Aviation workers’ unions have dragged the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria to court over the planned concession of major airports across the country.
The workers’ unions comprising Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria; National Union of Air Transport Employees; Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals and the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUB-FAAN Branch) filed the suit in the Lagos division of the National Industrial Court on March 14,2023 through their lawyer, Funmi Falana of Falana and Falana Chambers.
The workers noted that that the Sirika and FAAN do not have the authority to initiate a concession deal on the Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano; Port Harcourt International Airport, Port Harcourt; Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos and Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, Federal Capital Territory without the consent and authorisation of the Federal Government, the 36 state governments and the 774 local government councils.
The workers are seeking an injunction from the court to restrain Sirika and FAAN from privatising the airports.
“Restrain the defendants (Sirika and FAAN) from determining the employment of the members of the claimants without complying with the provisions of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria Act (CAP F5) Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria Reviewed Conditions of Service 2021, in any manner, whatsoever and howsoever,” one of the court documents read.
It would be recalled that Sirika in October 2022 formally unveiled the bidders for the Lagos, Abuja and Kano terminals, signifying the end of the Request for Proposals phase of the Nigeria Airports Concession Programme.
Speaking at a media briefing in Abuja, Sirika said the bidders emerged after passing through set criteria designed by the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission and guided by the National Policy of Public Private Partnership.