CHAIRMAN, Air Transport Services Senior Staff, Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN), FAAN Branch, Comrade Ahmed Danjuma has said that the indebtedness to FAAN is monumental and that the union has written to some of their debtors, requesting them to offset their bills within a shortest possible time
This is just as he has projected an expected income of about N100 million by March ending, as proceeds from the collection of tolls at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA) access road.
Comrade Danjuma made these known in a chat with journalists stating that as a union, they have advised the FAAN management to call these debtors, sit down with them and negotiate on how best the debts could be paid.
He said the essence of a union, is for them to ensure that the welfare of their members are taken care of. He however, maintained that they do not only emphasize welfare for workers, but that they first and foremost, find out how they can make the system better so that welfare will now be second issue.
On the projected income of N100 million by March ending, as proceeds from the collection of tolls at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA) access road, Danjuma said that if there is restriction of movement due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it may affect the figures but that the union is hopeful it won’t get to that.
Comrade Danjuma disclosed that FAAN has been able to garner N80 million from toll fees collections, added that by ending of March, FAAN will be able to know precisely how long they can stay.
“I assure you that we would be able to hit N100 million”, Danjuma stressed.
He added that “Within the first month of operation, I think we generated over N80 million despite the teething problems. Initially, we had the issue of change despite the fact that l- cube has sold off all the stickers and even 2019 stickers are still being used coupled with the fact that there are so many challenges we had in that place”.
Explaining the security aspect of the task, the labour leader said “you know our members were not guarded at night, we don’t operate beyond 11pm, so you see the difference between 11pm and 5am; any car passing through there is passing free. Despite all these, we have been able to hit N80 million. So by the ending of March, we will be able to know precisely. I assure you we will be able to hit N100 million.
Danjuma also informed that, in a recent meeting with FAAN MD, Capt Rabiu Yadudu and others, the union had raised the need to establish a free trade zone around the airport environment.
He stated that the idea was brought to Capt Yadudu, based on the information they got on how the establishment of the free trade zone would benefit the people. He however, pointed out that, the concern of the union is that, the free trade zone will give room to business owners within the confine of that zone to operate without paying taxes.
Emphasising that FAAN went after the facility because they believe that they can do it better, Danjuma further explained “that was even the main reason we even went there and to God be the Glory, up till date, we have done creditably well, our members are working very hard. The fear of inconsistency in government and managing businesses has been abused here, we have not seen that and we have been able to prove to everybody that yes, we can do it and we can do it better”.
Danjuma also lamented discrepancies in signing of MoUs between FAAN and state owned airports, stating that its unions are not captured fully and this exposes them to a lot of hazards.
Danjuma said “All the welfare issues were outlined. I think the most important one is the issue of those of our members that are domiciled in most of these state owned airports. Most of the MoUs signed between FAAN Management and the state owned airports were not properly done; it is in such a way that most of our members are exposed to hazards. They were not captured in the MoU’s based on medicals, their accommodations and so many benefits they are supposed to be deriving from those airports.
He therefore, appealed to the management to ensure that they look at those MoUs and ensure that their members are captured fully.