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Airport concession mannequin splits stakeholders

By Kelvin Osa-Okunbor

Specialists and unions within the aviation sector have disagreed on what mannequin authorities ought to undertake within the proposed concession of Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Kano airports.

The Ministry of Aviation is pursuing full concession of the 4 airports to personal entities utilising parameters endorsed by the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Fee (ICRC).

The Ministry of Aviation has obtained a certificates of compliance from the ICRC for the mission.

However, business specialists and unions have picked holes within the course of resulting in the switch of the airports to personal sector gamers canvassing fashions ought to undertake to make the terminals extra environment friendly and commercially viable.

Three unions, Nationwide Union of Air Transport Staff (NUATE), Air Transport Senior Workers Affiliation of Nigeria (ATSSSAN) and Affiliation of Nigerian Aviation Professionals (ANAP), have, nevertheless, proposed three choices–inexperienced subject concession, corporatisation and full autonomy for the airport authority as options to make the airports viable and environment friendly.

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In an interview, representatives of the unions, Comrade Ocheme Aba urged the Ministry to have a rethink and embrace the inexperienced subject possibility, which can empower new traders to contemplate contemporary ventures equivalent to development of terminal buildings, runways and different amenities, equivalent to stand alone airport, to compete with the amenities.

He mentioned if such possibility was not viable sufficient, the federal government might discover the latitude of corporatising the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) with 45 per cent fairness, whereas the stability must be segmented for public acquisition as practised in different elements of the world.

If the sooner fashions weren’t realisable, Aba mentioned the federal government ought to grant FAAN full autonomy to determine its capability to handle terminals profitably.

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An business professional and Chief Govt Officer, Centurion Securities, Group Capt John Ojikutu (rtd), mentioned he would assist any type of concession negotiated as Public Personal Partnership (PPP) initiative  that won’t result in switch of public property to personal fingers.

Based on Ojikutu, the federal government ought to take into account the airports’privatisation that may safe personal funding, administration and operational experience.

He mentioned: “The federal government must guarantee stakeholders that the deliberate concession won’t contain the sale or switch of possession of bodily property, however solely the correct to make use of the property and function the enterprise.

“That such agreements are for a restricted time period, as much as or lower than 30 years relying on the context, content material. And that the federal government, the proprietor of the property should retain oversight within the concession by means of regulatory businesses.

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“It’s anticipated that no matter the federal government would give out for concession could be well-defined alongside these strains to keep away from the pitfalls of previous makes an attempt.”

Ojikutu cautioned that the federal government must be very clear in its plan as to what property or infrastructure it will give for concession with out disrupting agreements with personal operators and joint-users of the affected airports, such because the navy.

He mentioned: “The plan for airport concession now mustn’t embody these aeronautical infrastructures, amenities, and techniques which are crucial and demanding for the conduct of flight operations, rescue operations, emergency administration providers, airport safety techniques, and nationwide safety.”

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