Min­is­ter: FG can’t con­tinue fund­ing of air­ports

Daily Trust - - FRONT PAGE - By Chris Agabi

The Min­is­ter of Avi­a­tion, Sen­a­tor Hadi Sirika, has said the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment can no longer sus­tain the fund­ing of the 22 air­ports across the coun­try thus they will be con­ces­sioned.

The min­is­ter said the con­ces­sion would start with the big four air­ports Abuja, La­gos, Kano and Port Har­court as gov­ern­ment rev­enue dwin­dles.

The min­is­ter stated this yes­ter­day shortly af­ter he in­spected some failed portions on the 34 years old and largely ex­pired Abuja air­port run­way.

The Abuja run­way was built in 1982 with a life span of 20 years. Four­teen years af­ter the life span of the air­port ended, there haven’t been any ma­jor re­pairs on the run­way, the min­is­ter noted, adding that the sit­u­a­tion was dis­turb­ing.

The min­is­ter how­ever noted that, some failed portions of the run­way have been fixed and can now take larger air­craft for the short term but a long term mea­sure would be a more com­pre­hen­sive re­pairs and the build­ing of the sec­ond Abuja run­way.

Sen­a­tor Sirika dis­closed that the pres­i­dent has ap­proved the fi­nances for the com­plete fix­ing of the run­way and bids have been in­vited from lo­cal con­trac­tors amongst who are CCECC, Julius Berger among others.

On the air­port con­ces­sion­ing, he said trans­ac­tion ad­vi­sor would soon be ap­pointed and the ad­vi­sor would de­velop the terms and con­di­tions of the con­ces­sion. He how­ever noted that, the con­ces­sion would be based on pub­lic pri­vate part­ner­ship (PPP) ba­sis so Nige­rian would still own the prop­erty.

“We have al­ready been to In­fras­truc­ture Con­ces­sion Reg­u­la­tory Com­mis­sion (ICRC), they have posted a staff to us and they are also part­ner­ing with us to see that we have a very smooth ac­tiv­ity,”he said.

On the scarcity of avi­a­tion fuel (JET A1), he said the min­istry was dis­cussing with the Min­istry of Petroleum and the Nige­rian Na­tional Petroleum Cor­po­ra­tion (NNPC) to ad­dress the is­sue.

The Min­is­ter of State for Petroleum, Mr Ibe Kachikwu, who was a part of the min­is­ter’s en­tourage said the sup­ply of Jet A1 was not within the purview of NNPC adding that dis­cus­sion was on with mar­keters of the prod­uct to en­sure the im­me­di­ate avail­abil­ity of the prod­uct to ease the prob­lem cre­ated by the scarcity.

Min­is­ter of State, Avi­a­tion, Sen­a­tor Hadi Sirika with his team of in­spec­tors at a rup­tured portion on the run­way of Nnamdi Azikiwe In­ter­na­tional Air­port Abuja yes­ter­day. Pics: Chris Agabi.

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