Nigerian airport concession will cripple FAAN – Aviation workers

Hadi Sirika, Minister of Aviation, Nigeria

Nigerian aviation workers reiterated their stand against the concession of the nation’s airports, saying that the planned concession which will see the concessionaire get 60% of the revenue sharing formula while the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) will get 40% and still has to service the Chinese debt of over US1 billion.

The General Secretary of the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), Comrade Ocheme Aba has stated that the planned concession of the nation’s airports was done in a way to cripple and destroy the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN)

Comrade Ocheme Aba said that monies accruable to FAAN will be used to service the debt incurred from the Chinese terminal which has grown to $1billion, maintenance of other 18 airports and other expenses leaving nothing for FAAN to survive with.

He explained, “The new Chinese terminals are going to be concessioned where the concessionaire will receive 60% of the sharing formula while FAAN will retain 40% and what will happen to the 40% that FAAN will retain? From that 40%, FAAN will pay the Chinese loan, FAAN will return 25% to the Federal Government according to the Fiscal Responsibility Act from that 40% FAAN will maintain the other 18 airports including all of you who are workers of FAAN.

“So the point is this terminal is already on concession and what is happening is that the Federal Government is seeking to concession a concession. Now this concessionaire will take 60% I’m sure you’d want to ask me what is his contribution what is he going to do? According to the plan which is based on a study according to the traffic flow there will be no need for any expansion in this terminal until the year 2045.

“There is no need for expansion, in other words, these terminals are meant to maintain and sustain the traffic flow in all the projections till 2045 the concession period is for 20 years that means the concession will end in 2040; what that means is throughout the concession period, there will be no expansion for the airport. The concessionaire has no need to spend money, what are the concessionaires expected to do within the period to maintain and upgrade, that is what is written down, the document is online the outline Business Case (OBS).

“Now this is a facility built to the 21-century standard what are you going to upgrade there so for 20 years the concessionaire will just change bulbs? Toilet sinks? And for doing that, he will receive 60%

“The point in all this, which we want Nigerians to know, is we cannot be given our blood to a few people who have positioned themselves so the whole program about concession is some people working from the answer to the question. It’s about given these things to themselves and that is why they went and got a Transaction Adviser who did not go through any process of selection, there was no bidding.

“And they are saying that the concessionaire has the leverage after two years to either continue with the workers or return them back to FAAN, after two years he returns the workers to FAAN but keeps the concession so where will FAAN have the money to pay the workers or the place FAAN will have to send the workers, these are the situations we are taking our time to explain both to the public and those government arms that are not personal beneficiaries to this crooked arrangement.”

Comrade Aba said the unions needed it understood, that they are not fighting for personal interest, but are fighting to end the pillage of a few privileged people taking the nation’s common patrimony and sharing, a circle that must be broken.

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