Privatisation of Airports, will Lead to Massive Job Losses, Says Stakeholder

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Chinedu Eze

Industry stakeholder and publisher of Aviation Safety and Security magazine, Alhaji Abdulyakeem Umar, has declared that the planned concession of four major airports in the country is abnormal and ill-timed because it would lead to job losses at a time the country is grappling with massive sack of workers in strategic industries due to the national economic crunch.

Umar has therefore advised the government to drop the idea, insisting it will be wrong for government to concession only four viable airports leaving the 17 nonviable ones that depended on the only four viable ones to survive.

“It is totally wrong to concession airports because only four viable ones in Abuja, Lagos, Port Harcourt and Kano have been selected. What happens to the 17 other nonviable ones that depend largely on these four airports. Anybody taking the four airports should go with the liabilities of the 17 nonviable ones,” he said.

Umar also advised government to improve on Yola, Jos, Akure and Makurdi airports by designating them as agro-airports to boost the evacuation of farm produce.

He said the concession plan was aimed at killing the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and sending workers into unemployment market as it was in the case of the liquidated Nigeria Airways, adding that the government has been wasting human resources especially manpower.

Umar called on the Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika and urged him that as an aviator he should stamp his feet on ground and take far-reaching decisions aimed at developing the aviation sector in the country.

He urged the Minister to consult with the Aviation Round Table (ART) team on the way forward in the aviation sector by tapping from their wealth of their experience.
Umar called for the total restructuring of the aviation sector to achieve development, adding that some management staff have no business in the sector.