Air transport workers under the aegis of Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN), National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) and the National Union of Pensioners (NUP) took to the streets yesterday to protest the concessioning of the four major airport terminals.
Their protest caused gridlock along the roads leading to Ikeja and Oshodi. The protest was peaceful. Many of the protesters were seen singing and trekking from the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) to the General Aviation Terminal (GAT) also known as Terminal 1 and to the international terminal. Other workers who could not trek were seen at the back of FAAN tractor also singing solidarity songs.
The protesting workers carried placards with the inscriptions, “FAAN must survive despite its many enemies, airport concession is economic terrorism”, “Our local airports cannot be sold, FAAN workers say no to concession of airport”, “Airport concession is economic sabotage.”
New Telegraph learnt that the protest took place simultaneously at Nnamdi Azikwe Airport (NAA), Abuja, Port Harcourt Airport and Mallam Aminu Kano Airport.
In Lagos, the gates leading to FAAN offices were shut to ensure that workers comply with the directive of the unions. Jointly speaking at the Freedom Square, where the workers assembled for the protest, the Acting General Secretary of NUATE, Olayinka Abioye and General Secretary, ATSSSAN, Francis Akinjole, said that the workers would resist any attempt by the government to concession the four major airports, adding that the unions are aware that some cartel are already coming forward to ‘buy’ the viable airports.
hey argued that that the unions cannot mortgage the destiny of over 5,000 workers of FAAN into selfish hands of few political cartel or individuals. They stated that concessionaire should stay clear of this unacceptable deal. The protest is coming few days after the Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, assured Nigerians that their interest would not be jeopardised in the resolve to concession some of the nation’s airports.