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Economy - Development

Nigeria's Abuja airport tendered for sale

afrol News, 13 November - It is confirmed that the Nigerian Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) today tendered the Nmadi Azikwe International Airport in the federal capital Abuja for sale, despite protests from stakeholders in the aviation industry.

The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) currently manages Abuja Airport alongside other 21 airports in Nigeria. But Abuja Airport is the fourth biggest income earner for FAAN after those in Lagos, Port Harcourt and Kano.

BPE has been advised by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) of the World Bank Group to take the move.

At 9:00am today, bids opened at the BPE conference room. The three shortlisted investors - Airport Company of South Africa (ACSA), Airport Consortium of Vienna, which is the lead company of Nigeria International Airport Partners and Nairanet Consortium - earlier in June this year undertook a data room inspection of the airport facility from where the ill-fated ADC aircraft, which crashed shortly after take-off three weeks ago heading for Sokoto originated.

'The Guardian' reported that owing to its inability to meet a financial deadline of 10 percent bid bon, one of bidders withdrew and team up with another bidder to form a strong consortium.

The Nigerian Minister of Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), Malam Nasir Ahmed el-Rufai, had informed concessionaires to take full advantage of the great business opportunities offered by its facilities and location in the fast growing Federal Capital Territory and present attractive technical and financial bids.

He said going by the FCT Act, the airport belongs to the FCT. He therefore said registered his support for the privatisation efforts of the BPE. Minister el-Rufai also assured the bidders of his resolve to assist in clearing all obstacles to the concession of the airport.

According to the Minister, the Abuja Airport is designed to have 10 terminals and is located in the middle of Nigeria, making it a convenient gateway to any part of the nation, which makes it a good investment.

He promised to give the bidders necessary information including the title documents, which are vested in the FCT, adding that work is progressing fast on the environmental audit and assets register of the airport. "Illegal squatters will be removed from the precinct of the airport whose large perimeter will be secured and fenced," he said.

Named after Nigeria's first President, Nmadi Azikwe, Abuja Airport has international operators such as British Airways, KLM Dutch airlines and Lufthansa German airline flying into the airport.

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