The Group Managing Director of Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO Aviance), Mrs. Adetokunbo Fagbemi, says the exemption of ground handling companies from import waivers granted airlines for the importation of aircraft spare parts, inadequate warehouse space for cargoes, low charges paid by airlines are among the many issues negatively affecting the air cargo subsector.
Mrs. Fagbemi states that though some progress has been made in terms of export and import revenue generation, the country is losing out on huge income that could have been earned from transit flights due to inadequate storage facilities among others.
“If we want to run our system with the kind of IT services needed to optimise output, there are facilities that we would need to put in place. So we need more space to be able to function properly. When NAHCO started, export was not our focus but now, we see that export is growing but in the last one year, it has almost doubled. If we are also looking at upgrading our cold storage facilities such that when we are exporting oranges, we would need more space within our warehouse to enable taking them freshly packaged from the farm to the aircraft packaged for export,” Mrs. Fagbemi adds.
“We have different categories and temperature degrees of cold room storage, so when you put all that together, you would need more space in order to function effectively. If we have more space, we would be able to automate some of our processes because we already have the software but using them appropriately, would require being able to lay out our warehouse. We have very good software, but we can’t use some of them because of space constraints,” Mrs. Fagbemi says.
“We have discussed this issue many times with the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and we also talked about having a larger apron so that when an aircraft lands, there would be enough space for them to park. If you say that you are into air cargo business, you need to add more space for the aircraft because you can’t tell them to hold on,” Mrs Fagbemi states.