Airports concessioning to wait until N120bn fund probe over – Reps

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According to reports, the House of Representatives has called on the minister of state for aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika,  to suspend plans on the proposed concession of airports until he is able to brief the House as well as Nigerians, the benefits of the concession as well as how it will tackle the challenges the aviation sector faces.

House-of-Reps

It also called for the probe of the former minister of aviation, Sen. Stella Oduah, over the diversion of the N120 billion aviation intervention fund provided by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in 2012.

These were part of recommendations of the report of the House Committee on Aviation on the investigation into how to rescue the airline industry from imminent collapse, which was considered yesterday.

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The House is also to invite Sen. Sirika to brief it on his plans and programmes for the aviation sector, including the current status of the ongoing remodelling of international airports, the reasons behind the scope and design of the remodelling. He is also to provide detailed drawings and specifications of current design in order to enable the ascertainment of the action cost of ongoing work compared to the loan received.

The report’s recommendations include: “Urge the minister of state, aviation, to stay action on the proposed concession of airports until the minister has been able to brief the House and Nigerians on how the proposed concession will remedy the challenges facing the sector and benefit consumer.

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“Refrain from taking any action on the concession agreement between FAAN, and Bi-Courtney till the case is determined by the Supreme Court.

“Invite the governor of Central Bank of Nigeria and airline operators (Domestic and International) to deliberate on the possibilities of CBN’s intervention in the crisis of foreign exchange for the airline industry.

“Call on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate the diversion of the N120 billion aviation intervention fund provided by the CBN in 2012.

“Meet with the management of Aviation Regulatory Agencies (FAAN, NCAA, NAMA, AIB, etc) to deliberate on the possibilities of denominating the aviation sector in local currency (Naira).

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“Urge the management of Arik Air to reconcile its accounts with FAAN with a view to paying off its debts”.

The committee also recommended that the House invite Asset Management of Nigeria (AMCON) to appear before the it and fully brief the House of its plan of action to resuscitate the airline, Aero Contractors.

It further urged the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to, as a matter of urgency, make aviation fuel available regularly at affordable prices and make effort to refine aviation fuel (Jet 1) locally.

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