FAAN demands N1.9bn debt from Bi-Courtney as court strikes out operator’s suit
The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) on Sunday ordered operators of Murtala Muhammed Airport terminal two (MMA2), Lagos, Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited (BASL), to pay the agency the sum of N1,968,634,455.95.00 as debt incurred from the services it rendered to the domestic terminal.
Also, the Federal High Court in Lagos has dismissed an application filed by Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited seeking to restrain FAAN and its agents from taking possession of the four-star hotel and conference centre at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja, following FAAN’s termination of the leases on the two projects.
FAAN alleged breaches committed by Bi-Courtney in the agreements related to the two projects.
BASL built and is operating the domestic terminal, known as MMA2 under the build, operate and transfer (BOT) concession agreement and according to regulations, FAAN, as government agency in charge of the airports in the country, must provide terminal security, fire cover and other services which BASL ought to pay for.
Read also: MMA2 not indebted to FAAN – BASL
Yakubu Dati, general manager, corporate communication of FAAN, said that this figure represents the total amount owed FAAN for services rendered the company as spelt out in the concession agreement since September 8, 2007 when it began operating the terminal, alleging that Bi-Courtney has rebuffed every attempt made by FAAN to recover this huge debt, including debt reconciliation meetings between officials of the two organisations.
These debts include aviation security, N45,604,085.74; fire/safety cost, N36,649,223.96; marshalling, N2,125,065.54; electricity cost, N252,038,510.006; maintenance band, N200,000,000.00; 5% concession fees, N726,900,069.00; REUT (hotel), N97,200,000.00; SRC (hotel), N9,720,000.00; REUT (conference hall), N73,860,219.00; SRC (conference hall), N7,386,021.00, totaling N1,968,634,455.95.
“It is important to state that since Bi-Courtney started operating the BOT terminal on September 8, 2007, it has refused to make its audited account available to the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), in line with the terms of agreement for that concession, despite several reminder letters,” Dati alleged.