Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited (BASL), operator of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos Terminal 2, has said that the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) owes the company over N200 billion, as it faulted the claims of the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika.
Sirika had said that the ministry would begin to intensify its efforts to recover over N37 billion owed by airlines in the country and cited Bi-Courtney Limited as owing about N13 billion.
This was disclosed by Bi-Courtney through a statement signed by its spokesman, Mikail Mumuni.
The company stated, “On the contrary, it is FAAN that owes Bi-Courtney over N200 billion by depriving it of its legitimate earnings over the past 14 years.”
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According to the spokesperson, FAAN had been competing with BASL in running the domestic terminal through the opening and operating of the General Aviation Terminal, which is a flagrant breach of the concession agreement.
He further said the N14 billion debt mentioned by the Minister was not consistent with the demands of FAAN.
“BASL in line with the dispute resolution process contained in the agreement had an arbitration award in its favour. It also got the judgement of a High Court, six Court of Appeal judgements and a Supreme Court judgement, all in its favour and sustained the monetary award.
The N14 billion debt mentioned by the Minister is totally inconsistent with the demand by FAAN, the body which has been liaising with BASL. Their last demand was about N1 bn, which was promptly responded to by BASL stating categorically that there was no such debt,” it added.
The spokesman added that BASL was a law-abiding company that paid up its bills when due.
“We believe that Minister was not properly briefed by FAAN as we also pay our electricity bills as and when due. We equally provide elaborate security at the Terminal which has continued to attract commendation from stakeholders,” he said.
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Recently, Nairametrics reported that Hadi Sirika, Nigeria’s Aviation Minister revealed that airlines and other stakeholders owed the government a total sum of N37 billion and they would commence the process of recovering the debt soon.