The Chairman of recently established Association of Ground Handlers of Nigeria (AGHAN), and the Executive Director, Sales and Marketing of SAHCO Plc. Lagos, Mr. Olaniyi Adigun, says the collaboration among Nigerian groundhandlers would enhance the capacity and quality of groundhandling service in Nigeria.
Working together, he also discloses, would enable groundhandlers overcome their common challenges, especially as the aviation industry has been the worst hit all over the world by the COVID-19 pandemic.
He emphasizes that the industry not only lost revenue, but also incurred significant increase in cost of operation such as hazard allowance and other unusual costs for staff going to work during the lockdown, as well as cost of personal protective equipment, and disinfection of facilities. There is also the cost of paying salaries without revenue.
He laments the fragmentation of the air cargo value-chain in Nigeria, including produce sellers, packaging companies, transporters, etc., leading to wastage of up to 65% of perishable produce for lack of preservation.
Mr. Adigun calls for improved standard and closer collaboration to upgrade local products to international exportable standards. He says the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has designated 13 airports as cargo airports in Nigeria, yet remarkable infrastructure upgrade and new cargo terminals would enhance air cargo development in Nigeria.
Furthermore, Mr. Adigun says the Association of Aviation Ground Handlers of Nigeria (AGHAN) was established to bridge the gaps and divisions between Nigerian groundhandling companies and address their common challenges, while focusing on the bigger picture of creating a thriving world-class groundhandling services industry in Nigeria.