Our airports cannot be sold in bits”, among others.

It would be recalled that the Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, had some few days ago disclosed that the concession would follow a framework and would not go against national interest in anyway.

The protest is said to be going on simultaneously at the MAKIA, MMIA, Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport, Abuja, and Port Harcourt Airport, Rivers State.