HOUSE of Representatives has directed the federal government to suspend the planned concession of four major airports in the country, pending the resolution of all contentious issues stating that efforts by the parliament to reach a common ground with parties on the issue, have proven unsuccessful
The airports slated for concession are the Murtala Muhammed International Airport ( MMIA), NNAMDI Azikiwe International Airport ( NAIA), Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport ( MAKIA) and the Port Harcourt International Airport ( PHIA) Omagwa.
The chairman, House Committee on Aviation, Nnolim Nnaji, gave the directive, on Monday, at a meeting between the committee and officials of the Federal Ministry of Aviation.
Nnaji explained that the suspension is imperative to avoid major industrial dispute in the aviation sector, which would not be in the overall interest of the country.
The lawmaker, who stated that the committee has received several petitions for and against the concession, said efforts by the parliament to interface with the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, and agencies under him, on the issue, have not been successful, as they have failed to attend all the meetings.
“You will recall that in September or thereabout, this committee had interactions with the representatives of the labour unions in this matter. During the meeting, which was sequel to our earlier intervention over the unions’ strike action against the concession, a lot of concerns were raised by the representatives of the labour unions regarding the airports concession.
Among the concerns were the lack of transparency in the exercise, labour issues, the Chinese loans, the legal issues that mat arise from the existing concessions and the lack of proper valuation of the present status of the affected airports among others,” he stated.