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MMA2 remains standing at five, as operator laments disputes over concession agreement
By Segun Adeleye
May 30, 2012 18:07:09pm GMT | Views: 21 | Watch Video
L-R: Adebisi Awoniyi, Chief Operating Officer (COO) Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited (BASL); Chief Kola Akinlami, Vice Chairman, Bi-Courtney; Dr Wale Babalakin, Chairman, Bi-Courtney and Yosola Popoola, Chairman Organising Committee of Murtala Muhammed Airport Terminal Two (MMA2) at Five, during a press conference on the flag off of the anniversary at MMA2 on May 30, 2012.

Lagos (WorldStage Newsonline)-- It was quite a challenging effort at sustaining the dream of the Murtala Muhammed Airport Terminal Two (MMA2), Ikeja, Lagos, according to Dr Wale Babalakin, Chairman, Bi-Courtney Limited, the operators of the facility, which flags off its fifth year anniversary on Wednesday.

Speaking at a press conference as part of activities to mark the anniversary in Lagos, Babalakin said though the company was on its feet, “according to the law”, at five, but a lot would have been accomplished if the parties to the concession agreements that brought about the project, complied with them.

To sustain the project up till now, he said the owners had subsidised it with about N12 billion over the years.

Since the commission of the MMA2 in 2007, the operators had run into some hurdles which include the inability to take possession of the old domestic terminal where Arik Air is currently operating from, a development that cut off a major source of revenue.

Babalakin, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) said the project suffered a set back over the years with almost half of the land embarked for a four-star hotel taken away. Moreover, he said the concession agreement of 36 years signed with government had provision for the expansion of the terminal and other facilities by the operators if the need arise, and that any development of another domestic airport terminal in Lagos outside the operation of MMA2 operator, would be in violation of the agreement.

He identified the problem facing Nigeria as Nigerian itself, saying it's all about ignorance, deliberate refusal to understand agreement and unnecessary malice.

He said, despite that the disagreements on the concession of the domestic airport were resolved at a meeting where the late President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua was present, some people still refused to comply with what was agreed on.

Besides the hotel aspect of the project which would have been completed if they had not faced the challenges, he said there were yet to fulfilled plans to upgrade the independent power project powering the facility from 1.5mega watt to 5MW, link up the airport with rail system, among others.

On the way forward, he said things were getting better as the company had remained on its feet, even when at certain time cash flow was not there.

The Public Relations Officer of BASL, Steve Omolale-Ajulo, said that the firm is marking the fifth year anniversary as a celebration of the revolution it brought to flight operations through the state-of-the-art terminal.

He said, “The celebration is necessary because MMA2 is the first successful Public-Private Partnership (PPP) in the country. With the pioneering initiative, the terminal has become the bench-mark for other airports in the country.”

BASL was established as a subsidiary of Bi-Courtney Limited in 2007 with the objective of managing the new MMA2 which was opened in April 2007 after Murtala Muhammed Airport Terminal One was razed by fire in May 2000.

MMA2 was built through a public-private partnership (PPP) between the Federal Government of Nigeria and Bi-Courtney Limited on a Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) basis. Under this model, the private sector investor is granted a concession to build the airport through privately sourced funds and operate the facility for 36 years, after which it will be transferred to the government.

The project include building the airport terminal, a multi-story car park, an apron, a four-star hotel and a conference centre.

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