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31 Jan 2019

Protest Rocks Lagos Airport Over Demolition Of FAAN, NAMA’s Structures By Chinese Company

The ongoing construction of the new terminal by the Chinese company, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC), is causing furore at the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos, as the contractor is accused of demolishing buildings without prior notices.

Last week, CCECC demolished the training school of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and kitchen hostels of some staff, without issuing notice to the occupants.

The demolition of the structures brought hues and cries from occupants who claimed that they were only issued 24 hours to evacuate their assets from the building.

On Thursday, the Chinese company continued the second phase of its demolition exercise. SaharaReporters observed that three block of flats belonging to a sister agency, the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), was demolished by the Chinese company, even as the occupants claim that they were not issued quit notice.

The block of flats is occupied by Air Traffic Controllers (ATC), engineers, among other technical staff of the agency.
The occupants insisted that they were yet to get official notification from FAAN, the Chinese company or even NAMA, who they say was supposed to issue quit notice to its staff housed in the building.

One of the affected NAMA staff, who gave his name as Engr. Fapounda, said the attitude of the Chinese company is “wanton”, noting that none of the occupants was issued notice by government agencies or even the Chinese company.

Fapohunda said: “This exercise is being undertaken by the Chinese company with very wicked disposition and executive recklessness. The questions begging for answer are numerous; was there any notice to the occupiers of these buildings?

“No official notice from FAAN, our organization, NAMA, or even the Chinese company. Unless there is public information on this, the Chinese will continue in this callous exercise in the name of terminal building rehabilitation.”

However, a source close to FAAN confided in our correspondent that the demolished building was being used for the extension of the parking bay, taxiing for aircraft in the new terminal under construction.

The source added that several other buildings within the environment would still be demolished by the contractor, but confirmed that the contractor did not issue any prior notice to the occupiers of the buildings.

The FAAN source insisted that the buildings were not given to staff as rent, stressing that the staff complaining about the demolition should not have complained.
The source said: “The transit camp, which some of our workers stay at present, is just a temporal arrangement for staff. No one pays any amount of money to occupy the place.”

Mrs. Henrietta Yakubu, the General Manager, Public Affairs, FAAN, could not be reached on phone when contacted to give official explanation on the demolition exercise, while the site engineer of CCECC when approached, directed our correspondent to their headquarters, possibly in China.

It would be recalled that the new terminal has been under construction since 2013 with the completion date set at 2015.

Several professionals in the industry had declared that the siting of the terminal was wrong and inappropriate as it nullified the airport’s master plan.

Stakeholders have said that with the sighting of the terminal, smooth flow traffic within the airport would be obstructed.

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