FG’s national carrier, concession, others’strategy ‘too slow’

The Federal Government seems to be running against time in achieving its roadmap over which its success in aviation sector could be measured.

The Roadmap includes concession of airports, establishment of a national carrier, development of agro-Cargo terminals, establishment of Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) Centre, establishment of an Aviation Leasing Company (ALC) and Development of Airport Cities (Aerotropolis).

Others are: Establishment of an Aerospace University in Abuja, Review of Civil Aviation Policy and Acts, Restructuring of Aviation Parastatals, Enforcement of Expatriate Quota, establishment of search and rescue system and upgrade of Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT) into an International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) regional training centre of excellence among others.

There are indications that the enthusiasm that trailed the roadmap is waning by the day, less than one year to elections.

Many are particularly dejected over the delay of floating a national airline and the slow pace of concession of the airports that government hinted would be done.

Stakeholders who spoke to Woleshadare.net said Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika has not done well by slowing down completion of the deals that would lead to the actualisation of these important projects.

 

The snail speed of action on them has made many to conclude that government may have after all tactically withdrawn from those projects. Both the media and the public are in the dark of the true position on this matter.

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Just recently, Sirika, while fielding questions from journalists at the Lagos airport in February 2018 said, “The transaction advisors for the concession have brought in the outline business case. We are studying it and we are going to do our full business case and it would happen so soon. “

On national carrier, the Minister, said, “At the time Nigeria was pushing for this you and I know we had Nigeria Airways and we thought we would take advantage of it. Now we don’t and our airlines for one reason or another have not grown to that capacity and this is why the government felt that we should set in motion to create a robust carrier that would take advantage of this SAATM for the benefit of the Nigerian people. “

He stated that the government was on the right course as it concerns national carrier and that he believes that this private sector led and driven airline once established would become the dominant carrier in Africa because the market is Nigeria’s.

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Sirika had last penultimate at the 4th stakeholders forum in Abuja, the Minister of state aviation, senator Hadi Sirika said a consortium comprises three firms had been given the job with experience and expertise in airline start-ups and turn around which had led some of the most successful transformation and cost reduction programme in the Aviation industry.

 

He listed the firms for the establishment of a national carrier as Avia Solutions Ltd, and Tianerro FZE and Airline Management Group Ltd.

He said these transaction advisers were appointed in line with the Infrastructure Concession and Regulatory Commission (ICRC) guidelines and Public Procurement Act, 2007 as regards the Concession of the four Airports (Abuja, Lagos, Kano and Port-Harcourt).

“The consortium comprises of five firms with vast experience and expertise in Airport Management, PPP Legal Advice, Finance, Project and Construction Management, Environmental and Social Services

On the Development of an Aerotropolis & Development of Cargo/Agro Allied Terminals, Sirika noted that the Infrastructure Bank Plc would play a major role alongside two other firms which included a Nigeria firm to handle the job.

“The Infrastructure Bank Plc – It is a private Sector led, but Government sponsored Development Finance Institution (DFI). In line with its Establishment Act, the Bank has the mandate to raise and manage funds for infrastructure development projects in the country”.

The Establishment of Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) Centre and Aviation Leasing Company were given to consortium comprises of five (5) firms with vast experience in the aviation industry.
The Minister pointed out that Transaction Advisers have all commenced work and are liaising with the Project Delivery Team except the one for the National Carrier engaged in May, 2017 and had a 9-month contract duration.

He added that the deliverables by the transaction adviser include; Outline Business Case for adopting PPP methodology and Development of a well-structured PPP procurement process to select a PPP Partner”.

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“Others are, preparing the Full Business Case (FBC) as well as supporting the Ministry to obtain FBC Compliance Certificate from ICRC, FEC approval and progress transaction up to financial closure”
“The Outline Business Case shall on completion and due approval by relevant authorities be presented to interested investors”, he added.

Wole Shadare