Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited (BASL) has reacted to unions’ allegation that it is indebted to the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN). Rather, the firm said, it is the Federal Government agency that owes it N200billion.
The unions were, National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), Air Transport Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSAN) and the National Union of Pensioners (NUP).
Bi-Courtney, therefore, said that contrary to the claim by some aviation unions that it was indebted to the FG, the truth of the matter is that it was the other way round.
In a statement signed by BI-Courtney’s spokesman, Steve Omolale and made available to CityMirrorNews in Lagos on Friday, the firm accused the unions of misleading the public, saying “they were undermining the decisions of the judiciary.”
The statement read in part: “Our attention has been drawn to the press conference of the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), Air Transport Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSAN) and the National Union of Pensioners (NUP) held on October 10, 2017.”
“At the press conference, the unions stated that Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited (BASL), operator of the Murtala Mohammed Airport Two (MMA2), owed FAAN the sum ofN2billion.”
“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 N200billion. N132billion 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).
“Contrary to the clear provisions of the Concession Agreement, the Coordinating Committee set up by the Attorney-General of the Federation and the decision of the Court of Law, FAAN continues to operate the General Aviation Terminal (GAT), which belongs to Bi-Courtney, thus depriving BASL of over 50% of its revenue. This is a very poor advertisement for any nation seeking to attract private capital for development.”
The company said, “The unions are aware of this position, but have chosen to fabricate irresponsible falsehoods in a bid to discredit BASL 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.
“We, at MMA2, are very proud that we run the most efficient airport terminal in Nigeria. Given that we operate on five per cent of the revenue of Murtala Mohammed International Airport, our achievements over the years, are deserving of commendation from all quarters.”