The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) says it has jettisoned the plan to suspend fire fighting and security services it provides at the Gombe, Birnin Kebbi, Bebi, and Osubi Airports following the decision of the management of the airports to enter into negotiations on how to repay debts estimated at about N716million to FAAN.
Spokeswoman for FAAN, Mrs. Henrietta Yakubu told aviation correspondents that negotiations have commenced between FAAN and the management of the airports on the debt repayment plans to enable passenger facilitation and smooth flight operations during the yuletide.
“The affected airports are ready for negotiation and because people will go through hardship as a result of service withdrawal owing to surge in travelling at this period of the year, we have commenced negotiations with them to deal with the issues,” she said.
However, Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited (BASL), operators of the domestic wing of Murtala Muhammed Airport Terminal Two (MMA2), Ikeja, Lagos, says it is not indebted to FAAN.
The MMA2 was also listed as one of the airports that FAAN planned to withdraw their services from on the midnight of December 10, 2018.
Spokesperson for BASL, Ayotunde Osowe in a statement said the company acknowledged that FAAN had threatened to withdraw its personnel from MMA2 due to alleged indebtedness to the tune of N1, 943billion.
Said Osowe, “in a letter dated October 30, 2018 to BASL pertaining to outstanding personnel costs for FAAN staff deployed to MMA2, demanding Bi-Courtney to pay for the provision of the aviation security, rescue and fire fighting services as invoiced by FAAN among other charges or face withdrawing its personnel.
“This was formally responded to in a letter addressed to FAAN reiterating BASL’s stance on the demands for payments of purported outstanding liabilities. We have consistently brought it to your notice that we have a judgment credit of N132, 540,580,304.00 (one hundred thirty-two billion, five hundred forty million, five hundred eighty thousand, three hundred four Naira) since March 3, 2009.
This credit arose directly from the non-implementation of the Concession Agreement by the appropriate authorities.
The Courts have consistently ordered that any liability we have to FAAN or any federal government agency should be deducted from this amount”.
“Despite the receipt of BASL’s response, FAAN have flagrantly disregarded several Court Orders including the most recent with reference Suit Number – FHC/ABJ/CS/1422/18/ issued on Wednesday, the 28th of November 2018 pertaining to this matter, duly served to FAAN, ordering that “the status quo be maintained and that nothing that may disrupt and / or hinder the operation of the Airport should be done pending the hearing and determination of the Motion on Notice,” the BASL statement added.