The last may not have been heard on the real time limit for the deal sealed between the federal government and Bi-Courtney on the build, operate and transfer of the terminal back to the government after a number of years.
Whereas the Federal Aviation Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) continues to argue that the term is 12 years, the concessionaire continues to parade 36 years term as what he sighed on.
But during a recent Aviation Roundtable in Lagos, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said the Federal Government will honour the 36-year concession agreement it signed with Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited in respect of the Murtala Muhammed Airport Terminal Two in Lagos.
According to the minister, contrary to the 12 years’ concession period being peddled by the FAAN, Bi-Courtney was to build, operate and transfer the terminal back to the government after 36 years.
Considering the verbal resting of the matter by the Minister of Information, instead of Aviation, Bi-Courtney can now do regional flight operations from the terminal. Four years ago, the government had prevented the firm from operating flights to other African countries from there after reportedly spending over N1bn to provide facilities.
Mohammed noted that “Agreements must be obeyed. We cannot continue as a government to look at colour, religion and ethnicity in making decisions. When you draw an agreement, it is not the fault of the other party if you don’t come with competent people to draw up an agreement”.
“You can’t blame the other party. Agreements must be obeyed. We will obey the agreement as a government with the case of MMA2.”
Responding, the Chairman, BASL, Dr. Wale Babalakin, alleged that FAAN disobeyed a directive by former President Umar Yar’Adua on the implementation of the agreement.
According to him, “The late President ordered FAAN to implement the agreement after listening to the argument of both parties”.
Giving additional picture of his long drawn battle with FAAN over the concession of the terminal, Babalakin said the controversy came up as a result of the alleged breach of contract by the government.
Babalakin recalled that the MMA2 concession agreement stipulated that all domestic flights from Lagos, as well as revenues accruing from such flights, were to be operated by the BASL.