Chinedu Eze â€¨
Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited (BASL) Thursday protested the removal of its advert flexes it placed on the walls of the hotel project it is building opposite its terminal, the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Terminal 2 (MMA2) by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).
The company officials expressed outrage at the action of FAAN and said there had been “ongoing war” between the agency and Bi-Courtney.
But FAAN said the flexes were part of the illegal advert placements it had removed from various parts of the airports and that it had the sole rights to place adverts anywhere at the airports and that any third party that wished to do so must take permission from it, describing the action of Bi-Courtney as illegal.
Legal adviser to Bi-Courtney, Tola Oshobi, disputed FAAN’s assertion, saying his client has the legal right as contained in its concession agreement with FAAN and the lease of the land in which the hotel property is being built to place adverts anywhere within the property.
Oshobi chided FAAN for repudiating agreements and not obeying court judgments, noting that as government agency, it was a bad signal that it does not obey court judgments which directed the agency to hands off the hotel project which FAAN intends to repossess, as it argued that lease period given to Bi-Courtney had since elapsed.
“The court ruling is still subsisting so FAAN has no right to remove the advert placements. Must FAAN continue to disregard court ruling? There is an urgent need to call FAAN to order. The issue on the building is still in court and FAAN cannot take any action until after the ruling. By defying the court orders, it means that a government agency may choose to disobey the law of the land. FAAN is doing greater damage to Nigeria as investment destination,” it said.
But spokesman of FAAN, Yakubu Dati justified the action, saying: FAAN has removed all illegal advertisement material on billboards and structures along the internal road of the Murtala Muhammed Airport in Lagos on Thursday. The placement of such advert materials infringes on advertisement rights of FAAN, since the company or organisation responsible for the placing of the advert material did not receive FAAN’s permission to do so.”
Dati also said every advert placement within the airport premises, including the internal and access roads, must be done with the authorisation of FAAN, which has the right over all airport land as contained in the act establishing the organisation.
“The exercise to remove all illegal advertisements at all airports was informed by the fact that the companies that have advert concession with FAAN have all refused to honour the terms of agreement for the concession, and in defiance, have continued to collect money from third party companies for advert placement without paying FAAN its due. The exercise will continue nationwide to plug any such loophole in the revenue generation and collection of FAAN, to help in truly making the authority more self-sustaining,” he added.