FG To Privatise Lagos, Abuja, PH, Kano Airports

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The Federal Government has plans
to concession the management of the Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Kano
airports to private investors.
The Minister of Transportation,
Rotimi Amaechi, made the disclosure on Wednesday in Lagos during a fact-finding
tour of facilities and agencies at the Murtala Muhammed Airport.
He was accompanied by the Minister
of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika; Director-General, Nigerian Civil Aviation
Authority, Muhtar Usman; Managing Director of the Federal Airports Authority of
Nigeria, Saleh Dunoma; and the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, Ibrahim
Abdulsalam; as well as the Director-General, Nigeria Meteorological Agency, Dr.
Anthony Anuforom, among others.

The minister said the planned
concession of the four airports was to guarantee efficiency and good management
in view of dwindling resources from the government for infrastructural
development in the aviation industry.
Although, Amaechi did not disclose
the airports that would be privatised, there were indications that the Lagos
airport; the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja; the Port Harcourt
International Airport; and the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano
were the aerodromes slated for concession.
Amaechi also gave December 2016 as
the deadline for the completion of the four major international airport
terminals under construction in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Kano.
He stated that after completion,
the Lagos airport would handle 15 million passengers annually, while the others
would handle additional 15 million passengers to bring the total traffic to 30
million passengers annually.
The minister said, “The new
terminal in Lagos will generate additional 15 million passengers annually,
making a total of 30 million passengers yearly nationwide. The medium and
long-term plans will require significant investments to upgrade and expand infrastructure
to meet current and future requirements.
“As a result of limited resources
for capital project development, the government is exploring the possibility of
private sector participation towards the realisation of the industries’
potential.”
Amaechi stated that there was an
urgent need to continue to improve on infrastructure, noting that out of the
four conveyor belts in the Lagos airport, two had broken down.
He said the government would also
enact laws to open up the sector to new investments that would lead to economic
prosperity.
Ameachi, who described the tour as
necessary to enable the ministry firm up its policy direction in line with the
determination of the President Muhammadu Buhari administration to improve
critical infrastructure that would help to reflate the economy, said the
transport sector held the key to the economy and formed the basis of all
socio-economic interactions.
“Nigeria suffers the bane of
inadequate transportation but perhaps worse than other countries. Nigeria’s huge
population puts enormous pressure on a very poor transport infrastructure that
bedevils the nation,” he said.
The minister stated that there
would no sacred cows in the recovery of debts owed the various agencies.
Collectively, Nigerian carriers
are said to owe NAMA, NCAA, NCAT and NIMET over N4bn in Passenger Service
Charge and Ticket Sales Charge, prompting the NCAA to give them a two-week
ultimatum to pay up or be grounded. Not much is heard about the ultimatum as
Usman admitted that the agency was still pleading with the airlines to pay.

The NCAA DG stated that there were
historical debts, stressing that what the aviation was guarding against was the
accumulation of more debts, a situation that had made the agency to offer
services to the carriers on a cash and carry basis.

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