The Federal Government has assured that the processes leading to the concession of the nation’s four major international airports, will be completed in the second quarter of this year.
Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, who made the disclosure while playing host to the Executive Committee members of the Abuja Transport and Aviation Correspondents Association in his office on Wednesday, further announced that the requests for proposal on the establishment of a national carrier, will be out on Monday, March 7.
Thefact reports that efforts have been on by government towards concessioning the Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Kano international airports.
“The transaction advisers for the concession have finished the Outline Business Case and had got the Request for Qualification. We’ve pre-qualified the people and they’ve been issued Request for Proposal”, Sirika said.
According to him: “They’ve turned the proposals in and we are analysing them to announce the successful bidders and this will be soon. Our timetable is for the first quarter of this year.
“Well, I can see that it is still happening, let’s be very ambitious, but certainly it will end in second quarter and all the (identified) airports will be concessioned”.
This was as the minister explained the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration has built many airports, since its assumption of office on May 29, 2015.
Hear him: “There are more airports today than when we came in 2015. There’s Anambra and Lafia airports; there is Ekiti airport, going on; Makurdi airport, going on; Yobe airport, Ebonyi airport and many other airports.
“We have about 12 new airports added since we came and this is growth. And we have the same in other aspects of the sectors, as more runways are being added, more capacities for the airports are being delivered.
“We are very sure that before the end of the term of Mr. President, these things will be achieved and realised.
“The transitional adviser is going to request for proposal next week Monday. Government will own five per cent, Nigerians will own 46 per cent and the international partners airlines will take 49 per cent shares.
“We will give them some weeks to respond to the request, then we will announce the winning bidder. However, in the interim, because government intends to own only five per cent of the airline shares, we are going to go ahead with the AOC (Air Operator Certificate) which has commenced since.”
The minister further stated thus:”I believe that by April, we should be able to have our AOC ready, which means, we are ready to start. And once the AOC is in our hands, the offices are secured, the interim board is being constituted, and when they finish signing the contract, we will announce who they are.
“Currently, they are called interim because they will hold the airline on an interim bases up to the time the investors will come and take over.”