…there is a ministerial committee looking into this-FAAN
The National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) has accused the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) of imposing multiple taxation arbitrarily on handling companies operating in the country and their workers without recourse to established rules.
However, the airport authority, FAAN has asked that all grievances on charges be channelled to the right quarters as there is currently a Ministerial committee set up to address charges by the agencies while it (FAAN) continues to await their findings.
NUATE had in a letter addressed to the Minister of State, Air Transport, Senator Hadi Sirika marked NUATE.GS/HMS.FMT/ENP/006-16 on March 22, 2016, said it was a matter of urgency that the Minister wades into arbitrary, irregular, exorbitant and multiple fees imposed on the two handling companies comprising of the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO) and the Skyway Aviation Handling Company (SAHCOL)
The unions in the letter signed by Ag. General Secretary, Olayinka Olu Abioye, gave a complete breakdown on what they termed exploitative by the airport authority stating that FAAN has not fully respected the rights of its “business partners” by inviting them to a round table discussions on its incessant “hike in tariff “in consonance with international best practices.
However, the General Manager Corporate Communications FAAN, Mr. Yakubu Dati who responded to NFD’s enquiry into the situation said,” There is a Ministerial Committee set up by the Ministry to address charges by agencies. It is expected that those with such complaints on charges approach and exploit this window.”
“As a responsible organisation, we await the findings of the highly respected committee,” he communicated back.
The union gave these figures to the Minister per staff stating that, ”At the Toll Plaza, staff with vehicles pays N12, 500 per staff car per annum; and N10, 000 per staff per annum at the Hadji Camp gate (a distance of less than 100meters from item 1); at the Stakeholders car park along the MMIA, staff pays N15, 000 per staff per annum; and at the MMA2 car park, staff pays N44, 000 per staff per annum and at the Car Park opposite SAHCOL headquarters, staff pays an average of N300 per entry.”
The breakdown went further to list exorbitant fees and levies handlers SAHCOL and NAHCO have to pay FAAN which was done unilaterally, according to the union.
“Concession fee – 5% of Annual Gross Income; Apron Pass –N150, 000 per vehicle. (You can imagine the cost implication of this to any of the companies with more than 100 vehicles and pieces of equipment.); Rent Per Square Meter of Office Space per annum : a. Lagos – N149,021,723.75 b. Abuja – N13,494,060 c. Kano – N20,247,000 d. Port Harcourt – N22,042,396.80 4. On Duty Card (ODC) – N5000 per staff; Airside Drivers’ License – N50, 000 per staff per fresher while refreshers pay N25, 000.”
“ Access Card to restricted areas such as Tarmac and Arrival Hall, (where sensitive operations of these companies are carried out), N25, 000 per the number of staff to man or operate in such area; Access for Fuel Tankers , to discharge Fuel for Equipment using Diesel N150,000, per trip, excluding cost of demurrage paid to vehicle owners for delays in obtaining Pass and Cost of Passage for Accompanying Staff; Direction Signage/Company Signboard – N5, 000, 000 per annum, Electricity Bill per Month: a. Lagos – N6, 200,000 b. Abuja – N80,000 c. Port Harcourt – N75,000 d. Kano – N120,000 e. MMA2 – N10,000.”
“ Screening Machine (SAHCOL Cargo Complex) N42, 000, 000 x 4 stations; Construction of Equipment Parking bays a. Lagos – N5.5million b. Ilorin – N3million, Land Charges for SAHCOL cargo complex, Lagos – N200, 000,000 per annum; and Link road construction which is the duty of FAAN but done by SAHCOL – N420, 000,000.”
The union stated that all these arbitrary taxes were an unacceptable financial burden placed on these companies, who are expected to earn profits for its owners, plough some resources back into their operations for rejuvenation, pay salaries and associated overheads.
It further explained that, Section ii of ICAO’s Policies on airport charges, specifically states that “consultation with airport users before changes in charging systems or levels of changes are introduced is important”, stressing that the purpose of consultation is to ensure that the provider gives adequate information to users relating to proposed changes and gives proper consideration to their views and the effect the charges will have on them.”
“Should the company find it unbearable to continue, the next thing they do is to downsize and as we write this petition, more than four hundred workers had been declared redundant in the last six months, citing heavy costs of operations.”
The union called for a level playing field where there would be understanding and good reasons for any increase in charges and concurrence by parties without threat to the jobs of our members and or insolvency of any of the companies, including the Airport Operator (FAAN).