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Workers express worry over debt toll at FAAN

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Members, Senate Committee on Aviation, Biodun Olujimi (left); Abba Moro; Chairman of the Committee, Smart Adeyemi; Managing Director, Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Capt. Rabiu Hamisu Yadudu and Special Adviser on Project to FAAN MD, Muniru Abiola, going through the Road MAP for Security round the Lagos Airport during the oversight function at FAAN office in Lagos…recently

Workers in the aviation sector have expressed worry over clients’ multiple indebtedness to the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).

The workers, under the aegis of the Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals (ANAP), said the flagrant abuse of privileges, unremitted dues and rents had dwindled revenue accruable to FAAN with telling effects in its statutory duties.

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The body, in a petition to the Minister of Aviation, lamented that various clients of FAAN allegedly refused to honour agreements on land, rented shops, concessions, and billboard adverts.

The union also observed that there were untapped FAAN revenue points, which shouldn’t have persisted unabated. They called for urgent action by the government to block these leakages in the system.

Besides, the Secretary-General of ANAP, Abdulrasaq Saidu, said of specific concern to the union was the propriety of the Federal Government, and not FAAN, to take responsibility for the repayment of the $500 million Chinese loans obtained from the Exim Bank of China for the construction of new terminals in some parts of the country.

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Saidu said “since the $500 million Chinese loan was obtained by Princess Stella Oduah, the former minister in the sector on behalf of the Federal Government, the government should bear the financial burden, and not FAAN.”

He urged the Minister of Aviation to conduct a forensic audit, not only in FAAN but in all the parastatals under his supervision.

“Until the minister carries out a forensic audit, financial leakages due to conspiracy to cut corners, which had deprived FAAN and government of the expected huge revenue of the Internal Generated Revenue (IGR), would continue to thrive.”

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The union, again, faulted Bi-Courtney’s Murtala Muhammed Airport Two (MMA2) concession agreement in which FAAN is claiming billions of unpaid revenue. The union also frowned on how FAAN’s guesthouse located at Ikeja GRA in Lagos was sold, queried the business deals involving 30-year agreement with Momentum Hospitality; Seymor Car Park Multi-storey contract; rail project in Abuja Airport and Legend Hotel Building at MMIA, among others.

“We are aware of the above being under concession. But the question as to where their agreements are, have not been answered. For example, all lands occupied by the former Nigeria Airways nationwide, since liquidation, are occupied by property buyers. But their rent fees were not paid and they have not been paying till this moment. It is a security risk to allow anybody, persons, or companies to outrightly own land at our airports,” the letter read in part.

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