- I-Cube debunks unions’ claims, ’We are not indebted, have right of first refusal’
This is just as sources in I-Cube say there was high -handedness without the use of due process to evict them for the Access Gate especially as their agreement with FAAN has a rights of first refusal clause which enables them to be first to try and renew their agreement before it goes out.
As early as 7am Monday morning rising from a joint meeting on Sunday, the unions including the Air Transport Senior Staff Services Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN), National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) and the Association of Nigerian Aviation Professionals (ANAP) went to the Access Gate where I-Cube operates from and dislodged them from the facility.
Nigerianflightdeck can authoritatively report that I-Cube was put in charge of the toll gates and till the expiration of its contract in February 2019 and was generating N68 million monthly a generation unions feel fell short of what was agreed.
In a letter dated October 24, 2019 addressed to the Managing Director of FAAN, ATSSSAN had proposed that the revenue points of the agency be handed over to the commercial department for at least three months stating that they would have generated more revenue if they were in charge.
Unions had once complained that the former concessionaire after two years disappeared and stopped paying what was due to FAAN for over eight months. They claimed that I-Cube sacked all the staff and went with over eight months of remittance. Stating,” Till date, the money hasn’t been recovered; it’s now bad debt.
Speaking to journalists, one of the union leaders Comrade Abdulrasaq Saidu the general secretary of Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals (ANAP) who supervised the takeover, said management of access gate remained the sole responsibility of commercial department of FAAN adding that politicians have messed up the system through illegal concession of revenue points at the airports
Saidu said concession of the access gate was without a review of the contract for more than five years now adding that the traffic of the route has greatly increased since the last exercise was carried out
Saidu alleged that some individuals in FAAN and the aviation ministry have compromised over the access gate saying that government was losing revenue from there.
Another unionist speaking to Nigerianflightdeck on the phone explained that, “We had to picket I-Cube because since their contract agreement expired last year, they have been here at the detriment of our staff who are employed and trained to work at the access gate and have been jobless could do a better job of revenue generation.
A source who spoke to I-Cube West Africa reacted to some of the accusations and called for due process to follow as the unions came in and dislodged them without any notification despite the first refusal rights agreement the company signed with FAAN.
According to him, I-Cube was in no way indebted to FAAN stating that the records will show and that since the agreement expired they have tried to reach FAAN to invoke their right of first refusal clause to no avail.
“The concession agreement expired in February 2019 but it is subject to the right of first refusal, meaning that FAAN would discuss with us before any other company and because of that in our contract we have a bank guaranty so even when the contract expired we were still paying FAAN.
“It was to my surprise around 7:45am this morning that the unions came and took over, chanting songs and forcing themselves without due process. We have reached out to FAAN and the airport authority claims it has no knowledge of the union’s action
“We are waiting to hear from FAAN, because the unions are selling tickets and letting some cars through on their own volition but we need this resolved,” He said.
Nigerianflightdeck is also aware of a Federal High Court in Ikoyi suit FHC/L/CS/2364/19 filed by a Rose Pine Integrated Limited (Claimant) issued to FAAN and I-Cube (Defendants) on December 18th, 2019 over the issue.
Contacting FAAN, the airport landlord said they are aware of the lawsuit but stated that the union is acting unilaterally but that management is working to resolve the issue.