N25 billion investments at risk as FAAN issues relocation notices to hangar operators, others

It is now imminent that the multimillion-dollar aircraft hangars belonging to Evergreen Apple Nigeria, Caverton and ExecuJet Dominion, the Lagos office of the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB), and the Federal Road Service Corps (FRSC) would come under demolition as the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has issued relocation notices to the affected companies.

 The reason for the pulling down of the four gigantic edifices is to make room for the new Lagos international airport terminal to allow for space for more wide-body airplanes.

Caverton Helicopter Hangar

The terminal which is 95 percent complete is too small to accommodate more airplanes; hence the need to expand the facility to make more room for passengers and aircraft.

The expansion of the terminal is expected to affect structures close to it and a great risk to structures around it.

There are indications that the AIB’s offices in Lagos and near the new terminal could be worth more than N5 billion, while over N25 billion may have been sunk into Evergreen Apple Nigeria, Caverton, Dominion, and ExecuJet hangars.

Other smaller companies could also be affected including the Airport Command of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) that is adjacent to AIB’s offices.

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This could also lead to the displacement of hundreds of workers displaced as the authority is still looking for new sites to relocate the firms.

FAAN  and the promoters of the firms are said to be in advanced talks as over N25 billion investments are said to be at risk.

Evergreen Apple Nigeria hangar

The eviction notice is coming on the heels of the observation of members of the joint Committees on Aviation during their recent oversight visit to the new international airport terminal being built by the Chinese that, the apron was too small and needed to be expanded.

The eviction notice has caused apprehension among the organizations and workers of the affected agencies and companies and there are indications that the companies may challenge their impending eviction in the court of law.

To this end, the Nigerian aviation industry is on the verge of huge losses in investment with the two weeks relocation order issued by FAAN.

FAAN, however, has said, though there was no timeframe for their eviction, it also insisted no compensation will be paid but disclosed that it will provide them another land to re-construct their offices.

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Stakeholders who spoke to New Telegraph said the agency and by extension, the Federal Government could spend over N25b in compensation to the owners of the property; a huge amount of money the lawmakers felt could be avoided.

An airline operator who preferred anonymity said the cost could rise to N10b considering the huge equipment and investment made on the facilities over several years, adding that it would become inevitable to pull the structures down if they hamper the operation of the terminal he said had taken too long to complete.

 

Dominion hangar, Lagos

Chairmen Senate and House of Representatives Committees on Aviation, Smart Adeyemi and Nnolim Nnaji regretted that the obstruction was not taken note of during the initial construction of the new terminal noting that rather than spend billions of taxpayers’ money on compensation, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) could restrict the use of the affected fingers to narrow-body aircraft and deploy the money that would go for compensation to the owners of the facilities to the building of additional terminal”.

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Adeyemi, speaking in support of the House Committee Chairman’s position urged the Managing Director of FAAN to do everything to ensure that the owners do not lose their investments.

 “We are the representatives of the people and we must be sure that the resources of the country are not unduly wasted. We must weigh the options and if the amount to be paid out as compensation does not make sound economic judgment we will not allow it.” Adeyemi further stated.

He equally stated that the commissioning of the new terminal was long overdue considering that it was built with borrowed funds and that Lagos airport generates over 60 percent of the authority’s total revenue earnings.

Penultimate week, the Managing Director of FAAN, Capt. Hamidu Yadudu assured that the newly built would be commissioned in March 2022.

Wole Shadare