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Airport concession: Aviation unions threaten to down tools

Aviation unions in the country have threatened to down tools following the Federal Government’s decision to give all international airports in the country as concession to private operators.

The Federal Government had said this week that the planned concession of major airports across the country would go ahead as planned despite protests by aviation unions, including the National Union of Air Transport Employees, National Union of Pensioners and Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association in Nigeria.

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo had last Monday announced that the Federal Executive Council had agreed to the concession of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos and the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja; while the Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, announced that the concession of the Kano and Port Harcourt airports had also been approved.

 

The General Secretary of NUATE, Mr. Olayinka Abioye, told our correspondent that the unions had several plans to get the government’s attentions and strike was one of the action points.

Abioye stated, “There are a lot of initiatives on the part of the unions; what we are doing at the moment is to engage in peaceful protests to sensitise the Nigerian people to the issue. There has never been any democratic government that does not listen to its own people and this government cannot claim to be wiser than the people who put it in power.

“We did not elect the Minister of Aviation so he cannot lord himself over the people as if he owns us. These airports are not his personal property but the commonwealth of the Nigeria people, and when we say no to it, the government should listen and find out from us why we are saying no. There are a lot of things that will go wrong if the government continues the way it is going about it and we are going to confront it.”

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