After a two-day warning strike by aviation unions, full operations resumed at Nigeria’s airports yesterday. The strike was temporarily stopped after top officials from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Salary and Wages Commission, and aviation agencies intervened. The unions had gone on strike to demand the immediate release of the reviewed Condition of Service of their members, implementation of the minimum wage consequential adjustments, and arrears for the Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NiMet) since 2019. They also wanted the planned demolition of aviation agency buildings in Lagos for an airport city project called aerotropolis to be stopped. The unions included the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN), the Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals (ANAP), the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE), and the Amalgamated Union of Public Corporation Civil Service Technical and Recreation Services Employees.
Although flights resumed normally from the terminals by 9am, the Ministry of Aviation’s offices in Lagos, Nigeria Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), and the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) remained under lock and key. AON spokesperson, Obiora Okonkwo, expressed hope that the parties involved would come to an agreement, stating that although flights were operational, the strike had disrupted schedules and caused stress to passengers.
The Director-General of the NCAA, Captain Musa Nuhu, explained in a statement that the outcomes of the meeting between the union leadership, aviation chiefs, and the wages commission would be forwarded to the Head of Service of the Federation for consideration and approval. The General-Secretary of the Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN) later apologized to the public, particularly air travelers, for the inconvenience caused by the strike.
The unions threatened to restrategize if the Federal Government failed to come up with a reasonable solution. They planned an indefinite work boycott from next week if their demands were not met. The Secretary-General of NUATE, Ocheme Aba, stated that they intended to give the government until Friday, and then if they did not receive a response, they would agree on the next line of action. NUATE’s First Vice -President, Lucy Ukpen, added that they were considering a total shutdown of airports across the country.