AVIATION MINISTER DEFENDS AIRPORTS CONCESSION
The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika has assured the National Assembly that the concession of four International Airports in Nigeria will not lead to job losses.
The Minister gave this assurance while presenting the Nigerian Airport Concession Strategy to the House of Representatives Committee on Aviation in Abuja.
He added that the assets to be concessioned are cargo terminals, airport terminal buildings, Aprons and Car Parks.
Hadi Sirika maintained that the entire exercise will be carried out in a transparent manner, stressing that the Ministry will cooperate with the lawmakers to ensure that the right things are done.
In his opening remarks, Chairman of the Committee, Hon Nnolim Nnaji stated that the intervention is not intended to oppose the policy of the Executive but to make sure that Nigeria and Nigerians are not shortchanged.
The Committee Chairman recalled that the concerns raised by Labour Unions warranted the committee’s letter to the Ministry Aviation requesting for the copy of outline business plan for the concession, the Chinese loan agreement for the four airports slated for concession, report of the project delivery team, (PDT) and the report of the financial adviser, (FAD).
Some of the lawmakers who spoke, including Hon Linda Ikpeazu queried the rationale behind the concessionning after Federal Government had fully funded the remodeling of the airports through borrowing.
She disclosed that a paltry 40% revenue sharing formular would be for the Federal Government while 60% of the revenue will go to the concessionaire.
Hon Ikpeazu urged government to redirect the planned concession in such a way that it would bring about development of new airports, reduce airfare and other areas that would help to increase patronage.
The House Committee however resolved to set up a sub-committee to interface with Federal Ministry of Aviation, the Financial Adviser, (FAD) and the Project Delivery Team, (PDT) on the proposed airports concession by the Federal Government.
The airports that are up for concession are the Murtala Mohammed international Airport Lagos, Aminu Kano international Airport, Kano, Nnamdi Azikiwe Internationals Airport Abuja and the Port Harcourt International Airport Rivers States.