Hadi Sirika, the minister of aviation, has said the concession of the four international airports in Lagos, Abuja, Kano, and Port- Harcourt will fetch the nation enormous investments.
The minister specifically disclosed that the concession of the Murtala Muhammed Airport terminals would bring investment of over N30 billion annually, which will be boosted by the construction of rail line to link both the domestic and internationa terminals.
Sirika, who spoke at a webinar jointly hosted by the Ministry of Aviation and the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission, ICRC, and the National Policy on Public Private Partnership on the concession, further stated that state governments would not be allowed to take part in the ongoing concession exercise in a bid to guarantee transparency.
He noted that the exclusion of state governments from the bidding exercise would amount to taking off the management of infrastructure and substituting it another form of government’s management.
He, however, stated that states that had gone into building of airports could concession them like the case with Asaba airport, which was early this year concessioned the facilities to a consortium of private investors under a Public-Private Participation, PPP, model.
His words: “The terminal building in Lagos is expected to bring investment of about N30 billion annually because we are going to link the domestic terminal to the international airport.
There would be investment plan by the concessionaire before we hand over the terminals to the preferred bidders. It is part of the process. “Government is not ready to put in money into airport infrastructure. Let the concessionaire bring in his money and at the end of the day, the facilities return back to the government.
There are other competing needs for the scarce resource especially when we have health, education, and others needs. “Our airports in Nigeria operate sub-optimally. Government has no money to pump into airport infrastructure. Our airports operate for few hours except for few.
The population growth of Nigeria is rising. Murtala Muhammed International Airport was built for less than one million capacity but today, we are doing eight million while we have 19 million passenger traffic from all over the country. Nigeria is a good country for investment.”
Sirika allayed fears of workers and other stakeholders over the model of concession to be applied and the apprehension that many workers of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, would suffer job losses.
He reiterated that the Nigerian airport concessions would be a terminal concession with majority of its revenue would be derived from non aeronautical sources, just as he noted that all other facilities at the airports and existing concessions outside the airport terminals will still be managed by FAAN.
Passenger service charge and security charge, he further stated, would be shared by FAAN and the concessionaire and FAAN’s share of the charges shall be paid directly to FAAN by the International Air Transport Association, IATA, the clearing house of over 250 global airlines.
New Telegraph learnt that Infrata, Dentons, Proserve, Ciena, and Templars act as the transaction adviser to the Federal Ministry of Aviation. Four Nigerian airports will be handed over to private operators who will run them for at least 20 to 30 years, the Ministry has said.
James Odaudu, the spokesman of Ministry of Aviation, had said: “Infrastructure concessions of this nature come with a significant financial obligation which any responsible concessionaire will no doubt be keen to recoup.”
“To this end, we envisage a minimum of 20 years to 30 years for the programme, which may be extended depending on performance and Nigeria’s best interests.
“That said, the duration is not set in stone and will be subject to negotiation and then final approval by the Federal Executive Council.”