The controversy over the management of the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA) Lagos access gate took a new twist on Tuesday when the police and Nigerian Air Force took over the gate.
This followed the decision of the I-Cube West Africa Limited, the concessionaire to drive away members of the aviation unions who had initially dislodged them on Monday and took over the access gate.
Daily Trust reports that four aviation unions took over the access gate from I-Cube on Monday claiming the contract between the concessionaire and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) had expired.
But today, security operatives took over the access gate from both the unions and the I-Cube management.
It was learnt that for hours, motorists passing through the gate to connect the international airport and the MMIA cargo terminal enjoyed free access.
Our correspondent reports that an estimated 25,000 vehicles pass through the access gate on a daily basis. Small vehicles pay N200 while Sport Utility Vehicles (SUVs) pay N300.
Spokesman of Lagos Airport Police Command, DSP Joseph Alabi, told our correspondent that security operatives took over the access gate to maintain law and order.
He however confirmed that talks are ongoing by the parties concerned to resolve the issue amicably.
However, the Deputy National President, Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN), Comrade Sarah Rimdans, said FAAN had finally terminated the contract of I-Cube West Africa.
She said the termination was contained in a memo dated 4th February, 2020 and signed by the Managing Director of FAAN, Captain Rabiu Yadudu and addressed to the Managing Director of I-Cube.
“Kindly be informed that the Authority has resolved to temporarily take over the management of the said Murtala Muhammed International Airport Access Gate with immediate effect to determine the actual revenue generated from the Access Gate. By this letter, you are requested to vacate the premises immediately,” the letter read.
Rimdans said with the takeover of the toll collection yesterday, staff members of FAAN were able to rake in over N2.5m for the half-day minus ticket sales.
“So per annum, if we put all those monies together that’s why nobody that entered toll gate want to leave the toll gate because there is money making in this place,” she said.
Comrade Rimdans stated that the contractor on a monthly basis pays N58m on the contract.
She insisted that the contract with I-CUBE was not terminated untimely but that the contract had expired since last year February.
However, I-Cube had expressed shock over the action of the unions when the matter bothering on the contractual agreement is still pending in court.
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