Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited (BASL), operator of Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos Terminal Two (MMA2), has denied owing the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).
In a statement on Thursday by its spokesperson, Mikail Mumuni, the company said that contrary to the claim that it owes the aviation regulatory body, “it is FAAN that owes Bi-Courtney over N200bn by depriving it of its legitimate earnings over the past 14 years.”
Mr Mumuni said this was consequent upon FAAN’s decision to open and operate the General Aviation Terminal (GAT), thus competing with BASL with government money in the running of the Domestic Terminal in a flagrant breach of the concession agreement.
“BASL in line with the dispute resolution process contained in the agreement had an arbitration award in its favour. It also got the judgement of a High Court, six Court of Appeal judgements and a Supreme Court judgement, all in its favour and sustained the monetary award,” the statement said.
The Nigerian government had on Thursday vowed to clamp down on the company over debt owed the airport authorities.
The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, made this known when he revealed that efforts have been intensified by the ministry to recover over N37 billion debts owed by airlines in the country.
Speaking at the weekly ministerial press briefing organised by the Presidential Communication Team at the presidential villa, Abuja, Mr Sirika specifically cited Bi-Courtney Limited as chronic debtor, saying the company was owing about N13 billion and had never remitted a dime to government coffers for 13 years.
But Mr Mumuni in his reaction stressed that the courts had ruled that any debt that may be alleged against BASL by FAAN should be deducted from the credit judgement after due verification.
“The N14bn debt mentioned by the Minister is totally inconsistent with the demand by FAAN,the body which has been liaising with BASL,” he said.
“Their last demand was about N1bn which was promptly responded to by BASL stating categorically that there was no such debt.
“We believe that (the) minister was not properly briefed by FAAN as we also pay our electricity bills as and when due. We equally provide elaborate security at the Terminal which has continued to attract commendation from stakeholders.”
He added that BASL is a law abiding company and will continue to obey the laws of the land while providing exceptional services at its facilities.
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