The Delta State government has concessioned the Asaba International Airport to a private company. The agreement, signed on Tuesday, is for an initial period of thirty years.
Plans for the concessioning of the airport to the private sector to manage started five years ago when the administration of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa set up a Project Steering Committee with the mandate to shop for a consortium of concessionaire operators/investors with the technical and financial capabilities to redevelop, finance, design, operate, maintain and manage the facility.
Okowa, at the ceremony held at the airport, said the state government chose concession as the most viable option for the airport to be run more professionally, efficiently, and profitably for the overall good of the state.
According to him, after a thorough and rigorous review and analysis of the bids by a separate committee, the First Investment/Menzes Consortium was the preferred bidder, having provided the demonstrable capacity to meet all the requirements of the Master Plan while also outlining their financial commitment and injection of new investments.
The governor said it was their duty to manage the airport and develop the various strategic business units in the form of; Cargo Business and the development of the Cargo Terminal, Development of the Logistics Hub and Cargo Warehouses, operation and management of the Tank Farm, and development and management of the Business Park.
Others include development and management of the hotel and convention centre, aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility among others.
The governor stated that the Concessionaire shall be exempted from the payment of some specific taxes to the state for a period of five years, to enable it to concentrate on the development of the mandatory capital projects.
The company is expected to pay an annual fee of One hundred-million-naira each year during the concession period, as well as an upfront fee of N1billion only on or before the close of business on the 15th day following the signing of this agreement to the state government.