By G9ija

The Minister of Aviation, Sen. Hadi  Sirika,  on Tuesday canvassed for Public- Private Partnership (PPP) to standardise and modernise airports in the country.

Sirika made plea during his presentation in a zoom meeting on a theme “Nigerian Airport Concession Strategy. “

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN ) reports that the Federal Government earlier proposed a 20 to 30-year concession tenure for four major airports billed for private ownership.

The plan, he said  would enable private investors to own, operate and recoup investments made on Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Kano airports.

According to him, the airports in Nigeria are currently operating in a suboptimal environment.

“All airports require investments in runway maintenance, navigation aids as well as terminal facilities; relatively low asset utilisation due to the limited opening hours of other smaller Nigerian airports.

“ Lack of terminal capacity as the Airports fall short of gates, stands and check-in desks; the airports have not been designed as international hubs but operate separate international and domestic terminals, “ he said.

Sirika maintained that a private operator of the four main airports in the country would be able to operate the airports with an international standard and expand the facilities in accordance with traffic demand at each airport.

The minister said the authority had set minimum service levels for the concessionaire to comply with on the airport PPP Projects.

He further said that the move would provide the authority with a tool to set service standards for the operation of the terminals and secure a reliable high-level product.

“A strong aviation industry provides the country with a high connectivity, both on a domestic and international scale. This has several economic and social benefits for the country as identified in this OBC.

“ These include time and cost savings for companies, efficiency gains for the economy, increased connectivity for remote regions, and improved access to health care, “he said.

He said the airport concession strategy supported the Nigerian Airport Concessions to be a Terminal Concession, adding that the majority of the revenue would be derived from Non Aeronautical sources.

According to him, all other facilities at the airports and existing concessions outside the Airport Terminals will still be managed by Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).

Srika said that the concessionaire would provide the investment required to upgrade the existing terminals, take over the new terminals and maintain them over a period of time to be determined based on financial assessment of each transaction.

“Passenger Service Charge and Security Charge will be shared by FAAN and the Concessionaire and FAAN’s share of the charges shall be paid directly to FAAN by International Air Transport Association (IATA).

`The concessionaire will sign service level agreements with FAAN and NAMA to ensure that airport operates efficiently, the service level agreement will cover the Runway, Taxiway, Security and Air Traffic Management.

“FAAN will be required to provide manpower through AVSEC for security of both  Airside and Landside, however concessionaire will provide and maintain landside equipment but FAAN will continue to provide maintain Airside security equipment, “ he said.

The minister stated that all existing concessions within the terminal concession would be inherited by the concessionaire and would be allowed to run its course before any review.

According to Sirika, tariffs will be regulated in accordance with the procedures set in the concession agreement.