By Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City
The Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has handed a seven-day ultimatum to owners of business premises at the Benin Airport, Benin City, Edo State to quit.
The quit order from FAAN was contained in a letter from its commercial department, and signed by one Namah Habila, on behalf of Airport Manager to the over 40 concessionaires doing businesses at the airport, asking that they vacate before Tuesday, amid protest from the affected shop owners.
According to the letter, “I am directed to inform you that you are to dismantle the temporary structure from the car park area and remove them out of the airport within seven days of this letter. You are to ensure compliance by Tuesday, November 20, 2012. We regret any in conveniences this action may cause you.”
Against this backdrop, some of the affected shop owners have kicked against the move, describing it as a violation of an earlier agreement they entered with FAAN.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, one of the affected shop owners said, “We just came here yesterday (Saturday) morning to see this eviction order without adequate notice to look for an alternative place outside the airport. What happens to some of us whose rent is yet to expire? This is the only business we have to cater for our family. I am appealing to the authority to give us at least three months quit notice.”
The Benin Airport Manager, Mr. Segun Ayodele, when contacted, said the order was in line with Federal Government’s ongoing reform at airports in the country.
Ayodele, who spoke on telephone, said earlier agreement entered with concessionaires was provisional and subject to revocation at any time.
“The issue is that they were asked to leave because of the beautification going on at the airport. The said letter is a provisional one and can be revoked at any time. It is an effort to reclaim the car park area”, he said.