Attempts to concession Nigeria’s four major airports and the establishment of a national carrier are still on course and the results will come to fruition soon, the Federal Government said on Monday.
The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, stated this in his message on the commemoration of the 2020 International Civil Aviation Day, despite oppositions by lawmakers on plans by the government to concession airports.
In November, the House of Representatives asked the Federal Government to suspend the plan to concession airports until all issues had been solved. Four international airports were billed for concession to private operators and they included the Lagos, Abuja, Kano and Port Harcourt airports.
The Chairman, House Committee on Aviation, Nnolim Nnaji, had argued that there were concerns by operators in the aviation sector against moves by government to concession airports.
“Among the concerns were the lack of transparency in the exercise, labour issues, the Chinese loans, the legal issues that may arise from the existing concessions and the lack of proper valuation of the present status of the affected airports, among others,” the lawmaker had explained.
But in a statement issued in Abuja on Monday by the spokesperson, Federal Ministry of Aviation, James Odaudu, the aviation minister stated that the concession of airports was part of the aviation roadmap currently on course.
According to Sirika, the roadmap was developed to serve as a catalyst for a comprehensive overhaul of the aviation industry in Nigeria.
The statement read in part, “The minister further asserts that the roadmap which includes the establishment of a national carrier, establishment of a maintenance, repair and overhaul facility, concession of some airports, establishment of an aviation leasing company, among others, will lay a solid and lasting foundation for aviation development in Nigeria.”
He also assured Nigerians that the implementation of the roadmap, which was in line with the theme of the ICAD, remained on course. and that the results would become obvious at the right time.
Sirika appealed to industry players to join hands with government to ensure the realisation of the objectives of the roadmap for the benefit of all users of the nation’s airspace.