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Successful Conclusion of IFC Abuja Airport Advisory Mandate Promotes Improved Infrastructure Services in Nigeria


In Lagos
Mike Omaliko

Telephone:+ 234 1 262 6455-64

Email:
momaliko@ifc.org

In Johannesburg

Desmond Dodd

Telephone: +2711 731 3053

E-mail:
ddodd@ifc.org

In Washington

Ann Pasco

Telephone: +1 202 473 9167

Email:
apasco@ifc.org


Abuja, November 22, 2006—The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, has successfully concluded an advisory mandate that mobilizes private management expertise and capital for improved operation of Abuja’s Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport. IFC advised the Nigerian government on the selection of a concessionaire to operate and manage the airport for the next 25 years.

The winning bidder, confirmed today by the Nigerian government, was the Abuja Gateway Consortium, which changed its name from “The Naira*Net Consortium.” AGC is a special purpose vehicle that was established between domestic and international companies with the Airports Authority of India as the contracted airport operator. In concluding the transaction, IFC benefited from the donor support of DevCo, a multidonor program affiliated with the Private Infrastructure Development Group and supported by the U.K.'s Department for International Development, the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Swedish International Development Agency, and the Austrian Development Agency.

The winning bidder will pay an initial concession fee of $10 million and variable annual concession fees of 18.1 percent of gross revenues as part of its contract to operate and manage the airport. The net present value of total concession fees paid to the Nigerian government is estimated to be $101 million over the concession term.

The Abuja Gateway Consortium’s winning proposal includes a plan to develop Abuja International Airport into a West African hub. Key elements of this plan include the construction of new passenger terminal facilities, and growth in domestic, regional, and international traffic, including cargo activities and development of commercial and retail activities at the airport. AGC will provide efficient and reliable airport services that are competitively priced and focused on customer satisfaction. AGC intends to invest $59 million over the next five years and $371 million in developing the airport over the life of the concession. Of this investment, $228 million will be allocated for construction of new facilities and the remodeling of existing terminal facilities.

Nigeria’s Bureau of Public Enterprises is charged with implementing private sector participation transactions. The Director-General Irene Chigbue called the transaction “a landmark” and the first with private sector participation in the airport sector. “The Abuja airport concession will make a substantial positive impact on the national accounts through concession fees and planned investments,” she said. “The successful transaction underscores Nigeria’s commitment to implementing private participation and the potential for further private sector investment in Nigeria.”

Bernard Sheahan, director of IFC’s Advisory Services Department, said, “The Abuja airport concession on which IFC has advised, is expected to create a long-awaited model for public private partnerships and private participation in the Nigerian transport sector, and through this to contribute to making air transport in Nigeria safer and more efficient, a key aspect of improving Nigeria's international competitiveness and economic diversification.”  He added, “The transaction will attract sustainable investment to Nigeria, contribute to capacity building and technology transfer to the country, and make significant contributions toward economic development in the region.”

Thierry Tanoh, IFC director for Africa, noted, “IFC’s participation in this highly successful transaction is part of our commitment to work with the Nigerian government attracting the private sector to improve the quality of infrastructure services.”


About Abuja Gateway Consortium:

AGC was formed by local and international equity partners, with Airports Authority of India as the contracted airport operator, to bid for the concession. There are five equity partners:


       
Airline Services Limited, a Nigerian company, is the premier flight catering services provider to the local and international airlines operating out of Lagos and Abuja International airports.  ASL manages the airline lounges at Lagos and Abuja airports, operates the landside and air side bars at the Lagos International Airport, and is an equity partner in the duty-free shops at the Lagos Airport.
       
Airport Consulting Vienna is a shareholder and technical partner in AGC.  ACV, an Austrian company, has varied global experience in preparing airport privatization bids and has been successful in effecting turnaround of privatized airports.
       
Gitto Costruzioni Generali Nigeria is the Nigerian subsidiary of an Italian construction company handling large-scale infrastructure construction projects across Nigeria.
       
Naira*Net Technologies Limited, is a Nigerian IT solutions company.
       
A.G. Ferrero is a Nigerian construction and civil engineering company.

About International Finance Corporation

IFC’s Advisory Services Department provides advisory assistance, primarily to governments, on private sector participation in the provision of infrastructure services. The Abuja International Airport concession represents the eleventh successful transaction IFC has advised on in Sub-Saharan Africa since 1995. Other transactions include the Joint Concession of Kenya-Uganda Railways, Kenya Airways, Uganda Telecommunications, Moatize Coal in Mozambique, AES SONEL in Cameroon, and Gabon Water and Electricity. For more information on IFC’s Advisory Services department, visit
http://www.ifc.org/Advisory.

The International Finance Corporation, the private sector arm of the World Bank Group, is the largest multilateral provider of financing for private enterprise in developing countries. IFC finances private sector investments, mobilizes capital in international financial markets, facilitates trade, helps clients improve social and environmental sustainability, and provides technical assistance and advice to businesses and governments. From its founding in 1956 through FY06, IFC has committed more than $56 billion of its own funds for private sector investments in the developing world and mobilized an additional $25 billion in syndications for 3,531 companies in 140 developing countries. With the support of funding from donors, it has also provided more than $1 billion in technical assistance and advisory services. For more information, visit
www.ifc.org.

Project ID No.: 22693; Department: Advisory Services; Country: Nigeria; Region: Africa
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