The Nigerian Union of Pensioners (NUP), Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria branch, has called for the implementation of the passenger service charge proposed by FAAN late last year in order to meet the challenges of maintaining airports across the country.
Speaking in an interview with aviation journalists in Lagos, Comrades Rasaq Ope and Emeka Njoku, chairman and secretary, called on the minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika to as a matter of urgency order the implementation of the new passenger service charge in order to meet up with the current economic realities.
“We are aware of how much the private terminal is charging passengers and other customers and FAAN has not increased its passenger service charge in the last nine years. It is based on that, that we call for the implementations of new charges to enable them meet the growing challenges of airport maintenance”
They also urged Sirika to order all debtors of FAAN to commence the settlement of debts owed the agency adding that the minister has been so quiet on those owing FAAN especially airlines and concessionaires.
According to them, aviation should be given proper attention especially with the commissioning of new terminals across the country adding that soon the revenue generated will not be able to take care of the overhead cost of the agency.
They disclosed that billions of naira was being owed FAAN by various concessionaires, airlines among others saying that the debts were crippling the operations of FAAN.
On the proposed carrying of fire arms by FAAN aviation security personnel, NUP called for the creation of a special unit that will be in charge of the fire arms.
While calling for the training and retraining of FAAN workers to meet the current trend of operations, the pensioners condemned undue interference from politicians in the running of the organization saying that it does not allow the growth of the organisation.
“We don’t want FAAN to collapse and the minster must act fast, we don’t need grammar because the minister of State for Aviation Hadi Sirika has failed in the past three years. We ought to have a new national carrier, Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul facilities but nothing”
“We thought as a professional that by now things would have changed in aviation sector but nothing has changed because the minister has failed. Where is Bilateral Air Services Agreement BASA fund for the past six years”?
They called on the federal government to look into the stoppage of BASA fund and to let the Nigerians know what went wrong.