Uche Usim, Abuja
Nigeria’s airports modernisation initiative received a boost Tuesday, following the issuance of 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).
Minister of Aviation, Mr Hadi Sirika, who disclosed this in Abuja said the government received the certificates of compliance from the Director-General of the Commission Mr Chidi Izuwah in his office. He said the next stop for the airport concession train would be at the Federal Executive Council (FEC) which would issue the approval for the full business of concession to proceed.
The minister said the project, when completed, would create a massive private sector fund injection into the airports, which would in turn create about 241,700 jobs. “The concession will put the airport terminals to their full potential in private hands as millions of dollars would be pumped into them”, He said.
The Minister described the planned airport concession project as an integral part of the Aviation Sector Roadmap, approved by President Muhammadu Buhari and currently being implemented. He commended the ICRC, which he said has guided the Ministry on the concession journey to ensure compliance and value for money, transparency, equity, and fairness.
Sirika also expressed satisfaction with the quality of work done by the Transaction Advisers that culminated into the release of the certificates by the ICRC.
He explained that some times, it is the entire value chain of aviation business that needs to be considered, which is wide and large.
In his remarks, the Director-General of ICRC, Mr Chidi Izuwah, said the Federal Government through the Ministry of Aviation has adopted Public-Private Partnership (PPP) as a 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 added that the airports in Nigeria have great potential but are currently operating at sub-optimal level due factors that will 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 FG and fits well within the scope of the Ministry’s strategic plan for the sector.