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Concession non-viable airports, Okeowo tells FG

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No matter the federal government through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) recently approved a special foreign exchange policy for airlines to mitigate against the challenges in the industry, aviation industry unions who participated at the recent public hearing organized by the House Committee on Aviation clearly defended their stiff opposition to the planned concessions.

On the other hand, the groups called on the government to rather concession all the non-viable airports with low traffic so that the interested investors will boost passenger traffic by innovations he will come with.

The groups said there is no need of concessioning airports that are viable, unless government want to sell them to ‘themselves’ using concession gimmicks.

The National President of the Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association, Mr. Benjamin Okeowo, queried why the government was planning to concession only the economically viable airports.

He added that the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) pays salaries, wages and pensions of workers from internally generated revenue most of which comes from the four airports.

This, he said, is in addition to the agency maintaining all airports in the country.

“What happens to the remaining 17 airports? We have staff in all these 17, what becomes of them when the viable four are taken over,” Okeowo said.

He added that about 35 per cent revenue is being lost to leakages through the non-implementation of a cashless policy in FAAN operations.

The just ended hearing which ended yesterday was declared open by Deputy Speaker of House,  Yussuff Sulaimon Lasun and chaired by the Committee chairperson, Hon. Nkeiruka Onyejeocha (Abia PDP).


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