Undervaluation, debt crisis hobble airports concession process
Written by crest887fm on August 30, 2021
The Federal Government’s move to concession four international airports has finally gained traction though not without fresh controversies. Skeptical aviation workers and stakeholders have faulted the Outline Business Case and unresolved debt crisis that await potential new owners. WOLE OYEBADE writes on the warning signs.
The grand plan to get the international airports up and running gained a belated boost with the invitation of bidders for Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, and Kano ports of entry.
The request for qualification (RFQ) to run the facilities efficiently and profitably is open to firms or consortia with track records in airport terminal management and net worth of N30 billion per bidding firm or consortium. The concession is billed to run for 20 to 30 years tenure in a Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) model.
Though workers’ anxiety over looming job losses has been dismissed, the concession plan is already enmeshed in transparency doubts, alleged undervaluation of asset and drawn-out debt crisis at the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).
Most disappointing for stakeholders is that the Ministry of Aviation has not learnt any lesson nor cautious of reputation management to resolve the bitter brawl between Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited (BASL) and FG/FAAN on the Murtala Muhammed Airport II (MMA2) – the premiere concession in Nigerian aviation.