by Oke Efagene
Over 200 cab drivers at the international terminal of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), in Lagos yesterday, protested over a directive from the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) to relocate to a new site to give way for the construction of a multi-storey car park.
The cab operators who function under the aegis of Airport Car Hire Association of Nigeria (ACHAN), have accused FAAN of not updating them of its plans to build a new car park at the terminal.
The operators said that they were informed only a few days ago by FAAN to immediately move out of the section of the airport they are operating from, without adequate plans of finding a better location for them to carry out their operations.
According to a ThisDay report:
Speaking in an interview, the chairman of ACHAN, Alhaji Ganiyu Salami, described the action of FAAN as insensitive, alleging they were not properly consulted and carried along as stakeholders before being asked to move.
He said the alternative place provided by FAAN for them to carry out their business is not conducive, adding that operators would face the challenge of inadequate space to park their cars, before they solicit for passengers.
Salami feared that the chaotic situation that would be created by their relocation could affect the security and safety of passengers who may be forced to patronise illegal car hire operators, adding that the temporary alternative is too far from the terminal building, where they pick passengers.
About a year ago, the federal government set out the plan to build a befitting car park at the airport and destroy the present one which is unsightly and porous.
Few months ago, it started work on the construction of a temporary car park as alternative place which work would be going on in the new project.
As work is billed to start in January for the new car park project, the cab drivers were asked to relocate to a new site, while henceforth vehicles coming to discharge and pick travellers would start using the temporary car park.