Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited (BASL), operator of the Murtala Muhammed Airport Two (MMA2), on Tuesday insisted that it had 36 years validity on the Build-Operate-Transfer (BOT) concession model of the facility.
The spokesperson for BASL, Mrs Eniola Ade-Solanke, also dismissed insinuations that the terminal would be taken over on May 7 by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).
Ade-Solanke said the claim that the 12 years term of BASL as operators of the MMA2 would expire on May 7 was untrue, stressing that the concession agreement the company had with the Federal Government was clearly stated “36 years.”
She said : “For the avoidance of doubt, the facts are stated while giving dates and those involved.
“FAAN offered Bi-Courtney a 36-year lease in a letter dated Oct. 12, 2006 and an agreement was duly signed on Feb 2, 2007 by the Minister of Aviation.
“The agreement was further confirmed at a meeting held on July 7, 2009 chaired by the former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, the late President Umaru Yar’adua.
”In attendance were the Minister of Aviation, Secretary General to the Federal Government, Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Minister of Finance, MD of FAAN and the Chairman of Bi-Courtney amongst others.
She accused FAAN of not complying with the agreement, following the agency’s refusal to handover the management of the General Aviation Terminal (GAT) of the airport to Bi-Courtney.
“Since inception, FAAN has not complied with the agreement to handover the GAT which is a property of Bi-Courtney.
“FAAN through its actions has consistently breached its obligations in the concession agreement and has caused Bi-Courtney a loss of over N250 billion, ” Ade-Solanke said in a statement issued in Lagos.
She further dismissed claims that the Chairman of BASL, Mr Olawale Babalakin, was frustrating the move to take over the terminal through frantic efforts at the Presidency.
“The public and media should stop listening to naysayers who have no interest in the growth and development of Nigeria.
“MMA2 remains the best terminal in Nigeria and no terminal that has been built compares with it.
“The appropriate thing is to encourage Bi-Courtney and other private investors and developers to save FAAN from itself and its abysmal management of airport infrastructure,” Ade-Solanke said.
She, therefore assured all air operators and the traveling public that the MMA2 would continue to provide first class service for them through continuous investment in power generation and critical infrastructure to ease passenger facilitation.
”As operators of the most efficient airport terminal in the country today, the safety, security and comfort of our users and personnel will continue to remain top priority for us at MMA2,” Ade-Solanke added.
However, FAAN, in a statement signed by its General Manager, Mrs Henrietta Yakubu, explained that the BOT agreement granted BASL was for the design, financing, construction and management of a domestic terminal building at the Lagos airport.
“The concession premises is limited to the domestic terminal, as clearly demarcated and delineated by beacon numbers as contained in the survey plan.
“For the purpose of emphasis, the GAT does not and could not have formed a part of the concession.
“Even before the terminal presently developed and occupied by BASL got burnt, the GAT had existed and operated independently on its own, BASL is only trying to reap where it has not sown,” she said.
Yakubu said FAAN would continue to maintain its position that GAT was not part of the concession granted Bi-Courtney and had never admitted to that assertion at any time.