Bi-Courtney insists on 36-year concession tenure of MMA2
Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited (BASL), yesterday reiterated 36-year concession tenure of Murtala Muhammed Airport II Terminal (MMA2), and not the 12 years acclaimed by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).
BASL, said contrary to a media report (not The Guardian) that its tenure of operation would soon elapse, there is still about 24 years to go before the facility is handed over to FAAN.
Recall that the old domestic terminal (now MMA2), like other terminals nationwide used to be managed by FAAN until fire razed it in May 2000.
Government of the day considered the cost of replacing the facility as too big a burden, and opted for private investors that could shoulder the weight under a Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) Public-Private Partnership arrangement. The contract was awarded to BASL in 2003, with a lot of the details shrouded in secrecy.
BASL completed the terminal and opened it in May 2007, but with controversies and legal tussle between BASL and FAAN/FG. The tussle is for reasons not unconnected with monopoly of the Lagos domestic operations, and years of concession on the agreement.
Part of the details, initially undisclosed, is that BASL will operate the facility, as the sole domestic terminal in Lagos for a period of 10 to 15 years; with addendum for extension to 36 years as is the case for most such investments around the world, given the huge capital intensive nature of the venture.
BASL explored the 36-year option, but to the chagrin of FAAN, which allegedly violated the monopoly clause by building the General Aviation Terminal (GAT), to rival MMA2 operations contrary to the concession provisions.
Head of Corporate Communications, BASL, Eniola Ade-Solanke, described the 12-year tenure claims as misleading, and at variance with the facts of the matter.
Ade-Solanke, for the avoidance of doubt, said: “The Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) offered Bi-Courtney a 36-year lease in a letter dated 12th of October 2006 and an agreement was duly signed on the 2nd of Feb 2007 by the Minister of Aviation.
“The agreement was further confirmed at a meeting held on 7th of July 2009, chaired by the former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, late Umaru Musa Yar’adua, in attendance with the Honourable Minister of Aviation, Secretary General to the Federal Government, Attorney General of the Federation /Honourable Minister of Justice, Honourable Minister of Finance, MD/CEO of FAAN and the Chairman of Bi-Courtney among others.”
She added that the provisions of the concession agreement between Bi-Courtney and the Government uphold the operation of the MMA2 terminal for an undisputed period of 36years.
“Since inception, FAAN has not complied with the agreement to handover the GAT, which is a property of Bi-Courtney. FAAN through its actions has consistently breached its obligations in the concession agreement and has caused Bi-Courtney a loss of over N250 billion.
“The erroneous claims against the Chairman of Bi-Courtney in making frantic efforts in the Presidency to frustrate a takeover of the terminal are not unconnected to purported attempts to stir up a false sense of alarm and acrimony against the concession.
“The public and media should stop listening to naysayers, who have no interest in the growth and development of Nigeria. MMA2 remains the best terminal in Nigeria and no terminal that has been built compares with it. The appropriate thing is to encourage Bi-Courtney and other private investors and developers to save FAAN from itself and its abysmal management of airport infrastructure,” she said.
Bi-Courtney reassures all air operators and the travelling public of its commitment to providing first class service and maintaining the highest standard of professionalism through continuous investment in power generation, critical infrastructure development, passenger facilitation and modern technology in the aviation industry.
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