Nigeria’s four major airports must be concessioned – Aviation Minister

Domestic Terminal, Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos
Domestic Terminal, Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos

The Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, on Tuesday said there was no going back on the Federal Government’s plan to concession the four major airports in the country.

Mr. Sirika made the remark while speaking at an interactive session with Aviation correspondents in Lagos.

The Federal Government had indicated interest to concession the Lagos, Kano, Abuja and Port Harcourt international airports, to improve their safety and capacity.

Mr. Sirika noted that the protest by some aviation unions against the government’s plan was due to the misconception that the airports were going to be privatised and sold to private individuals.

According to him, the concessioning of the airports will ensure that they are properly managed, while the government will still retain their ownership.

The minister said that the current condition of airports in the country had made it extremely difficult for Nigeria to attract the desired number of passengers to transform the country into an aviation hub.

“Nigeria has potential to do between 70 to 100 million passengers annually, within the next five years, if the right things are put in place.

“The 15 million annual passengers which is the country’s current capacity can be improved upon if private investors are allowed to participate in the sector.

“Government does not have money to put into these businesses and we don’t want to sell these facilities either; so that is why we are concessioning them because it is the only way to go,’’ he said.

The minister noted that aviation was a money spinner and could help the government to generate revenue which would be used to revitalize the Nigerian economy.

To this end, he said the government was committed to the establishment of a national carrier, a Repair, Maintenance and Overhaul (MRO) facility and an aviation leasing company which would all be privately funded.

The minister noted that their absence in the country had constituted a huge challenge to the growth of the aviation sector.

Earlier in his remarks, the Chairman, League of Aviation and Airports Correspondents, Chuks Iwelunmo, pledged that the group would continue to partner with the ministry to take aviation to greater heights.

(NAN)

All rights reserved. This material and any other material on this platform may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, written or distributed in full or in part, without written permission from PREMIUM TIMES.


  • favourtalk

    This will be good, it will create a better development for the country and aviation sector

    • front man

      Thumb up

    • woman leader1

      Exactly!

  • kayode Olufade

    The question to ask here is why past concessioning failed. The airports have always been concessioner but always ended up in smoke.

  • dami

    National carrier in 2016….that’s ten steps backward…and begs the question, why is government always looking to not pay market rate for anything? Cos this national carrier will only issue subsidized or free tickets to government officials and their family members…then it will collapse…then we will all assemble here and begin to blame one another.

    Buhari your ministers are too old to provide this country with new thinking.

  • Arabakpura

    How successful in terms of Client satisfaction was the Bi-Courtney experience in MMA2? Arguably, it’s the only airport that looks like an airport in Nigeria but the company had known little peace! The rests are more like aircraft landing centers!

    • vagabonds in power

      Awo once said if Obasanjo ends up becoming a farmer–Nigerians will starve to death————That is anything that Obj puts his blood stained hands into turns into the devils workshop———Now obj yearns to take our airports——————–with the aid of mumu Buhari who promised he was going to create a new National airline for Nigeria—————-where are the airlines———-the planes-nko?—liar that is what they are–thieves–Nigerian has been sold to the dogs and Apes in APC—-Separation is the only way out

    • Manuel Tobby

      I know unarguably that Bi Courtney’ s MMA 2 is the only airport in Nigeria that looks like an airport, far better than the so called international wing.

  • vagabonds in power

    The entire idea is to sell the Nations aviation industry to the Yorubas and Fulanis—on the part of the Yorubas BI-COURTNEY–under the control of the Yorubas–via Obasanjo——-Then the rest goes to the Fulanis–under the able leadership of Aisha Bingo Buhari———-nee Hajia Bello!———–We warned Nigerians severally that the Apes in APC do not mean well for the country.. But most of us gullible 9jas from the old regions of 9ja—fell for it—While those of us who opposed them were called names-such as creek rats—–ati Jonathanians—————-and told we were sore loooooooooooooosers—————————Now we see the real move to completely Islamize Nigeria in the making——by the Fulanis———with the death of PDP–Harassed out of reckoning by the CIA under the rule of Obama–ati Bingo Buhari—–Were we not told we needed to sell of the Ajeokuta steel mill to the Indians-because 9jas are all thieves-?———So-we did via Obj–the destroyer————-Nigeria ended up the looooser—Now they want to sell off the airports to themselves—————– Having concluded plans to sell the refineries to Dangote—and LADY ALAKIJA-ati Tinubu–Sadly- all the Nations airports were erected with the oil revenue from–the Niger delta—————————————-Freedom is our goal–Not the rule of the Apes in APC————All the Nations airports have already been turned into Prayer mats by the Fulanis—————–Go to our airports every corner is a Mosques to the fake Muslims practicing their religion——Not one area of the airports in Kuwait or Saudi Arabia and Dubai has been turned into——————-a Mosque by the Arabs————-Not in Nigeria of the sultan of Sokoto -who goes about declaring public holiday as if he is the president of Nigeria——————-freedom is our goal—————in the South south of Nigeria—-not the rule of the Fulns and Yorubas—————

    • Rommel

      Did they swear for your people not to establish companies and bid for big projects? or you think it should be awarded to you because you have crude oil,oh I forgot,you have militancy franchises,how many militant groups exist in the Niger delta and who in his right senses will even accept a Niger delta man as business partner? you must remember that every of our actions have consequences.Tell the Owners of Sahara energy to also bid

  • thusspokez

    Concession, concessioned, concessioning — what do they mean? Are there no better words to describe what the minister is trying to do with the airports?

  • thusspokez

    The Federal Government had indicated interest to concession the Lagos, Kano, Abuja and Port Harcourt international airports, to improve their safety and capacity.

    Important Question: Has Hadi Sirika, the minister of state for aviation, ordered any independent investigation into the problems with these airports, and if so, what are the findings and recommendations that she is now basing her decision on?

  • Rumournaire

    If you want to concession any airport – or indeed any public facility – please ensure an agreement that does not box the government into a corner like the agreement with Bi-Courtney over MMA2. The Agreement must recognise that the concessionaire may not always have the funds to expand the facility to meet demand, and must therefore allow the government to carry out expansion for public benefit – and reap the returns of such injection of public funds.

    • Manuel Tobby

      I challenge you to mention one airport in the whole country that’s better managed and in better infrastructure/service state than MMA 2. Please I am awaiting your response and if possible without vulgar words.

      • Rumournaire

        I wonder if you were actually responding to my post because (a) Your comment seems to bear no relationship to my point, and (b) I have never been vulgar in any online post – check out all my posts anywhere. In fact, I do not normally respond to any post that uses abusive or tribal language.

        My comment did not say that MMA2 is not well-managed. What I said is that when MMA2 could not cope with the traffic and FAAN decided to rebuild the old burnt terminal to ease the congestion, it became a problem because the concession agreement did not allow for anyone else – not even FAAN that owns the airport – to build and operate anything other than whatever Bi-Courtney could build. So, if Bi-Courtney did not have money to expand the facility, then we are stuck? That is not a good agreement. Any concessioning agreement must recognise that the concessionee does not have infinite funds and may nit always be able to expand the facility to meet demand.

        It is a similar problem Lagos state had with the Lekki Expressway tolling. That road was concessioned to LCC. However, the expansion LCC carried out on that road was inadequate for the traffic. When Lagos State decided to ease the traffic by building the Lekki-Ikoyi link bridge, it became a problem because LCC said it would take away some of the traffic that would have paid tolls to them. The compromise was that it forced Lagos State to toll the Lekki-Ikoyi link bridge, even though it was built entirely with the taxpayers’ money and should not have been tolled.

        Please read and understand people’s comments well before you respond.
        Thanks and God bless.