The ART commends and supports the recent Federal Government decision to concession airports in the country.
We are cautiously optimistic that the policy thrust designed to raise the level of services at our airports is in line with global best practices that will be of pride to all Nigerians.
ART cautious optimism is premised on the following :that the government recognises the team spirit and interdependence of activities prevalent in the industry.
Consequently ART enjoined that the government adopts collaborative strategies in its decision making regarding aviation matters, to this end ART advises sustained and formidable stakeholders engagement of all relevant elements in the Nigerian aviation industry to reassure, gain confidence and buy-in into the new policy thrust.
Mindful of controversies that dogged the path of similar exercises in the recent past together with the need for transparency and the adoption of credible legislative instruments.
ART implores the government to ensure transparency; accountability and fairness to all stakeholders and participants which is the hallmark in a concessioning process and will advertently tally with the “Ease of Doing Business” model.
The government could demonstrate this by making it accessible to interested members of the public, the report of consultants it engaged with public funds on the airport/ national carrier projects.
We believe this could enrich contributions and the participation of a large segment of Nigerians. It will also ensure a successful execution of the programme.
ART further demands the government make categorical pronouncement on provision made to address capacity building and service level agreement to be embedded in the proposed concession.
ART recommends the clustering concession model where the smaller airports are attached to a major airport through which the concessioning could be phased to accord with the national interest, priority and objectives.
We also advise that the security management of the concessioned airports be retained by the federal government and factored into the national security architecture once advocated by ART.
With the clustering concession model if adopted and the management of airport security still in government hands FAAN can transmute in name, functions and responsibility.
We implore government to provide necessary guidelines that will facilitate and smoothen the concessioning process bearing in ind the pit holes of the past.
Finally the government should ensure that emergent concessionaires include insurance and routine certifications of the airports so concessioned.
By Olumide Ohunayo
For President ARTI