Concessioning would not lead to job losses- Minister assures aviation workers

At a meeting with the Air Transport Senior Staff Services of Nigeria, ATSSSAN, and the National Union of Air Transport Employees, NUATE, in Lagos over the weekend, the Minister of State for Aviation, Capt. Hadi Sirika, assured unions in the aviation industry that the proposed concessioning of four airports in the country would not lead to job losses.
In a bid to increase their capacity and efficiency, the Federal Government had indicated its interest to concession the Lagos, Abuja, Kano and Port Harcourt Airports.
Sirika disclosed that this was the first phase, noting that all the 22 airports owned by the Federal Government would be concessioned at the end of the second phase.
He said the meeting was to give the unions the opportunity to become members of the Concession Project Delivery Committee and enable them make inputs to better the process.
According to him, the government's resolve to concession the airports is aimed at ensuring the establishment and sustenance of world-class standards in infrastructure development and service delivery.
He assured the unions that concession was not tantamount to privatization or outright sale, explaining that the facilities being concessioned remained the properties of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, and Nigeria.
Sirika said: "You see, Government has no plans whatsoever to sell national assets, so it is sheer misconception.
"The truth is that Government does not have money to invest; and even if it could, with the sheer bureaucracy, it could take 10 years and Nigerians are tired of what is on ground and want something new."
He noted that under the build, operate and transfer process, private investors could provide funding for construction of world-class terminals in Nigeria which would be beneficial to the country in the near future.
"The vision of the Government is to engage all stakeholders and people who have a stake in what we are doing; especially on the concessioning of our airports and other things we intend to do," Sirika said.

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