Airport Concession: House Committee Chair urges FG to weigh options

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L-R Mr. Patrick Musa, House Committee Chairman, Nnolim Nnaji, Mr. Ali Magashi and Capt. Dapo Olumide discussants at the colloquium in Lagos by Nigeria Travel Mart

….unions urged to support concession, prevent regrets and bitter cries …….tumba

The Chairman House Committee on Aviation, Nnolim Nnaji says for concession to succeed, the airport infrastructure has to be developed to attract the private sector participation.

Nnaji who stated this at the 3rd Nigeria Travel Mart Colloquium 2019 held in Lagos, with the theme: “Airport Concession and Options for Airports Development in Nigeria” said there were options for government to explore in the development of the nation’s airports to make them viable.

He noted that airports managed by government were underdeveloped and grossly underutilized leading to huge losses both in aeronautical and non-aeronautical sources, which today the world over was becoming the dominant sources of airport development, stability and aviation sustainability.

“In Nigeria, we have not exploited even up to 10 percent of the possible non-aeronautical revenues because our airports are not yet developed to the level of harnessing the revenue potentials available on the land side (non-aeronautical sources of revenue)”. 

To channel a new development pathway for the airports to be more economical and sustainable, the House Committee Chairman urged government to consider the proposal as put forward by the Nigeria’s Annual Airport Business Summit for 2017, 2018 and 2019, organized by FCI International limited.

This is the unbundling of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, which could lead to a more efficient and progressive airport development and an enabling environment that would attract private sector investments and tourism development in Nigeria. 

The following according to Nnaji in the report would led to the emergence of a Nigeria Airport Development Agency; Airport Management Company PLC; Federal Airports Property Company Ltd.

“Therefore to which ever direction we choose to go, the regulatory frame work that will ensure proper guidance on the operations of privatized airports in the country or government running of airports like in Egypt and Ethiopia, will need to be instituted and this still requires further debate that will enable a well-structured economic regulation that ultimately ensures air transport safety”. 

“our airports are underdeveloped and underutilized. The pace of development in general is very slow. Catching up with the rest of the developing world needs a reliable and viable aviation sector and the airport is the bedrock. Therefore it is important for us to look closely at the suggestions from the Airport Business Summit as they seem to offer indigenous solution that takes the basic concerns of the people into consideration”, he added. 
 
He assured that, whichever direction that would makes the nation’s airports more efficient, competitive and attractive to both passengers and airlines, the House positively would give it total legislative support. 

In his address of welcome, the organizer of the colloquium, Mr. Simon Tumba said government  investments to enhance  the customer experience in these airports seemed not to have paid off “Truth be told; we are lagging behind, despite the efforts of the Federal Airports of Authority”.

He stressed that government needs to think out of the box, explore the Public Private Partnership (PPP) and Concession the airports carrying along the workforce at FAAN.


Tumba says those adverse to concession especially the aviation unions were merely shooting themselves in the foot, and in the long run, may end in regret and  bitter cries.

“The Federal government has approved N14billion to renovate the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja, which is nearly $40 million”.

“Taking cognizance to the dwindling revenue of the government, very demanding social needs and the increase of our debt profile as a nation, one may say the government is doing its best. However $40 million is not enough for an emerging market like Nigeria, a country with every potential to be a global hub”.
 
 

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