The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has reassured Nigerians that the planned relocation of its headquarters from Abuja to Lagos is in the best interest of the country.
FAAN admitted that relocation wasn’t an overnight decision but was made after wide consultations by the new management with stakeholders, which also involved the unions.
In a statement made available to BusinessDay, it pointed out some of the reasons behind this move, stating that it is in the best interest of the authority and the country in general.
The airport regulatory agency said, “Those affected by the decision to move the headquarters to Abuja have since returned to Lagos as there is no office space for them in Abuja. It was ill-advised in the first place to move the headquarters to Abuja when there was no single FAAN building in Abuja to accommodate all of them at once.
“Having returned to Lagos, the Authority would be liable to pay them DTA (Duty Tour Allowance) because technically they are working out of station as their official posting is to Abuja. The Minister has decided to stop this waste of public resources and rip-off on the public purse.
“The other option open to the Authority was abandon the old FAAN building in Lagos to rot away and to use its scarce resources to rent an office space in Abuja for millions of naira of public money when, in actual fact more than sixty percent of its activities are in Lagos, given the huge passenger volume of the Lagos airports. The stakeholders and the Minister decided against that and to save the country this waste.
“The Minister has rolled out plans to get concessionaires to build befitting offices for the Authority in Lagos and Abuja and until that is done, the Authority will continue to manage its old building in Lagos that can accommodate all its Directors and senior officials for now.
“Abuja continues to have full operational offices and the Authority has not scaled down operations in Abuja one bit. It is just the technical decision of where the Authority has its ‘corporate headquarters’ that has been taken without affecting the structure of operations as they are for now in both cities.
“In the near future, when befitting corporate buildings have been built for the Authority in both Lagos and Abuja, a final decision will be taken as to the location of the permanent headquarters, depending on the exigencies of the time.
“The Authority wishes to assure members of the public that it will continue to act in the best interest of the public and the country.
“The Honourable Minister is committed to taking decisions that are in the best interest of the country, especially as it concerns public funds and will not yield to ethnic or sectional sentiments that will derail this commitment.”