The plan by the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika to ” smuggle ” two sections into the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria’s (FAAN) Bill 2019 which will give the minister unfeathered power over airports operation has come under criticisms by labour unions in the industry.
The Bill, currently, before the National Assembly, if passed into law, the unions alleged would give Minister power to concession airports hitherto opposed by unions and some stakeholders.
The spokesman of aviation labour front and General Secretary of Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals (ANAP), Comrade Razaq Saidu noted that if such unfeathered powers are granted the Minister, he queried:” what then is the job of Board of Directors also the bill. It is a clear contradiction and members of National Assembly should reject and expunge this aspect of the proposed law aimed as reviewing the FAAN Act 2004″.
The alleged offensive part of the FAAN 2019 Bill is Part V under General Powers of Authority section 26 – Power to discontinue use of Airport which states thus in Clause (1) that ” The authority shall with the consent of the Minister, discontinue the use of any airport maintained by it pursuant to this Act”.
Section 2 ” Where the use of an airport is discontinued pursuant to subsection(1) of this section, the Authority shall submit a valuation of the airport to the federal government who shall cause compensation to be made to the Authority as appropriate.
Section 27 under- Management of additional airport further states, ” Without prejudice to section 1(3) of this Act, the Authority may, with the consent of the Minister, assume the management of any airport in Nigeria in addition to those assigned to it under this Act”.Saidu, however, posited that it was not stated under what conditions must the use of an airport be discontinued, and asked- should profitable airports like MMIA, Lagos, Aminu Kano, Abuja and Port Harcourt while unviable airports of Akure, Ibadan and many that abound are not been considered for concession?