‘We’re yet to receive any document on airports concession, national carrier’ - THE NATION
By Kelvin Osa Okunbor
Chairman House of Representatives Committee on Aviation, Hon. Nnolim Nnaji said at the weekend that the lower legislative chamber was yet to get any official document on the airports concession plan by Federal Government as well as a detailed document on the proposed national carrier – Nigeria Air.
This is just as he said the House of Representatives will in January begin public hearing on the five aviation bills sent to the House by President Muhammadu Buhari.
He said the House will accelerate discussion and consideration on the bills to achieve early passage.
He said the House will work with their colleagues in the upper chambers – the Senate to ensure the bill gets smooth passage.
Nnaji who spoke in an interview in Lagos said it would be inappropriate for the Aviation Committee in the lower legislative house to make category statements on supposedly important projects in the aviation sector, for which it was yet to be handed over any formal document by the Ministry of Aviation.
He, however spared a thought for the proposed second runway of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja, affirming that the strategic location of the aerodrome makes it imperative to have an alternate runway.
Nnaji said as much as Abuja Airport needs a second runway, the funds allocated to it in the 2020 budget may not be adequate to deliver a state of the art facility.
He called on government to reconsider the cost profile of the runway facility to enable the contractor deliver a world class facility.
The Reps Aviation Committee Chairman called on government to create a pool of funds to intervene on aviation infrastructure saying the quality of facilities in any airport speaks volume of the image of a country.
He said government should think out of the box in considering non – aeronautical sources of bringing revenue to airport to run as serious business.
He said there was need to work out models that will attract private sector players into the aviation sector, as existing funding models from government was not enough to fix lingering gaps in airport and air navigation facilities.
Nnaji said: “We just completed oversight duties of touring some airports , especially Lagos Airport to assist the agencies in areas of need.
” The oversight was quite interesting , eye opening because it exposed us to the inner workings of the aviation sector, especially the aeronautical aspects of the industry.
“we will work closely with the Ministry of Aviation and the agencies to see that what they do with the monies approved in the budget.”
On airports concession he said: “The issue of concession has been a hearsay , officially the House of Representatives has not seen any document on the project. We just hear about the project like other people , there is no document. Until we get the document and study it we cannot make any comments on the project . We can only talk about it then.
“The same condition applies on the proposed national carrier , Nigeria Air. We do not act on hearsay, we act based on documents made available to us . That is why we cannot comment on the issue. “