Indications have emerged that companies owned by top Nigerian business moguls and some foreign firms from Europe have shown interest in running the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, and the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
Top government officials, who are privy to the airport concession arrangement, said that companies owned by the top Nigerians were among those indicating interest to run the two major airports on terms to be stipulated by the proposed concession agreement.
The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the local companies owned by the business tycoons would be partnering foreign firms with pedigree in airport management to execute the concession agreement.
The Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, last month announced that the Federal Executive Council had agreed to the concession of the MMIA, Lagos and the NAIA, Abuja.
Osinbajo said this at the fifth edition of the presidential quarterly business forum held at the State House, Abuja, declaring, “I am pleased to say that the FEC has approved the concession of the Lagos and Abuja airports.”
The Federal Government has also approved the concession of Kano and Port Harcourt airports, as well as transaction advisers for the process, according to the Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika.
The minister disclosed this while speaking on the certification of Nigerian airports at the ministry’s headquarters in Abuja.
He said, “President (Muhammadu) Buhari has approved that the Lagos, Abuja, Kano and Port Harcourt airports be under concession. The Federal Executive Council has also approved it as well. FEC has approved transaction advisers for the airports and they will start the process soon.”
On the recent certification of the MMIA by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Sirika described the feat as noble, adding that the Abuja, Port Harcourt and Kaduna airports were the next in line.
According to him, the benefits of an NCAA-certified airport cannot be overemphasised, noting that no airport has ever been certified in Nigeria in the past by the authority.
Sirika explained that with the certification, the government would be able to value the airport and know how to relate with its concessionaire when the facility would be eventually given out.