In the latest move to recover several billions of naira from it debtors, the management of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria is seeking the help of aviation workers’ unions.
To this end, a task force has been set up by the unions to assist the management in its onerous drive to recover the debts as soon as the ultimatum that was given to the debtors lapses.
This development was brought to light by the chairman of the FAAN Branch of National Union of Air Transport Employees, Adeshola Idowu.
The debtors include local and foreign airlines, concessionaires of all its revenue collection points, private terminal and airstrip operators, shop owners at departure and arrival lounges and operators of fuel dumps.
The FAAN management, last week, gave one month grace within which all debtors must settle their outstanding bills or be sanctioned through the withdrawal of services hitherto rendered by the Authority.
He said, for example, that the runway, which Bi-Courtney Airline Services clients use for landing and take-off, the provision of fire cover, aviation security personnel stationed at the terminal were all provided by FAAN, yet, over the years, Bi-Courtney refused to pay for the services.
Idowu commended the Managing Director of FAAN, Capt. Rabiu Yadudu, for taking the bold step towards the debt recovery, adding that “this was one of the pro-active steps taken in his first 100 days” in repositioning the Authority in the areas of debts recovery, revenue generation, infrastructure development and maintenance, looking after workers welfare such as the promotion of those that had been stagnated for years, the implementation of Conditions of Service including payment of areas and prompt payment of salaries.
He was convinced that by the time Yadudu and his management clocked one year in office, the team would have been able to reposition FAAN to international standard and impacted positively on the quality of service delivery to the travelling public and other customers of the Authority.
From the activities of the FAAN chief executive so far, Idowu noted that “Yadudu has a vision and a mission to take the organisation high in the global sphere.”
He, therefore, urged the Federal Government not to allow politicians to “invade our industry any longer as it used to be in the past because FAAN management is more focused and nothing should be done to derail that mission.”
Idowu pleaded with the government to come to the aid of the Authority in the area of infrastructure in view of the huge capital outlay involved.
The present management, he added, is that of continuity and building on the achievements of the immediate past management under Alhaji Saleh Dunoma.
He urged government to jettison the plan of concession and instead focus on how to assist the present management to create more conducive environment for the Authority to build on its present achievements, adding that all the workers in FAAN were against the planned concession of Lagos, Abuja, Kano and Port Harcourt international airports.
“We need development; concession is not the solution to the problems in the industry. We are not for concession and we are ready to work with anyone that will move the industry to next level position,” he said.