The N30 billion being spent by the federal government to remodel airports across the country would go down the drains if they are not concessioned to experts to manage, an aviation expert, Mr. Chris Aligbe has said.
At the end of the current remodeling exercise being done by the ministry of aviation, at least 22 airports would have been remodeled and equipped with modern facilities. He said when that is done, the Federal Airport Authority (FAAN) will now provide an oversight functions.
Aligbe, who is the Managing Director of Belujane Konzult told Daily Trust in Lagos that all the remodeled airports should be given to private airport managers on management concession basis if the federal government wants profits on the airport.
He said “FAAN cannot sit in one place and manage the airports, it won’t work. FAAN should evolve into an holding company and do a management concession of the airports. Government can evolve the holding company. You don’t need to balkanize FAAN but a management concession would do. You can concession some of the airports for 20 years, some for 15 years and so on while FAAN would be reduced to an oversight agency,” he said.
The current potential of the 22 airports to be remodeled across the country is put at N70 billion annually even though FAAN is doing less than 30 percent. On completion, the ministry of aviation projects a revenue of N150 billion annually on the 22 airports.
The minister of Aviation Princes Stella Oduah had also hinted last year that the airports would be given to management consultants to manage after remodeling but she didn’t give a time line.
She had told our correspondent that international airport managers would be invited to manage the airports.
“I believe in joint venture with our indigenous experts to manage the airports professionally. That is the way forward for us. But the assets will remain Nigeria’s assets. The government has invested huge sums of money in the aviation industry. At the last check, in Lagos alone, in the last 30 years, federal government has spent N250 billion. That is the asset worth because some of those spent had zero value so you can’t really quantify the value but those you can quantify gave us a N250 billion. That is a lot of money to give someone on an outright concession,” she had said.
“What we have in place now is that the assets belong to government and government will pay management fees to groups that would manage the assets,” she noted.