FG Urged To Privatise Major Airports With Unviable Ones

The Chief Executive Officer, Centurion Securities Limited and Aviation Security Expert, Group Capt John Ojikutu (rtd) has advised the Federal Government to concession any of the four major airports set aside for privatisation with two or three other smaller airports in the country.
He stated this while reacting to the plan by the Minister of Transport, Hon Rotimi Amaechi to privatise the four major airports which include the Murtala Muhammed Airport(MMA),Lagos, Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport(NAA),Abuja ,Port Harcourt Airport(PHA) and Mallam Aminu Kano Airport(MAKA),Kano in particular and the aviation industry in general.
The Minister had stated that as a result of limited resources for capital projects development, government was exploring the possibility of private sector participation to towards the realisation of the industries’ potential; provide better services at the country’s airport terminal and to also provide the much needed infrastructure.
Speaking further Ojikutu advised the Federal Government against privatising the four viable airports alone, adding that if an investor(s) wants to bid for Lagos Airport, he must be made to take along smaller airport such as Ibadan, Akure or any other airport.
He stated that he was happy that the present administration has reverted to the Privatisation Act of 2000, which was earlier jettisoned at a point by previous government.
To buttress his point, Ojikutu cited the Murtala Muhammed Airport Terminal 2(MMA2), Lagos, managed by Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited (BASL), which according to him was the product of the Act.
Nigerians, he pointed out should ask the previous government why it threw away the Act that gave birth to MMA2.Lagos that is now the best airport terminal not only in Nigeria but also outside the country.
According to him, “I am glad that the new government has seen reasons to go back to the privatisation and commercialisation Act of 2000. It was that Act that actually gave birth to MMA2 managed by Bi-Courtney Aviation Service Limited (BASL). The question we need to ask the immediate past government; is what was the reason for jettisoned that Act and the privatisation and commercialisation of all the airports.”
The Aviation Security expert further argued that instead of privatising and commercialising Nigerian airports, the then government was busy building airport terminals that should have been built by other Dr Wale Babalakins, Alhaji Aliko Dangote and other investors.
“Instead of continuing with the privatisation and commercialisation of all the airports and we started spending money and borrowing money to build airports, which could have been built by another BASL or Babalakin or people like Alhaji Aliko Dangote. So, what the present government is doing now is to revert back to the Privatisation and Commercialisation of 2000 but one thing I would appreciate this government to do is that they cannot just privatise the four major airports. Because we all know that all the funds that are generated from the viable ones especially the airport in Lagos is what is being used to manage other 12 airports.” He said
Ojikutu, who is also a member of the Aviation Round Table(ART)stated that while privatising an airport like Lagos, whoever is buying Lagos should at least also be ready to buy other smaller airports ;at least two smaller airports.
The same thing, he stated should apply to Abuja, Port Harcourt and Kano Airports.
In his words, “Government should avoid selling to anybody more than one of these airports. Whoever is buying any of these viable airports should also be ready to buy alongside the smaller airports, which are not viable”