FREEPRESS – The National Union of Air Transport Employees, NUATE, has urged the Federal Government to immediately halt its plan to concession the four major airports in the country.
The union made this known in an eight-point communiqué issued at its National Executive Council, NEC, meeting held in Ilorin, Kwara.
A copy of the communiqué, which was signed by NUATE’s General Secretary, Olayinka Abioye, was made available to journalists in Lagos on Thursday.
The Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, had on September 6, told journalists that there was no going back on the concession of the Lagos, Abuja, Kano and Port Harcourt Airports.
Mr. Sirika had argued that the move would ensure that the airports were properly managed, while the government would still retain their ownership.
Mr. Abioye’s communiqué faulted the plan to concession the four airports which it described as the cash-cow out of the 22 airports owned by the Federal Government.
“The NEC in-session therefore calls for immediate stoppage of the concession of Nigerian airports to avoid industrial crisis that may arise as the government has failed to carry along stakeholders on this germane matter,” he said.
He urged the aviation agencies, including the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority and the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), to improve the welfare of their workers.
Mr. Abioye also advised government to appoint a substantive managing director for NAMA and restructure its directorates in consonance with the provisions of the International Civil Aviation Organisation.
On the state of the economy, the communiqué advised the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to take more concrete steps toward alleviating poverty across the nation.
“The NEC in-session sympathises with the government over the continued slide to recession of the nation’s economy but encourages it to remain focused in its quest for nation building.
“This can be achieved by engaging more in social dialogue with critical stakeholders in the country and setting the machinery in motion to deploy experts into freeing our economy from the jaws of economic recession,” he added.