By Sade Williams
The federal government has kick-started the concession process for the nation’s major airports, with the inauguration of two committees; a Project Steering Committee, and a Project Delivery Committee by the Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika.
Performing the inauguration in his office, the Minister said the Project Steering Committee with him as Chairman, is to provide the general direction, and steer the course of Public Private Partnership project concessions in the Aviation Sector.
In a statement signed by James Odaudu, Deputy Director, Press & Public Affairs , Sirika reiterated that the driving force behind the federal government’s resolve to concession the airports was the over-riding national interest in ensuring the establishment and sustenance of world class standards in both infrastructural development and service delivery.
According to him, the misgivings some people have expressed concerning the exercise was borne out of misconception that Concession is synonymous with Privatization, and explained that the institutions being concessioned remained the properties of the federal government and that more jobs will be generated at the end of the day.
Among the Committee’s Terms of Reference are;
- the Approval of technical, financial and legal framework for the successful preparation and execution of the concession;
- Provision of policy guidelines and general direction on all matters relating to PPP and concession of projects and programmes in the Aviation Sector;
- Consider and facilitate necessary permits, clearances and carrying relevant stakeholders along in the processing of PPP / Concession matters;
- Approve action plans, budgets and financial requests submitted by the Project Delivery Committee; and
- Serve as the final decision-making body on PPP / Concession matters on air transport generally.
Other members of the committee include: The Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, relevant Chief Executive Officers, Director-General of the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), Director of Planning of the Ministry of Transportation, representatives of the Ministries of Justice, Budget and National Planning, the Ministry of Finance, and the Deputy Director of the PPP Unit in the Ministry who will serve as the Secretary.
Similarly, the Aviation Minister of State inaugurated the Project Delivery Committee with a charge on members to be diligent and patriotic in the implementation of the decisions and policy guidelines as approved by the Steering Committee, as their success or failure would determine the fate of the whole process.
According to him, the members should see themselves as the foot soldiers of the concession process which has no room for lapse, and to ensure that all their activities are in compliance with the guidelines of the Infrastructure Concession and Regulatory Commission (ICRC), as well as recommend the terms of engagements and disengagement of concessionaires.
The Committee which has the Ministry’s Director of Planning as Chairman, is also mandated to monitor and evaluate, as well as carry out impact assessment of PPP / Concession to ascertain value for money on investment; make recommendations to the Steering Committee on matters of policy reappraisal, review or changes, as may be necessary.
Responding on behalf of the two committees, the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Sabiu Zakari pledged their commitment to the assignment, considering the importance attached by the federal government.