Aviation industry needs serious attention, says Bi-Courtney

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Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited, the operator of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos, has said the country’s aviation industry requires urgent attention from the government.

The firm, in a statement on Friday, said the Federal Government should, as a matter of urgency, look into issues of Public-Private Partnership towards the provision of infrastructure in the industry.

According to the BASL, the PPP model has worked in the development of sectors such as energy, mining, transport and telecommunication in other countries.

It added, “It would take more than words to achieve a PPP that works; and it is only when such collaborations work that a country can enjoy the benefits. The advantage of a PPP is that the management skills and financial acumen of private businesses can create better values for money for taxpayers when proper cooperative arrangements between the public and private sectors are used.

“However, in Nigeria, there is apathy towards the practical operation of this model stemming from the attitude of the government, lack of investor security, lack of respect for the sanctity of contracts and the rule of law. Under this scenario, the case involving Bi-Courtney Limited, operators of the MMA2 airport terminal, is certainly not a good poster for the country.”

BASL noted that despite developing the MMA2 terminal to make it easy for the travelling public to get better service than any other airport in the country, the terms of the PPP, which brought the firm in, had continually failed to encourage more of such developments.

The firm said the only way for development to happen in the country was to attract the private sector to play a critical part in the journey.

It said the government, through its agencies, needed to encourage the investors by honouring binding contracts and agreements.

The firm said, “There have been ongoing engagements and sensitisation by officials of the same government on development, transformation, collaboration, among others, on the need to give PPP a chance since government alone can no longer shoulder the responsibility of providing all necessary critical infrastructure for the country at large.

“But how best do you convince serious-minded investors about the PPP arrangement when local investors are being treated as unwanted partners when relevant agencies, which are to create the enabling environment for genuine private sector participation in the infrastructure development of the nation’s aviation sector, across all levels, routinely breach binding agreements and contracts with sheer impunity and pay lip service to the ease of doing business in Nigeria.”

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