ByÂ Kenneth Ehigiator
The House of Representatives has cautioned the Federal Government against repeating the pitfalls in the concessioning of MMA2 to Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited, as it prepares to concession the nationâ€™s four international airports.
Government had a few weeks ago announced its decision to concession the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos; Malam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano; Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja and Port Harcourt International Airport, Port Harcourt.
Deputy Chairman of House Committee on Aviation, Muhammed Sani Abdul, said this when the Sub-committee on the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), visited it in Lagos, on an oversight function.
The committee also asked FAAN and Bi-Courtney to submit their copies of the concession agreement on MMA2 to the House for vetting.
He said Nigerians were often suspicious of governmentâ€™s concessioning of public against establishment because of the irregularities that often trail the process.
He said: â€œConcession is very good; it is an aspect of privatisation which can help in efforts to renew infrastructure at our airports, but the concession being done in Nigeria is dangerous.Â This is why we are sounding this note of warning because we want to prevent the mistakes made with concessioning of new domestic terminal in Lagos.â€
He said the House would need to know all the details concerning the concessioning of the four international airports to avert problems in future, and challenged the Minister of Justice and Attorney-Generalof the Federation to do a good job with the concessioning of the airports.
On MMA2, Abdul asked FAAN and Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited to submit copies of the concession agreement between them to the House for scrutiny, adding that the concessioning of the domestic terminal to Bi-Courtney was not closed.
â€œConcession of MMA2 is not closed, but to them (Bi-Courtney), it is closed because they signed an agreement.Â We have to open it.Â We request FAAN and Bi-Courtney to deposit copies of the agreement with the National Assembly for vetting.
â€œLet them come and show us what is right, so we can correct it where there is a mistake.Â I am ready to bet my life on this and if I die in the process, my children will continue with the struggle, but we have to make efforts to do the right thing in this country,â€ Abdul said.
The lawmakers had earlier expressed reservation about the inability of FAAN to meet with its internal revenue target, having been told by the agencyâ€™s Managing Director, Mr. Richard Aisuebeogun, that FAAN has in the last five months generated N9.48 billion of the N23.869 billion target set for the year.
These figures were against the N16 billion generated in all of 2008, against N18 billion target set for the year.
The Sub-committee members, led by Niyi Jones, charged the agency to intensify its revenue generation drive to be able to meet with the challenges of the decay in airport infrastructure.