©Blackfriars LLP 2010. All rights reserved. This document is for general guidance only. Definitive adviceshould be sought from counsel if required. Blackfriars LLP is a Nigerian law firm with a representativeoffice in Toronto, Canada.
NIGERIA’s AVIATION INDUSTRYNEEDS RADICAL OVERHAUL ANDMODERNIZATION
September 2010 Vol. 23: Issue 6
The deplorable state of infrastructure at both the international and domesticairports in Nigeria has given rise to acall by all and sundry for an immediateradical revamp of the aviation industry.Last week, for a period of about twohours, passengers who arrived aboardvarious international flights through theMurtala Mohammed InternationalAirport(MMIA), Lagos were subjectedto the ordeal of waiting for many hoursfor their luggage on account of themalfunctioning of the conveyor belt. Inthe excruciating heat, passengers waitedfor hours to claim their luggage afterthey had disembarked from the aircraft.At the same airport a few days earlier,owing to power outage for about fourhours, flight activities were disrupted.Undoubtedly, a complete overhaul ofthe infrastructure at the nation’s airportsis imperative and long overdue.Most of the facilities at Nigeria’sairports are decades old and out oforder. The endemic corruption inNigeria is perhaps at the root of theinfrastructural decay evident at theairports. The airports collects hugerevenue from airlines, passengers, andsundry businesses operating within andaround the airports yet the airports arean eyesore. In fact, concessionaires suchas I-Cube West Africa, Maevis NigeriaLimited, Pan Express Services Nigeria,pay significant fees to the FederalAviation Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).For instance, the Federal AviationAuthority of Nigeria (FAAN) had in2008 engaged the services of I-CubeWest Africa to collect revenues fromusers of the access toll of the agreementthat the concessionaire would remitforty million naira (N
40, 000,000.00)monthly to its account. The agency hasadmitted that it cannot much impact because its responsibilities far outweighthe funds available to it, owing largelyto the indebtedness of most of itsconcessionaires. On their own part too,some of the concessionaires like PanExpress Services Nigeria have alsocredited their non-delivery to theindebtedness of the airlines. Assuming itis true as alleged that some of theconcessionaires or airlines are indebtedto the agency, it should disengage theirservices or withdraw their privileges, asthe case may be. Nothing compels theFAAN from further engaging theservices of the offending concessionairesin the light of their non-delivery.However, it must be noted that some ofthe concessionaires like I-Cube WestAfrica, has been remitting the monthlyamount agreed by the parties. It is thena case of priorities. In any event, the