MANAGING Director/Chief Executive of FAAN, Capt. Rabiu Hamisu Yadudu has said that concessioning the nation’s airport will not only lead to shortening the long process of public procurement but will fast track a lot of emergency in fixing of faulty equipment with the signing a Service Level Agreement (SLA).
This is just as Yadudu said progressive efforts were already being made to address the controversies surrounding the Build Operate and Transfer (BOT) agreement with Bi-Courtney Aviation Services, operators of MMA2.
Yadudu made these known when the leaderships of Aviation Safety Round Table Initiative (ASRTI) and Infrastructure Concession & Regulatory Commission (ICRC) held a meeting over the weekend with Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) to exchange ideas on how best to develop airports across the country and the possible best approach to the proposed concession of some major airport terminals.
The meeting had in attendance, the Technical Assistant to the Minister of Aviation, Mr. Mustapha Junaidu and also a staff of the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Council (ICRC) attached to the Federal Ministry of Aviation.
In his opening remarks, Capt. Yadudu said the meeting was conveyed in his capacity as the Chairman of the Federal Ministry of Aviation Concession Team, commending ASRTI for its role in the industry’s development over the years.
“I have been in the industry for 20 years. One thing with ART is that you have always kept in touch. You have always been there to offer your advice and interpretations. It is important that we do a good job so that those coming after us will have something to look up to. Aviation belongs to all of us. It does not belong to any individual,” he said.
Yadudu said: “the long process of public procurement was a major challenge to the aviation industry because of the speed of response involved in the sector. He cited one of the benefits of concession as the fact that a Service Level Agreement (SLA) would be signed between FAAN and the concessionaire such that whenever there is an emergency in fixing of faulty equipment for instance; the concessionaire addresses the issue immediately, to be paid later. This solves the problems of waiting for long procurement processes.
On what FAAN had done to improve comfort and safety for airport users, Yadudu surmised that though FAAN’s revenue had totally dropped because of the COVID-19 effect, the airports manager had taken delivery of 55 Self Service Kiosks from ICTS and has equally received approval to increase its Passenger Service Charge (PSC) after due consultations with relevant bodies including IATA.
The President of ASRTI, Dr. Gabriel Olowo commended the leadership of FAAN under Capt. Yadudu, noting that “we have not had this kind of engagement over the years because ART was perceived differently, whereas ART’s activities have been in the interest of the industry.”
The ASRTI shared its ideas on airports development, standing on the contents of the communiqué issued at the end of the webinar organized by ASRTI on Thursday, August 13, 2020. Theme of the webinar was “Nigeria’s Airports Concession: How Far, So Far?”
On the communiqué’s request for a minimum government involvement in airports management, he noted that minimum involvement was relative as issues such as Aviation Security and Safety would always involve the government as part of its responsibility.
In his presentation, Junaidu explained that FAAN would make more money and spend less on maintenance when SLA is signed with a concessionaire to cover that. To address the issue of process transparency raised by the communiqué, Junaidu said a Strategic Communication Consultant had been appointed by ICRC to keep stakeholders informed on it activities.
Government’s positions on each item in the communiqué were jointly evaluated while gray areas were jointly explained by Capt. Yadudu and Junaidu. Junaidu rendered clarifications from the ICRC perspective.