Ground handlers seek waiver of 5% concession fees

Association of Ground Handlers of Nigeria (AGHAN) has appealed to the Federal Government to adjust and waive the annual 5 percent concession fee for ground handling companies in the aviation industry.

The association also agitated for Customs duty waivers for importation of its equipment. It, however, commended the government for the recent palliative granted its members.

AGHAN challenged the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to regulate ground handling charges, warning that safety may be compromised if the right policy was not put in place.

Adigun Olaniyi Adigun, chairman, AGHAN, in an interview in Lagos said that removal of the 5 percent concession fee, especially for 2020 financial year was necessary for members to remain in business. Adigun also asked the government to modify the mode of collection of the annual concession fee.

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According to him, the concession fee is calculated based on turnaround, rather than on profit. The ground handling companies remit to the coffers of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) 5 per cent concession fee annually.

Adigun explained that rather than stifle the ground handlers out of business, the handlers required the support of every operator, including the airlines and government agencies.

He said: “There is this 5 percent concession fee, which we usually pay to FAAN; this is based on our turnaround. Though, there have been some issues on this because FAAN is asking for turnover, which includes money collected and the ones still unremitted. So, we are saying that 5 percent should be based on profit, not on turnover.

“Our prayer is that this 5 percent concession fee should be waived for the 2020 financial year. 2020 was tough and there was no work available and the little we had last year was to sustain our staff. Though, the palliative is good, but how far can that go in the life of the Skyway Aviation Handling Company (SAHCO) Plc or the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO) Plc for instance? Whatever we got individually is not enough as a monthly wage for the two companies. So, we are asking for the waiver for that 2020.”

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