Airport concession: Sirika gets ultimatum to sack transaction advisors

Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi SIrika.

The Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika has been given a 15- day ultimatum to discontinue the process of concession of Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) and three other airports in the country, by disbanding the transaction advisors earlier appointed.

The ultimatum was handed down by aviation workers represented by their unions.

The unions threatened to embark on industrial action if after 15 days the Minister failed to sack the transaction advisors which they described as “discredited’.

The unions including the Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN) and the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) and its ally, the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP) addressed a joint press conference at the Lagos Airport to restate their opposition to the concession.

General Secretary of NUATE, Comrade Olayinka Abioye; Deputy General Secretary, Comr. (Barr.) Frances Akinjole and Comr. Emeka Njoku, National Secretary, NUP who spoke at the briefing insisted that concession of the airports would not address the perceived inefficiency of the current airport managers.

The Federal Government has already set in motion machineries to concession four airports including Lagos; the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja, Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport (MAKIA), Kano and Port Harcourt International Airport (PHIA).

The unions which recently staged a nationwide protest against the planned concession wondered why the government would choose to give out the viable airports which they call the national heritage to private concerns, querying what becomes of other 18 airports that are not dependent on the viable four to remain afloat.