The Federal Government has disclosed that it will no longer permit strikes by aviation workers around airports, because not only does aviation offers essential services but the act is prohibited by law. In a chat with State House correspondents, the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika stated that the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) Act has been assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari, and it prohibits industrial actions around airports.
For this reason, he asserted that the government will ensure that no essential service is disrupted by anyone no matter how aggrieved. This is coming hours after aviation workers under the aegis of the National Union of Air Transport Employees and Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria suspended their strike which the unions commenced on Monday, January 23.
The development, which lasted for hours, led to massive flight disruption at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos before the workers suspended operations over non-payment of their salaries.
The aviation minister further enjoined aggrieved workers to deploy other channels to resolve the issues, as the government is open to listen. He maintained that workers strike action is wrong, inhuman and not allowed. Sirika, who also apologised to Nigerians for the inconvenience caused by the strike, equally disclosed that the Federal Executive Council approved contracts worth over N10 billion, for the aviation ministry.
Giving a breakdown of the contracts, Sirika revealed that they are for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the Hadejia airstrip, the construction of control tower and technical building in Enugu Airport and for procurement of utility vehicles.