There was uproar at the access gate of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos, on Monday when the unions in the Nigerian aviation industry forcefully took over the management of the access gate from the concessionaire, Integrated Intelligent Imaging West Africa Limited.
The unions alleged that the contractual agreement between the management of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria and concessionaire had ended since February 2019, rather than renew it, the concessionaire had been dilly-dallying with the renewal.
According to one of the workers, the last agreement reached with FAAN on the access gate by the concessionaire was N68m monthly, which was a far cry from the revenue generated.
However, before the last renewal, it was gathered that the concession agreement had begun with N40m monthly, but the concessionare about five years ago increased the toll fee from N100 for a car to N200, while for Sports Utility Vehicle was increased to N400 from the initial N200.
The workers, led by their union leaders; National Union of Air Transport Employees, Air Transport Senior Staff Services of Nigeria and the Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals on Monday stopped the staff of ICUBE from continuing with the control of the access gate and put the staff of FAAN to commence the management of the access gate.
One of them told our correspondent that the management of FAAN had almost a year ago trained the staff of the Commercial Department of FAAN to take-over the management of the access gate but were not allowed to take control of the point by the concessionaire.
Speaking with journalists, one of the union leaders, Comrade Abdulrasaq Saidu, the General-Secretary of ANAP, who supervised the takeover, said management of access gate remained the sole responsibility of commercial department of FAAN, adding that politicians had messed up the system through illegal concession of revenue points at the airports.
Saidu said concession of the access gate was fraudulent without a review of the contract for more than five years, adding that the traffic of the route had greatly increased since the last exercise was carried out.
Saidu alleged that some individuals in FAAN and the aviation ministry had compromised over the access gate, saying that government was losing revenue from the point.
Also speaking, Comrade Sarah Rimdams, Deputy National President of ATSSSAN, said workers came to recover back their revenue points to government as the contract with ICUBE expired last February.
Rimdams said the company had been remitting N68m monthly to FAAN, but there was need for upward review of the contract, adding that commercial department of FAAN had taken over and would ensure that they exceeded the N68m being remitted monthly by ICUBE.
Reacting to the takeover, Mr Toluwaleke Abajingin, Manager of ICUBE, told journalists that he was surprised to see workers and unions taking over the access gate in the early hours of Monday.
Abajingin said the case was in court between one Rosepine Integrated Limited, FAAN and ICUBE, adding that as a responsible organisation, ICUBE staff did not resist.