The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria(FAA), has said that it has put the issue of non renewal of SITA’s contract for the provision of automation for Lagos and Abuja, which expires in May behind it and moved on for the sake of the industry.
The 10 years agreement entered into between FAAN and Societe International Telecommunication Aeronautiques (SITA) for automation of the international airports in Nigeria came to an end on May 2, 2021.
One of the services provided by SITA was quality and cost effective Common Use of Terminal Equipment (CUTE) systems at both Lagos and Abuja airports .
This is just as he revealed that while the 10 years contract lasted some of the services which the embattled entity was to render were not provided and that as part of efforts to enhance the entire process , FAAN advertised and that only two companies responded.
The Chief Executive Officer of FAAN, Capt. Hamisu Yadudu said this when he granted interview to aviation correspondents at the just concluded 25th Annual Conference of the League of Airports and Aviation Correspondents(LAAC), an umbrella body of aviation at Sheraton Hotel in Lagos yesterday.
He added that though SITA responded, its response was not creditably done and that besides, SITA provided foreign documents and that the contract was won by the organisation that responded with FAAN’s documents.
The contract he stated had been expanded to cover from two airports five airports and that President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the contract.
Yadudu stated that already, FAAN had started taking delivery of equipment from RESA of France.
“I believe FAAN has already moved forward. What brought about the whole issue is that we decided to improve the whole process. The 10-year SITA contract for Lagos and Abuja airports expired last year and FAAN decided to improve the process. Even while the SITA contract ran, some services were not rendered by SITA. Nonetheless, we ran an open procurement process for the service to be renewed. This type of service is run by only two or three companies in the world. We advertised, two companies responded, and SITA didn’t respond creditably. They gave foreign documents. Naturally, the one that responded with our own documents won. It is a long history but it is all behind us. The new contract and the project have already been approved by Mr, President.
“We have improved the process from two airports to now cover all the five international airports – Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Kano and Enugu. At the end of the day, it is going to be better for all of us. We have already started taking delivery of equipment from RESA of France. FAAN went with the right procurement process and we got a better deal. I believe by the middle of next month, we shall be ready to move forward, ” he said
Speaking on policies formulated by FAAN as it affects airlines and aviation in general, Yadudu said, “I believe all policies that have to do with FAAN have been with FAAN for a long time and the implementation is always ongoing. Once policies are drafted and approved, they are joined with existing ones and all implemented. FAAN has been in operation for over 40 years and we don’t have any policy outstanding. There are the new ones. Some are with the NCAA, some are industry standard recommended practices. We are always in the process of implementation.
On policies that are allegedly in conflict with some of the operators, the FAAN boss contended that there are hardly any policies that are in conflict with operators, adding that it is just a matter of understanding.
The policies and implementation, he further argued are all the same,adding that it is the interpretation that may be different.
According to him, “Usually, it is that interpretation, but you will find that you will all arrive at the same decision (if the interpretation is right). The same intention is being serviced. But if you have the wrong interpretation, then we have to agree when the regulator tells you that your interpretation is wrong. It will always go the way of the regulator.
“The interpretation and absolute understanding lies with the regulator. If there is a conflict, it is for the regulator to clear the misunderstanding. But there is no fundamental misunderstanding or conflict between policies and what the stakeholders want,” Yadudu said.