Aviation Workers Strike: Minister vows to deal with agitators in future
Aviation minister Hadi Sirika says strikes and demonstrations will no longer be tolerated in and around the nation’s airport going forward.
Mr Sirika made the vow while speaking with State House correspondents after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting on Wednesday.
The meeting, which was held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja was presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
On Monday, the workers of the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company Plc (NAHCO) embarked on strike, disrupting flight schedules.
The minister said a legal framework to forestall such incidents in the aviation sector had been put in place.
“This is very important to the travelling public; first we apologise to them, our teeming passengers in this difficult moment.
“Secondly, this will not happen in the future by the grace of God.
“And the reason is simple, aviation is an essential service, the bill has been assented to by the president. So strikes and riots around our airports are prohibited by the laws of the land; and now that we have the act in place and assented by the president and passed by the National Assembly, we will deal with it according to the law.”
The minister said efforts were made to ensure no essential service is disrupted by anybody no matter how aggrieved.
He said there were other channels of channelling issues when they arose, but they were not permitted to go on strike because aviation was an essential service by the law of the land.
“Government will no longer allow that; so it is in the law of the land, check the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) Act, it is going to take place soon; in fact now, from today, we will not allow that.”
Mr Sirika, however, said the government was open to listening to any grievances.
According to him, there are procedures for dealing with such grievances raised by aviation workers.
“They should please desist from this; it is wrong; it is inhuman; it is not allowed; it is not permitted and we will not be permitting any longer.”
Mr Sirika said the ministry got, among others, the council’s approval for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the Hadejia airstrip.
The total is N7.5 billion for 18 months; and this contract is going to Messrs CCECC.
“Then there is the construction of a control tower and technical building in Enugu.
“The company is Messrs Mascot Associates Limited. And it is N1.9 billion.
“And the third contract is for procurement of utility vehicles, to MSSRs Kaura Motors at N625.5 million.
“These are the memoranda and they have all been approved by the council today,” he said.
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