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Kebbi offsets N33m airport services debt owed FAAN

…facility remains open

 

The Kebbi State Government has offset the N33 million debt owed the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) that was incurred by the Sir Ahmadu Bello International Airport in Kebbi. Consequently, the Kebbi state airport remains open to flight operations.

 

The state Commissioner for Works and Housing, Abubakar Chika Ladan, disclosed this to our correspondent yesterday night. FAAN had concluded plans to close the Kebbi state-owned airport over debt owed the organisation on Monday midnight. New Telegraph gathered that the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency NAMA was also prepared to issue a Notice

 

To AirMen (NOTAM) to stop all airlines from flying into the airport as from midnight yesterday when FAAN is expected to withdraw its services at the airport. FAAN was to begin a gradual withdrawal of its personnel beginning with all its fire service and security personnel from the airport.

 

Ladan, who spoke to our correspondent, said: “I can confidently inform you that the airport will not be shut as the state government has been in talks with FAAN, we have resolved all the gray areas and arrived at an amicable resolution going forward.”

 

He added that there was misinformation regarding the actual amount of debt profile but both parties were able to reach an agreement regarding our payments. Ladan assured airlines that they should make arrangements to fly passengers desiring to visit the state into the airport as there are no hindrances to their operations

 

. The airport authority had concluded plans to close down the airport over the debt. The agency had stated that from 12 midnight Monday, FAAN would withdraw all its fire service and security personnel from the airport.

 

The source further disclosed that the Kebbi State Government owed FAAN over N33 million and has refused to pay since January this year despite series of letters to the state.

 

“We are closing the Kebbi airport by 12 midnight Monday, they are indebted to us and we have written so many letters to the governor and there was no response and NAMA has already issued a NOTAM on Friday to inform all airlines flying into the airport to keep off,” the source had said. This is not the first time FAAN would take such action.

 

In 2019, FAAN closed down the Gombe and Kebbi airports as a result of over N700 million debts. FAAN had issued a notice to both private and state-owned airports in Nigeria to settle their debts on or before April 24. The agency had said its services would be withdrawn if they fail to clear their debts.

 

“The authority shall be constrained to commence the implementation of sanctions at the expiration of this notice if the organisations fail or refuse to pay up as advised,”

 

FAAN had said. “In view of the above, the authority, hereby, notifies private airport operators that the services of our Aviation Security and Aerodrome Rescue and Fire Fighting personnel will no longer be available for the operations of their airports with effect from May 1.

 

“This action has become imperative as the management of Gombe Airport is indebted to the authority to the tune of N607. 9m, while Kebbi and Bebi airports are indebted to the tune of N124.5m million and N76.8m respectively,” it added

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