Members of the Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association (ATSSSAN) of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) branch have kicked against the recent directive by the Minister of State, Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, that FAAN should be remitting 5 per cent of its Passenger Service Charges (PSC) to the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) monthly.
The aviation union which described the directive by the minister as unpopular, pointed out that such step is detrimental to the operations and performance of FAAN.
Speaking on behalf of ATSSSAN, the FAAN branch Chairman, Comrade Danjuma Ahmed said that revenue of that nature cannot be given to a sister agency without recourse to the law.
Comrade Danjuma informed that FAAN was established by an Act of Parliament which approves their expenditures through their budget and as such, it is only that National Assembly that can warrant any removal of such revenue to any agency.
The ATSSSAN leader who made it clear that FAAN cannot afford remit a Kobo to any agency, said that already FAAN remits about 20 per cent of their Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) to the federation account, part of which this PSC is involved.
Emphasising further, Danjuma stated that the PSC is the tariff, FAAN charges their passengers for services they offer to them in respect to terminal building, screening equipment, conveniences for travelling passengers and any other which is only N1, 000.
Danjuma said that, the amount generated is inadequate and FAAN is even finding it difficult to operate and provide those services efficiently as expected by their passengers. He therefore affirms that the request by the minister for 5 % remittance to AIB will definitely affect FAAN’s performance, vis-à-vis the provision of those services.
“That is why we as a responsible union have said no to that; we strongly object it. We sincerely acknowledge the fact that AIB needs funding but there are many ways through which the minister can get funding for AIB”, Danjuma said.
Suggesting other options to explore, the ATSSSAN chairman advised the minister to device other means of providing funding to AIB, saying “We even suggested to him of having an approval to access the Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA) fund, which we all believe is very free for the Hon Minister to finance AIB through a bailout fund. There is also this aviation security fund; he can equally access it and support AIB, but removing 5% from FAAN is definitely going to be a serious problem to us and that is why we are kicking against it and we will continue to resist it till the minister sees reason why we are against it”.
With huge wage bills, unpaid staff allowances and with over 6,700 workers and 4,000 pensioners, Danjuma said that the 5% remittance will further prune down their revenue being that PSC contributes their 60 to 70 per cent of their IGR.
According to the union leader, FAAN does not get any subvention from the federal government and that there is laid down rule that they should not spend more than 45 per cent for overheads.
He also added that the union has written to their management and even the minister bringing suggestion on how to handle the situation.
Shortly after the minister of aviation recently issued the 5% directive to FAAN, two major aviation unions in the country: Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals (ANAP) And Nigeria Union Of Pensioners (NUP), Federal Airports Authority of