NLC opposes FG plan to concession airports

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Factual Pursuit of Truth for Progress

By Francis Ogwo

The Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) has once again kicked against the planned concession of four international airports in the country by the Federal Government, saying the decision is detrimental to the interest of Nigeria.

A communiqué was issued after the National Executive Council (NEC) of NLC held earlier in the week at the Nigeria Air Force (NAF), Conference Centre, Kado, Abuja.

The communiqué, which was jointly signed by Comrades Ayuba Wabba and Emmanuel Ugboaja, the NLC President and General Secretary, respectively, said that the move by the government to concession Lagos, Abuja, Kano and Port Harcourt Airports to private business was unnecessary.

It insisted that neither concession nor privatisation of public assets was in favour of government or the public, but favours individuals in the system.

It said: “The NEC also discussed the current move by the government to concession Nigeria’s major airports to private business. The NEC described the move as resonating with the appetite by successive Nigerian governments to privatise every public asset.

“The NEC warned that experience shows that neither concession nor privatisation of public enterprises and assets has been to the advantage of the Nigerian people and workers.”

Similarly, the recent sack of workers by the Middle-East airline, Turkish Airways and Caverton Helicopter drew the wrath of the labour unions as they perceived the sack of the workers as unjustifiable.

According to the communiqué, Turkish Airlines recently sacked trade union executives without any major cause, adding that Caverton Helicopters on several occasions engaged in anti-union activities.

“NEC deplored the industrial tyranny by Turkish Airlines and Caverton Helicopters,” it said.

The NEC further alleged that both private and public organisations intentionally attacked workers and trampled on their trade union rights in order to provoke the unions to act.

Besides, the NEC also decried continued violation of workers’ rights in the banking sector especially through the imposition of outrageous targets and absence of formal machinery for collective bargaining.

Also, it alleged that Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) was attempting to kill unionism in the establishment especially through the transfer of trade union executives, withholding of workers’ salaries and refusal to remit statutory deductions.

The NEC of NLC comprises all the presidents, general secretaries and treasurers of NLC’s affiliate unions; chairpersons and secretaries of state councils, the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja and members of the National Administrative Council (NAC).

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