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ASRTI to provide X-ray therapy for stricken airport concession program

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The leading purpose-driven non-governmental organization that has its mind over aviation matters, Aviation Safety Round Table Initiative, ASRTI, will again explore the tool of the times, webinar/zoom meeting, to elicit sincere opinions on how to get the nation’s airports competitive by raising their service delivery level, create jobs, be able to attract adequate funding, and be a delight to all shades of airport users- airlines, passengers, tourists, to mention a few.

By the aggregate from a wide spectrum of opinions expressed about the ways and means to make our airports at par with what obtained in advanced economies, concession seems to have been agreed upon in principle as the way to go.

However, the albatross seems to be how to jump-start the process of the much-touted concession in a sincere, transparent and fair manner, that would get the best bidder for the job. Truth is, the clamour for concession predates the present regime of President Muhammadu Buhari. But It is of note that since the advent of the Buhari regime and the emergence of an aviator as Minister of Aviation, expectations have been very high that the industry will experience a structural adjustment in all its facets and will experience exponential growth and development.

Most likely, it is in response to the melee generated by the seemingly clandestine approach to the entire concession process, that propelled ASRTI to place in the front burner of its second-quarter Breakfast Business Meeting, BBM, for a serious x-ray of the airport concession issue. The theme of the event slated for, Thursday, 13th August 2020 through a webinar is; “Nigerian Airport Concession: How Far So Far?

As apt as the theme is, the event would not be concluded without proffering foolproof answer to the question which, with all intent and purposes, should form the fulcrum of the business case for the concession. Discussants are tested hands. Those that have passed the same route and know where the shoe pinches.

According to the Chairman, ASRTI Webinar Organizing Committee, Engr. Frank Ogochukwu, “the webinar has become necessary because of apprehensions by industry stakeholders regarding the process so far. And the ASRTI believed the time was ripe to bring informed interventions and promote genuine conversations on the Nigeria Airport Concession process by engaging distinguished professionals, experts and stakeholders on the theme: “Nigeria Airport Concession, How Far So Far?”

All the panellists are distinguished Nigerians in their own right. They are, Dr Babawale Babalakin, Chairman, Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited, managers of the only known airport concession in Nigeria, the Murtala Muhammed Airport Terminal Two, MMA2, ostensibly the best in service delivery among the entire 25 airports in the country. The Managing Director, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, Capt. Rabiu Hamisu Yadudu, Mr Tunde Fagbemi, Managing Director, Huf Haus Africa, Mr Nick Fadugba, Chief Executive, African Aviation Services Limited, AVM Osita C. Oberika Rtd. Prof. Anthony Kila, Executive Director, CIAPS, and Dr Daniel Young, Chief Executive, Daniel Young Global Investment.

In a statement from the ASRTI and signed by Mr Olu Ohunayo, the leaders of thought assembled “are expected to dissect sub-theme such as providing Perspectives on Airport Concession, FAAN Experience in airport concession, Concept Notes on Airport Concession, Airport Concession: An Investor’s Perspective, Airport Concession: Business Perspective, Possible Implications of Concession on Joint User Airports; Airport Concession: Corporate Experience and Airport Concession, Regulator’s Viewpoint.

Participants are industry leaders, aviation and none aviation professionals, government agencies, investors and insurers, international organizations, and passengers.

Conspicuously absent in the line-up are the dramatis personae in the ubiquitous concession saga, just like the national carrier debacle, the Federal Ministry of Aviation and the Infrastructural Concession And Regulatory Commission, ICRC. It is expected that a public institution with leadership who believed in accounting to the people will cash in on this very auspicious platform to clear the air and douse whatever misgiving on the contentious airport concession.

Convener of this 2nd BBM, 2020 for ASRTI, is an elder statesman who has chalked up over three and half decades, cognate industry experience, Dr Olugbenga Gabriel Olowo, President Saber West Africa. Scheduled as the Moderator of the August event is, Air Commodore Ademola Onitiju, (Rtd)
The Webinar will be on live on Thursday, 13th August 2020 at 11.00 West African Time.

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