Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Ltd, operators of the Murtala Muhammed Airport Terminal Two (MMA2), Lagos, said on Thursday that the Federal Government and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) were owing it N200 billion.
Mr Steve Omolale, the spokesperson for the company, disclosed this while reacting to allegations by aviation unions that the firm was owing FAAN N2 billion.
“We have decided to respond to prevent the unions from misleading the public.
“Bi-Courtney is not indebted to FAAN. On the contrary, it is FAAN and the Federal Government that are indebted to Bi-Courtney for an amount now in excess of N200 billion.
“N132 billion of this sum was confirmed by a court of competent jurisdiction in 2012 in the case of Bi-Courtney Ltd vs. AG Federation (FHC/ABJ/CS/50/2009),’’ he said in a statement a copy of which was obtained by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).
Three unions — National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), Air Transport Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSAN) and the National Union of Pensioners (NUP) — had alleged that Bi-Courtney owed the government N2 billion.
Omolale noted that FAAN had continued to operate the General Aviation Terminal (GAT) which, according to him, belongs to Bi-Courtney in violation of the concession agreement and the decision of the law court.
According to him, the action has deprived Bi-Courtney of over 50 per cent of its revenue, describing it as a “very poor advertisement for any nation seeking to attract private capital for development”.
He said: “The unions are aware of this position, but have chosen to fabricate irresponsible falsehoods in a bid to discredit Bi-Courtney and mislead the public. Fortunately, the public is more discerning.
“It is common knowledge that the aforementioned unions (NUATE, ATSSAN and NUP) actually challenged the concession agreement in court and lost the case in Appeal No. CA/A/141/M/2009.
“It appears that the unions are seeking to undermine the decision of a Federal Court.
“There is no better time to remind the unions that Nigeria is a country of laws and all citizens are bound by the laws of the country.’’
Omolale said the management of MMA2 was very proud of running the most efficient airport terminal in Nigeria.
He added that Bi-Courtney had demonstrated clearly that, if given the opportunity, a Nigerian company was capable of delivering exceptional services, particularly in the provision of critical infrastructure.