Delta APC Knocks Gov Okowa, Says Concession Biggest Fraud
From Tony Ogbochie, Asaba
Delta State Government said over N80 billion would be realised as revenue in the next 30 years from private investors who won the concession bid of Asaba Airport.
The stage government recently signed a concession agreement with a private entity, First Investment/Menzes Consortium, for period of 30 years.
But the main opposition political party in the state, All Progressive Congress (APC) said the concession was done in bad faith, saying that the expected dividends were too meagre compared to what was invested into the development of the airport.
Publicity secretary of APC of APC in the state, Sylvester Imonina, in a statement, alleged that the airport was given to cronies to manage, and return a paltry some of about N4 billion in 30 years.
However, Senior Policy Adviser to the state government, Prof. Sylvester Monye faulted the opposition party, saying that there were three main components in the concession agreement in terms of dividends to the state.
Monye also said the bidding processes were transparently and openly done for all interested bidders to participate, adding that the eventual winners posses the requisite expertise to operate the airport.
He said for a start, the investors would give the state N1 billion as signature bonus, adding that for the 30 years, N43.4 billion would accrue to the state as royalty, which is 2.5% of the annual total earnings of the concessionaire.
“In addition, they will be also give us investment in assets, hotels, cargo terminal, private jet terminal, logistics centre as the upgrade of the airport to the tune of N28 billion within this period.
“They will give us N100 million every year for 30 years, escalating by 10% every five years. So on the whole, the state will be getting about N80 billion,” he added.
Monye stated that the figures were arrived at following feasibility study and the projections of the investors.
He explained that before the agreement was signed, the airport was a drain pipe to the state, saying that the revenue was less than 25% of running cost.
YOU MAY ALSO READ: OPINION: A Time To Remember Gogorogo (Pius Ewherido)
Besides, he said the state was indebted to the Nigeria Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) to the tune of over N70 million; Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NiMET) to the tune of N70 million; and the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) to the tune of about N67 million.
“All these costs and liabilities will be wiped out. In otherwords we would gain massively which is the small part of the transaction for me.
“The big part is that by the nature of this arrangement, we are creating an airport city without putting a dime.
“At the end of 30 years, everything that has been invested would be handed over back to the state bigger and better,” he stressed.
Commissioner for Information, Charles Aniagwu on his part, said the concession would facilitate upgrade of the airport to world class standard.
Aniagwu expressed confidence that the concessionaire would effectively and efficiently manage the airport.
He emphasised that the process leading to the concession was transparently and objectively done in the overall interest of the state as it would impact positively on its economy.