National

Reps halt concession of four Airports

Pending the resolution of contentious issues raised by the unions and other stakeholders, the House of Representatives has called for the suspension of the planned concession of the four international airports in Lagos, Kano, Port Harcourt and Abuja.

This according to lawmakers is to avoid industrial actions that may further cripple the already distressed industry.

The Chairman of the House Committee on Aviation, Rep. Nnolim Nnaji gave the ruling on Monday during the budget defense of the Ministry of Aviation.

The absence of the Minister of Aviation at the budget defence session caused the lawmakers to adjourn the meeting as there was no one to effectively defend the ministry’s budget.

The committee Chairman while explaining the need to adjourn said that as a committee they are aware of the terrible impact of COVID-19 on the Aviation sector, which would take a while for the industry to recover, so they should strive to do whatever is necessary to help stabilize the sector.

His words: “You may recall that in September or thereabout, this committee had interactions with the representatives of the labour unions on this subject matter.

“During the meeting which was a 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 may arise from the existing concessions and the lack of proper valuation of the present status of the affected airports, among others,” he said.

According to Nnaji, based on the outcome of the meeting with the labour unions, the committee invited the Minister of Aviation and the Heads of Agencies under him to discuss the issue of the Airports’ Concession.

“Several dates were fixed for the meeting but for one reason or the other, they failed to attend. The Committee had also received several letters from Stakeholders both in favour and against the Airports’ Concession.

“In view of this, the House of Representatives Committee on Aviation hereby requests that the concession of the four Airports should be put on hold pending the resolution of the contentious issues raised by the unions and other Stakeholders to avoid industrial actions that may further cripple the already distressed industry

“We are hopeful that at the end of the day, our Intervention would provide an opportunity for all the parties to reach a common ground that will move the Aviation industry forward. Once again, on behalf of the House of Representatives Committee on Aviation,” he said.

Source: thenationonlineng.net