The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), in a bid to optimise its revenue generation, as well as to reduce cost, is promoting cashless policy.
Capt. Rabiu Yadudu, the Managing Director, FAAN stated this during the week when the House Committee on Aviation visited the agency’s facilities at the Lagos Airport as part of its oversight function.
Yadudu noted that FAAN’s management had taken some critical steps to improve revenue generation and curb spending in recent months, assuring that the agency would continue in that stead.
Some of the steps taken according to Yadudu included the suspension of procurement of non- essential items, reduction in all staff related cost to the barest minimum and aggressive debt recovery drive, which he said was hampered by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Others according to him are plugging of revenue loopholes, cash and fly policy, promotion and enforcement of cashless policy and the continuous strengthening of Business and Operational Excellence by improving on people, processes, platforms and performances.
He added: In keeping with our vision and mission, we have strategically positioned ourselves to ensure that we have modern and up-to-date high-tech equipment and facilities that will aid better security, safety and comfort of all stakeholders.
“I will like to say that aviation business is a global, technical and highly regulated with huge infrastructure requirements; furthermore, it is necessary to reiterate that aviation business sis driven by volumes and turnaround with operating profit margin of between 2.5 per cent to 5 per cent. Without the required volumes and traffic, it will be difficult to breakeven.
“The aviation agencies will urgently need intervention fund from the Federal Government to address infrastructural gaps and position the industry for better service delivery and contribution to the national economy.”
Besides, Yadudu noted that the new terminal under construction by CCECC would be ready for use by next February.
According to him, the terminal would have been completed this December, but the emergence of Covid-19 pandemic slowed down its completion.
Recalled that the terminal was one of the four terminals the Federal Government embarked upon in 2013 with completion date set for 24 months.
The Chinese company had sourced about $500 million for the construction of the four new terminals in Lagos, Port Harcourt, Kano and Abuja with counterpart funding of $100 million by the Federal Government.
While some of the terminals had since been commissioned and currently used by airlines and passengers, the Lagos terminal was hampered due to some gaps noticed in the system, which had since been closed.
Also, Mr. Nnolim Nnaji, the Chairman, House Committee on Aviation, lauded FAAN for steps taken so far to improve services for airlines, air travellers and other users of the airports nationwide.
Nnaji, emphasised that there had been some improvements in the facilities at the airports in the last one year, despite the challenges of 2020 and charged the management of FAAN to invest more on safety and security infrastructure.
He said: “The worst we had was the Covid-19 pandemic. We are happy that the industry is coming back. As you can see, a lot of things were abandoned because of lots of things and now, contractors are coming back to site.
“Last year, we noticed that there was no connection between the old and the new terminal, but today, as you can see, they have done the connection. What the Managing Director of FAAN said is that by February 2021, they will open up the corridor for passengers to use. We are impressed with FAAN. Last year, there was no apron like this, but this year, we now have it. It goes to show that FAAN is working and moving forward. We are happy with FAAN and we are ready to support the industry to move forward.
“We as a committee advised FAAN that they must concentrate on critical infrastructure to save the industry. Safety and security are very key for the industry. In moving forward, most of the things that we will like to see in the budget would be something that are linked to security and safety like operational and perimeter fences, airfield lightings, runways and others. These are the things that will improve on safety and security of the industry.”
This is as the agency has assured that the new terminal at the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos, currently under construction by the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) would be commissioned by February 2021.