‘Airport concession won’t affect $500m China loan payment’

The federal government has said the concession of four international airports would not affect the repayment of the $500 million loan taken from the China Exim Bank for the airports’ terminals.

Daily Trust reports that the labour union has been at loggerheads with the Ministry of Aviation over the proposed concession while some operators feel the concession would stall the facility repayment.

The airports are Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos; the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja; Malam Aminu Kano Airport, Kano and Port Harcourt International Airport, Rivers state.

Abuja and Port Harcourt have had their brand new terminals commissioned while that of Lagos and Kano are ongoing.

But yesterday, the federal government in a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document said there is no conflict with the China Exim Bank over the concession.

Besides, the government envisages a 30-year tenure for the concession which can be extended.

The document said, “China Civil Engineering and Construction Corporation (CCECC) was contracted to deliver a number of infrastructure projects throughout Nigeria in 2013. The Passenger Terminal development works are a small part of this, and the federal government has every intention to service its obligation.”

The government further explained that it was “looking for partners who have the financial, technical and operational capabilities to manage these assets profitably and responsibly.”

The document said the concession of the airports would relieve the federal government of the burden of funding the airport as the responsibility becomes that of the concessionaire.

It also said the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) would remain the manager of the airports, even as it said other aviation agencies continue to play their roles at the airports.

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