President Buhari directs Aviation minister to fast track airport concessions

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The Federal Government has directed the Ministry of Aviation to fast-track the airport concession program.

This was disclosed by President Muhammadu Buhari during the inauguration of the new International Terminal of the Murtala Mohammed Airport, Lagos on Tuesday.

According to him, as this and the approved aviation road map are being implemented, the sector will begin to witness growth opportunities.

President Buhari said, “The Minister of Aviation has been directed to fast track the airport concession program in order to open the aviation sector for further growth opportunities and to drive investment partnership in the sector.”

What you should know about the concession plan

Recall that the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika had stated that transaction advisers for the concession of the airports were currently analyzing the proposals of bidders.

He explained that successful bidders would be announced soon, adding that the entire process should be completed in the second quarter of this year.

Sirika said, “The transaction advisers for the concession have finished the Outline Business Case and had got the Request-for-Qualification. We’ve pre-qualified the people and they’ve been issued Request-for-Proposal.

“They’ve turned the proposals in and we are analyzing them to announce the successful bidders and this will be soon. Our timetable is for the first quarter of this year.

“Well, I can see that it is still happening, let’s be very ambitious, but certainly it will end in the second quarter and all the (identified) airports will be concessioned.”

Back story

  • In October 2021, the Federal Government announced that it would send requests for proposals to qualified bidders for the concession of the four airports after assessing the requests for qualification.
  • It had also stated the preceding stage – request for qualifications phase of the Nigeria Airport Concessions Programme – came to a close at 3:00 pm on October 25, 2021.
  • The October 25, 2021 deadline was announced by the Federal Ministry of Aviation on September 13, 2021, after deliberations with the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission and the transaction advisers, as the committee allowed for a four-week extension, in response to requests from would-be bidders.
  • The government has been making efforts towards the concession of the four major airports in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, and Kano, and has been holding meetings with labor unions on the matter.
  • Meanwhile, Sirika stated that about 12 new airports were created in Nigeria since 2015 when the current administration took over.
  • He said, “There are more airports today than when we came in 2015. There are Anambra and Lafia airports; there is Ekiti airport, going on; Makurdi airport, going on; Yobe airport, Ebonyi airport, and many other airports.”

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