By George Onah
Port Harcourtâ€”The Institute of Chartered Economists of Nigeria has criticized the handover of General Aviation Terminal of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos, by the Federal Government to Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited.
â€œIt will be counter productive for the Federal Government to contract state-owned assets to private companies without balancing economic, social and environmental factors and lack of concern and regards to due process,â€ the institute said.
Speaking to Vanguard in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, yesterday, Chief Coordinator of ICEN, South-South, Mr Friday Udoh, said governmentâ€™s action must be revisited because â€œit was a deal of missing links which undermines the very essence of public private partnership (PPP) principles.
â€œIt also undermines the law establishing Infrastructure and Concession Regulatory Commission, (ICRC) Act 2005.
â€œThe action is harmful to the good of the nation, considering the natural monopoly attributes of the asset, larger sunk cost, which is capable of preventing new investments.”
Udoh said â€œPPP is a special purpose vehicle that is widely accepted in meeting financial shortfall of government to meet with the infrastructure deficit in an economy.”
â€œTwo things stand out between state-owned and private enterprise, which is welfare of citizens as well as improvement in the quality of life of the people and profit maximization. PPP represents a contractual agreement formed between a private enterprise to renovate, construct, operate, maintain or manage a facility or system.
â€œConsequently the private party is given additional decision rights in determining how the project or task goes or will be completed, while the government watches against the abuse of the infrastructure by private enterprise, against its citizens through legislations.
As a result, subjecting these natural logistics and supply chain capabilities, General Aviation Terminal (GAT)/ MM2 and Lagos Ibadan Expressway under Bi-Courtney, amounts to captivity and it is an economic mistake that needed to be correctedâ€.