The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) Nigeria has said that the planned concession of the nation’s airports is a step in the right direction as it would create room of efficient and effective management of the sector.
The National Director, CILT Nigeria, Mr. Paul Ndibe who disclosed this in an interview with our correspondent in Lagos stated that it served nobody any good if there are airports in the country and there is no power to energize the cooling system as well as other sections of the airports.
On the resistance coming from some quarters, Ndibe recalled that the issue was that government in looking at the options available most times does not make it open for discussion adding that when things were shielded in that manner, people were prone to make comments that most times were not favourable.
According to him,” At a point in time, they concessioned the handling of baggage and all that and they are more efficient now. So, if they concession the operations, I mean the structure itself and we have good landing facilities and make everything work, why not? But the other thing is the charges they will now take will depend on the number of flights they handle.
“So, are you pegging the rate they will charge for the services they will provide for these airlines or not because if you don’t peg it and then have a structure for their tariff, then you are handing the economy over to them because whatever fee they will pay, they will now take it back from services they will offer and this will translate also to the charge they will raise on the users of the facilities”.
He however warned that government should be careful in concesioning the airports and set up a tariff that it would monitor closely so that the impact would not disrupt the stability the nation had achieved in the aviation sector.
“Currently, even the scarcity of aviation fuel is a problem and for that, people are being discouraged from taking flights. But if it is done in a way that more people will be attracted to the sector, that means that more flights will be flown and then activities will be increased and there will be value addition when you concession because the operators will have more business to do”, he stated.
It will be recalled that the Federal government recently earmarked 4 airports for concession to the private sector, a move that has generated tension in the sector with many people entertaining fears that the concession will come with it job loss for those employed in the sector, the fear which the Minister of State for Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika has since dismissed.
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