Members of the organised aviation unions on Tuesday embarked on a peaceful protest at the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos over the planned concessioning of four major airports in the country.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the protest led to heavy gridlock on all the roads leading to the airport.
The aviation unions that organised the protest include: Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN), National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), and the National Union of Pensioners (NUP).
Armed policemen from the Domestic Police Station of the Airport were seen controlling traffic to ensure free flow of vehicles.
The protesters were seen carrying different placards with the inscriptions, “FAAN must survive despite its many enemies”, “Airport concession is economic terrorism”.
NAN learnt from the unions that the protest would take place simultaneously at Nnamdi Azikwe Airport (NAA), Abuja, Port Harcourt Airport and Mallam Aminu Kano Airport.
Speaking, General Secretary of ATSSSAN, Francis Akinjole, said that the workers would resist any attempt by the government to concession the four major airports
The union leader added that they were aware that some cartels were already making to ‘buy’ these viable airports.
He said the unions would not mortgage the destiny of over 6,000 workers of FAAN into selfish hands of few political cartel, warning individual concessionaire to stay clear of this ‘unacceptable’ deal.
NAN reports that the Minister of State, Aviation, Hadi Sirika, had assured Nigerians that the decision to concession the airports was borne out of government’s desire for effective and efficient management of the airports and adequate utilisation of the abundant skilled manpower in the aviation sector.
Sirika was speaking when he recently received the Management of the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission led by its Director-General, Aminu Diko,who visited his office to present the ‘Commission’s Framework for Addressing the Development of Public, Private Partnership Projects in Aviation Sector’.
According the minister, the best way to move this industry forward is through the Public Private Partnership.
Concessioning of the airports, he said, would make the system go faster as the concessioning would ensure fund was available for developing the airports.