Airport concession triggers court battle between aviation workers, minister, FAAN

The proposed concession of Nigeria’s international airports has led to a court battle between aviation unions and the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, as well as the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).

Four trade unions in the Nigerian aviation sector; Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN) the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), the Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals and the Nigerian Union of Pensioners, FAAN Branch, filed a suit against the Minister and FAAN at the National Industrial Court in Lagos.

According to reports on Friday, aviation unions are protesting the proposed concession of the Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano, and the Port Harcourt International Airport, Port Harcourt, Rivers state through a lawsuit dated March 14, 2023.

They are also against the concession of the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos State and the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, Federal Capital Territory.

Read also:Airline operators to incur losses as FAAN shuts down Lagos Airport runways

The counsel to the trade unions, Femi Falana (SAN), said the workers are seeking to restrain the Minister and FAAN from concessioning the aforementioned airports through a court injunction.

It was gathered that the four unions want the defendants restrained from determining the employment of the workers acting in accordance 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 and howsoever.

Although the case is yet to be assigned to a judge, they said the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria Reviewed Conditions of Service, 2021, which was made under the Federal Airports Authority Act, guides the employment of junior, senior and professional staff of FAAN.

They accused the Minister of Aviation and FAAN of not obtaining the consent and authority of the Government of the Federation, states and local governments before concluding arrangements to concession the airports despite being owned by the Federation of Nigeria.

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