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$500m Chinese Debt Sparks Confusion In Airport Concession

Federal Government of Nigeria’s plan to concession airports has run into difficulties over an existing debt and pact with China to build four new terminals at the cost of $500 million.

The “concession within concession”, according to the coalition of aviation workers’ unions, is untidy and not in the best interest of the country. Hence, this among other concerns regarding the airport concessioning should first be resolved.

A group of former Managing Directors and Directors of Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) warned against a Mezzanine Clause in all Chinese sponsored projects, adding that any contravention of agreement with China on the $500m loan for the construction of the new terminal buildings may lead to invocation of the clause.

In reaction to these concerns, the House of Representatives has set up a sub-committee to interface with the Ministry of Aviation, the financial adviser (FAD) and the project delivery team (PDT) on the proposed airports concessioning. The sub-committee is to review the reports of the FAD and the PDT, which according to the House Committee on Aviation chairman, Nnolim Nnaji, fell below expectations.

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