The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has again accused Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited (BASL), operators of the Murtala Muhammed Airport Two (MMA2), Lagos, of owing N1,943,516.50 since it commenced operations on September 8, 2007.
The alleged sum is, however, different from the over N2bilion FAAN accused the company of owing it as at June 2017.
In October 2017, FAAN through the industry unions, claimed the management of the terminal operators owed it about N2billion, arising from the non-payment of electricity, rent and conference and hotel. The sum is apart from the five per cent revenue generation expected to be remitted to FAAN.
This time around, in a letter addressed to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of BASL, dated November 3, 2018, signed by its Managing Director, Engineer Saleh Dunoma and exclusively obtained by SaharaReporters from the Ministry of Transport, FAAN claimed that since the organisation commenced operations in 2007, it was yet to remit any money to its coffers as contained in the contractual agreement.
The breakdown of the latest sum indicated that BASL as at July 31, 2018 owed FAAN N1,444,044,893.83 for provision of Aviation Security (AVSEC), another N143,466,896.96 for Fire/Safety Cost.
Others were for marshalling, N2,168,058.21 and management cost, which it put at N1,943,323,516.50.
FAAN also threatened to withdraw the services of its personnel from the terminal with effect from December 3, 2018 if the debts were not remitted, but at the time of filing this report, the services were yet to be withdrawn even though a source in FAAN confided in our correspondent that BASL hadn’t replied the letter.
The letter with the title: ‘Outstanding Personnel Cost for FAAN Staff Deployed to the Bi-Courtney Terminal – Final Demand and Notice of Intention to Implement Sanctions,’ noted that FAAN, in line with its statutory responsibilities to provide security and safety services at all airports and aerodromes in Nigeria, has continued to fulfill its obligations and wondered why BASL reneged on its own.
FAAN insisted that non-payment for the services of these personnel, leading to shrinking financial resources, had started to impact negatively on its ability to continue to effectively and efficiently deliver on its services.
The letter added: “We are therefore using the opportunity of this final demand notices to inform you that the Honourable Minister of State for Aviation has directed the grace of period of one month to be given to you to settle the outstanding debt of N1,943,323,516.50, failure which appropriate sanctions as stipulated in the authority’s Credit Policy Manual will be applied to extract payment.
“Meaning that in this case, the services of our aviation security, fire and rescue personnel will no longer be available for the operations of your terminal with effect from Monday 3rd, 2018 in compliance with the directive of the Honourable Minister; and more so as we no longer posses the financial muscle to keep these personnel in your terminal working without payment.”
Attempts to get BASL to comment on the issue proved abortive as the phone number of the media manager of the terminal operator was switched off, while a text message sent to his mobile line did not receive any response.