Chinedu Eze

The National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) has written the Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika over alleged exorbitant and multiple taxation/fees arbitrarily imposed on handling company by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).

The letter, which was signed by the acting General Secretary of NUATE, Olayinka Abioye called the attention of the minister to the “seeming industrial crisis looming within our airports between the management of the FAAN and the two handling companies comprising of the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO) and the Skyway Aviation Handling Company (SAHCOL) over the latter’s arbitrary, irregular, exorbitant and multiple fees imposed on these companies and its workers without recourse to established rules.”

The union claimed that it had intervened in order to avert imminent crisis between FAAN and these companies because of the attendant consequences if the disagreement was allowed to fester.

“It may interest the minister to note that as partners with all these organisations, it is our duty to intervene in this manner by drawing your attention to this grievous matter, disagreement was allowed to fester, more so with its attendant consequences.

“Whereas we affirm and have severally advised the management of the Federal Airports Authority to engage in, and embark on increased internally generated revenue from non-aeronautical and ancillary sources, and whereas the management of FAAN has deployed its attention in this direction, in conformity with its objectives, and whereas these handling companies, being operators of passengers and cargo handling services require conducive and environmentally friendly airports to fulfill their obligations to its numerous customers, which has continued to add value to FAAN as an airport operator,” the union said.

NUATE said in ensuring that industrial harmony reigns within the system, and bearing in mind that FAAN ought to respect the rights of its “ business partners” to a round table discussions on its incessant “hike in tariff “ in consonance with international best practices, more so as provided for in Section ii of ICAO’s policies on airport charges.

It said the purpose of consultation was to ensure that the provider gives adequate information to users relating to proposed changes and gives proper consideration to their views and the effect the charges would have on them.

“For FAAN therefore to be seen and appreciated by its business partners such as NAHCO and SAHCOL, it must  ensure that consultations takes place before any change in tariffs are imposed and should not be an annual event, done in the most shady manner, lacking in transparency, bearing in mind the consequences of the impact on the users.

May we kindly use this medium to highlight the current and various fees, tariffs and levies imposed on the management of the two companies while painfully, their workers were not left out, as these innocent workers had to pay saverally for accessing their respective offices, from their meager salaries.

The fees include toll plaze, N12, 500 per staff per annum; Hajj Camp Gate, N10,000 per annum; stakeholders car park at international terminal of the Lagos airport, N15,000 per annum; the MMA2, domestic terminal of the Lagos airport, N44, 000 per staff per annum and at the car park opposite SAHCOL, staff pay N300 per entry.
But an official of FAAN who works in the commercial directorate of the agency said when compared to the charges among airport managers in West Africa, FAAN tariffs are relatively low.

He added that agency’s tariffs have human face, noting that the charges were not specifically targeted at the staff of the handling companies and the letter by the union exaggerated “a lot of things”, stressing that there has always been cordial relationship between the agency and its partners, including the handling companies.