*Faults Minister’s handling of process
Unions in the aviation industry said they would resist attempt by the Federal Government to concession four of the aerodromes in Nigeria, describing the procedure for concession as not transparent.
Rather than concession, the unions recommended green field concession which empowers new investors to deal on fresh ventures which includes construction of new runways and terminal buildings.
They also suggested that the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) can be corporatized in which the Federal Government retains 45 per cent equity share while the remaining 55 per cent is broken down for public acquisition, adding that this is the model adopted by some other climes in similar circumstance as Nigeria.
They said they are opposed to the selective concession of Nigeria’s four major international airports. The further stated that concession or privatization has turned Nigeria into a huge theatre of the absurd.
For them, the Nigerian experience in privatization leaves a very sore taste in the mouth even for a person who has no taste buds.
The unions, made up of the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN), Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals (ANAP) and Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), FAAN branch, in a joint press briefing on Tuesday said the will ensure the grounding of activities in the sector should government go ahead with the planned concession of Lagos, Abuja, Kano and Port-Harcourt airports.
Spokesman for the group and the General Secretary of NUATE, Ocheme Aba said everything so far about the issue of concession for the four airports had been single handedly decided by the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) and accused them of not carrying out any due diligence on the concession exercise.
It would be recalled that Sirika had last week brandished the certificate of compliance issued him by the ICRC which confirmed that the minister has complied with all needed requirements to proceed with the process of concession for the four international airports.
With the all clear, the minister is expected to proceed to seek the approval of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for his proposed Outline Business Case (OBC) for the project.