Resolving MMA2 regional flight operations conundrum

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In a clime where the dearth of public infrastructure, engendered by inconsistent government policies is endemic, it is preposterous for the Nigerian economy to blossom. Nigeria, blessed with abundant human and material resources, has, unfortunately, fallen into the deep valley of decaying infrastructure; a situation which has created an unimaginable gap. Unbelievably, no sector of the country’s economy, including the aviation industry, is spared in this infrastructure dryness. Although the current administration of President Bola Tinubu is introducing all kinds of well-thought-out reforms to close the infrastructure gap, bringing the hope of a better tomorrow, there is a need for it to maximise the yet-to-be-neglected facilities in public space for a secure future for the country.

For instance, one of such public utilities under the management of a private operator, which is still standing strong today, 17 years after it was opened for public use, is the Murtala Muhammed Airport Terminal Two, Lagos, a Public-Private Partnership initiative. However, a section of the facility is craving for maximum utilisation for the purpose for which it was built.

According to David Walliams, “All human life can be found in an airport.” Ironically, the reverse has been the case in the section marked out for regional flight operations at MMA2, operated by Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited. The facilities earlier procured in readiness for intending passengers to routes in the West African sub-region have now been covered, regrettably, by cobwebs: a sad reminder of the way past administrations handled the issues of private investments that could wake up the slumbering economy with levity.

I was on my way to catch a flight to Port Harcourt recently and had to arrive at the airport terminal on time to do some little tasks here and there. My movement around the terminal before my flight showed me a sight I could not behold for long. Despite the fact that I use this terminal frequently, I never knew that such facilities were available in readiness for regional flight operations there. With this, one could conclusively say that the dilemma of Bi-Courtney over its inability to put all the facilities it acquired for regional flight operations to use is a testament to what many private investors face in Nigeria’s wobbling economy and this is scary. It is one of the reasons many foreign investors are leaving the country in droves, leading to job losses.

Realistically, the behaviour of any private investor is in consonance with the admonition of a serial investor, Phil Town, who says, “When it comes to investing, we want our money to grow with the highest rates of return, and the lowest risk possible. While there are no shortcuts to getting rich, there are smart ways to go about it.”


Since the government is a continuum, the approval Bi-Courtney said was granted it for regional flight operations since 2014 must not be frustrated under whatever guise because many Nigerians work in this firm. Bi-Courtney said the approval was halted under the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan after the operator had invested over N600 million to provide all the necessary facilities that could make for seamless and effective coordination and operation of regional flights from the terminal.

It further added that the Ministerial Committee on Airport Security, in 2016, certified MMA2 fit for the commencement of regional flight operations after it revealed that it had invested the money for the purpose in 2014 by providing the required facilities and is yet to recoup a dime from its investment. This is very disheartening!

The government must do all it can to support private investors to grow the economy. It must embrace policy alignment to attract the much-needed Foreign Direct Investment to enhance economic growth and stability. This is the only way Nigeria can pull out its economy from the gorge it has slipped into.


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