Africa: AMCON at NTM urge Nigeria to concession Airports

The Asset Management of Nigeria (AMCON), has called on the Federal Government to concession the country’s 22 airports to make them more functional and viable.

The Managing Director Asset Management of Nigeria, Ahmed Lawan Kuru who at the third edition of Colloquium 2018 organised by Nigeria Travels mart.com, said it is in the interest of the nation and the aviation industry that the airport are conessioned adding that everywhere in the world airports are managed by the private sector.

Kuru who spoke on the theme: “Corporate Governance and Airline Industry Development in Nigeria”, at the event urged the government to concession the airports to private investor to improve their functionality in the sector, adding that the process of handing the airports to would be investors should be made transparent.

He advised agitators opposing the idea of concessioning the country’s airports that it is not in the nation’s interest that the airports are left in its present state noting that the country and the industry will be the better for it when the airports are concessioned.

He stated that Lagos is strategically positioned to be the African hub, linking the Americans and the rest of the world, noting that no investors would want to come to the country if the environment is not conducive to invest in.

He said: “For regular travellers, I am sure they are aware of the state of the airports, from the toilets to the jet bridge, it is rather pathetic. This why some of us cannot understand why we have issues with concessioning our airports. We have proven that we cannot manage even our toilets. It is common practices all over the world that airports are privately managed. We should not spend our energy on who owns the concession company as long as our airports are managed according to global best practises. Lagos is strategically positioned to be the African hub, linking the Americans and the rest of the world.”

Earlier in address convener of the event Simon Tumba, urged the government to toe the part of concessioning the airport noted that it give Nigerian an edge and hopefully catapult the country to the needed growth in the sector.

He said: “Our choice for this conference is pertinent, having personally watched development in this sector for over 29 years. Generally, corporate governance in most private enterprise in Nigeria is weak. But the airlines in Nigeria are quite worrisome. We believe it is a major contributing factor to the dwindling fortunes of the industry of its stunted growth or lack of it. We have observed for some time how strong airlines in Nigeria have almost vanished due to lack of financial discipline.

We strongly believe that we have the potential to have a very vibrant airline industry all we need is to be consistent in our policies, be more innovative and creative with strong regards to corporate governance. We believe the government should give more priority to the issue of airport concessioning. This will give Nigerian an edge and hopefully catapult us to the needed growth in this sector. It is very important that this is executed in a very transparent manner with full support of the workers in the industry.”

by Friday Nwosu

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