The attention of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has been drawn to the “Epistle” of Anthony Kila, published in THISDAY of 7th February, 2020. Some clarification has become necessary in the light of the inaccurate and misleading views expressed in the piece under reference.
The concession awarded to Integrated Intelligent Imaging West Africa Limited (I-CUBE), to collect toll on behalf of FAAN at the airport gates, expired in February 2019. The company that had operated the concession since 2008, that is, for 11 years, has resisted all attempts by FAAN to review the terms of the concession, including the amount it was remitting to FAAN, after the expiration of their first contract in 2014.The company also continued to operate even after the expiration of their second concession in February 2019. It took the unilateral action and combined efforts of the three aviation agencies’ labour unions, namely, the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN), and the Association of Nigerian Aviation Professionals (ANAP), to force out I-CUBE. In fact the morning after the takeover of the toll gates by the union members, they were confronted by a large group of armed partisans, whose only goal was to reinstate the concessionaire. The conflict was expeditiously resolved and peace restored only after the management of FAAN, working with the Avsec, Police and the Nigerian Airforce personnel, issued a written “vacate premises” order to I-CUBE, to avoid further escalation, and pending a final decision on how best to restructure the concession.
Kila wrote in his letter that the concessionaire’s contract was terminated, but the truth is that no contract was terminated precisely because there was no subsisting contract between FAAN and I-CUBE. The responsibility for operating the toll gates was handed over to the Commercial Department of FAAN. Kila’s “epistle” therefore contained inaccurate assertions on the facts surrounding the toll gate concession.
FAAN remains committed to providing and maintaining first rate infrastructure in the nation’s airports, with a view to delivering to all users of the facilities a pleasurable experience, and protecting the overall interest of our nation.
General Manager, Corporate Affairs, FAAN