Nigerian government approves plans to concession two airports

In this Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2016 photo, Nigeria air force special unit simulate during a counter- terrorism exercise, at the departure hall of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos, Nigeria. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)

Nigeria’s federal executive council has approved plans to concession two of the country’s vital airports. Vice president Yemi Osinbajo says plans for divesting Abuja international airport and Lagos international airports have been approved and the search for a competent private investor to takeover is underway.

Both airports, Nnamdi Azikiwe International airport and Murtala Mohammed International Airport, are owned and managed by the federal government but it is now seeking private entities to run them.

The plan is to make the facilities competitive – an idea that president Buhari has been toying with for more than a year.

Under the plan the government would simply own shares while private entities are expected to invest and manage the assets for an agreed period.

“We need to concession those airports. Fortunately the Federal Executive Council has approved to concession the Lagos airport, Abuja, and kaduna,” Vice President Yemi Osinbajo told CGTN.

“So we need to put this through an open transparent process so we get the best companies in the world to come and take a look at it. And Obviously this is a very attractive proposition for many.”

The government recently hired a consultant to assess the pros and cons of divesting the airport and findings favored private management.

Some of Nigeria’s airports have been rated among the worst in the world.

Most have run for decades without maintenance.

Although Abuja airport is still under going a face-lift the government wants to let go before poor management that have trailed government assets sets in.