Workers of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) yesterday took over the management of the Murtala Mohammed International Airport access gate from the Integrated Intelligent Imaging West Africa Limited (ICUBE) one year after expiration of the contract.
The workers in their hundreds under the supervision of the four aviation unions besieged the access gate as early as 7 am Monday and took over the control of ticketing points from ICUBE managers.
The workers after dislodging ICUBE staff drafted staff of the commercial department to man the gates.
Speaking to journalists, one of the union leaders Comrade Abdulrasaq Saidu the general secretary of the Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals (ANAP) who supervised the takeover, said the management of access gate remained the sole responsibility of the commercial department of FAAN adding that politicians have messed up the system through the illegal concession of revenue points at the airports.
Saidu said concession of the access gate was fraudulent without a review of the contract for more than five years now adding that the traffic of the route has greatly increased since the last exercise was carried out
Saidu alleged that some individuals in FAAN and the aviation ministry have compromised over the access gate saying that the government was losing revenue from there.
Saidu explained that the following series of meetings held with the aviation minister, FAAN boss at different occasions, it was made known to them that workers were going to take over the access gate and run it by FAAN commercial department to raise its revenue.
Also speaking, the deputy national president of Air Transport Comrade Sarah Rimdams said workers came to recover back their revenue points to government as the contract with ICUBE expired last February.
Rimdams said the company has been remitting N68m monthly but there was a need for upward review of the contract adding that the commercial department of FAAN has taken over and will ensure that they exceeded the N68m being remitted monthly by ICUBE
She disclosed that the access gate was being test run by FAAN to actually know how much can be generated monthly saying that it will definitely be more the amount being remitted by the concessionaire.
Reacting to the takeover, the manager of Integrated Intelligent Imaging West Africa (ICUBE) Mr Toluwaleke Abajingin told journalists that he was surprised to see workers and unions taking over the access gate in the early hours of Monday.
Mr Abajingin said the case was in court between one Rosepine Integrated limited, FAAN and ICUBE adding that as a responsible organization, ICUBE staff did not resist.
He said ICUBE has been paying FAAN up to date saying that they were never informed about any upward review of the contract or otherwise.
Abajingin said there was the first right of refusal saying that FAAN has not communicated to ICUBE on the agreement.