Monday 22 October 2012

GAT does not belong to Bi-Courtney- Ministry

By Joe Obi, SA (Media) to Minister of Aviation

Information at our disposal indicates that Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Ltd, the Concessionaire to MM2, apparently threatened by the imminent opening of the newly reconstructed and re-modelled GAT, Lagos is mounting a media campaign in an attempt to blur or diminish the unprecedented achievement of Aviation Minister, Princess Stella Adaeze Oduah in giving Nigerian airports a major face-lift and dignified ambience.

To be sure, the area where GAT is located has never been part of the area concessioned to Bi-Courtney Ltd. The agreement with Bi-courtney has a Survey Plan clearly marked in Square meters and the area of the GAT was never contemplated to be part of the area leased to Bi-Courtney.

Nigerians can vividly recall the dilapidated and decrepit state of the nation's airports, including GAT prior to the assumption of office of the current Minister. Today 11 airports, including the GAT are an elegant testimony of the desire and determination of the current Minister to give Nigerians what they truly deserve-airports of their dreams that compare to any such facility anywhere around the world. It is inconceivable that anyone would not only contemplate, but also hold fast to the jaundiced belief that a nation as big and great as Nigeria ought not to progress beyond having a terminal like MM2.

Regarding allegations that there are subsisting court orders restraining anybody, including FAAN which is the Landlord of all Federal airports in Nigeria from further development of the GAT, we need to stress that the cases are still on-going. In fact, our case is currently before the Supreme Court, challenging the Orders being referred to mainly, but not limited to the fact that in several of these cases, FAAN, as a principal interested party was never fully represented. 

Most of the cases and attempts at arbitration were conducted without the full incorporation and participation of FAAN. Those behind Bi-Courtney, relying on their privileged positions and closeness to the corridors of power at the time conspired to leave out FAAN in most of the adjudication and arbitration processes.
Perhaps it is pertinent to emphasise the point that most of the Concession and Lease Agreements in the aviation sector prior to the coming on board of the present Minister were heavily skewed against the national and public interest.
The review and cancellations of some of these agreement is therefore done in the overriding public and national interest. The interest of an individual investor or Corporate entity cannot be allowed to override the public good.


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