The Nigerian government has ordered the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) to review some of the major concession agreements in the aviation sector, SaharaReporters learned on Monday.
The government, through the Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, in a meeting with the Managing Director of FAAN, Saleh Dunoma, and union leaders in the industry, emphasized that most of the agreements are skewed in favor of the concessionaires at the expense of the Nigerian people.
There are about 300 concessionaires for the FAAN in airports across the country.
At Murtala Muhammed International Airport alone, the FAAN has 40 concessionaires in charge of cleaning services.
A source privy to the meeting, which was held in Abuja on July 27, 2017, told our correspondent that three presidents of the leading unions in the sector were in attendance.
The unions represented at the meeting were the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), Air Transport Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN) and the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE).
The presidents in attendance were Muhammed Safianu for NUATE, Ahmed Illitrus for ATSSSAN, and Galadima Abednego, representing NAAPE at the meeting.
At the meeting, it was gathered that Mr. Sirika said the government had perused all agreements the agency signed with all its concessionaires and concluded that some of them were completely lopsided in favor of the concessionaires.
Some of the concession agreements that may be affected by this new order include Avitech Nigeria Limited, which was brought on board by the former Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah, in 2013.
Avitech, which is in charge of aeronautics and non-aeronautical revenues for the FAAN, has been enmeshed in some crises of late as some stakeholders and FAAN staff accused its management of diverting some of the revenues made on behalf of the agency to its private pockets.
Also to be affected is the thorny concession agreement between the FAAN and Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited (BASL), operators of Murtala Muhammed Airport Two (MMA2).
Others are I-Cube West Africa Limited, which is in charge of toll collection at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, and PromoWorld Advertising Limited, whose concession agreements were recently reviewed downward by FAAN management under suspicious circumstances.
The concession agreement was reviewed down from N800 million annually paid to FAAN to N700 million, a situation, which led to murmuring among the agency’s staff and some disgruntled management of FAAN.
Hometel Nigeria Limited may also be affected by the order. The company was accused of non-remittance to the FAAN for over two years.
Also mentioned at the meeting were concessions of Maevis Nigeria Limited and Pan Express Limited, which were canceled under controversial circumstances.
A source close to the FAAN explained to our correspondent that such concession agreements disproportionately favored the concessionaires.
“The minister is embittered with the situation at hand. When you look at about 300 concessionaires that we have, some of the agreements are skewed against the government and that is why we want to review all of them.
“The ones that are good, the minister said the government will continue to allow them, but the ones that we think are repugnant to the national interest, justice, and good conscience, we have to review them,” he said.