And for umpteenth time, minister has promised that there will be no job losses and if there will be any, concession will be halted.
Sirika, who was speaking at the Airport Business Summit in Lagos said, starting June 2021, the ministry will advertise and request for qualifications from bidders.
He assured that the bidders will be requested to demonstrate their competence, the financial and management capacity to handle the concession.
According to him, everything that will be done will transparent and in the best interest of Nigerians and due diligence will be done throughout the entire process.
Sirika said, the concession was not selling off the assets of Nigerians but rather a loan to make the airports better and business oriented to compete with other airports in the world.
“We are not going to sell because those that were sold were lost, so we in government believe that we should hold those assets for the Nigerian people in trust. But we must make those assets better to provide the service that is needed. So, we said rather than sell outrightly, we will concession. In other words, we would give it up to someone who would operate them, make them better and we get more money and the people will also enjoy better service and the industry grows and after certain time, it comes back to us. So, the decision has been made by government that we are not selling any asset any more and that we would do concession and get it back under certain condition”.
He said the proposal will be presented to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) in February 2022.
“We have a government that came in and is popularly elected and re-elected because we were able to offer something different and we understand that the committee on privatization of government entities.We in APC, which is the current government and the party in power do not believe that we will begin to sell the assets that belong to the 200 million people and the future generation of this country”.
Sirika stated that, everything about the concession process had been outlined in the business case and warned mischief makers to stop causing confusion where there is none, adding that they have engaged the best hands as consultants.
According to him, about 4 stakeholders engagement have been held to educate people on concession, its viability and benefits to Nigerians yet some stakeholders were not willing to accept that the concession is the way to go.
For transparency, Sirika said, he involved Labour which is not part of the law but just to show to all stakeholders that they had nothing to hide.
He said, “Once the concession happen, there will be no job loss. If we employ you and give you letter, it means you are qualified and equipped and therefore you will continue to be a FAAN staff, there will be no single job loss and as a matter of fact, we will be needing more hands”.