The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria on Monday took over the Murtala Muhammed International Airport Access Toll Gate from the Integrated Intelligent Imaging West Africa Ltd. a year after expiration of the contract.
FAAN staff in the company of aviation unions thronged the access gate as early as 7.00 a.m and took over the ticketing points from the former managers.
FAAN staff, after dislodging the former managers, drafted members of the airport authority’s commercial department to man the ticketing points.
The General Secretary, Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals, Mr Abdulrasaq Saidu, said the management of the access gate remained the sole responsibility of the Commercial Department of FAAN.
Saidu alleged that some politicians had messed up the system through illegal concession of revenue points at the airports.
He said concession of the access gate was “fraudulent without a review of the contract for more than five years now”, adding that the traffic of the route had greatly increased since the last exercise was carried out.
Saidu also alleged that some individuals in FAAN and the Ministry of Aviation had compromised over the access gate, saying that government was losing revenue from there.
The President, Air Transport Senior Staff Services Association of Nigeria, Mr Ahmadu Ilitrus, explained that the concessionaire agreement with FAAN expired 12 months ago, and the company had refused to leave the toll gate.
Ilitrus said that the government had appointed a new concessionaire but the former managers refused to leave.
“FAAN is an employer and when it decides to terminate and appoint another new concessionaire, then, the former one should have handed over.
“But, the former concessionaire refused to hand over after the appointment has been terminated, so what do you expect FAAN workers to do?
“That is why FAAN workers went to the toll gate this morning to take over the place and this is quite unfortunate.
“If the former concessionaire has dissatisfaction to the agreement that was initiated at the beginning, then, there are some ways of resolving it, but how can you hold on to the revenue point.”
Also, the Deputy National President of Air Transport, Mr Sarah Rimdams, said workers came to recover their revenue points to the government as the contract with the former managers expired in February 2019.
“We are at the access gate to test run this place to actually know how much can be generated monthly.
“This will definitely bring more revenue being remitted by the concessionaire to the FAAN account.
But the Manager, Integrated Intelligent Imaging West Africa Ltd, Mr Toluwaleke Abajingin, said he was shocked to see workers and unions taking over the access gate.
Abajingin said the case was in court, adding that as a responsible organisation, his staff did not resist the takeover.
Abajingin said his company had been paying FAAN up to date and that the company was never informed about any upward review of the contract or otherwise.
Abajingin said there was a first right of refusal and that FAAN had not communicated to his company on the agreement.