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Airport Concession: No industrial Peace if labour issues are not addressed…..ATSSSAN reiterates

Abuja airport

The decision of the Federal Government to concession the 4 major Airports in the country has received kudos and knocks by concerned stakeholders.

The reasons for the government decision is that it does not have the wherewithal to manage the facilities and if they were left to the private sector to manage, these airports would be transformed to meet international standards.

While many believe that this is a welcome development because currently the airports were short of meeting international standards as obtained in other climes, others are of the opinion that this will not only lead to loss of jobs, the operations of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria FAAN would collapse.

Top on the list of those kicking against the concession are the Unions in the aviation industry.

Recently, at the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting of ATSSSAN with theme: Enhancing Union-Management Collaboration for Sustainable Growth and Development in the Aviation Industry in Nigeria held in Abuja on the 27th July, 2018, the NEC noted that if Government decides to go ahead with the planned concession, it would first insist that all labour issues concerning the workers are addressed.

According to the Union, who expressed strong reservations to the decision of the Federal Government to concession the four (4) major International Airports (MMIA Lagos, Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport Abuja, Port Harcourt Airport and Aminu Kano Airport, Kano), operated by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) gave 5 reasons why they oppose the plan namely that, “the 4 Airports are the main sources of FAAN Revenue.  NEC fears that if the government succeeds with the concession of the airports, the entire operations of FAAN will collapse, as all other airports operated by FAAN are maintained or supplemented with revenue generated from the four referenced airports, FAAN has huge pension liabilities and will not be able to settle its pension obligations to retirees”.

While others are, “safety at our airports will be compromised,  salaries of the over 6,900 staff scattered around the 22 airports presently managed by FAAN would be compromised and concession of Airports will lead to high airports charges in the affected airports which will affect airlines, and by direct implication, results in high air ticket prices”.

The NEC advised the Federal Government to look at other successful models of managing airports as been done in South Africa, Egypt, Namibia, Ghana and other civil Aviation jurisdictions around the world.

The NEC therefore mandated the leadership of ATSSSAN to keep vigil and that paraventure the government insists on the concession of the airports as planned, ATSSSAN must insist that all labour issues including workers’ entitlements and pension rights are settled by the Government; failing which ATSSSAN shall not guarantee industry peace at our airports.


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