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House of Representatives Committee on Aviation has warned the federal government of any plan to concession any federal airport in Nigeria, saying Airports are critical national assets that should not fall into the hands of private individuals.
The group made their position known recently during an oversight visit on aviation agencies and tour of airport facilities.
The 18-member delegation who were in Lagos to ascertain how the sector was faring in times of recession was led by the committee chairman, Hon Nkeiruka Onyejiocha.
Onyejiocha said, “I am one person who don’t believe that we should concession the four major airports that we have because I know it is those four airports that are funding the other 18 international airports and of course you have to look at the issue of workers and of course the Nigerian people as a whole. If we concession them and people are going to make money and be okay, why can’t we do it.
“Having said so, I also know that we are going to conduct public hearing where we would take all the issues together, where we would be able to ask Nigerians and of course the key players in aviation industry; the stakeholders including the workers, the press to tell us what you think. We would also look at the issues of the concession that has been done in the past. We have to evaluate. How has it helped, how did we do it? Did we get any benefit from it? And if we have, then we see where we are going to do the same. If we have not, then why? What are we going to do differently?”
“So I believe that very soon by next week Nigerian people are going to talk to us on the issue of concession. I don’t want it to be my personal opinion. We are going to listen to Nigerians, we are going to listen to stakeholders, we are going to listen to all aviators and we are going to listen to the Ministry themselves.”
The Committee concluded it would call for a public hearing with stakeholders to discuss the proposed concession of some airports in the country.