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Senate To Probe Kano Abuja Airports Concession

Thursday, 6 July 2023

The Senate on Thursday passed legislation against the concession of Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano; Nnamdidi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja; and other international Airports across the country.

The upper Chamber noted that the probe is necessary because the process of concessioning the airports was not done transparently.

The Senate made this known after passing a motion by Senator Sumaila Kawu (NNPP, Kano South).

The Senate agreed that “the committee on Aviation when constituted should investigate the ministry and agencies concerned to report back to the Senate.

“Condemned in strong terms the concessions of Aminu Kano Airport, Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, and other airports that were conceded in the same way as they were not conceded in public interest.

“Urged the federal government to review the entire exercise and give a level playing field to all stakeholders.”

Meanwhile, the Deputy Senate President, Jibrin Barau, who presided over the plenary, noted that concession was the best way to move forward as it was one of the best practices all over the world.

Barau noted that although concession was good, it must be done in a transparent manner rather than being shrouded in secrecy as was done in the previous administration under the former Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika.

The Deputy Senate President stated: “Concession is what is in vogue all over the world because the government is a bad manager of business, even the Heathrow airport was conceded to a Nigerian. And the airport is doing really well.

“Although these things must be investigated, I would still vote for concession, but it must be done in a transparent manner.”

Earlier in his motion, Kawu stated that the Federal Executive Council, on 17th May 2023, approved the concession of Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano for 30 years, to Messrs Corporación America Airports Consortium.

READ MORE: Tinubu Renames 15 Federal Airports After Buhari, Usman Dan Fodio, Awolowo, Okadigbo, Others

He noted that that the Federal Ministry of Aviation (and Aerospace) does not own, or run, any airport in Nigeria and that by the dictates of the governing Act of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria. Ownership and management of all federal government airports are fully vested in the Authority.

He stated, “The Infrastructure Concession and Regulatory Commission procedure document states, with respect to the agency that wishes to concession a facility that, “The public entity should have enabling authority to transfer its responsibility enabling legislative and policy framework or an Administrative Order to that effect;

“This reflects that the combined import of the FAAN Act and the ICRC procedures manual is an evident manifestation that the entire airports’ concession is based on an incurably faulty foundation.

“There is no doubt that it is the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, not the Ministry of Aviation, that has the power to transfer its responsibility’ to a would-be concessionaire.”

The Kano lawmaker further argued that it was the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria, not the Ministry, which has the requisite ‘legislative & policy framework’ for such.”

He added, “I am convinced that if the claim that the FEC has approved the concession of Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport has any substance, then the FEC has indeed been misguided in its decision, and that action cannot amount to anything than a nullity;

“I am worried about the rationale in borrowing and spending public money to upgrade the airport only to hand it over to foreign businesses for a period of 30 years in the name of a concession”

He added that he was more alarmed that “Nigeria is receiving a concession fees or upfront of $1.5m while the total amount of money that the Kano airport is accruing to government is $97.4m

“Disturbed that this concession is clearly dubious and raises questions on the process and what the actors stand to gain.”

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via: Information Nigeria

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