Movement around the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos was yesterday grounded for some hours as unions in the aviation industry joined workers and pensioners of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) in a mass rally in support of government’s termination of the concession agreement between FAAN and Maevis Nigeria Limited.
Addressing reporters at the Freedom Square near FAAN headquarters yesterday, the branch chairman of the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), Comrade Ekanem Ekanem, explained that the rally was organised to demonstrate the support of workers for government over the termination of the concession agreement with Maevis.
He explained that FAAN workers were poised to see to the non- return of Maevis into the Lagos Airport, as the firm has collected enough money without sufficient justification through the 2 per cent commission and 35 per cent revenue enhancement deducted from source by Maevis Limited from funds collected by airlines at the airports.
In her contributions, National Vice Chairman of ATSSSAN, Comrade Sarah Rindams, explained that FAAN workers would resist any attempt by government to bring back Maevis Limited into the airport, even as she alleged that the firm has been moving round to facilitate its reinstatement at the airports.
Also yesterday in Abuja, the Alliance for Citizen Transformation (ACT) said the Federal Government was right in cancelling the concession agreement between FAAN and Maevis Nigeria Limited.
At a press conference with the theme: “Revocation Of Maevis- FAAN Concession: Honourable Minister Must Not Shift Ground,” ACT commended the Minister of Aviation, Princess Stella Oduah’s tremendous energy, political will and sagacity to enforce the termination of such an agreement that it alleged was materially skewed against the interest of the federal government.
The aviation stakeholder which urged the minister not to shift ground, disclosed that: “Maevis deployed its equipment to only two of the airports instead of four as specified in the contract, diverted all funds collected to its own account in Zenith Bank and Skye Bank against the financial regulations of the federal government on federal funds, traded with government funds with impunity, paid itself and remitted whatever crumbs that remained to the federal government, engaged in partial and haphazard deployment, holding FAAN to ransom for unilateral unauthorised and questionable additional investments without obtaining a variation to the agreed and permitted contract sum from FAAN.”
Describing these practices as unacceptable, ACT added: “The present administration of Dr Goodluck Jonathan has always reiterated the determination of Government to plug all revenue leakages and boost internally generated revenue.