Aviation unions say, the proposed concession of the four major airports in the country is skewed in favour of the concessionaire putting the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria FAAN in a disadvantaged position.
The union leaders while addressing FAAN workers during a congress meeting to update them on the concession process carried placards with different inscriptions that read: Airport concession is economic terrorism, 40/60% sharing is fraud, FAAN is in N140billion financial crises, concession is aimed at killing the 18 local airports, among others chanting solidarity songs.
The union leaders said, the option of concession by the government was simply Take-Operate and Transfer as the concessionaire is to be granted the lion share of 60% of the profit without real financial investment to be made.
They noted that, the disadvantaged FAAN is made to bear the repayment of the $1B loan utilized to build same terminals to be concessioned, continue to pay emoluments of its staff and pensioners, return 25% of its IGR to the Federal Government under the Fiscal Responsibility Act, and maintain the remaining eighteen airports in Nigeria.
Secretary General, National Union of Air Transport Employees, NUATE, Comrade Ocheme Aba said, with this huge responsibility on FAAN, there exists no possibility of FAAN meeting even a quarter of the obligations under what they called, obnoxious sharing formula.
According to him, a critical look at the Outline Business Case OBC revealed that promoters of the concession were unsure of the concept to be adopted between build operate and transfer and rehabilitate operate and transfer.
“They have asked that the profits should be shared in a ratio of 60/40, that ratio is on the basis of what contribution? Is one not supposed to reap based on what you sow? When the concessionaire is sowing nothing is to take 60% and FAAN who has everything already including the repayment of the loan that is used to build that same terminals is to take 40% what is the basis of that arrangement?”.
He stated that, there were a lot of joggling of facts in the OBC, adding that, most of the claims were outrightly false with clear attempts to under value the concession assets while they made claims to over value expected investments of prospective concessionaires.
The NUATE scribe emphasized that, the manipulation on the part of the OBC had created serious credibility deficit for the concession exercise.
“The claims expressed in the OBC in terms of what is needed to be done, what the investors are coming with are false because there is nothing needed to be done in this brand new 21st century airports that are even not yet commissioned, there is nothing to be done so, any claim that the investor is coming to make an investment is false and can even be considered fraudulent”.
At the end of the meeting, the unions and their members gave FAAN Management deadline of December 31st 2021 to pay up all cooperative deductions of over N2billion, all outstanding furniture grant, gratuities of both dead and retired staff of FAAN running into N3billion among others.