Panel Kicks Against Multi-Billion Naira Deal At Airports


Six months after forcefully ejecting Maevis Nigeria Limited from the Murtala Muhammed Airport in Lagos, southwest Nigeria, a panel has described the proposed new automation deal at Nigerian airports as paying for a technology that already exists.

A panel set up by the Nigeria Airspace Management Agency, NAMA, to look into the benefits of the new deal concluded that: “there is nothing in this agreement that seems beneficial to the agency (NAMA).

“There is therefore the need for Finance, Commercial and Legal Departments to consider the agreement and appraise its suitability and cost to the agency,” the panel said.

The N3.2 billion revenue generation deal at Nigerian airports, which is to be carried out by First Bank of Nigeria Plc. and Avitech Software Solutions Limited, is proposed by the Ministry of Aviation and intends to collect revenue for aviation agencies.

Maevis, which generated N44.9 billion for the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, between 2008 and 2012, was kicked out of the airport by staff of FAAN and security operatives on 23 March shortly after Mrs. Stella Oduah became Minster of Aviation and Mr. George Uriesi was appointed Managing Director of FAAN.

The panel said that what Avitech intends to do is already being done by TRACON, which covers Nigeria’s airspace.

“Some of the services First Bank of Nigeria proposes to deploy would seem like duplication of services. Eg; Electronic Flight Plan – is this not envisaged under the AIS Automation Project? Does the TRACON not come with its own billing software?” the panel queried.

Avitech has said that it intends to design, develop, deploy data monitoring and collection system, billing data aggregator and monitoring dashboard for a revenue life cycle management solution.

The life cycle management solution intends to create accurate billing system data to be fed to the IATA system.

The system, it is said, will create visibility for the revenue collection process.

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But the NAMA panel said that Avitech would be paid for deploying technology the agency already has.

“Avitech intends to deploy a technology that NAMA already has, that NAMA currently bills and sends to IATA through electronic means,” the panel said.

The panel recommended that: “NAMA should pay Avitech the value of the aggregator and the monitoring dashboard once and not on a commission basis.”

It also recommended that NAMA should continue with its current practice of billing and sending directly to the International Air Transport Association, IATA, via electronic means for invoicing, collection and payment, instead of using Avitech.

The agreement between First Bank of Nigeria, Avitech Software Solutions Limited and aviation agencies is proposed for an initial period of 10 years and would be renewed for another five years, a report said.

A report said that First Bank would deduct five percent from revenue collected and Avitech will get an undisclosed percentage from First Bank.

Stakeholders say Avitech is to deploy only four of the services that were done by Maevis.

The case between Maevis and FAAN is still in court.

—Simon Ateba 

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