Speaking on the topic, ‘Integrating Aviation in Economic National Planning,’ at a two-day International Air Transport Association, IATA, in Abuja, former director-general of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, Dr. Harold Demuren, said it is pertinent for government to involve private investors in its plans to drive the development of the sector.
Demuren however said for investors to embrace the sector, the current crisis on the public-private participation, PPP, involving BASL should be appropriately addressed. Demuren warned that without amicable resolution of this, private investors would be skeptical to come into the sector
He said: “There is need for PPP in aviation in Nigeria as it is obvious that government cannot do it all. But with the experience of the Murtala Muhammed Airport Two, MMA2, Lagos, government has not shown good faith. Such crisis in the MMA2 PPP must be resolved, or else investors would not invest their resources in the sector.”
Speaking in the same vein, managing director of Arik Air, Mr. Chris Ndulue, urged government to reach an agreement with BASL for the industry to move forward. Discussing the topic, ‘Proliferation of Taxes and Charges in Aviation,’ Ndulue declared that the operators are not happy with the level of infrastructure provided by the Federal Government despite the high charges and taxes imposed on the operating carriers in the industry.
Ndulue specifically said private investors would be in the best position to offer qualitative services to airline operators, but insisted that this may not be possible with the present crisis surrounding the BASL agreement with the government.
He urged government to resolve the issue, stressing that once this is done in a transparent manner, more private investors would come to the sector.
He said: “Nobody is happy with charges and services rendered by government in the Nigerian aviation industry. It is important that the issue of Bi-Courtney is resolved so that we can move on. Private investors need to come into the sector because as time goes, government won’t be able to provide the services it presently renders.”
It would be recalled that the crisis, especially over the years of operations of the terminal before handing it over to government has engulfed the agreement between the Federal Government and BASL. While BASL claimed that the agreement was for 36 years, the Federal Government said it was for 12 years. Also, BASL, since inception has not been able to operate regional flights from the terminal as spelt out in the agreement.
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Source: The Nation Business News