The General Secretary of the Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals (ANAP), Comrade Abdulrazaq Saidu, has revealed a shocker for aviation stakeholders on the planned concession of four viable international airports in Nigeria.
The federal government, through the Minister of State for Aviation, Capt. Hadi Sirika had been canvassing the concessioning of most viable four international airports in Nigeria including those in Lagos, Abuja, Kano and Port Harcourt, but the idea had been receiving serious opposition from industry stakeholders.
In a chat with National Daily in Lagos, Comrade Saidu disclosed that almost 80 per cent of all the revenue points of all four airports in Lagos, Abuja, Kano and Port Harcourt being managed by FAAN had already been concessioned to private companies with the knowledge of the ministry.
To him, “We are therefore wondering what was left to be concessioned in the same airports”.
However, he presented another option that can help raise not only the quality of services provided and private sector investments at the airports, but create more jobs at the airports if well implemented after all.
ANAP scribe averred that “Rather than concession of the viable airports, ANAP opined that the government should adopt the- Greenfield- option, whereby virgin land would be provided for would-be investor(s) to construct new airport cum terminal on build, operate and transfer business plan and at the end of the agreed tenancy period return the terminal back to government through the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN)”.
He insisted that the proposed option was much better than the concession of the already viable airports propagated by Sen. Hadi Sirika, Minister of State for Aviation, saying “The construction of new terminals by the preferred bidder on a virgin land to be provided by government through FAAN would at the end of the day provide more employment opportunities for Nigerians and assist government in reducing high unemployment rates in the country”.
Continuing, Comrade Saidu argued that “If the government should go ahead with concession as planned by the Minister of State, Aviation, it would rather add to the unemployment level as the concessionaires would want to maximise profits by reducing its overhead costs through staff rationalisation, leading to unemployment of the affected workers.”