The planned demolition of the former headquarters buildings of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN and the Nigeria Airspace Management Agency, NAMA and the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA in Lagos have sparked off protest by aviation unions.
The Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika has at last week disclosed that the buildings will be demolished to paved way for the proposed aerotropolis, that is airport cities project as contained in the aviation development roadmap.
In a peaceful protest on Monday morning, workers of the affected agencies chanted solidarity songs, and carried placards with different inscriptions that read: Demolition of Aviation Headquaters must be resisted, MM2 is an example of bad concession, concession is against Nigeria interest No, No, No, Labour matter first among others to kicked against the planned action of the minister.
The unions, the National Union of Air Transport Employees, NUATE, Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, ATSSSAN and the Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals ANAP want the Federal Government to put the planned demolition on hold pending proper evaluation, planning and better timing.
Chairman ATSSSAN FAAN branch Comrade Ahmed Danjuma said, the unions consider this plan for the aerotropolis, as ill intended, ill advised, and wrongly timed.
He emphasized that, any attempt to demolish any of these buildings at this time will be met with immediate action of cessation of work at all airports in Nigeria accompanied by public demonstrations nationwide.
Secretary General, NUATE, Comrade Ocheme Aba also expressed displeasure over the handling of the concession process and the silence on labour issues which had been lingering for over five years.
The unions called on interested parties in the concession process to hold on for a while and not commit their useful funds to the current arrangements.
Reporting by Nosa Aituamen; Editing by Chinasa Ossai and Omotola Oguneye