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‘No state can participate in the airport concession process’ – Nigeria govt

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Nigeria’s Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika has declared the Federal government’s concession exercise is open to all qualified entities but has said no sub-national government will be allowed to participate in the concession of the nation’s four major international airports.

He made this known Tuesday during a virtual stakeholder’s meeting — monitored by Tour Telegraph — to update on the concession of the four international airports: Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Port Harcourt International Airport, and Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport.

Responding to reactions from presentations at the conference, the minister further revealed that the nation’s airports will not be losing staff because according to ICAO statistics Nigeria was short of aviation personnel and so they will be relocated to other state-owned airports.

Sirika, who explained why states will not qualify for the concession, said the government was transferring the airports from the national government to private entities and will not transfer it to subnational governments.

He said,” What I can say emphatically, is that no state government will be allowed to participate to get this concession because the argument is, we are taking this concession from federal government to private sector, we cannot give from one government to another government, in fact to a lesser government which is a sub-national, this will not happen but any private sector any private entity with a proven record that is able to demonstrate will be allowed to participate and the best will emerge.

Taking the question of whether Kano’s Organized Private Sector can take part in the process from Mr. Aliyu Magashi Mustapha, Sirika said it is quite possible if the organization holds the foundational capacity and experience required to participate accordingly.

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The concession process (Concession) is open to anyone who has the technical capacity, the foundational capability, the experience, the wherewithal and is interested in participating. Whether you are an organized private sector or a private entity, you are free to participate so long as you can demonstrate that you can provide us with value for our money you will be allowed to participate.

This is the beginning of the process and as we are in the planning phase, the steps leading up to the concession will be posted on our website and on the website of the ICRC so that individuals or groups can get organized and be allowed to participate in the process,” he said.

On loss of jobs, he said the workers’ rights and privileges will be protected

Unions fear for jobs but i keep saying they will not lose their jobs because number one: we currently by the findings of ICAO, we are understaffed in so many areas and we need to recruit people so we need all hands to manage our airports,

In addition, we are now taking over Gombe, Bauchi, Dutse, Kebbi, Osubi, and many other airports within our control; as a result, we are examining what is the staff strength, and how can we employ more people.”

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