The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has said that contrary to speculations, it had no plans to take over operation of the Murtala Muhammed Airport 2 (MMA2) terminal, Lagos from Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited [BASL].
An online medium (not SHIPS & PORTS) recently reported that the management of FAAN had been authorized by the Ministry of Transportation to take over the terminal on the expiration of an alleged 12 years consensual agreement between BASL and the agency in May.
But in its reaction made available to journalists through the company’s General Manager, Corporate Affairs, Henrietta Yakubu on Thursday, FAAN said it was not aware of any plans to take over the operations of the MMA2 terminal.
The report had alleged that the planned takeover of the terminus was also causing some instability among the staff members of BASL, who were said to be already looking elsewhere for alternative jobs following the threat by government.
The report also claimed the Chairman of Bi-Courtney, Wale Babalakin, has been making efforts through some of his contacts in the presidency to frustrate the alleged takeover of the terminal on the due date, claiming that the concession agreement between the two was for 36 years.
Reacting to the report, BASL said the MMA2 concession was valid for 36 years, which had yet to expire.
A statement signed by the spokesperson for Bi-Courtney, Eniola Ade-Solanke, on Tuesday, said, “We will like to set the records straight by stating that Bi-Courtney Limited entered into a concession agreement with the Federal Republic of Nigeria, for the Build, Operate and Transfer of the MMA2 for 36 years.”
According to Bi-Courtney, FAAN offered it a 36-year lease in a letter dated October 12, 2006, and an agreement was duly signed on February 2, 2007 by the Minister of Aviation.
It added that the agreement was further confirmed at a meeting held on July 7, 2009 chaired by former President, late Umaru Musa Yar’adua.
“The clear provisions of the concession agreement between Bi-Courtney and the government uphold the operation of the MMA2 terminal for an undisputed period of 36 years.
“The erroneous claims against the chairman of Bi-Courtney that he is making frantic efforts in the presidency to frustrate a takeover of the terminal is not unconnected to purported attempts to stir up a false sense of alarm and acrimony against the concession.
“Despite the constant deliberate misinterpretation of the concession agreement by unscrupulous elements aimed at stirring controversies leading to falsehood and fueling animosity between FAAN and BASL, MMA2 remains the most modern, functional and well run privately funded domestic airport terminal in sub- Saharan Africa adjudged the best in Nigeria.
“BASL will continue to fulfil its obligations for the full 36year term and will remain a pace setter in the aviation industry and in the promotion of private sector investment critical for economic growth in Nigeria,” the company said.
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