Two Unions in the aviation sector have challenged the directive of the Minister of state, Aviation to the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN to fund the Accident Investigation Bureau, AIB with 5% of its internally generated revenue both in local and international currencies.
The issue has pitched the unions against the minister, stressing no stone would be left unturned to ensure the right thing is done to prevent robbing peter to pay Paul.
In a letter to the minister of state, aviation, the AIB commissioner, Mr. Akin Olateru had requested the minister to issue an executive order approving the allocation to the Bureau of 10% of total Passenger Service Charge, PSC by FAAN and to direct FAAN to immediately adhere strictly and comply with NASS budgetary approval by remitting to AIB monthly 10% of all PSC collected from passengers on all international and domestic flights.
Speaking at a meeting in Lagos, leadership of the unions said the minister does not have the power to expressly take such decision that would not augur well for FAAN as an agency of government responsible for managing the airports.
Chairman, Nigeria Union of Pensioners, FAAN branch, comrade Abdulrazak Ope said on a daily basis money FAAN spend on paying staff salaries is swelling with the employment of people despite the over bloated staff, adding if the 5% revenue is given to the AIB , FAAN would be impoverished and unable to pay its liabilities.
” on what ground? AIB is supposed to be fund by the Ministry if they do not have money, let the government be paying them, FAAN is taking care of many things, AIB is not doing anything, it is not ideal, we the unions are ready to challenge the minister on this issue. Already, we have prepared a letter informing the president the attitude of the minister in FAAN, the minister, the way he is doing, he wants to destroy FAAN”
” we will also let the National Assembly know, the minister of transportation and the minister of finance, we will not allow the minister to kill FAAN, let the ministry fund the AIB”.
His counterpart in the Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals, ANAP, comrade Abdulrazak Saidu noted that the IGR of FAAN had reduced due to concession of revenue points of FAAN to individuals at a very cheap rate.
” because you are the minister, minister of state for that matter,we cannot sit down here and watch FAAN owing staff salaries and pensions, because when you look at the 5% of the total income of FAAN, is much. Advertising billboards, fuel surcharge, toll gates, car park have been concessioned to their cronies cheaply which he ought to have amended and reviewed”.
Also contributing, the National Secretary, Nigeria Union of Oensioners, FAAN branch, comrade Emeka Njoku said, ” a directorate demanding for 5% is very! very wrong, so if they are demanding for 5% which means the 5 directorate in FAAN so these directorate should also ask for their percentage to run their affairs. Security staff of FAAN is more than the staff in AIB, so what we are saying is that, FAAN is carrying a lot of loads, FAAN is paying pensioners over 4,000 pensioners, the staff itself which is more than 6,000-7,000 strengthen, their training, the security and fire personnel, these are all overhead expenditures”
” he added, you see FAAN is a beautiful chassis vehicle with bad engine, that is what FAAN is, so people look at FAAN and say this vehicle is very clean, very nice but the engine is very bad and that’s what FAAN is and that’s what is killing FAAN , because the minister is looking at FAAN as being buoyant and the public is looking at FAAN as being buoyant but if you come in, FAAN is not buoyant as such because the load they are carrying is much”.
He said when complies with the directive, FAAN will not been able to pay salaries as and when due, same with pensions, so the minister wants to kill FAAN, so what happens to AIB tomorrow if a new minister comes and stop the 5%? The minister should be cautioned”.