- July 1, 2021
Lagos airports, others to be concessioned soon
The Minister of Aviation in Nigeria, Hadi Sirika, while revealing that the quartet of Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Kano airports will be concessioned by August 2021 assured that there would be no job loss during the concession, rather, it shall be an opportunity to engage more hands into the system.
Sirika who spoke at the Airport Business Summit and Expo which was held in Lagos State recently said that the last phase of the concession preparations would be done between June and July.
He said there that was no need to sell the people’s asset but to concession them in a way that it would be operated with a view to providing more revenue, asserting that the proposal would be presented to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) in February 2022 for approval.
Sirika while explaining that the proposal, which commenced in 2015, will be advertised this month (June 2021) for bidders to show interest after which qualified companies will be invited for profiling, affirmed that all the agreements on concession were contained in the outlined proposal are in the interest of the people, adding that everything convening the process will close in August (2021).
The Federal Government of Nigeria has been itching to concession of all the 22 federal airports since 2016 beginning with the ones in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Kano to enable them function efficiently and profitably.
However, despite government’s assurance that affected workers would still be relevant in the new arrangement, the workers, under the aegis of the Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals (ANAP), National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN) and the National Union of Pensioners (NUP) have been against the planned concession with the main concern being what would be their fate when the airports fall into private hands.
The workers’ unions also faulted the rationale behind concessioning viable airports that are beneficiaries of the 2013 loan deal between Nigeria and China. Therefore, the unions have requested for details of the $500 million credit for the four terminals, especially the additional plans to concession them.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) has acquired two new automated mobile control towers to serve as backups in both Lagos and Abuja airports.