The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) is seeking a suspension of its 25 percent revenue contribution to the federation account in order to address infrastructure gaps.
Rabiu Yadudu, general manager of FAAN, made the appeal on Sunday in Lagos, during an oversight visit of the senate committee on aviation.
Yadudu explained that one way to ensure development in the aviation industry is to reduce the revenue contribution by agencies in the sector.
“I was happy when we went to Enugu and saw the improvements on the runway, and I want to also commend the minister of aviation for the rehabilitation of Enugu runway”
According to him, such reductions are in line with international standards and recommended practices.
Yadudu lamented accumulated debt by airlines to aviation agencies, particularly FAAN, adding that a particular airline owes N13 billion for services rendered.
“The industry is still having infrastructure gap to stabilise, therefore, government’s support in stabilising the industry is needed,” he said.
“This can be achieved by suspending the contributions to the federation account in compliance with ICAO standards and recommended practices (SARPs) doc 9562.
“This document on airport generation provides that revenue generated by the airport should be transparently re-invested wholly in operating and developing airport facilities.”
He said revenue generation was low as only two airports — Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) and Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA) — are responsible for a major part of the expenditure incurred by other airports.
He also decried the rising operating and maintenance cost of the new terminals and existing ones due to inflation and the devaluation of the naira.
Yadudu, however, added that the airport management had embarked on aggressive debt recovery while it had introduced a pay-as-you-go system, as well as a cashless policy.
In his remarks, Smart Adeyemi, chairman of the senate committee on aviation, said the request would require a constitutional review to be achieved.
Adeyemi also said there are other airports that need to undergo rehabilitation and refurbishment.
“I was happy when we went to Enugu and saw the improvements on the runway, and I want to also commend the minister of aviation for the rehabilitation of Enugu runway,” the lawmaker said.
“However, there are quite a lot of airports that we need to start looking at budget inclusion for next year, not this year.
“We will not wait till there is a mishap before we start looking at fixing the runways which are in bad shape. A number of them, since they were constructed, have not been touched and at times when you land in some of these airports, you don’t need to be a pilot to know that the plane will not maintain a balance.”