By Okechukwu Nnodim
The Federal Government on Friday said it had commenced the Request for Proposals stage for the concession of Nigeria’s four major international airports in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Kano.
It said the move was in line with the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (establishment, etc.) Act, 2005, as it informed all stakeholders, local, international and development partners that the Request for Proposals phase of the Nigeria Airport Concessions Programme commenced on June 1, 2022.
The Special Assistant on Public Affairs to the Minister of Aviation, James Odaudu, said in a statement issued in Abuja that shortlisted bidders had since been notified in writing and via the transaction portal, adding that the stage would close in September.
The statement read in part, “The RFP stage of the programme will close on September 5, 2022. All shortlisted bidders are thus encouraged to ensure that they make their submissions in a timely manner and as per the detailed guidelines included in the bidders’ package.”
It stated that the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, expressed confidence in driving a transparent concession programme to the competition before the end of the year.
Sirika was quoted as saying, “We are delighted to inform all stakeholders and indeed, all Nigerians, that a critical milestone in this programme has now been reached.
“We anticipate that the programme, including the final negotiations stage, will be concluded before the end of the year, thereby allowing for the affected assets to be handed over to the absolute best private sector operators well before this administration hands over to a new, duly elected government.”
Odaudu said a bidders’ conference, hosted by the Federal Ministry of Aviation and the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission – the substantive regulator for all infrastructure concessions in Nigeria, took place on June 20, 2022 in Abuja.
He said the conference marked a critical milestone in the process of concession Nigeria’s four international airports and associated assets, comprised specifically of passenger and cargo terminals.
“Delegates of preferred bidders flew into Nigeria from no fewer than four countries, with the majority joining online via the NACP’s virtual conferencing facility,” the minister’s aide stated.
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Aviation, Abel Enitan, in his address at the conference, was quoted as saying, “We are delighted to see this level of genuine interest in Nigeria’s infrastructure concession programmes and in particular this airports’ concession programme.
“As the global aviation industry recovers, this level of interest Nigeria enjoys from emerging market investors is testament to the sheer scale of opportunity Nigeria offers long-term investors who share a positive vision of the nation’s future.
“We wish all bidders well as they conduct their own due diligence and prepare competitive bids for the various assets.”