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January 29, 2022

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Nigeria news and business

Airport Concession: Minister Says FAAN Staff Will Not Be Laid Off

 

The federal government has assured workers of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) that it will not terminate their employment amid plans to concession four major airports in the country.
Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika gave the assurance during a virtual event on the airport concession update with stakeholders in the industry on Wednesday.
In June, the federal government announced plans to concession four airports for a period of 20-30 years.
The airports include Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos; the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja; Malam Aminu Kano Airport, Kano and Port Harcourt International Airport, Rivers state.
This means the federal government will turnover ownership of the airports for the private sector to operate and maintain and then revert the control back once the duration of the concession has elapsed.
At the virtual event, Sirika instead said more workers will be needed as most of the airports were understaffed.
He explained that Nigerian airports were currently operating in a suboptimal environment and thus they needed improvements that would be provided by the participation of the private sector such as infrastructure investments, runway maintenance, navigation aids as well as investment in terminal facilities.
He said rather than selling the government-owned assets, it will be given to the private sector to modernize, create more jobs for Nigerians, and generate more revenue for the country.
“We will not sell the assets that belong to over 200 million Nigerians and the future generation of this country,” the minister said.
“We are not going to sell because those that were sold were lost, so we in government believe that we should hold those assets for the Nigerian people in trust.
“We must make those assets better to provide the services that are needed. So, we said, rather than sell out rightly, we will concession.
“In other words, we would give it up to someone who would operate them and make them better.
“We will then get more money, the people will enjoy better services, the industry grows and after a certain time, the airports will come back to us.”
Sirika also assured that the concessionaires (operator of a concession) would run the assets based on international standards and expand the facilities in accordance with traffic demands at each of the airports.
Vice-president Yemi Osinbajo had announced the federal executive council (FEC) approval to concession the Lagos and Abuja airports.

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