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Aviation minister reassures concession won’t lead to job losses

Nigeria’s minister of aviation, Hadi Sirika, has again vowed that there won’t be a single job loss from the planned airport concession, saying he would stop the agreement if anyone loses their job as a result of the concession.

Sirika disclosed that between June and August 2021, the federal government would evaluate documents from bidders and all due diligence will be done on the planned airport concessions.

He said the concession proposal will be presented to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) in February 2022.

The minister who revealed this in Lagos on Thursday at the end of the Airport Business Summit and Expo assured that aside from assurance on job security, the concession will create more employments.

He said the government will not sell people’s asset but will concession the airports with a view to providing more revenues.

“We will not sell the assets that belong to 200 million people and the future generation of this country. 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 service that is needed. So, we said rather than sell outrightly, 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 service, the industry grows and after certain time, the airports will come back to us,” the minister explained.

He noted that all the agreements on concession were contained in the outlined proposal, adding that it was in the interest of the people.

The federal government few years ago announced plans to concession Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Kano airports.

Sirika explained that the proposal which commenced in 2015 will be advertised from June to August 2021, and qualified bidders will be invited for profiling and evaluated companies will asked to present a proposal for engagement

Sirika assured that labour will be carried along through out the concession process, adding that all current concessions will be allowed to finish their tenure before it will be reviewed

On tackling the present traffic between the international and local airports, Sirika said plans were on between Lagos State Government and aviation ministry to construct light rail from the Ikeja terminal through the local airports to the international airport.

Speaking on the unserviceable runway lights at domestic wing of Lagos airport, he said the contact has been awarded and the runway lights will be fixed soon.

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