We are yet to receive official document for airport concession, national carrier plan ― Nnaji
Despite the several months of campaigns over the federal government’s plans to concession four international airports across the country, the Chairman of Nigeria’s Committee on Aviation, Honourable Nnolim Nnaji at the weekend has declared that the lower legislative chamber was yet to receive any official document on the airports’ concession plan.
This is just as he said the committee was yet to have a detailed document on the proposed national carrier – Nigeria Air.
Speaking in an interview with some journalists in Lagos, Nnaji however, stated that it will not be proper for the Aviation Committee to make categorical statements on the supposed important projects in the aviation sector since it was yet to receive any formal document from the Ministry of Aviation.
On the airports’ concession, he declared: “The issue of concession has been hearsay, officially the House of Representatives has not seen any documentation on the project. We just hear about the project like other people, there is no document. Until we get the document and study it we cannot make any comments on the project. We can only talk about it then,
“The same condition applies to the proposed national carrier, Nigeria Air. We do not act on hearsay, we act based on documents made available to us. That is why we cannot comment on the issue.”
Nnaji, while calling on the government to create a pool of funds to intervene on aviation infrastructure, added that the quality of facilities in any airport speaks volume of the image of a country.
The government according to him should think out of the box by considering non – aeronautical sources of bringing revenue to airports to run as serious business just as
he said there was the need to work out models that will attract private sector players into the aviation sector, as existing funding models from the government was not enough to fix lingering gaps in airport and air navigation facilities.
His words: “We just completed oversight duties of touring some airports, especially Lagos Airport to assist the agencies in areas of need. The oversight was quite interesting, eye-opening because it exposed us to the inner workings of the aviation sector, especially the aeronautical aspects of the industry. We will work closely with the Ministry of Aviation and the agencies to see what they do with the monies approved in the budget.”
The Lawmaker equally hinted that the lower chamber was yet to be updated on plans by the government to construct a second runway for Abuja Airport, saying: “We are yet to be updated on the second runway of Abuja Airport. No document has been given or sent to us about it. But, there is an urgent need for a second runway.
Stating the importance of these issues and their need to be handled officially, Nnaji said: “This is why we insist on getting documents on them before we could engage the issues around them. But on the second runway, we have it on the 2020 budget, there are some funds allocated to it, but I think that amount cannot undertake the project fully.”