The House of Representatives Committee on Aviation has kicked against the planned concessioning of airports by the Federal Government.
The committee suggested that it will have an adverse effect on the economy and also advised President Muhammadu Buhari to ignore calls to sell some national assets in the face of the economic recession.
Chairman of the committee Nkeiruka Onyejeocha argued that selling such assets was not the way to solve the country’s current problem.
According to her, the current economic recession , if not checked, poses a great risk to the job security of over 400 pilots, including expatriates, 1,200 crew members and more than 1,000 travel agencies, in addition to harming the nation’s economy.
“The proposed privatisation/concession is done without recourse to the provisions of the extant Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria Act, which at the moment, has attracted over 60 cases of litigations pending in various courts of law, arising from the shady nature of the deals and arrangements,” she said.
The committee chairman further explained that the sector contributed $0.7 billion (N137.9 billion) in 2014 and $685 million in 2015 as well as a total of 159,000 jobs across the aviation sector and its value-chain.
“The sector has a projected investment of $12 billion in the short and medium term that would lead to passengers’ growth between 12 and 25 million by 2018,” she said.
“The current economic recession in Nigeria is having its toll on the sector, especially the operations of domestic airlines. In the last two weeks, some domestic airline operators suspended flights,” she added.