Delta State, FIDC-Menzies sign 30 years Asaba airport concession pact

  • Firm to pay state N100m annual royalty
  • Gets five years tax exemption

The Delta State Government has entered into a 30 year concession agreement with FIDC-Menzies, the major concessionaire’s Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) which has been incorporated with the name, Asaba Airport Company Limited to manage the Asaba International Airport.

The airport prides itself as the first privatized aerodrome in Nigeria and coming at a time there is a deafening clamour for private sector intervention in airports and terminal operations.

The mandate of the major concessionaire is to grow traffic, increase economic prosperity of the state by taking advantage of the proximity of Asaba to Eastern commercial hub of Onitsha and Nnewi in Anambra State.

Other sub concessionaires of the aerodrome are Air Peace which is serving as the anchor airline and had indicated plans to build Maintenance Repair Overhaul (MRO) facility; Multifreight Cargo and Logistics which will provide cargo and logistics services, Arbico Construction Company which intends to develop the business park, hotel and convention centre.

Rainoil Limited and Cybernectics Limited are to develop the tank farm and provide aviation fuel while Quorum Aviation Limited is poised to develop and manage the private jet and helicopter terminal.

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The concession stipulates that the concessionaire would pay the state government N100 million royalty every year for the 30 years concession pact.

The concessionaire is mandated to pay the State government 2.5% profit annually before tax just as the firm was given five years tax exemption to enable it stabilizes to provide major facilities at the airport.

The concessionaire was equally as part of the agreement, expected to deposit N1 billion as concession fee within two weeks before commencement of operation.

Delta State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa at the agreement signing ceremony in Asaba, Delta state said the state government resolved that concession was the most suitable option open to the state government at this time.

He further stated that against this backdrop, the Delta State Government sought to identify private investors who will complete the development and invest further in the expansion and modernization of facilities at the airport to meet global standards in terms of efficiency in operations and security of passengers and cargo traffic under a concession arrangement.

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The Governor lamented that the airport which was conceived and built by former Governor of Delta,  Dr. Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan to tap from the proximity of the Eastern cities of Onitsha and Nnewi and to be a hub for cargo export for agricultural and manufactured products suffered a major setback when the airport was downgraded to  category three by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) just few months before his administration  came in at the time of economic recession.


Asaba International Airport

He noted that the state government concluded it was  going to turn it into international economic airport that is self sustaining through a robust Public Private Partnership (PPP).

His words, “This administration had to undertake the reconstruction of the runway, taxi ways and other auxiliary works, competed the perimeter fencing, evacuated the hill beside the airport as demanded by the regulatory authority. Subsequently, the airport was upgraded which enables aircraft such as B737, B747, Airbus planes to land”.|

“This administration completed the installation of ILS and airfield lighting system so that the airport can handle night operations. The airport has operated several night flights approved by the NCAA and NAMA. The fire fighting system has been completed while the controller tower has been modernized.

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“The initial concession period is for 30 years with the following terms as approved by the Delta State Executive Council and also by the Delta State House of Assembly. The name of the airport shall remain Asaba Airport but the concessionaire can choose any other name in the name of branding. There shall not be any publicly competing airport or any other airport near the airport anywhere in Delta State during the concession period”.

“The concessionaire shall be responsible for the mgt, operational and maintenance of the airport, keeping the airport in good operating condition through the concession period and in accordance with best industry practice and conditions of the agreement”, Okowa added.

Wole Shadare