Aviation workers in Nigeria have sued the federal government at the National Industrial Court in Lagos over the planned concessioning of airports in Nigeria and the non-payment their arrears of pensions totalling N150 billion.

Junior, senior and professional staff of airports brought the suit under the aegis of the Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN), the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), the Association of Nigerian Aviation Professionals (ANAP), and the Nigerian Union of Pensioneers (NUB-FAAN Branch).

The suit, which was filed by their counsel, Femi Falana (SAN), has the Minister of Aviation and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) as defendants.

The aviation workers are seeking for an injunction of the court that the major airports in Nigeria, including the Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano, Kano State; Port Harcourt International Airport, Port Harcourt, Rivers State; Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos State and Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, cannot be concessioned by the federal government without the consent of the federation of Nigeria.

While contending that the concession to foreign entities was being planned without factoring the severance benefits to members, including pension arrears owed former and present staff of the agency currently estimated at over N150 billion, they averred that the FAAN generates an average of N70 to N75 billion annually and remits an average of N1 billion monthly into the Federation Account while monthly salaries of its 8,000 staff currently stand at over N2.3 billion.

Among their reliefs is “An order of injunction restraining the defendants from determining the employment of the members of the claimants without complying with the provisions of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria Act (CAP F5) Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria Reviewed Conditions of Service 2021 in any manner whatsoever and howsoever.”

No date has been fixed for the hearing.

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