By Dayo Adu

The Southwest Development Stakeholders Forum, SWDSF, has cautioned against the planned concession of the nation’s airports before the May 29 inauguration of the new administration.

The forum stated that hastening the handover of the airports to private Investors without recourse to due process would plunge the growing aviation sector into industrial disharmony.

In a statement signed by the SWDSF Spokesman, Mr Olalekan Ajia, the forum recalled that the four major airports were concessioned by the Federal Executive Council in 2016 but were marred with controversy bothering on its transparency which it said had yielded unremarkable economic impact.

“We are informed that in 2016, the Federal Executive Council decided to concession four major commercial airports; Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja; Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos; Malam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano, and the Port Harcourt International Airport, ostensibly to attract external or local funding from investors.”

“There are claims that this concession, if it had been handled with transparency, and with due diligence, would have resulted in efficient service delivery, deployment of state-of-the-art terminals, and technology-based facilities from the new investors’ funds and expertise. But there has been a huge controversy surrounding the whole exercise, with key stakeholders labelling it as self-serving and not in the interest of Nigerians. Key stakeholders allege that some of the bidders are mere fronts for some highly placed individuals camouflaging as investors to rip the country off as their own takeaway gifts from the already prostrate Nigerian economy.”

The SWDSF, therefore, urged the Federal Ministry of Aviation to pend the concession process to allow the incoming administration to make input and affect its planned programs on the aviation industry of Nigeria for optimum performance.

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