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Bi-Courtney asks FAAN to stop hindering its development of MMA2

Concessionaire of Murtala Muhammed Airport Two (MMA2), Bi-Courtney Aviation Limited has raised concerns over what its described as frustrations from the Federal Aviation Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) in continuing with its development of a mono rail, fuel hydrant, hotel, conference centre and power plant at the facility.

In a statement issued in Lagos, the company said the works formed part of the original projects for the Murtala Muhammed Airport Two (MMA2) under the terms of a concession it had with the Federal Government.

According to Bi-Courtney, the concession was to span between 2003 and 2016 but noted that FAAN had consistently breached the agreement without any consideration for the impact on the ability of Bi-Courtney to recoup its investment in line with the objectives of the concession agreement.  Bi-Courtney wants to be allowed to operate regional flights out of the MMA2 terminal to African countries, while it also wants FAAN to halt its operations at the MMA1 terminal, saying these were part of an exclusive clause inserted into the concession agreement to enable it recoup its investment.

“FAAN should be prevailed upon to comply with the laws of Nigeria. Bi-Courtney should be allowed to continue the development of MMA2 unhindered as earlier approved, especially with the provision of such facilities like mono rail, hotel, conference centre, fuel hydrant and power plant which will bring the airport to world-class standard,” the statement said.

“The GAT (MMA1) operations by FAAN in contravention of the exclusive clause in the agreement with Bi-Courtney have, in fact, reduced by more than 50 per cent our revenue expectations from MMA2. Bi-Courtney had invested heavily in infrastructure in preparation for regional flights by airlines and FAAN should be encouraged to facilitate the commencement of regional flights for which we had been granted approval under the two previous administrations,” the statement stated.

The company said contrary to repeated insinuations in the public domain, the process that led to Bi-Courtney being granted the concession to build the MMA2 terminal was wholly transparent. “We were not even the initial awardee of the concession and was only invited to take over as a reserve bidder after the termination of the agreement with Sanderton Ventures Limited for non-performance.

“In line with international best practice, there is need for clarification of the respective roles of FAAN and NCAA vis-a-vis the concessionaire under this PPA arrangement. As an independent concession under strict regulations, therefore, FAAN as a guarantor cannot rightly also be a competitor; and NCAA must be able to impartially mediate and regulate any issues arising from the concession granted by FAAN to B concessionaire,” the statement added.