Emerging Indications are showing the possibility of a new era of friendship and camaraderie between Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited (BASL), operators of the Murtala Muhammed Airport Terminal Two (MMA2) and the industry regulator, the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).
This was the prevailing atmosphere at a high-level meeting held behind closed doors on Monday between the top echelons of BASL and FAAN, as they forged a new partnership and discussed the future of the nation’s aviation sector.
Addressing the new Managing Director of FAAN, Mr. Kabir Muhammed, and his team, Dr. Wale Babalakin, SAN, Chairman of BASL, said the new development was a pleasant surprise and promised to explore the window to foreclose all preexisting gaps.
According to him, “it has been a challenging 16 years of an undefined relationship with FAAN. I am positive that this meeting marks the beginning of a new era between BASL & FAAN.”
Babalakin said it was noteworthy to emphasise BASL’s commitment to sustainable investment and promotion of good governance and global best practices in the aviation sector.
“The industry clearly needs to be reengineered to bring the services and infrastructure standards to what is comparable elsewhere in the world with a clear focus on automation, passenger facilitation and comfort all over the country. Together with this renewed partnership, I assure you of our unequivocal commitment to the objective of building a virile aviation sector”, Babalakin added.
The meeting was preceded with a courtesy visit by the Senior Management Team of BASL, to the MD/CEO of FAAN, and his team.
In an unprecedented gesture, Muhammed, in the company of a select few of his team, reciprocated the visit by making an unscheduled visit to Babalakin, in his office.
The BASL official visit was led by its Acting Chief Operating Officer, Mrs. Tosan Duncan Odukoya.
Other members of staff on the MMA2 entourage were Blessing Ewah, Head of Operations; Monica Oguta, Head of Aviation Security (AvSEC); Tinu Dapo -Awosika, Head of Human Resources and Administration; Oluremi Jibodu, Head of Aeronautics and Cargo Services; Nofisat Adeniran, Head of Safety; Azeez Sanni, Associate Head of Information Technology, Gbubemi Aibangbee, Head of Marketing; and Ajoke Yinka-Olawuyin, Associate Head of Communications and Business Development.
Muhammed, in a warm reception of the visitors, was joined by his team, including his Chief of Staff, Kwasu Ibrahim; General Manager, Credit Control, Adegbesan Abiodun, and the Akure Airport Manager, Lynda Ezike.
In his welcome remarks, Muhammed, who resumed in May this year, said, contrary to the preexisting frosty relationship between his agency and BASL, he would make his administration more open and willing for strategic partnership and collaboration for growth of the MMA2 Terminal and the country’s aviation industry in general.
Muhammed said, under his command, he would do whatever he could to foster unity between both parties and advance the sector.
“Over the years, ego has allowed the relationship between the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited (BASL) to be strained, but this administration is only interested in positive results,” he said.
According to him, the envisaged developmental proceeds from this newly forged common front, “will only come to light through a cordial relationship between all players in the industry,” adding that “there is only one aviation industry that exists in Nigeria, and it is our responsibility as partners to make it work.”
Odukoya, in her opening remarks, explained that the purpose of the visit “was to congratulate the new MD on his appointment, and to find ways and means for collaboration between the two organizations through shared learning and best practices.”
She commended the management of FAAN for their open arms and promised commitment by the MMA2 team to cultivate and maintain this new cordial relationship.
The BASL Acting COO said the renewed synergy was historic, strategic, and imperative in enhancing passenger satisfaction and deepening the economic prosperity of the industry and the country.
“We feel we have now been cleared for takeoff. We are not saying this for the sake of it. We wish to walk the walk and not only talk the talk going forward. We solicit the partnership and expertise of FAAN in workshops and projects to sustain and improve customer experience and services rendered to the Nigerian people who use our facilities daily.”