CHAIRMAN Senate Committee on Privatization, Senator Ben Murray Bruce has today indicated that the committee would summon the Minister of State (Aviation), Senator Hadi Sirika to explain why the federal government is not honoring its agreement with Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited (BASL).This is just as Senator Bruce stated that it would be impossible for government to see their plans of concession of four major airports through without completely solving issues arising from the MMA2 concession.
Senator Bruce made this known after a guided tour of the MMA2 facility where he indicated that those who signed the agreement with BASL on behalf of the Federal Government should be prosecuted as they have shown gross incompetence.
The senator said,” If anyone shortchanged government or negotiated badly on behalf of federal government so they can have a good time, they will be prosecuted, We will have to publish them on newspapers and on television, and when we do there will be a crisis. Those people who did a bad deal on behalf of the federal government should be punished.”
On concession of the four major terminals,” I am all for it, that is a fantastic way to go but you can’t keep saying you want to do new concessions without resolving issues arising from the MMA2 concession. We will summon the Minister so he can explain and we can resolve this matter, there can be no new concession without the resolution of the previous.”
He also said that he would lobby his colleagues in the Senate to ensure that aviation gets zero allocation in the 2017 budget because of what he termed is wastage stating that the private sector can fix the myriad of infrastructure gaps in the aviation industry.
Bruce said, “The MMA2 agreement is binding and must be implemented. If you don’t implement that agreement, you will frighten away investors. We have a reputation of not keeping to agreements. We read in the papers that the Federal Government wants to concession multiple airports. The billions of naira we would have used will be devoted to education.”
Also speaking, the Vice chairman of the committee, Senator Yahya Abdullahi said:
“The main issue is that we go back and make our findings to the leadership of the senate and also draw the attention to the committee of aviation so they can add their wisdom on this issue . The most fundamental is fixing this country thing and to do this I don’t think we should create any avenue for unnecessary losses and wastage of resources.”
“ What I have seen in this airport, I have never toured it to see that while you are crowding elsewhere there are whole sections of this airport that are wasting away and you are not honouring the terms of the agreements you have signed, I think that is improper.”
“ We will call the minister and ask him, what really are the problems and why are they not complying to the terms of the agreements they signed we will find it out but as I have always said this issue we need to sit down and find solutions it’s not about finding fault we are here to correct and make sure the facilities on ground are used.”
Reacting to some of issues in which he termed as a breach of concession, managing director of BASL, Captain Jari Williams stated that FAAN over the past 10 years have consistently failed to comply with several court judgments, recommendations of the arbitration committee as well as others.
According to Williams this disregard has led to stunted development of BASL including its hotel and conference centre, the proposed monorail, fuel hydrant and a power plan which would have enabled the MMA2 evolve into a world-class terminal.
“ It is obvious that if such a pioneer PPP concession agreement is not respected and adhered to, massive revenue loss and indebtedness of the concessionaire are bound to happen. The consequence will, of course, be the inability to attract credible investors into future PPP arrangements both in aviation and other sectors.”
He further asked the committee to prevail on FAAN to comply with the laws of Nigeria on the court rulings and arbitration proceedings to enable credible concessions thrive.