Connect with us


Aviation workers shut airports over new Law



Aviation unions Monday paralysed activities at the nation’s airports following simultaneous protests over an alleged move to proscribe trade union activities as contained in the newly passed Civil Aviation Act.

Thousands of passengers were stranded in airports across the country as many of them said they missed important appointments.

Five aviation unions had last Thursday threatened to shut down the industry after discovering what they called “obnoxious clauses” in the new Act assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari penultimate week.

They vowed to protest at all airports nationwide and picket the aviation agencies in Abuja and Lagos to demand for the removal of the clauses.

The unions also gave the federal government and the National Assembly 14 days to expunge the clauses or face a total shutdown of the industry.

The protesting unions include the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN), the Association of Nigerian Aviation Professionals (ANAP), National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE) and the Amalgamated Union of Public Corporation Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employees (AUPCTRE).

The bone of contention, our correspondent learnt, is the provisions of Section 67, subsections 1, 2 and 3 in the new Act, which classify aviation workers as rendering essential services.

In designating aviation as essential services, Section 67 said, “All services, which facilitate and maintain the smooth, orderly and safe take-off,  flight and handling of aircraft and the disembarkation and evacuation of passengers and cargo respectively in all aerodromes in Nigeria are hereby designated as essential services pursuant to the provisions of section 11  (I) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

SEE ALSO:  Gov Ugwuanyi: Enugu CP orders arrest, prosecution of Online Publisher over ‘phone bang claims’

Subsection Two added that “The  minister may by regulations  prohibit all or  such  class  or  classes of workers, officers and other employees of persons, whether  corporate or natural,  engaged in  the provision  of the services  specified in subsection  (1) of this  section  from  taking  part in a  strike  or  other industrial action.”

The unions however vowed to reject the provisions and said the implementation of the new CAA is dead on arrival.

In Kano, the commercial nerve centre of the North, it was a double-edged sword as an inter-agency spat between the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) resulted in the shutdown of the air navigational system by the air traffic controllers, thereby preventing flights from taking off or landing at the Malam Aminu Kano International Airport (MAKIA).

It was gathered that FAAN on Friday disconnected power supply to all NAMA staff accommodations due to non-payment of electricity bills, which provoked them (NAMA staff) to down tools, thereby affecting landing and take-off of flights.

An airport official said AZMAN and Max Air flights scheduled for Abuja and Lagos in the early morning were not allowed to leave on schedule, and that passengers after boarding the flights were later told to disembark as the Air Traffic Controllers shut down their operations.

However, Daily Trust reports that some hours later, the flights resumed after the disputes between the two bodies were resolved with the agreement that activities will continue with immediate effect.

It was gathered that members of the Nigerian Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) had earlier threatened to shut down air navigation facilities in the Kano zone over the disconnection of electricity supply by FAAN.

SEE ALSO:  BREAKING: Dare-devil gunmen resume attacks in South East, kill Chinese, 4 others, disarm policemen, burn station

They, however, made good their threat, leaving hundreds of passengers stranded for hours even as the airport also contended with the protest by the unions.

In Lagos, Daily Trust observed that members of the union started their protest from Arik Air/FAAN headquarters, marching towards the MMA2 before heading to their office at FAAN’s Maintenance Yard.

There was heavy gridlock along the airport road during the period of the protest.

The unions had shut all entry points to the FAAN and NAMA regional headquarters, preventing workers from accessing their offices.

All cars belonging to workers at FAAN, NAMA and other agencies were parked outside during the protest while the gates were only opened by 12 noon after the day’s protest.

The union members carried placards with various inscriptions, saying no to an attempt by the federal government to criminalise trade union activities.

General Secretary of the ATSSSAN, Comrade Frances Akinjole told our correspondent that classifying aviation as rendering essential services was an attempt to gag the unions and vow to resist it in totality.

He stated that the unions have resolved to shut down the industry in the next 14 days if the provisions were not expunged.

He said findings by the unions from the National Assembly indicated that the provisions were not in the original bill passed by the legislature and call for an investigation to ascertain how the clauses found their way into the bill.

Also, the National Treasurer of the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), Comrade Safoya Araga reiterated that the workers would not fold their arms and allow their freedom of association to be tampered with.

SEE ALSO:  Court sacks Senator for defecting to APC, orders by-election

In Abuja, aviation workers at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport also joined their counterparts in the protest against the new CAA.

The protest saw the union members marching through the major roads at the airport, insisting that the classification of aviation workers as essential service providers in the new Act is anti-labour and must be rescinded by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The workers who took their protest from the international wing of the airport up to the gate carried different placards saying “Buhari don’t assent to anti-union aviation bill/act”,  our voices must be heard, protest is our right’, ‘when injustice becomes law, resistance becomes a duty”.

The Chairman of NUATE in Abuja, Comrade Dauda Nambol said the protest was premised on the illegal clauses inserted into the Aviation Bill.

He explained that classifying them as essential workers means that they would be exempted from all the instruments of their actions, they would not be allowed to carry out strikes, picketing or lock-outs, saying these are the instrument of their struggles as enshrined in the International Labour Organization (ILO) convention.

“We are comrades and this is our right as workers. If we feel dissatisfied over any issue we have the right to protest and we will not allow anybody to take away that right.”

Nambol warned that after the peaceful protest, they have given the government two weeks to retract the clause, saying failure to do so, they would use all the available instruments to ensure they achieve their struggle. (Daily Trust)

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Greener Tomorrow: Transcorp Champions Environmental Project Promoting Waste Management and Recycling in Local Schools



Transnational Corporation Plc (“Transcorp”), Nigeria’s largest listed diversified conglomerate renowned for its investments in the Power, Hospitality and Energy sectors, has embarked on a groundbreaking environmental Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) project.

On Wednesday, September 20th, the group launched an initiative aimed at sensitising schools across the country on proper waste management and recycling, fostering a greener and more sustainable future for Nigeria.

Employees from various Transcorp Companies in Nigeria; Transcorp Plc, Transcorp Hotels Plc, Transcorp Power Limited, Transafam Power Limited, and Transcorp Energy Limited passionately participated in the project. The dedicated staff members visited two schools each across the different states they operate in, engaging with students and educators to raise awareness about the importance of responsible waste disposal and the advantages of recycling.

The project is aligned with Transcorp’s Africapitalism philosophy, which is embedded in its vision to power positive change within the environment the group operates. In executing this environmental initiative, the Group has chosen to work through the leaders of tomorrow, by partnering with secondary schools, to instill a sense of environmental responsibility among the young generation, inspiring them to become champions of sustainable practices.

During the engaging sessions representatives effectively communicated the significance of proper waste management techniques and the positive impact recycling can have on the environment. Students were educated on various waste segregation methods and the significance of reducing, reusing, and recycling materials to minimise their ecological footprint.

To reinforce the importance of recycling, Transcorp Group partnered with Recycle Points, one of Nigeria’s foremost waste recycling and social benefit company and an alumnus of the Tony Elumelu Foundation. Transcorp also donated segmented dustbins to each school, designed to facilitate and streamline the recycling process. These specialised dustbins will empower the students and staff to segregate different types of waste effectively, encouraging a culture of recycling within the school premises. They have also collaborated with a strategic partner who will ensure that the recyclables are collected, and proceeds used to train out-of-school children.

SEE ALSO:  Woman sets policewoman, children ablaze in Anambra


Speaking at the occasion, President/GCEO of Transcorp Group, Dr. Owen Omogiafo OON expressed immense pride in the Group’s commitment to environmental stewardship. She stated, “At Transcorp, being the Africapalists that we are, we firmly believe that sustainable development is a shared responsibility. Actively engaging with local schools and investing in educational initiatives, allows us to create a lasting positive impact on our environment and inspire the younger generation to adopt eco-friendly practices.”

In his closing remarks, the representative of the School Principals, on behalf of Lagos State Government, Permanent Secretary, teachers and other staff, expressed his appreciation for this initiative. He encouraged students to imbibe the culture of environmental consciousness and the habit of recycling.

Transcorp’s dedication to sustainability extends beyond this project, as it continues to explore innovative solutions for reducing its own environmental footprint. Earlier in the year, the Group Chairman Mr. Tony O. Elumelu CFR planted trees at Transcorp Hilton Abuja to commemorate World Environment Day. Combining the resources and expertise of its subsidiaries in the Power, Hospitality, and Energy sectors, Transcorp seeks to lead by example and inspire other organisations to embrace environmentally responsible practices.

Transnational Corporation Plc (Transcorp Group) is a publicly quoted Conglomerate, with a diversified shareholder base of approximately 300,000. Its portfolio comprises strategic investments in the power, hospitality, and oil and gas sectors. Its businesses include Transcorp Hilton Abuja, Transcorp Hotels Calabar, Aura by Transcorp Hotels, Transcorp Power, Transafam Power, and Transcorp Energy.

Continue Reading


Tribual dismisses PRP petition against Peter Mbah’s victory



Enugu State Governor, Dr Peter Mbah

The Governoship Election Petition Tribunal sitting in Enugu has dismissed the petition filed by the Peoples Redemption Party candidate Chris Agu against the election of Governor Peter Mbah.

The chairman of the Tribunal, Kudirat Akano while delivering judgement on the petition on Thursday dismissed the allegation of PRP governorship candidate that Governor Peter Mbah’s NYSC certificate was forged.

The Tribunal further ruled that Governor Peter Mbah was duly elected by majority of votes cast at the election

On last issue the Tribunal ruled that the governorship election of March 18 and the return of Governor Peter Mbah as winner complied with the provisions of Electoral Act 2022

SEE ALSO:  Ondo community kicks over alleged imposition of Igbo woman as LCDA chair by Akeredolu’s wife
Continue Reading


Strike: NLC ultimatum ends today, FG allays fear



• File: Labour union protest

Hours to the end of the 21-day ultimatum issued by the organised labour, the Federal Government, on Wednesday, said it has no fears about a potential economic shutdown.

This is despite last Monday’s parley being deadlocked as both parties failed to see eye-to-eye on the labour unions’ demands over the removal of petrol subsidy.

“I don’t think there is any problem. We don’t have any fears about some of the things they (labour) put on the table and also the suggestions and the package of the Federal Government,” the Minister of Labour, Simon Lalong, told State House Correspondents after a private meeting with Vice President Kashim Shettima, at the Aso Rock Villa, Abuja, Wednesday evening.

Days earlier, Lalong met the organised labour in Abuja. However, both parties failed to reach a consensus as the Nigerian Labour Congress insisted that the FG must meet its demands ahead of the 21-day ultimatum it issued on September 1.

The union had handed down the 21-day ultimatum over the delay in sharing palliatives, saying it might be compelled to declare an indefinite labour action if its demands were not met.

It said all is set for a total shutdown of the economy, which would start at the expiration of the ultimatum on Friday.

Arising from his meeting with Shettima, the labour minister responded to questions about the deadline for an indefinite strike by the organised labour, saying, “As for me, I don’t think there is any problem. We have fully spent time with the Nigerian labour and the posture of the President too is towards the welfare and prosperity for workers.

SEE ALSO:  BREAKING: Dare-devil gunmen resume attacks in South East, kill Chinese, 4 others, disarm policemen, burn station

“We have no doubt and that’s why, in many of our meetings with them, we did not end up boxing ourselves. We hope that the best is going to come.”

On the strike threats, he said, “Don’t worry about that. That’s why I said it’s a friendly engagement we are having with them.”

Pressed for definite remarks on whether or not the strike kicks off on Thursday, the former Plateau State Governor sidestepped, saying “I don’t want to say that; I’m not the NLC’s President.”

Efforts by our correspondents to get the National President of the NLC, Joe Ajaero, to react were unsuccessful.

Among other demands, the NLC and the Trade Union Congress are asking for wage awards, implementation of palliatives, tax exemptions and allowances to public sector workers and a review of the minimum wage.

Though the FG committed to restructuring the framework for engagement with organised Labour on palliatives, the eight-week timeframe set for the conclusion of the process expired in August with no action. (PUNCH)

Continue Reading