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Just like Ghana, corporatize FAAN to limited liability company to attract FDI–Illitrus

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National Vice President of Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigerians (ATSSSAN) Comrade Ahmadu Ilitrus, has called for a change of plan by the federal government over its plot to concession four leading international airports in Nigeria.

In an interview, he said rather than creating a scenario that will cause laying off thousands of workers, government can drop the option of concessioning and corporatise Federal Avaition Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), saying only such move can guarantee inflow of foreign direct investments to the sector in Nigeria.

He said Ghana tried it and it is working now.

According to him, “We have not agreed with the government to go ahead with the concession of the airport. We have said that there are various options available for the government to explore. Like I told you, take the example of Ghana, which was an Airport Authority like FAAN, but they corporatised. It’s an airport company and this has a lot of merits.

“What this means is that you are no longer 100 per cent government and that in itself will attract foreign direct investment. Take for instance, you concession an airport for 30 years, the primary objection of the concession is revenue generation. There will be depreciation of facilities, he would not train FAAN staff, there won’t be any succession plan in his arrangement and at the end of the day, he’s returning to the government a waste asset. That is not what we want.

“We want a sustainable investment that will grow the airport and that is why we said if you corporatise, government would divest its interest. Even the staff of FAAN, the unions and others can buy into the agency and once it transforms into a corporate entity with full flesh legal entity, it is not that FAAN does not have, but because of the issue of sovereignty, FAAN is 100 per cent government.”

It would be recalled that in the last few years, Ghana’s Kotoka International Airport, Accra had recorded unprecedented inflow of foreign direct investment (FDI) because the Ghana Airport Authority (GAA) was corporatized to become Ghana Airports Company Limited. Besides, Ghana’s Accra airport is now the aviation hub of West Africa rather than Lagos or Abuja.

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