Aviation Workers, FG At War Over Airports Concession

Aviation workers are unrelenting in their opposition to the proposed concession of four major international airports.

Amidst the insistence of the Federal Government to go ahead with the plan, it remains to be seen if the unions’ opposition could force the government to reverse itself. Daily Trust on Sunday analyses the situation and reports.

From 2015 when the Muhammadu Buhari administration kicked off, the concession of airports in the country has been a key component of the roadmap for aviation development, unfolded by the Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, who was once a minister of state.

Those slated for concessioning are the four major international airports in the country – the Murtala Muhammad International Airport (MMIA), Lagos; Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja; Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano, and Port Harcourt International Airport.

But from day one, the unions in the industry have rejected the programme, which they say is not in the best interest of the country.

The unions, which have been at daggers-drawn with the Federal Government, are the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN), Association of Nigerian Aviation Professionals (ANAP) and the Nigerian Union of Pensioners (NUP).

They, however, took their opposition to another level when they recently held a nationwide peaceful demonstration against the concession plan. They have also been able to secure the support of their umbrella organisation, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), which has risen in their defence on the rejection of the concession plan.

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