Abuja airport workers kick against non-payment of salaries


Workers who clean the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, have condemned the non-payment of their salaries by the concessionaire in charge of cleaning services at the airport.



According to the workers, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria ought to intervene in the matter as the concessionaire in question, Lakewood Nigeria Limited, works for FAAN at the Abuja airport.



But FAAN and Lakewood gave divergent views when contacted by our correspondent on the matter.



FAAN said it had paid the contractor, while the concessionaire said it was being owed for nine months by FAAN for services rendered at the NAIA.



Some of the cleaners alleged that they were owed salaries of about five months, but noted that on December 24, 2018, they received payment for one month.



“Although the contractor that we work for is the one who owes us, FAAN needs to intervene. The excuse they (concessionaire) give is that FAAN is not making adequate payments for the services we render. Some of us are being owed salaries of about four to five months. But they paid for one month on Monday,” one of the affected workers, who spoke to our correspondent in confidence, said.



Another cleaner affected by the development, said, “We are about 180 people that work as cleaners and we know what we go through on a daily basis trying to keep the various terminals of this airport clean because this airport serves the nation’s capital.



“I do not think it is wise to owe workers in an airport like this because it may be risky.”



On what FAAN was doing as regards the indebtedness to the workers, the authority’s General Manager, Corporate Affairs, Henrietta Yakubu, said she had confirmed from the agency’s accounts department that “FAAN has paid the contractor.”



When the concessionaire was contacted by our correspondent, a senior official at the firm argued that although FAAN was indebted to the contractor, the firm (Lakewood) had ensured that salaries were paid as and when due.



The official further stated that Lakewood was being owed for nine months by FAAN, adding that FAAN had been defaulting in the payment for services rendered by the concessionaire.



The source, who pleaded not to be named in order not to be victimised, refuted claims that the contractor owed workers’ salaries of about five months and stated that it had finalised arrangements for the payment of September and October salaries, which were partly delayed due to the non-payment by FAAN.
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