‘FG concession plans of four airports long overdue’
Last week’s approval with the release of the Outline Business Case Certificate of Compliance for the concession of Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Kano International airports to minister of aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika by the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), has continued to attract comments from key players.
Already, the unions in the sector have reacted vowing to resist the concession plan at all cost on the premise that the approval violated due diligence which would not protect the interests of Nigerians and Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) workers.
Commenting on the development in an interview with the Tribune Aviation, a former military commandant at the Murtala Muhammed Airport and now Managing Director of Centurion Security, Group Captain John Ojikutu, retired, said the plan to concession the four airports had been long overdue.
He attributed his position to the recent assessment of the preparation to easing out on the lockdown conducted on the sector where Bi-Courtney, the manager of the private terminal, MM2, the only one under concession recorded the highest score among other six terminals.
According to Ojikutu, the success of Bi-Courtney during the COVID-19 ease of lockdown assessment was a clear evidence that the solution to government challenges in the maintenance of global standards in passengers’ facilitations was to concession the airports to credible operators.
Ojikutu therefore urged the Federal Government to consider Bi-Courtney among those to be given priority in the concession exercise having proved its worth locally.
“Bicourtney has proved its worth locally and should be among those for consideration. At this time of economic recession, government efforts should be about meeting the global standards in aeronautical safety and security and concession the non aeronautical to tested and credible private enterprises.”
For the head of administration and human resources department at 7Star Hangar, a Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) company at the Lagos airport, Engineer Sheri Ayuba Kyari, the airports concession plan had been at the front burner therefore, the last approval for the realisation of the plan should not have anything to be done with the timing.
His reaction came following the criticisms that the timing for the concession was insensitive to the negative side mp acts of the coronavirus pandemic.
According to Kyari “The issue of the concession of these airports has been on the front burner many years ago and I think it is a continuing process. If work on this has been on-going, it will not disturb the COVID-19 handling as concession is about ‘leasing’ these airports to efficient hands for provision of efficient services to the public.”
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