April 13, 2024

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NIGERIA AVIATION: No airport slated for concession, only four terminals – ICRC

4 min read

Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos

No airport is to be concession in Nigeria but merely four terminals in the four international airports have been penciled for the exercise namely, Murtala Mohammed International Airport, MMIA Ikeja, Lagos, Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, NAIA, Abuja, Port Harcourt International Airport, and Enugu International Airport, EIA, Enugu, would have their terminals concession as soon as their procurement and business cases are ready.

The Director General, Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission, ICRC, engr. Chidi Izuwa, made this known today through Mr. Haruna Yusuf,  Head of Aviation Desk, ICRC, at the 2nd quarter of Aviation Safety Round Table Initiative, ASRTI, Business Breakfast Meeting webinar, held today.

Mr. Yusuf used the occasion to announce that due diligence on the Project Development Case, PDC, was just concluded when the Aviation Minister, Hadi Sirika, was handed the Certificate of Compliance.

He said the layered procedure for the ultimate concession was in place and the ICRC is following through conscientiously so as to get the project delivered in a way that, the goal for the concession is ultimately not missed.

Yusuf said the next stage of the exercise is the Procurement Case which will be followed by the Business Case.

He said the entire process of the exercise is unique in that those that made input were stakeholders in their diverse forms in the aviation industry, including the workers  which he said had never been done by other sector who had done similar project or still prosecuting similar program.

To ascertain the transparency of the exercise he announced that a Strategic Communication Consultant had been engaged with the view to bring to public knowledge every material particular on the very sensitive and volatile program of getting the terminal concession.

The ICRC’s Head of Aviation Desk disclosed that the entire modus operandi employ for all the commission’s projects are in the public domain as they could be accessed on the commission’s website for everyone to track.    

Haruna Yusuf said the delivery team in the terminal concession program comprised of diverse interest groups and involved inter-ministerial input from the Minister Of Finance & Economic Planning, Labour, Aviation Ministry and the agency managers of the terminal and the workers.

He said with assemblage of a wide array of personalities and institutions, there was no room for short cut in the process as all the players in the exercise desire the very best for the project nay the national economy.

Capt. Hadi Sirika, who dashed in and out of the webinar while on an official tour to Enugu airport said, all the airports are assets of 200 million Nigerians and government is not selling any of them. He said since government does not have the kind of money to quickly bring them at par to world standard, private investors will be delegated to invest in them through concession.

Sirika explained the preferred bidder would be allowed to invest and manage the terminal for a given tenor and the asset will revert to the people. He stated further that if the state felt the concessionaire had delivered and wish it continue, so be it.

He called attention to the MMIA, Lagos, which he said was designed for a maximum of 2 million passengers per annum but presently being utilized for over 8 million passengers he said, will no doubt impede excellent service delivery hence the need to concession.

While setting the mood for the discussion, the convener of the ASRTI 2nd Quarter Business Breakfast Meeting,BBM, Dr. Gbenga Olowo, President Saber West Africa, said he looked forward to a situation where four mega airlines would emerge to have their operational base in each of the terminals as obtained in the United States.

He said with such arrangement, it would be easier for Nigeria to naturally emerge as a hub in the West coast of Africa. He noted that transparent agreement with concessionaire will provoke the emergence of mega carriers. Olowo expressed his expectations for each mega carrier to parade about 50 aircraft by 2025.

Olowo without mincing words said of the fact that government cannot provide the capital needed to develop our terminals to the much touted 21st century standard we all can be proud of hence concession is inevitable, one of the best options on the table.

Nick Fadugba, a re-known aviation consultant based in London, gave a caveat that, “doing it badly is worse than not doing it at all” thus warning that a careful resolution of numerous legal issues need be made, to make the exercise attractive to genuine international investors.

He called on the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, and the management of Bicourtney Aviation Services Limited, BASL, to close rank for the sake of air travelers and provide seemless connection from the international terminal to the domestic terminals. He said the present situation of using the road is atrocious as it is chaotic. He noted the road traffic between the two terminals no doubt had defied efficient traffic management hence an outright alternative becomes imperative

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