‘Planned privatisation of airports dangerous for Nigeria’

The planned privatisation of the four most viable airports in the country by the Federal Government has been described as a selfish move to support capitalism to the detriment of Nigerians.

Addressing a media conference at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, the Nigeria Union of Pensioners, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) branch, accused the government of planning to concession the airports to its cronies under the guise of privatisation.

Speaking on behalf of the pensioners, the national chairman, Rasaki Ope and the administrative secretary, Emeka Njoku, referred to the wisdom of the immediate past administration to exempt the airports from privatisation for security reasons.

“How can a right-thinking Nigerian stop our national heritage to operate, thereby undermining Nigeria’s sovereignty, losing sight of security implications, which is supposed to be paramount in every sphere of any nation or country.”

While insisting that handing over of the airports to individuals under the guise of privatisation portends danger, the union declared: “The person or company contracted to handle these international airports could be hired or compromised to allow weapons into the country, including those who can use the laxity to flock into the country and foment trouble, which could lead to a barrage of deaths of citizens or unrest.

“Nigeria is still battling with Boko Haram, agitation for state of Biafra and militancy, therefore, we should not open more ways for trouble in the name of wanting our airports to be more viable or compensate our political friends and put Nigerians in danger.”

The union cited what it called the failed privatisation of PHCN, Ajaokuta Steel, NITEL and Nigeria Airways which, it claimed, did Nigeria no good.

“Our candid opinion is, FAAN should be allowed to operate without interference by asking for money and gifts to favour either the minister, National Assembly and presidency as being practiced in the past. We strongly oppose to whatever guise to give away these four viable airports to individuals to operate.”