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Airport concession: Disquiet over petition against 3 bidders

The ongoing process of airport concession by the federal government may be stalled following a petition to the Ministry of Aviation challenging the qualification of…

The ongoing process of airport concession by the federal government may be stalled following a petition to the Ministry of Aviation challenging the qualification of three bidders.

Foremost Human rights lawyer, Mr Femi Falana in a petition asked the Minister, Senator Hadi Sirika and the Director-General, Infrastructure Concession and Regulatory Commission (ICRC) to disqualify three bidders for the concession of the four major airports in the country.

Falana alleged that the three bidders have violated the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (Est.) Act 2005 and the National Policy on Public-Private Partnership (N4P).

The three bidders are TAV Consortium, GMR Consortium, and Airport De Paris (ADP).

The petition signed by Mr Femi Falana (SAN), was dated November 3, 2021, with the title, “Request to Disqualify TAV Consortium, GMR Consortium, and ADP”.

The petition read: “Our attention has been drawn to the public notice published by the Ministry of Aviation sometime in August 2021 wherein Requests for Qualification (RFO) were invited for the Concession of four Airport Terminals in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Kano in accordance with the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (Est.) Act 2005 and The National Policy on Public-Private Partnership (N4P).”

Falana in the letter stated that his law firm had confirmed that two consortia owned by ADP submitted an expression of interest and that the first consortium led by TAV Airport Holding, ADP owns 49% and the Second submission done by GMR Airports Limited, ADP owns 46%.

“It is pertinent to note that it is expressly stated in Section 2.2 of the RFQ that no applicant single or a consortium can be part of more than one bid. Section 2.2.3 is further clarifying that the eligibility shall apply to an applicant and/or to the parties consisting of the applicant i.e shareholders”.

Daily Trust reports that the Federal Government recently closed submission of requests for qualifications while the bid opening event was done last Wednesday with only the bidders invited.

During the meeting of the Bid Evaluation Committee, all bids received in physical format as per the RFQ requirements were expected to “Be opened, announced and subsequently taken for detailed review by the committee.”

Director of Information in the Ministry, Mr James Odaudu who spoke with Daily Trust yesterday said he was not sure if the petition by Falana had gotten to the Ministry.

“I cannot confirm if his petition has reached the ministry. Secondly, the ministry did not release the list of those who submitted bids. So I don’t know where Falana got his information from. And thirdly, if it is confirmed that his petition has reached the ministry, of course, the relevant office would respond to it,” he said.

Efforts to get the reaction of the affected companies were unsuccessful. A separate enquiry sent to each of them was not replied at the time of filing this report 24 hours after.