The Senate, on Thursday, began a probe into all the federal airports put up for concession by former President Muhammadu Buhari’s government.

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The red chamber condemned the process adopted and declared that the exercise was not done in public interest.

It therefore demanded a comprehensive review of the exercise which was carried out at the twilight of the Buhari administration.
Senators in their various contributions, lamented the lack of adequate involvement of critical stakeholders in the process that led to the concession of the two major airports. 

The Senate took the decision after a robust deliberation on a motion titled ‘Urgent Need to Reverse the Concessioning of Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano’, sponsored by Senator Suleiman Kawu Sumaila (Kano South).

The lawmakers urged President Bola Tinubu to, if need be, review the entire exercise and give a level playing fleld to all stakeholders.

Senators in their various contributions to the debate described the concession as a reflection of executive recklessness.

They were unanimous in their condemnation of the entire exercise and insisted that the Buhari administration did not do due diligence in the concession deal. 

The Senate Chief Whip, Ali Ndume, who is representing Borno South Senatorial District, said: “Some of government agencies and officials that did the concession took advantage of  Buhari’s passiveness at that time.”

The senator representing Niger East, Sani Musa, noted that concession has become an international best practice.

He, however, said those who carried out the exercise threw global process of concession into the gutters.

The Deputy Senate President, Jibrin Barau, who presided over the plenary, noted that concession remained the best practice all over the world.

He said major airports in Europe have been concessioned including the Heathrow Airport in the United Kingdom which is being managed by a Nigerian. 

He maintained that there should be an overall investigation of concessions done.

Moving his motion earlier, Kawu said that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) on 17th May, 2023, approved the concessioning of Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano for 30 years, to Messrs Corporacion America Airports Consortium.

He noted that the Federal Ministry of Aviation (and Aerospace) does not own, or run any airport in Nigeria.
He said that by the dictates of the governing Act of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), ownership and management of all federal government airports are fully vested in the authority.