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Put airport concession on hold, Reps tell FG

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The House of Representatives Committee on Aviation has called on the Federal Government to put on hold its planned concession of four international airports.

This was conveyed by the Chairman, House Committee on Aviation, Nnolim Nnaji, at a meeting between the committee and officials of Federal Ministry of Aviation citing the need for resolution of some contentious issues as the main reason for the request.

While recognizing the imperative of the concession, Nnaji said the aviation industry cannot afford to indulge in industrial dispute especially with the concerns raised by labour unions.

Chairman of the committee said, “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.

“Based on the outcome of the meeting with the labour unions, the committee invited the Minister of Aviation and the heads of agencies under him to discuss the issue of the airports’ concession. Several dates were fixed for the meeting but for one reason or the other, they failed to attend.

“In view of this, the House of Representatives Committee on Aviation hereby requests that the concession of the four airports should be put on hold pending the resolution of the contentious issues raised by the unions and other stakeholders to avoid industrial actions that may further cripple the already distressed industry.”

The Federal Government has earlier, in June, 2020, revealed that it has commenced the concession process of four airports. The Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, in a tweet said, “Received outline business case certificate of compliance from ICRC for the concession of our 4 airports. Our roadmap is on course. Aviation has become the fastest growing sector of our economy under our watch. Thank you Mr President, thank you all!” He also, at public hearing on revenue projections for 2021-2023 MTEF/FSP organized by the Senate Joint Committee on Finance and National Planning in August, emphasised that the need to properly fund the aviation sector informed government’s latest move to concession the airports.

The four airports planned for the concession are Lagos, Kano, Port Harcourt and Abuja

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