The Chairman of Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited, Dr. Wale Babalakin, has urged the Federal government to facilitate the payment of the N200 billion it owes the firm.
Babalakin made this known to newsmen during a media briefing in Lagos on Sunday to mark the 10 years anniversary of the Murtala Muhammad Airport 2.
He lamented that the money owed the company was long overdue and it will be a big relief for the government to pay up.
Babalakin said: “We cannot conclude this press conference without seeking the assistance of all and sundry for the payment of the N200 billion owed to Bi-Courtney Airways Services by the Federal Government of Nigeria.
“As far back as 2012, the Federal High Court awarded damages of N132 billion to Bi-Courtney Airways Limited.
“Six appeals against the judgment in the Court of Appeal have been dismissed.
“Even the appeal to the Supreme Court by Arik Airlines through Ojemaie Holdings was also dismissed.
“No nation can truly achieve its potential if it treats its dynamic citizens this way.”
While endorsing the idea for concessioning of the airports, Babalakin made it clear that rule of law and orderliness must be put in place so as to make the process legitimate.
He said: “We call on the regulatory authorities to honour the Concession Agreement, which has been approved by every level of Government, including the Presidency and confirmed by all the strata of the courts in Nigeria.
“This is the only way to reward our pioneering efforts.
“We are grateful to Allah that our eye opening effort had led to the upgrading of some airports in Nigeria and the decision of the Federal Government to concession airports in Nigeria.
“We welcome the idea of concessioning as it is done properly and in accordance with the Rule of Law.”
Babalakin also used the opportunity to mourn the demise of Alhaji Chanchangi, who died along Kaduna-Abuja Road while being transported to a hospital.
He recalled that Chanchangi Airlines was the first to conduct its flight from Bi-Courtney terminal, adding that it was regrettable the airline was allowed to go into extinction by authorities without any support.
He said: “I crave your indulgence to observe a one minute silence in honour of Alhaji Chanchangi who passed on a few weeks ago.
“Alhaji Chanchangi was a great aviator who provided transportation to millions os Nigerians.
“Chachangi Airline was also the first airline to conduct a flight from our Terminal.
“Chanchangi Airlines was allowed to go into extinction without any significant support from the authorities.
“The irony of this situation is charlatans we supported with mind boggling amounts of money purportedly in furtherance of the aviation industry.
This so called too big to fail airline collapsed with a debt of over N300 billion owed to the Nigerian creditors.
“A fraction of this well applied would have saved Chanchangi Airlines.
“May the great soul of Alhaji Chanchangi airlines continue to rest in peace.”
The Eagle online reports that Murtala Muhammad Terminal 2 was inaugurated by former President Olusegun Obasanjo on May 7, 2007 and it is the first privately-funded, design build and operate terminal in Nigeria.
It has the capacity to facilitate four million passengers per annum with modern facilities.
The Eagle online also reports that it has handled over 20 million passengers, 400,000 flights and created employment opportunities for over 100,000 people in the past 10 years.