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FAAN faults Senate committee on airports remodeling debt

By The Rainbow
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The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has faulted the figure released by the Senate Committee on Aviation as to the actual debts incurred by the Federal Ministry of Aviation from the remodeling of the airports projects across.

FAAN, which is the agency directly responsible for for the execution of the projects, put the figure at N148 billion  as against N174 billion as announced by the committee.

According to the General Manager, Public Affairs, FAAN, Mr. Yakubu Dati,  the rehabilitation, expansion and restructuring of airport terminals, the building of 14 new cargo terminals, provision of equipment for the Accident Investigation Bureau, AIB, and the Nigeria Meteorological Agency, NIMET, which was embarked on by the Federal Government in 2011 was in full consult and agreement by Ministry of Finance, Central Bank of Nigeria, and the Senate Committee on Aviation.

Dati said, “The projects were divided into three phases and the contract value of phase one is N12.81 billion. Total amount already paid is N11.22 billion, with an outstanding balance of N1.58 billion. The contract value of phase two of the projects is put at N93.43 billion, while the total amount disbursed to the contractors is N53.97 billion leaving a balance of N39.50 billion.

”The third phase of the projects which is still at infant stage has contract value of N63.02 billion, while total amount paid is N4.21 billion and outstanding payments in this phase is N58.81 billion.

“The sub-total of the debts, therefore ,is N99.85 billion, which when added to the debts already approved by the Federal Executive Council, FEC, at N48.37 billion brings total outstanding debts to   N148.23 billion.“

This amount from FAAN differs from the N174 billion that was declared by the Senate Committee on aviation by about N26 billion.

According to the agency, the former Minister of Aviation  Princess Stella Oduah worked in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance, the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, and with the consent and endorsement of the Senate and House Committees on Aviation in making fiscal provisions for the funding of these projects, which were later abandoned by the Ministry of Aviation, hence the accrual of the debts.

Datti explained, “ The projects were being funded from three sources: accruals from the Bilateral Air Service Agreement, BASA, appropriations and internally generated revenue and this year there was plan to introduce other sources of funding which include airport development levy and security surcharge.”

“Funding came from approval for Presidential priority projects on February 21, 2011 for the utilisation of the sum of $60 million in the BASA fund. This was submitted to the National Assembly for appropriation to be supplemented by a further 14.6 billion Naira from the internally generated revenue, IGR, of FAAN.”