The Federal Government would this month invite qualified local and international firms for the concession of four airports, Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika has said.
The Minister also disclosed that the actual negotiation would be done in February 2022 when concessionaires would have been selected and approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC).
The airports are the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos, the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja; Malam Aminu Kano Airport, Kano and Port Harcourt International Airport, Rivers State.
He spoke in Lagos on Thursday in his presentation on Roadmap to Concession at the just concluded Airport Business Summit and Expo.
The Minister said the concession of the airports had not been achieved in the last six years of the administration because the government was being diligent in its approach to the issue.
He said there would be the bid evaluation, which would be done until August 2021. Later, bidders would submit proposals while the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), the Ministry and aviation labour unions would negotiate the terms of the concession.
Sirika reiterated that despite the criticisms trailing the prolonged implementation of the aviation development roadmap, which encompasses the four airports concession, the government was being meticulous in the process.
He also assured that not a single worker of FAAN would lose his job, saying, “If one person will lose his job because of concession, I will stop the process.
“Once the concession happens, there will be no job loss. If we employ you and give you a letter, it means you are qualified and equipped and therefore you will continue to be a FAAN staff. There will be no single job loss and as a matter of fact, we will be needing more hands.”
Meanwhile, the Federal Government on Thursday commissioned two Mobile Control towers worth N1.7 billion to boost flight safety.
Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, inaugurated the towers procured by the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) in Lagos, disclosing that they would be deployed in Lagos and Abuja airports.
A control tower is a building at an airport from which instructions are given to aircraft when they are taking off or landing.
According to the Minister, the towers can also be deployed for emergency services.
Speaking after commissioning the towers, the minister said it was geared towards deepening safe flight operations.
He said, “The intent and purpose of the Ministry and what we have been doing is to ensure safety and efficiency of our sector without degrading and de-emphasizing issues of security and comfort.
“So how very safe you depart point A and land Point B is our primary concern and primary importance. So this is an extension of that intent and purpose and so the amount of N1.7 billion has been spent in procuring these mobile towers.
“We will use it in Lagos and Abuja and if need be we take them to locations where they do not have conventional control towers. They are so equipped, so modernised, so efficient and so very alive. It has everything that a control tower can have.
“We have real time weather, we have all of the approach and departure procedures and over-flight to ensure smooth flight operations and air traffic management.
“So, I am glad that NAMA has been proactive on this request and Mr. President has been generous enough to yet again allow us to do this procurement and spend this amount of money in the interest of safety.”
Managing Director of NAMA, Capt. Fola Akinkuotu, said the mobile towers would be useful during emergency operations.