Delta hands Asaba Airport over to concessionaire
By Nosa Akenzua
The Delta state government, on Monday, formally handed over the Asaba International Airport to the management of Asaba Airport Company which emerged victorious during the concessioning bid for the airport.
it will be recalled that the airport was concessioned to the company February 23, this year when it came out as preferred bidder after a competitive process.
Handing the airport over to the company on behalf of the state government, secretary to the state government (SSG), Chief Patrick Ukah, said the transition period which started on February 23, this year, had now ended with the formal hand-over.
Ukah disclosed that, from then on, the government of Delta state would withdraw from the day-to-day management of the airport which the state government had, by the handing over ceremony, transferred to the company.
“We are formally handing over the Asaba International Airport to Asaba Airport Company. On February 23, this year, we kick started the transition period and that transition period came to an end today.
“From today on, the government of Delta State will withdraw from the day to day management of the airport which we are by this ceremony, transferring to Asaba Airport Company headed by Mr. Bisi Adebutu and his team.
“From tomorrow, you will begin to see changes in the airport and l think that this is a model that a lot of people in Nigeria, different state governments and in fact, the federal government is also trying to study.
“This is because, they never believed that it would happen but we have done it with the believe that the value will be for us all Deltans and Nigerians in general. So, l am happy.
“On behalf of the state government and the people of Delta State, l hand over the management of Asaba International Airport to Asaba Airport Company,” the SSG added.
Responding shortly after receiving documents concessioning the airport,chairman of the company, Mr. Adebisi Adebutu, thanked the state government for going through the process of concessioning the airport in a transparent manner.
Adebutu noted that the six-month transition period which began on February 23, this year, was a fantastic period for the company to understand the idiosyncrasies of the airport, adding that the period also allowed the transition to be seamless.
While saying that the concessioning of the airport to the company was the beginning of a fantastic relationship that will benefit the state, the people and the concessionaire, he assured the state government that they would not betray the confidence reposed in them.
“I thank the state government for going through the process of concessioning the airport transparently and for giving us the opportunity and believing in us to make the changes that are due.
“The six months transition period was a fantastic period for us to understand the idiosyncrasies of the airport and to allow the transition to be seamless.
“I believe that when you wake up tomorrow, all you are going to see is positive change and nothing negative, there will not be a deterioration of service.
“We have started making changes already and we have also enjoyed the support of the state government even in the things that need to be done.
“So, I think this is the start of a fantastic relationship where the state will benefit, the people will benefit and we will benefit.
“We will not disappoint you. In the next few weeks and months, you will start to see the things that we have planned coming to effect and those changes start to manifest by the grace of God,” he said