Aviation sector lost N7 billion to nationwide strike, cargo agents lament 

By Innocent Raphael 

The Domestic Airports Cargo Agents Association (DACAA) has reported a loss of approximately N7 billion during the two-day nationwide strike orchestrated by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC).

Ikpe Nkanang, Chairman of DACAA’s Board of Trustees, disclosed this information to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Friday. 

According to Nkanang, the strike, which took place on June 3, disrupted the daily transportation of around 30 tonnes of cargo through the country’s domestic airports, resulting in a substantial volume of unprocessed shipments.

“During those two days, airlines were grounded, and without their operation, cargo movement was impossible, leading to significant losses,” Nkanang said.

 He highlighted that a considerable amount of cargo had been ready for shipment before the strike began. 

“You needed to see the volume of cargo that was dumped over those two days; we had gathered cargo during the weekend, expecting to send them out on Monday and Tuesday. It was a colossal loss to us in the cargo world, affecting both our income and the country’s economy.”

Nkanang detailed that transporting a kilogram of cargo typically costs N300, underlining the financial impact on the aviation sector. 

He further urged the government to reach a swift agreement with organized labour to avoid the resumption of the strike.

The NLC and TUC initiated the strike in response to the federal government’s refusal to increase the minimum wage from N60,000. The action brought domestic airline operations to a halt as airports were shut down, disrupting economic and government activities nationwide, including causing an electricity blackout.

A meeting between the Federal Government and union representatives on Monday evening led to a temporary suspension of the strike on Tuesday for one week. 

This suspension was contingent on the government’s promise, under President Bola Tinubu’s administration, to negotiate a new minimum wage exceeding N60,000.

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