- Says parties have not taken security into consideration
- Failure to address N150bn staff arrears
- Arbitrary 60:40 profit sharing ratio in favour of concessionaire
Aviation unions, Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN), National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals (ANAP) and Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP- FAAN BRANCH) have filed a suit seeking an order of perpetual injunction restraining the minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) from concessioning the four(4) major airports in Nigeria.
In a suit NLCN/LA/68/2023 filed through their attorney, Femi Falana Senior Advocate of Nigeria ( SAN) at the National industrial Court, the plaintiffs are challenging the competence of the defendants to concession the terminal having usurped the statutory duty of the Board of FAAN, a board that was not inaugurated.
The unions are also seeking an injunction order restraining the Defendants from determining the employment of the members of the Claimants without complying with the provisions of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria Act (CAP F5) Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria Reviewed Conditions of Service 2021 in any manner whatsoever.
According to the suit, the Defendants are not competent to Concession the Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano, Kano state; Port Harcourt International Airport, Port Harcourt, Rivers State; Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos state and Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, Federal Capital Territory without the consent and authority of the Federal Government, the 36 State Governments and the 774 Local Government Councils in Nigeria.
The Defendants, according to the suit filed, cannot be justified on the many grounds including the fact that the proposed concession has not considered the very serious implication of handing such important national security assets over to foreigners.
It stressed that management contract option is more beneficial to the country than concession, considering that the airports in question are all brand new.
The suit also stressed that the proposed concession of the nation’s international airports has failed to address the payment of severance benefits to members of the Claimants along with pension arrears owed former and present staff of the agency currently estimated at over N150 billion.
It went further to state that, ” The concession is being undertaken by the Ministry of Aviation, and not by the 2nd Defendant which negates the Concession Act.
Another ground is the assertion that the earmarked terminals require no further investments for the envisaged period of the concession coupled with the arbitrary fixing of profit sharing ratio (60:40) in favour of the concessionaire.
Further stating,”The 2nd Defendant generates an average of N70 to N75 billion annually and remits an average of N1 billion monthly into the Federation Account while monthly salaries for the 2nd Defendant’s 8,000 staff currently stands at over N2.3 billion.
Another ground was,”The scope of the concession to the surroundings of the terminals, up to FAAN housing estates, did not take the assets valuation into account.”
The Defendants have decided to ban trade unionism in the aviation industry contrary to the Trade Union Act (CAP T14) Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.