The chairman, House of Representatives Committee on Aviation, Ms. Nkeiruka Onyejeocha has said that the lawmakers would hold a public hearing on the proposed concession of four prime airports.
Speaking in Lagos during the committee’s inspection tour of the international wing of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Onyejeocha said the purpose of the public hearing would be to get the views of Nigerians on the issue.
“I am one person who does not believe that we should concession the four major airports that we have because I know it is those four airports that are funding the other 18 airports. We have to look at the issue of workers and of course the Nigerian people as a whole.
“If we concession them and people are going to make money and be okay, why can’t we do it?
“We will conduct a public hearing and will take all the issues together and ask Nigerians and also the key players in the industry to tell us what they think about the proposed concession. We will take a look at the concessions done in the past and how we have fared. We will have to evaluate them. How has it helped, how did we do it? Did we get any benefit from it? And if we have, then we will see where we are going to do the same. We need to be properly guided.
“So…very soon, Nigerian people are going to talk to us on the issue of concession. I don’t want it to be my personal opinion. We are going to listen to Nigerians; we are going to listen to stakeholders, we are going to listen to all aviators and we are going to listen to the ministry,” she said.
On the terminal building constructed by China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC), Onyejeocha expressed disappointment that with the slow pace of work, the December 2016 completion and delivery time may not be feasible.
“They (contractor) said they won’t be able to deliver by December but I want them to…understand that we took loan to build this and the Chinese government is not going to wait for us because agreements have been signed.
“So the repayment period will start when it will start unless they go back to the drawing board to renegotiate. You know we have three other terminals that we are hopeful would be delivered by December. So, what it simply means is that Lagos is lagging behind and we will take it seriously,” she said.