Nigerians who are hoping that the federal government will concession airport facilities may have to wait longer as THISDAY investigation has revealed that the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) is a cash cow, which the federal government may not want to part with.
Industry experts believe that the solution to decayed and outmoded airport infrastructure was concession, which would enable the private sector to invest in airport facility development.
The Minister of State, Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, had repeatedly said the federal government would concession the airports, but THISDAY has gathered that government may not be inclined to doing that soon because of two factors. This include the fact that the Ministry controls everything that happens in FAAN and may not want to lose control of the agency.
The second factor is that, according to the Managing Director of the agency, Saleh Dunoma, most business activities at the airports had been given out in concession, including catering services, lounging, supplies and other businesses.
Dunoma had explained to THISDAY that it is the private sector that practically runs all the business activities at the airports.
Owing to this, industry experts posited that when the airports are given out in concession, there could be conflict of interests, which could snowball into crisis that would affect management of the airports.
THISDAY interviewed top officials of the agency who disclosed that the major reasons why the airports have remained in the current state of disrepair was because FAAN management does not take major and critical decisions on how the airport is run and argued that if government allows the management to take full charge of the airports the situation would be positively different.
By Chinedu Eze