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SAHCO laments FAAN’s failure to provide statutory amenities for ground handlers 

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Segun Oladipupo

Skyway Aviation Handling Company PLC (SAHCO) has lamented non provision of necessary amenities by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) for its operations despite payment of five per cent of its gross earnings to the agency.

The Managing Director of SAHCOl, Basil Agboarumi, made the complaints when the Senate Committee on Privatization for remarkable business progression in Ground Handling operations visited the facility in Lagos, yesterday.

This is contained in a press statement made available to our correspondent by Vanessa Uansohia, Manager, Corporate Communications, SAHCO.

According to Agboarumi, FAAN is expected to make ground handling easy by providing the necessary amenities even as he added that the reverse is the case as the agency failed to provide such necessary amenities.

He added that lack of such amenities have hampered SAHCO from providing top notch Services  to its clients, saying the ground handling service provider was forced to procure expensive equipment for its operations.

“Another challenge pointed out by the Managing Director is the issue of paying 5% of SAHCO’s gross to FAAN with the expectation of making the Ground Handling business easy by providing the necessary amenities but this is not the case because SAHCO has had to step in to procure some equipment so as to keep up with the global best practices.

“Senate Committee on Privatization for remarkable business progression in Ground Handling operations while to be procured, manned and maintained by FAAN but this was not happening and was hampering SAHCO’S business of providing top notch services to clients which made SAHCO procure this very expensive equipment.

“He also accentuated that while Airlines are given zero tariff on equipment importation, Ground Handlers though operating in the same environment have to pay despite Ground Handling services   being heavily reliant on Ground Support Equipment.

“He also stressed that payment for Ground Handling Services is one of the lowest in the world and it is something that is enjoyed by the airlines while Ground Handling companies struggle to keep afloat.

“The chairman of the team was awed by all the challenges that SAHCO is going through, and yet they are doing so well. He said that according to his experience, most companies downsize after privatization but the reverse has been the case at SAHCO.

The MD also decried the challenge the organisation faces in sourcing for foreign exchange (FOREX) in carrying out its operations.

“He said that sourcing for FOREX has been a major challenge because aviation ground handling is about quality ground support equipment and unfortunately, they can only be sourced abroad and these need to be paid for by FOREX.

Earlier, the Senate Committee had lauded SAHCO for its remarkable business progression in Ground Handling operations while adding value to the Nigerian Aviation Industry during an oversight visit to SAHCO Headquarters.

Senator Theodore Orji who led the team of both the Senate Committee and the Bureau of Public Enterprise (BPE) reiterated that despite the constraints that SAHCO undergoes, SAHCO has been able to break even and take up responsibilities that are not supposed to be theirs so as to provide excellent services.

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