AS it stands over ₦20 billion in investments will be lost in the aviation industry if the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) follows through with plans to pull down buildings belonging to offices and businesses on the expansion path of the new international terminal of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos.
FAAN plans to expedite the completion of the ramp of the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) constructed international terminal of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, and has issued notice of relocation to the Accident Investigation Bureau – Nigeria (AIB-N), Caverton Helicopters, ExecuJet hangars .
Also to be affected by the demolition are Dominion, Evergreen Apple Nigeria as well as office complexes of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), the Federal Road Service Corps (FRSC) close to the AIB-N regional headquarters and other companies with facilities around the area
NigerianFLIGHTDECK gathered that FAAN had issued a two-week ultimatum to the affected agencies and private firms to relocate.
The relocation notice was also explicit that no compensation would be paid to the affected organisations; instead, they would be given land to rebuild their offices.
However, spokesperson for FAAN, Mrs. Henrietta Yakubu, who confirmed the relocation order issued to the organisations, said the agency would give the affected organisations a new land within the airport environment to build their offices.
She said the companies are on the path of the new terminal and denied that FAAN had issued them a two week deadline to relocate.
“There is no timeframe on their relocation, but they have been told to make plans to relocate. You know they can’t relocate within two weeks. The new terminal will definitely be opened to the public very soon and it will be connected to the old terminal,” she said.
One of the affected structures, the regional headquarters of AIB-N, which used to be its headquarters until mid-2020 when the bureau and other sister agencies were compelled to relocate their headquarters to Abuja, houses its office complex, command and control centre, office of investigators and information communication technology departments.
Others are training centre, mini flight safety laboratory, which is used for downloading of flight recorders otherwise known as black boxes and investigators’ stores among others.
Apart from the cost of the land, it was gathered that AIB-N’s facilities alone at the Lagos office is worth over N5 billion.
These facilities were installed less than four years ago by the current management led by the commissioner, Mr. Akin Olateru.
FAAN had previously argued that AIB-N and other companies were obstructing further expansion of the new terminal, but stakeholders have always argued that the new terminal was wrongly placed, while the owners of the structures received valid and approved papers from the appropriate authorities before building their offices at the present locations.
Recall, FAAN had to change the location of the new CCECC terminal in 2013 after a protracted battle with late Harry Akande and his AIC limited due to land ownership leased to the later for 10 years for the development of a Hotel.
FAAN had won a case against AIC over the land as the Federal High Court in Lagos set aside the decision of arbitration that awarded the company $48 million to be paid by FAAN, as compensation for ejection of AIC from the land.
While FAAN insisted that the land in question belongs to it by virtue of the Federal High Court judgement; AIC also said the court never ordered the agency to take over the parcel of land immediately.
For this reason, the CCECC Terminal was relocated to its present cite so work can commence in earnest and the terminal was reduced in size due to space available in the location it is.
The relocation notice from FAAN came barely a week after the National Assembly Joint Committee on Aviation, led by Senator Smart Adeyemi and Honourable Nnolim Nnaji Aviation, warned the airport managers against demolishing the affected offices and private hangars at Lagos Airport, based on the fact that it would cost the country billions of naira.
Chairman, Senate Committee on Aviation, Senator Smart Adeyemi had asked the Managing Director of FAAN, Capt. Hamisu Yadudu to submit the cost of demolition and compensation due to the owners of the hangars to the joint committee for consideration before going ahead with the plan.
He said, “We are the representatives of the people and we must be sure that the resources of the country are not unduly wasted. We must weigh the options and if the amount to be paid out as compensation does not make sound economic judgement we will not allow it.