The Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC), has kicked against the planned concession of the nation’s four major airports.
The union argued that Nigerians had toiled day and night to contribute their quota to the growth of the aviation industry and the country at large, adding that concessions four major airports was uncalled for.
President and Secretary-General of TUC, Quadri Olaleye and Musa-Lawal Ozigi respectively, in a statement, urged the government to kick-start concessioning projects with underutilised airports as a pilot, and if successful, can then be replicated in other airports.
Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika had unfolded plans to concession the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA); Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA); Port Harcourt International Airport (PHIA); and Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport (MAKIA).
The Labour centre maintained that concessions had been made in the past and there was nothing to show for it.
It added that the tenacity with which the Minister of Aviation and his cronies were going about the project was a matter of concern to the unions in the labour movement.
While urging the government to rather experiment with the non-viable airports, the union said: “The question is, why these four major airports? Why not invest in other airports scattered across the country? Why do they want to stifle and incapacitate the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, (FAAN), a parastatal created by an Act of Parliament? From experience, past concessions of our common patrimonies have always been bedevilled 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 the number of years to operate and amount of money owed FAAN are still lingering issues.
The Centre added: “How can we claim to be the ‘Giant of Africa’ and yet cannot manage little things? What we have are powerful individuals while our institutions suffer! Nigeria has become a laughing stock before tiny countries in Africa! How can we make so much noise about fighting corruption yet cannot prevent wastages and excessive government interference, which has been the bane of the country’s development since independence?”