Why we oppose privatisation of airports —NUP

Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), branch has kicked against the Federal Government’s plan to concession or privatise four viable airport terminals in Lagos, Abuja, Kano and Port Harcourt .

Speaking to some journalists at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, the national chairman of NUP, Comrade Razak Ope and the administrative secretary, Comrade Emeka Njoku, argued that it will be against national interest to concession the four major airports as the persons or company to be contracted to handle these international airports could be hired or compromised to allow weapons into the country .

According to the union, the previous attempts by government to achieve any form of concession in the aviation sector has been fraught with controversies adding that rather than concession the airports, FAAN, should be allowed to run existing airports without interference.

The union while citing how the last administration of Goodluck Jonathan excluded FAAN from privatisation or concession based on security implications, they urged the Federal Government to give more priority to unviable airports rather than its planned privatatization or concession of the viable airport terminals.

According to the union,  since the minister of aviation, Captain Hadi Sirika  is determined to make the airports profitable, he should concentrate on unviable airports and make them viable.

While citing previous how attempts to privatise some government entities including  PHCN, Ajaokuta Steel, NITEL and the Nigeria Airways did not yield the desired results, the union declared: “How can we give out our national heritage to individual to operate, thereby undermining Nigeria sovereignty, losing sight of security implications, which is supposed to be paramount in every sphere of any nation.

“Therefore, airports should not be seen as buying and selling ventures, where profit should be the yardstick. Airports represent public interest such as economic, social activities and international connections, from country to country and state to state.

“Contracting airports to a person or company to handle the four major international airports could be dangerous as they interested parties could be  hired or compromise to  allow weapons into the country including people of in question unable characters in the world.”