Airport concession: Mass resignation looms in FAAN

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*Sirika (L) speaking at a stakeholders' meeting on airport concession held in Lagos recently. With him are the permanent secretary in the ministry of aviation, Alhaji Sabiu Zakari and the commissioner/chief executive officer of Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB), Dr. Felix Abali

As the federal government perfects plans to parcel out the international terminals in Lagos, Port Harcourt, Abuja and Kano, staff of the Federn al Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) who have spent 10 years and above have planned to exit en masse.

News Gazette gathered that though the concession was still in the works, some staff are more concerned with their pension and gratuity and had reasoned that it would pay them better should they leave service under the existing pension scheme.

It was also learnt that the management of FAAN was worried about apparent loss of some professionals who are yet to spend the statutory 35 years in service or attain the mandatory retirement age of 65 but opt to leave service.

Besides, FAAN, it was further learnt was worried about the huge sum that will be required to pay gratuity to those planning to leave

It would be recalled that the minister of state for aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika had recently inaugurated the project steering and project delivery committees to drive the concession in the aviation sector.

A source at FAAN said, an arrangement was made for training FAAN’s staff to be absorbed by the concessionaires, while they (concessionaires) would pay FAAN a certain percentage commission based on whatever revenue it would generate in a particular month.

The source said most of the staff were not comfortable with the arrangement.

 “The arrangement is not different from what FAAN had with Maevis Nigeria Limited which was in charge of aeronautical and non-aeronautical revenues for FAAN.

“Maevis was paying peanut to FAAN and only released any amount to the agency at the end of each month without scrutiny by a third party. That negated the agreement it (Maevis) signed with the agency.

The source added that there is no trust for FAAN workers are suspicious that the terminals would go to political cronies at rock bottom-bottom prices.

“There are lots of murmurings ongoing in FAAN at the moment over the plan to concession the four airports by the government. Plans have reached advanced stage to implement it, but the staff of FAAN who are about 7,000 are not carried along.

“In fact, there is a lot of skepticism. Sirika said the staff would be trained by the concessionaire…It was the same thing Maevis said they would do when they took over all the revenue points of FAAN for over four years, but it never happened till they were pushed out,” said the source.

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