Reps ask FG to suspend concession of airports



Posted by Sade Williams

The House of Representatives has asked the Federal Ministry of Aviation to suspend plans to concession four international airports in the country, pending the resolution of all contentious issues.

The affected airports are, Murtala Mohammed International Airport, (MMAIA) Lagos, Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, (MAKI) Mano, PortHacourt International Airport and Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, (NAIA) Abuja.

The chairman, House Committee on Aviation, Honourable Nnolim Nnaji, announced the directive, on Monday, at a meeting between the committee and officials of the Federal Ministry of Aviation.

He said a halt in the planned concession was necessary, so as to avoid an industrial crisis in the aviation sector, which would not be in the overall interest of the country.

The chairman further noted that the impact of COVID-19 on aviation sector was devastating and would take a while for the sector to recover adding that any crisis at this time may cripple the already distressed industry.

The lawmaker, who stated that the committee has received several petitions for and against the concession, said efforts by the parliament to interface with the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, and agencies under him, on the issue, have not been successful, as they have failed to attend all the meetings.

“You will recall that in September or thereabout, this committee had interactions with the representatives of the labour unions in this matter. During the meeting, which was sequel to our earlier intervention over the unions’ strike action against the concession, a lot of concerns were raised by the representatives of the labour unions regarding the airports concession.

Among the concerns were the lack of transparency in the exercise, labour issues, the Chinese loans, the legal issues that may arise from the existing concessions and the lack of proper valuation of the present status of the affected airports among others,” he stated.

“All we are trying to do with our intervention is to provide opportunity for all parties to reach a concseus on the concession such that can help move the aviation industry forward” Honourable Nnaji concluded.

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