• Monday, July 22, 2024
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Air Cargo: NAHCO invests N700m on ground support equipment

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The Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCOaviance) plc, may be refocusing and repositioning its operations in a few weeks to align with current challenges presented by various factors hitting the economy.

The Aviation sector, being a vital part of the economy, has been directly hit by the challenges ranging from high naira depreciation, high exchange rate, high interest rate, static aviation fuel price and high aviation taxes, among others.

Norbert Bielderman, NAHCO’s managing director, who disclosed at one-day summit on Nigeria air cargo that the company had recently invested N700m on on state-of-the art equipment in order to offer efficient services to its teeming clients, noted that there could be price adjustments soon if the company must take its place going by the current state of economy.

“For NAHCO, we expect appropriate price adjustments in accordance with current realities and since we are a responsible company that has proven business integrity and excellent service delivery this 35 years, we must assure our business partners and client airlines that we will not compromise on safety issues and efficiency as we go along,” he said.

NAHCO is a quoted company and responsively has a very good corporate governance structure in place with a board.

Bielderman disclosed that NAHCO in the last 35 years has been providing qualitative professional and specialised services for all major airlines including British Airways, Lufthansa German Airline, Air France, KLM, Emirates, Ethiopian Airlines, Delta Airlines, Qatar Airways, Cargolux, Turkish Airlines, Egypt Air, Royal Air Maroc, Saudi Arabian Airlines, and Kenya Airlines to name a few.

“We have sustained this business partnership and relationship over the years without any major incident  and we believe this is commendable. Airlines over the years trust us to deliver on contracted services in a safe and secure manner.

“Our EU Ra3 Validation, ISAGO Certification and International Air Transport Association (IATA) authorised training Centre further give credence to our professionalism and technical know-how in Aviation Ground Handling Business. Our manpower management skills are in no doubt and evidently by the 2014 Industrial Training Fund (ITF) award for ‘Best in Human Capital Management’.

“We have been expanding and diversifying our business to ensure we tap into other opportunities and balance our exposure to industry specific risk. NAHCO received a Free Trade Zone license and thereby established a subsidiary now known as NFZ.

“This subsidiary has commenced business in-part whilst working on a robust 5 year business investment plan of approximately $500m. Also, we have created other businesses and subsidiaries including licenses to operate ground handling services in Senegal, Liberia, Cote D’ivoire,” he said.

He disclosed that as a strategic growth initiative, NAHCO had  upgraded its Cargo department into a division for improved efficiency and better service delivery this 2015, adding that it has grown its cargo staff strength from 250 in 2012 to 450 in 2015 to improve turnaround time and be more responsive to airline and customer’s needs.

“To further support a quick and fast aircraft and cargo handling process, we have invested approximately N700m to purchase new ground support equipment and we have taken delivery of about 30 percent of these orders and distributed to our various locations according to our needs. This equipment include tractors, dollies, fork lifts, high loaders, transporters, security vehicles etc.

“For the benefit of the airlines and in order to add more value to our current services, we have now introduced NAHCO Road Feeder Service (RFS). This is in partnership with Creseda International Limited, a leading logistics company,” he said.

Bielderman also noted that the company’s shareholders have been benefiting from uninterrupted dividend pay-out for the last 10 years, adding that it would work very hard to sustain the feat through hard work, improved efficiency, cost management strategies, and revised revenue structure, among others.

Speaking further, he said the company’s 2015 Budget has accommodated employee training provision of $200,000 and that it had initiated a process to engage 100 passenger services agents next quarter. “This further assures our client airlines of our unflinching commitment to service excellence,” he added.

He also called on the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) to ensure tight security at the cargo terminal in order to minimise risk in the area.

“The Air Cargo section will need FAAN to ensure all access gate restrictions around the tarmac and airport cargo terminal is full-proof of unlawful persons; FAAN must have zero tolerance to any pallet left overnight because this constitutes serious security risk.

“Lastly, we plead with FAAN to review its new tax and tariff regime in the interest of its business partners, clients, tenants, concessionaires etc. FAAN must balance drive for revenue and its resultant negative impact to businesses, passenger or customer who ultimately would pay for this cost of doing business,” Bielderman explained.

Sade Williams