Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo, has warned the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) against disrupting flight operations at the airports.
Keyamo gave the warning at the ministerial retreat for the minister, permanent secretary, directors and heads of agencies of the Aviation ministry on Thursday.
Recall that on Wednesday, the NLC and Trade Union Congress (TUC) impeded all flights billed for Owerri, Imo state capital, leaving several passengers stranded at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja.
The protest followed the maltreatment of Joe Ajaero, NLC President in Imo State.
Reacting, Keyamo said he would not tolerate the activities of the labour leaders blocking access roads to the airport.
“Please, I want to beg the labour leaders, leave aviation alone. You cannot target aviation in trying to address your grievances.
“In targeting the aviation industry you are targeting a global village.
“I am addressing the labour leaders across the country, do not allow the Labour Party (LP) to destroy the labour movement.
“I repeat, do not allow the LP and party politics to destroy the labour movement.
“As a minister, I will not allow the labour movement to target aviation. If they do, I will fight back. They should not bring politics into aviation.
“They can deceive others but they cannot deceive me. So I am appealing that the labour movement should not destroy themselves on the platform of politics.”
Keyamo said the industry was key and central to any sustainable growth and development in other sectors of the Nigerian economy.
He added that the five-point agenda for the rapid transformation of the sector in line with the eight priority areas of President Bola Tinubu was the focus.
The minister highlighted some of the priorities as ensuring strict compliance with the nation’s laws and regulations, as well as international obligations among others.
“Others are supporting the growth and sustenance of local airline business; human capacity development and optimisation of revenue generation,” he added.
Speaking on the aim of the retreat, the Keyamo said the objective was to deliberate and carry out a “SWOT” analysis of the industry to proffer practical solutions to attain the desired results.
“We need to be proactive and circumspect in our deliberations regarding where we are today as an industry, where we desire to be and most importantly, how to get there,” Keyamo said.