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Senate Condemns Concession Of Kano, Abuja International Airports


Senate Condemns Concession Of Kano, Abuja International Airports

The Senate, on Thursday in Abuja, condemned in strong terms the concession of the Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport (MAKIA) Kano and Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

The Senate also urged the Federal Government to, if need be, review the entire concession exercise and give a level playing field to all stakeholders to participate in the process.

The upper chamber passed these resolutions following a motion on “Urgent Need to Reverse the Concession of Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano and Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja”, sponsored by Senator Suleiman Kawu, representing Kano South Senatorial District.

In his lead debate, Senator Kawu told his colleagues that the Federal Executive Council, on 17th May, 2023, approved the concession of Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano for 30 years, to Messrs Corporación America Airports Consortium.

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He pointed out that the Federal Ministry of Aviation (and Aerospace) do not own, or run any airport in Nigeria and that by the dictates of the governing Act of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), ownership and management of all federal government airports were fully vested in the Authority.

The lawmaker also noted that the Infrastructure Concession and Regulatory Commission (ICRC) procedure document states, with respect to the agency that wishes to concession a facility that, “The public entity should have enabling authority to transfer its responsibility – enabling legislative and policy framework or an Administrative Order to that effect.

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Part of the motion reads: “Reflects that from the combined import of the FAAN Act and the ICRC procedures manual, is an evident manifestation that the entire airports concession is based on an incurably faulty foundation. For, there is no doubt that it is the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, not the Ministry of Aviation, that has power ‘to transfer its responsibility’ to a would-be concessionaire. It is also FAAN, not the Ministry, which has the requisite legislative & policy framework’ for such;

“Convinced that if the claim that the FEC has approved the concession of Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport has any substance, then the FEC has indeed been misguided in its decision, and that action cannot amount to anything than a nullity;

“Worried about the rational in borrowing and spending public money to upgrade the airport only to hand it over to foreign businesses for a period of 30 years in the name of a concession;

“Alarmed that Nigeria is receiving a concession fees or upfront of $1.5m while the total amount of money that the Kano airport is accruing to government is $97.4m;

“Disturbed that this concession is clearly dubious and raise questions on the process and what the actors stand to gain; Recalls that unions in the aviation industry embarked on a strike to question the integrity of the concession exercise, stressing that the concession of the airport away from FAAN would necessarily cause a cessation of the employment of all the staff involuntarily:

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“Worried that the concession by the Buhari-led administration raises a fundamental question of injustice on why an elephant project with huge public investment would take place just at the end of the administration; and observes that the faulty gaps inherent in the concession would lead to array of lawsuits and thereby embarrassing the current administration.”



Contributing, the Senate Chief Whip, Senator Ali Ndume (APC, Borno South) “so many things were done wrongly” and lamented that some of the government agencies and officials that did the concession, took advantage of what be described as “Buhari’s passiveness as a leader to short-change Nigerians”.

“Let all concessions be investigated because some people wait for government to invest $100m to buy it $1m”.

Senator Abdul Ningi (Bauchi Central) said the concession done at the tail end of the Buhari administration was done in “bad faith and a reflection of executive recklessness”.

Adamu Aliero (Kebbi Central) FG did not do due diligence in the concession deal.

He said MAKIA is the only airport serving most states of the North and called on the Federal Government to investigate the concession and if found not to be in conformity with laid down procedure should be revoked.

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He noted that Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) staff protested the concession of the airports and it was put on hold , but at the tail end of the last administration, “it was done hurriedly”.

Senator Sani Musa (Niger East) said concession is a serious matter in business, but regretted that in our case, “international best practice in concession was thrown into the gutters” while processing the concession.

He said the Minna International Airport was abandoned for 11 years as well as other airports in the country, adding that “such concession is criminal”. He wants Senate to ask FG to direct complete evaluation of the concession.

Sani added that the Aminu Kano and Nnamdi Azikiwe airports concession were not “transparently done”.

Rufai Hanga (NNPP Kano Central) wants concession reversed so that the airports can be brought back on stream.

Danjuma Goje (Gombe Central) wants the Nnamdi Azikiwe In’tl Airport, Abuja be included and it was taken.

In his comment, Deputy Senate President, Jibrin Barau who presided at the plenary said concession is best practice all over the world.
He said major airports in Europe have been concessioned, including the Heathrow Airport in United Kingdom which was taken over by a Nigerian.

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