An aviation expert in airport management, Mr Tayo Ojuri, has lent his voice to the supporters of the Federal Government’s plan to privatise the four international airports across the country, saying that the decision was long overdue.
In an exclusive interview with the Nigerian Tribune, Ojuri with a cognate experience in airport operations and management, with emphasis on automation and development of non-aeronautical revenue, argued that privatisation of the airports will not only improve efficiency, but also increase revenue and promote a safe, secured and commercially viable airport system.
Ojuri who is known in the sector to be well experienced in developing and implementing automation of airport processes and revenue lines to drive transparency, efficiency and revenue increment, however, emphasised the need for government to partner with a global airport management company that will ensure appropriate infrastructure which will enhance passenger travel experience.
When asked if this period was suitable for the planned privatisation, Ojuri declared “I reckon this is the appropriate time as there are paucity of funds from government. Looking back when airlines were liberalised in 1978 or when British Airports Authority (BAA) airports were privatised in 1987, there is never a perfect time, the pertinent thing is to ensure that the process is transparent and reputable organisations are engaged with the task of managing these airports.
“This process will certainly take away the daily management and operations away from frequent government interference which invariably puts focus more on performance through provision of excellence customer service to airlines and passengers, enhanced ambience, provision of attractive food and beverage outlets and provision of other ancillary services.
Realistically, we should have a balanced scorecard management system. This multi-dimensional system will enable FAAN achieve positive financial performance, customer satisfaction, business systems and human capital development.”
Reacting to if the planned privatisation will bring solution to the challenges confronting the airports, the airport planner expert replied: “Considering the Nigerian peculiarities, the current government interference in FAAN’s management and operations, lacklustre staff motivation, inefficient operations, over bloated personnel and other loopholes in the system will certainly be mitigated in a concessioned environment which would be driven by targets, performance and service level agreements.”
The airport management will be keen to focus on Airport Collaborative Decision Making (A-CDM), total system automation and route development in other to increase passenger footprint.