Workers of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has taken over the management of the Murtala Mohammed International Airport access gate from the Intergrated Intelligent Imaging West Africa Limited (ICUBE) one year after expiration of contract.
The workers in their hundreds under the supervision of the four aviation unions besieged the access gate as early as 8 am this morning and took over the control of ticketing points from ICUBE managers.
The workers after dislodging ICUBE staff, drafted staff of the commercial department to man the gates.
This development resulted in heavy traffic jam as motorists, passengers and airport staff using the access gate to get to their offices, terminal and through to Oshodi were unable to get to their different destinations.
The commotion also degenerated when the men of the Airforce arrived the scene.
The heavy traffic attracted the airforce commandant who ordered his officers to ensure sanity insisting the union members leave the toll gate.
After the Airforce commandant was debriefed by the union leaders of their mission there, he urged them to ensure free flow of movement.
Speaking to journalists, one of the union leaders Comrade Abdulrasaq Saidu the General Secretary of Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals (ANAP) who supervised the take over, said the management of the access gate remained the sole responsibility of the commercial department of FAAN, adding that politicians have messed up the system through illegal concession of revenue points at the airports.
Saidu said concession of the access gate was fraudulent without a review of the contract for more than five years now, stressing that the traffic on the route had greatly increased since the last exercise was carried out.
He alleged that some individuals in FAAN and the aviation ministry have compromised over the access gate saying that government was loosing revenue from there.
Comrade Saidu explained that following series of meetings held with the aviation minister, FAAN boss at different occasions, it was made known to them that workers were going to take over the access gate and run it by FAAN commercial department to raise its revenue.
Also speaking, the Deputy national president, Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, ATSSSAN, Comrade Sarah Rimdams said workers came to recover their revenue points to government as the contract with ICUBE expired last February.
Rimdams said the company had been remitting N68m monthly but there was need for upward review of the contract, adding that commercial department of FAAN had taken over and would ensure that they exceeded the N68m being remitted monthly by ICUBE.
She disclosed that the access gate was being test run by FAAN to actually know how much could be generated monthly saying that it would definitely be more the amount being remitted by the concessionaires.
Reacting to the take over, the Manager of Integrated Intelligent Imaging West Africa (ICUBE) Mr. Toluwaleke Abajingin told journalists that he was surprised to see workers and unions taking over the access gate in the early hours of today.
Mr. Abajingin said the case was in court between one Rosepine Intergrated limited, FAAN and ICUBE adding that as a responsible organization, ICUBE staff did not resist.
He said ICUBE had been paid FAAN up to date and that they were never informed about any upward review of the contract or otherwise.
Abajingin said there was a first time of refusal and FAAN had not communicated to ICUBE on the agreement.