Director General of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE), Mr. Alex A. Okoh has described the Privatisation of the Skyway Aviation Handling Company Limited (SAHCOL) as one of the best enterprise/reform initiatives implemented by the Bureau.
Speaking at the Inauguration of an Inter-agency Committee for the negotiation and resolution of the outstanding claims of the SAHCO unions held on Wednesday, 27th November, 2019, in Abuja, Okoh commended the leadership of the unions for their maturity in towing the path of dialogue to resolve all the issues arising from the privatisation of the enterprise.
He said the Skyway Aviation Handling Company Limited (SAHCOL) formerly known as Skypower Aviation Handling Company Limited plc (SAHCO) was privatised in 2009 by the Federal government through the BPE; and the workers paid their terminal benefits amounting to about N2.0bn.
The DG however said that there were still some outstanding issues relating to payments to be made to the affected workers which the Bureau is exploring ways to settle in line with the agreement reached with the unions.
According to him, the inauguration of the Inter-agency Committee is a fall out of a series of engagements with the management of SAHCOL and the labour unions aimed at resolving the contentious issues.
He listed the Terms of Reference (ToR) of the committee as: To establish whether there was staff redundancy as a result of privatisation of SAHCOL in 2009; To determine appropriate mechanism to be adopted in resolving the financial liabilities arising from this if; To establish the category of staff to be affected by the payment if any; and to make appropriate recommendations to the Bureau on the way forward.
The committee members are drawn from the Bureau of Public Enterprises; Federal Ministry of Aviation; National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) and Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association (ATSSSAN).
The National President the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) Comrade Ben Nnabue who spoke on behalf the unions, commended the DG for listening to the complaints of the unions and inaugurating the Committee.
He said that the issues would have been resolved if similar steps were taken earlier to address the contending issues.