Workers of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) are downing tools temporary this morning to stage a peaceful protest at the Murtala Muhammed Airport Lagos over the planned concession of the airport by the Federal Government.
The protest is organised by the FAAN branches of the National Unon of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) and the Air Transport Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSAN) and targets compelling the government to jettison the idea of concessioning both the Lagos and Abuja International airports to private sector interests. Passengers having early morning flights might have to set out early as the protest which kicks off at about 8am could lead to heavy vehicular traffic along the roads leading to and out of the Lagos airport and this could result in some passengers missing their flights.
The protest could also affect other airport activities, especially bureaucratic and allied business handled directly by FAAN workers. “This is the mother of all rallies and we urge all FAAN workers to come out en mass to decide our fate as our position still remains: No To Concession,” a statement jointly released late Monday by the two unions said.
Chairman of the FAAN branch of ATSSAN, Mr. Danjuma Ahmed told Daily Sun that the protest had become inevitable following the failure of the government to see reasons with workers that the concession of the airports was not the panacea to the rot in infrastructure at the airports. Ahmed said inadequate funding which the government hinged as core reason for the concession of the airport was not at the root of the problems plaguing the nation’s airports, but rather the interferences by politicians who would not allow the prudent management of resources generated by the airports for their growth and prosperity.
“We believe that FAAN can manage the resources generated by the airports and also transform them into world class standards provided they are no interferences from the government,” Ahmed said.