There was chaos yesterday at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) Lagos’ access gate when workers of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) blocked the gate and prevented the management of the gate by the concessioner.
The access gate was concessioned to I-Cube Nigeria Limited which has been collecting tolls at the airport for the past 11 years.
But there was a mild drama when the unions stormed the access gate as early as 8:00 a.m following the expiration of the contractual agreement.
The workers claimed that the contract with the private firm has expired since February 2019.
Four aviation unions including the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN), Nigerian Aviation Professionals Association (NAPA) mobilized their members to participate in the industrial action.
However, FAAN disassociated itself from the action of the unions, saying it was “a unilateral decision” by the unions.
Spokesperson of FAAN, Mrs. Henrietta Yakubu confirmed this in a chat with Daily Trust.
The ensuing pandemonium led to serious traffic gridlock at the international airport which led to massive security presence at the gate.
General Secretary of NAPA, Comrade Abdulrasaq Saidu said the management of the access gate remained the sole responsibility of the commercial department of FAAN.
After dislodging the concessionaire’s staff, the protesting labour leaders drafted workers of the commercial department of FAAN to man the gate.
Saidu said government was losing revenue due to the failure of FAAN to review the contract, saying some individuals in government had compromised.
ATSSSAN Deputy National President, Comrade Sarah Rimdams, said workers were at the access gate to recover their revenue points to government, insisting the contract with I-Cube expired last February.
Reacting to the takeover, the Manager of I-Cube, Mr. Toluwaleke Abajingin, said he was shocked to see workers and unions taking over the access gate in the early hours of yesterday, saying the case was in court between one Rosepine Intergrated limited, FAAN and I-Cube.
He said I-Cube had been up to date in its payment to FAAN, noting that they were never informed about any upward review of the contract or otherwise.