Kasim Sumaina in Abuja
The federal government’s plan to concession its four international airports yesterday received a boost as the Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, received the Outline Business Case Certificate of Compliance for the concession of Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Kano international airports from the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC).
Receiving the certificates of compliance from the Director-General of the Commission, Chidi Izuwah, in his office, Sirika stated that with these certificates of compliance, “we will go ahead to the Federal Executive Council (FED) for approval for the full business of concession to proceed, and that will turn the airport terminals to its full potential in private hands as millions of dollars would be pumped into these airports.”
He recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari had earlier approved the Aviation Sector Roadmap which the ministry has been following and operating diligently and part of which was airport terminal concession.
Sirika in a statement issued in Abuja by the Director of Public Affairs, Ministry of Aviation, Mr. James Odaudu, commended the ICRC, which, through its the mandate, has guided the ministry throughout to ensure compliance and value for money, transparency, equity, and fairness.
He also expressed satisfaction with the quality of work done by the transaction advisers that culminated in the release of the certificates by the ICRC.
The minister noted that with the full implementation of airport terminal concession, about 241,700 jobs would be created.
He explained that “sometime, it is the entire value chain of the aviation business that needs to be considered which is wide and large.”
In his remarks, the Director-General of ICRC, Chidi Izuwah, said the federal government, through the Ministry of Aviation, has adopted Public-Private Partnership (PPP) as the strategy to leverage on private sector participation and investment in order to achieve the upgrade and development of new terminal infrastructure at the four airports in a cost-effective and value-for-money manner.
He said the airports in Nigeria have great potential, but were currently operating at sub-optimal level due to factors that would have to be improved under the PPP programme.
According to Izuwah, airport terminal concession was one of the critical projects under the aviation sector roadmap of the government, and fits well within the scope of the ministry’s strategic plan for the sector.