Why government should give duty waivers to ground handling companies

By Chioma Obinagwam

The Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) has been called upon to grant duty waiver on operational equipment for ground handling companies operating in the nation’s airports.

The Managing Director, Skyway Aviation Handling Company (SAHCO) Plc, Mr Basil Agboarumi, said this during a courtesy visit by the leadership of the Capital Market Correspondents Association of Nigeria (CAMCAN) in Lagos.

Confiance News gathered that the waiver would go a long way in ameliorating the harsh economic conditions companies in the aviation industry are facing.

Agboarumi said what the company pays to clear its equipment at the port is humongous, adding that the equipment are only used when an aircraft comes in.

He said: “We felt that no matter what the government is doing for the airlines, ground handling should be included to benefit from it too.

“We believe that what should be done is that the same kind of waivers that the airlines are enjoying should also be extended to us to make life easier for us.

“The authorities should encourage us the same way they are doing for airline operators, we are in the same industry and without us, the airlines cannot go into the sky.

“Government gives waiver to the airlines on spare parts and other things, we want them to give the same thing to us for our equipment. With waivers on clearing spare parts, it will do a lot for us”.

He lamented that the company provides its own infrastructure to stay in business.

“We have generators that supply our electricity and we have cold room for pharmaceutical products. We have to be on power for 24 hours,” he said.

Agboarumi added that listing on the Nigerian stock market has helped or tailored the company to do business in line with international best practices.

He said: “Our company’s priority is to continue to be disciplined in terms of the way we do our businesses, continue to strive to ensure that we meet the expectations of our shareholders and also ensure a good business relationship with our customers.

“Our expectation is to ensure continuous growth in the bottom line of the business, we will ensure to work in line with best practices in the aviation industry. Get the kind of investment that will ensure we continue to contribute our quota to the nation’s economy.”

Skyway Aviation Handling Company is a publicly quoted company on the Nigerian Exchange Limited.

It is incorporated as an aviation ground handling service provider under the Nigerian Company & Allied Matters Act of 1990.

SAHCO, formerly known as Skypower Aviation Handling Company Limited, before its privatisation and handover to the SIFAX Group on December 23, 2009, was carved out of the defunct Nigeria Airways as part of the Nigerian government’s Ministry of Aviation reform of 1996.

SAHCO’s business model is geared towards delivering premium service and this has necessitated massive investment in personnel development, fleet replacement and infrastructure development.

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