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Aviation crisis looms over planned demolition of FAAN, NAMA offices

There are plans by the federal government to demolish the headquarters annexes of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and the Nigerian Airspace Management…

There are plans by the federal government to demolish the headquarters annexes of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) with looming industrial unrest as aviation workers hold a congress today.

The Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika recently hinted at the demolition of the offices for the planned Aerotropolis (Airport City), one of the projects under the aviation roadmap.

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This is barely seven months after demolishing the headquarters of the N5 billion Accident Investigation Bureau – Nigeria at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) for apron extension at the new MMIA terminal. Although the apron is yet to be extended, hindering wide-bodied aircraft from landing at the terminal, AIB has been in Abuja.

Some workers said because the agencies are yet to get befitting offices in Abuja since 2020 when they were asked to relocate to Abuja, barely 30 percent have relocated.

He disclosed that a proposed airport city was designed to link the old airport with the new airport by rail and the government will develop all the areas where FAAN, NAMA, and others currently have their structures. 

Former Commandant of the MMIA, Group Capt. John Ojikutu (retd), expressed shock over the plan.

He said the land on the western part of the airport within Shasha, Egbeda, etc that has been encroached upon should have been used for any aerotropolis.

A staff member of FAAN said, “This is exactly what we are hearing about the demolition but we don’t want to believe it. But the unions are shutting down tomorrow (today).”

Another worker said, “As I am talking to you, we don’t have an office in Abuja. They just pursued us from Bisau Street, Zone 6.”

At the open congress today, the unions will discuss the planned demolition at the Freedom Square FAAN headquarters in Lagos, according to a notice.

“I see the demolition plan as part of a grander plan to cap¬ture or conquer the national assets with a certain deadline that appears to be at hand in mind. But, we shall resist it. And by God’s grace we shall overcome,” General Secretary of the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), Comrade Aba Ocheme said.