Tinubu urges Senate to approve reimbursement of N15bn to Kebbi Govt

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President Bola Tinubu on Wednesday, May 15, asked the Senate to approve the reimbursement of over N15 billion to the Kebbi state government for the construction of Sir Ahmadu Bello International Airport, Birnin Kebbi.

The president also sought the approval of N9 billion from the Nasarawa state government as a refund for the construction of Lafia Cargo Airport, in Nasarawa State.

Tinubu’s request was contained in a letter read by Senate president, Godswill Akpabio during plenary.

In the letter, Tinubu said the federal government had taken over the control and ownership of the two airports, which necessitated reimbursement to the state governments.

He explained that the decision was based on the fact that “aviation, including airports, the safety of aircraft and carriage of passengers and goods by air” are owned and managed by the federal government as contained in item three of the second schedule of the 1999 constitution, as amended

He noted that aviation is listed under the exclusive legislative list, which gives the federal government sole authority to take over the ownership.

The President also said the Federal Executive Council (FEC) had also approved the reimbursement of the funds at its meeting last May through the issuance of promissory notes.

The letter reads in part: “Establishment of promissory notes program in favour of Kebbi and Nasarawa State governments for the reimbursement of the respective cost of construction of newly built airports in those states which have been taken over by the federal government.

“The Senate is invited to note that at the Executive Council meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) which was held on the 23rd day of May 2023, it was approved as follows;

That a promissory note in the sum of N9,000,542,651,786.11 only be issued to Nasarawa State Government as a refund for the takeover of the newly constructed Nasarawa Airport.

That a promissory note in the sum of N15,137,336,95.88 only, be issued to Kebbi State Government as a refund for the takeover of Bernin Kebbi International Airport.

“The Senate may wish to note that by the provisions of item three of the second schedule of the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999, as amended, aviation, including airports, safety of aircraft and carriage of passengers and goods by air, fall under the exclusive legislative list.

“The impact of this is that ownership, regulation and control of airports in Nigeria are exclusive to the federal government.

“In light of the above, I urge the Senate to consider and grant concurrent approval for the establishment of the promissory notes program in favour of Kebbi and Nasarawa states governments respectively as prescribed in paragraph two above.”

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