Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has insisted that Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited (BASL) lied about the inclusion of the General Aviation Terminal (GAT) of the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos in the concession agreement the Federal Government had with the terminal operator.
FAAN also accused Bi-Courtney of breaching the contractual agreement on the abandoned Four Star hotel and a conference centre opposite the terminal, saying that the agency gave the company an ample time to complete the two projects, but that they failed.
A statement by the spokesperson of FAAN, Mrs. Henrietta Yakubu declared that GAT did not and could not have formed a part of the concession agreement with Bi-Courtney.
She hinted that before the terminal presently developed and occupied by BASL got burnt, the GAT had existed and operated independently on its own, accusing BASL of trying to reap where it did not sow.
Yakubu emphasised that some provisions in the concession agreement were negatively skewed against the overall interest of Nigeria, saying such affects the growth and development of the industry.
She added: “We, therefore, want to reiterate our position that GAT is not part of the concession granted Messrs Bi Courtney, neither had FAAN admitted to that assertion at any time.
“It is imperative to state that certain provisions in the concession agreement are negatively skewed against the overall interest of Nigeria and Nigerians and it hampers the growth and development of the industry.
“Any contract whose provisions are contrary to overriding public interest should not be allowed as no single individual or corporation is bigger than the nation Nigeria.”
It would be recalled that the Acting Director-General of the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), Mr. Chidi Iwuzah had visited both companies yesterday, following the persistent crises the Build Operate and Transfer (BOT) scheme had caused.
Bi-Courtney had claimed that FAAN owed it over N200bn for revenues earned from operations of GAT over the past 10 years while FAAN on its part insisted that Bi-Courtney owed it N2bn for services rendered to it as entrenched in the agreement of both parties.
On the Four-Star hotel and conference centre, FAAN declared that these were separate projects executed in 2007 and distinct from the terminal building.
According to Yakubu, it was a clear case of breach of contract, saying that Bi-Courtney exhausted the construction and the extension period granted it in the lease.
She hinted that in the interest of fostering the agency’s business relationship, FAAN granted a further construction completion period of 24 months by an addendum executed by the parties in 2015, which clearly stated that no further extension would be granted Bi-Courtney again.
She, however, said that two days before the expiration of the construction completion period, Bi-Courtney went to court and obtained an injunction restraining FAAN from terminating or interfering with their possession and occupation of the two premises.
“Bi-Courtney has flagrantly breached the provisions of the agreement by failing to deliver the projects, thereby causing monumental embarrassment to the aviation sector with these two structures that are strategically located.
“FAAN hopes and requests that the ICRC, in the interest of the nation and for the overall growth and development of the Nigerian aviation industry should fairly and justly mediate in this matter,” the statement said.