• Wednesday, May 22, 2024
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Aviation union asks FG to pay back $500m Chinese loan

Black Stallions depart Lagos Airport for Mauritius as NRFF collaborate to grow activity

The Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals (ANAP) has said that the Federal Government should be responsible for the repayment of the $500 million Chinese loan obtained from the Exim Bank of China for the construction of new terminals in some parts of the country.

The union also condemned the massive indebtedness to the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) by its various clients, saying the humongous debts are preventing the agency from discharging its duties as entrenched in the Act setting it up.

A document signed by Abdulrasaq Saidu, the Secretary-General, ANAP, addressed to Hadi Sirika, the Minister of Aviation and copied Permanent Secretary, Minister of Aviation, CEOs of FAAN and other agencies in the sector and made available to aviation journalists over the weekend at the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos lamented that various clients of FAAN blatantly refused to honour their agreements; land, shop rentages, concessions, Build Operate and Transfer (BOT) and billboard adverts with the agency.

The union also observed that there were untapped FAAN revenue points, which shouldn’t have persisted unabated and called for urgent action by the government to block these leakages in the system.

ANAP said that since the $500 million Chinese loan was obtained by Stella Oduah, the former minister in the sector on behalf of the Federal Government, the government should bear the financial burden and not FAAN.

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Recalled that the funds were taken from China in 2012 for the construction of five new terminals in the country by the government.

The union tasked Sirika to emulate President Muhammadu Buhari’s directive to the minister of Niger Delta Development Council (NDDC) to conduct a forensic audit, not only in FAAN but in all the parastatals under his supervision.

The union insisted that until the minister carried out a forensic audit, financial leakages, due to conspiracy to cut corners, which had deprived FAAN and government of the expected huge revenue loss of the Internal Generated Revenue (IGR) would continue to strive within the system unabated.

While condemning Bi-Courtney’s Murtala Muhammed Airport Two (MMA2) BOT agreements with the government, the union also frowned at how FAAN’s guesthouse located at Ikeja Government Reserved Area (GRA) in Lagos was sold.

It also queried the business deals involving a 30-year agreement with Momentum Hospitality; Seymor Car Park Multi-storey car park contract; rail project in Abuja Airport and Legend Hotel Building at MMIA amongst others.

On concession, the union concurred that it could be on leasing, BOT, or rent but most important, such deals must be favourable and transparent to all and sundry.