The rivalry between the two car hire service groups at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja escalated recently leading to physical confrontation at the airport over car hire operational rights.
Members of the two groups - Airport Car Hire Association of Nigeria (ACHAN) and Viko Nigeria Ltd, operators of an online airport car hire services at the Abuja airport - engaged in heated arguments recently which left one car hire operator sustaining injuries.
Our correspondent who witnessed the altercation at the airport reports that it took security operatives some time to calm frayed nerves and bring the crisis under control.
ANCHA was accusing Viko of indulging in illegal car hire operations far removed from the concession agreement it had with the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) about two years ago.
FAAN had given Viko approval to operate online car hire operations at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja. Viko also got approval to use three vehicles for the operations but that is no longer the case as the company now has about 150 vehicles under its operations and prospects for passengers with traditional car hire operators, a situation the car hire operators say was a breach of the concession agreement and that Viko was also robbing them of their revenue.
Chief Ekwemeaku Edom, the chairman Board of Trustees, ACHAN, told our correspondent that FAAN barred Viko on 5th February 2016 from operating conventional car hire services at the airport and asked Viko to revert to its online car hire services with three cars as contained in the contract but that Viko is bent on disobeying.
"Besides there is a court injunction earlier obtained by the ACHAN which ordered Viko to maintain status quo. That is, go back to the three cars and online operations they were doing," he said.
Mr. Kanu wasn't available for comments but one of his car hire operators who spoke under condition of anonymity said they are not engaging in illegal operations.
He said Viko Nigeria Limited is duly registered to operate car hire services at the airport hence their operations.
The General Manager, Corporate Affairs, FAAN, Mr. Yakubu Dati, said FAAN is aware of the situation and is working hard to resolve it.
He said, for now, security agencies have been drafted to maintain law and order at the car parks pending when the matter would be resolved. He declined to give specific details saying it may jeopardise the peace process.