“Concession of airport toll points is fraught with illegality”–ANAP
The Association of Nigerian Aviation Professionals (ANAP) has slammed previous concessions of toll gates, car parks and fuel surcharge by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) alleging that the concessions were done illegally.
The secretary general of the association, Mr. Abdulrasaq Saidu who made the allegation in an interview said ANAP would continue to oppose the proposed concession of four prime airports in Abuja, Kano, Lagos and Port Harcourt until all the issues of the previous concessions are addressed.
“We want to know what has become of the former concessionaires because as at today, 90 per cent of revenue points of FAAN have been concessioned out (sic). For example, when we have the commercial department of FAAN; what brought about the concessionaire of bill boards across the nation’s airport of N800 million and now down to N700 million? Who concessioned out the toll gates, car parks, fuel surcharge? These are things they have been hiding from people and we want government to visit that area. We are interested because past experience showed that there is conspiracy within FAAN and outside to divert the money of these concessionaires,” he said.
Speaking further, Saidu queried why government should be interested in four major viable airports in the country.
“So that is why we are against any form of concession and that is why we are against concession. The minister of State Aviation must ask questions and look into the issue of those concessions. When they say airlines owe; they will opt for reconciliation. What has been the outcome of their reconciliation? Have they been paying, is it not a conspiracy between some set of people in FAAN and airlines. That is the issue. It is a fundamental question because in Calabar there was concession and after nine months, the concessionaire ran away with the proceeds. Same thing happened to the toll gates. We used to have a task force to monitor these people and money was coming in hundreds of millions of naira. What was the rationale for not using workers of the organization, when money was coming in, only to give it to people who they asked to pay N50 to N60 million?”
On the changes that were carried out in some aviation parastatals, Saidu said they were somewhat balanced.
“The changes made in the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) were not complete. We have seen and welcomed that of FAAN, though, it is not complete yet, because they must revert to the operational structure in line with the Act that originally established it. This is because they (FAAN) have over bloated staff from outside…who are placed above people that have been working over the years. So we welcome the step taken in FAAN and want it to be extended to NAMA, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and other agencies where such wrongful placements were carried out,” said Saidu.
Saidu who called for the scrapping of all the directorates not set up by FAAN however said the association would engage the federal government through constructive dialogue on the state of affairs in the aviation sector and how to grow it (sector).