FG Approves Concession of Kano, Port Harcourt Airports
Just over a week after Vice President Yemi Osinbajo announced the concession of the Murtala Mohammed International Airport in Lagos and the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport, Abuja, the Federal Government has also approved the concession of the Kano and Port Harcourt Airports.
On Tuesday, the Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, announced the concession while speaking on the certification of Nigerian airports at the ministry’s headquarters in Abuja.
“President (Muhammadu) Buhari has approved that the Lagos, Abuja, Kano and Port Harcourt airports be under concession.
“The Federal Executive Council has also approved it as well. FEC has also approved transaction advisers for the airports and they will start the process soon.”
Sirika praised the recent certification of the MMA by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority adding that the Abuja, Port Harcourt, and Kaduna airports were the next in line to be certified.
He said the benefits of NCAA-certified airport cannot be overemphasised, as he noted that no airport had ever been certified in Nigeria in the past by the authority, the Punch reports.
Sirika explained that with the certification, the government would be able to value the airport and know how to relate with its concessionaire when the facility is eventually given out in concession.
He said the certification may lead to a reduction of flight tickets in the near future.
Meanwhile, workers of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria on Tuesday morning disrupted activities at the MMA to protest against the proposed concession of the Lagos and Abuja airports.
The protest was led by the National Union of Air Transport Employees, the National Union of Pensioners and Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria.
The unions and workers of FAAN disapproved of the plans by the government to concession both airports.
The workers who stormed the Freedom Square leading to the entrance to the FAAN headquarters in their hundreds as early as 8am, said the government was planning to sell off the airport to people unknown to them.
The General Secretary, NUATE, Mr. Olayinka Abioye, stated that the unions would continue to mobilise and frustrate the government’s plan to concession the airports without discussing with them.
He said, “The government needs to engage the unions before it can consider the concession of the airports and tackle the issues that will arise from the concession, including job losses, which should be properly looked into.
“The Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, must also demonstrate transparency on the concession of these airports. FAAN already has 64 legal cases over a concession that have not been resolved, yet the government wants to go ahead to concession the airports.”
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