SAHCO Begs FG To Extend Waivers Granted Airlines To Ground Handlers
…Says Company Did Not Run At A Loss Despite COVID-19
The Chief Executive Officer/Managing Director of Skyway Aviation Handling Company(SAHCO) PLC, Mr. Basil Agboarumi has appealed to the Federal Government to extend waivers granted to airline operators to ground handling companies in the country, as it would further boost their operations.
He made the appeal in an interview he granted the new Executive members of the League of Airport and Aviation Correspondents(LAAC),who paid him a courtesy call yesterday at the organisation’s head office at the international wing of the Murtala Muhammed Airport(MMA),Lagos
Fielding on the 5 per cent waiver, the SAHCO boss said that the ground handling companies have been talking about the matter, adding that when granted it would further enhance the operations of the company.
According to him ground handlers order for ground handling equipment the same way airline operators order for aircraft and spares.
Agboarumi contended that just like airlines who import aircraft and its spare parts from abroad, the ground handlers also import its equipment and pay in Dollars.
The SAHCO CEO pointed out that ground handling is crucial to flight operations and movement of passengers, waivers given to airlines should be extended to handlers,adding that no part of aviation can do it alone.
The ground handlers, he said, have formed an association ; Association of Ground Handlers of Nigeria (AGHAN), to pursue such matters, adding that handlers have also taken the matter to the Aviation Ministry in Abuja and the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority(NCAA) to look into the matter.
“For the waiver, we have been talking about this. For us in ground handling, we are almost beginning to sound like a broken record. It is an issue that we have been talking about because this is aviation. With what we have seen in aviation, it is such that you cannot keep any aspect of the industry in isolation. Aviation is like the human body. Every part is important to the body. Ground handling is so key in flight operations and movement of passengers.,baggage and cargo from one point to another. We felt that no matter what the government is doing for the airlines, ground handling should be included and benefit from it too. It is just the same way aircraft are gotten from abroad that our own are brought in because none of our equipment is manufactured in Nigeria. We also place orders so that the manufacturers do them. We pay quite a lot of money to get in our handling equipment. We believe that what should be done is that the same kind of waivers that the airlines are enjoying should also be extended to us to make life easier for us.
“Recently, we formed an association and this is one of the major things that they are to fight . But we are taking our case to the government, Ministry of Aviation and the NCAA as the representative of government in the aviation industry. The last point was the NCAA requesting for some information from us and some of the things that we learnt has to do with the issues raised in some higher places and they needed to submit data and positions. We submitted our position and I believe that they have taken it from us and we are expecting feedback from the government in that regard. We believe governments should look at the issues we raised. We have many staff and despite the pandemic, we carry them along. Government should help us, ” he pleaded.
On SAHCO PLC performance at the Nigerian stock Exchange(NSE) the Chief Executive Officer/Managing Director, said that despite the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic ,which ravaged the global aviation industry including that of Nigeria, the ground handling company declared profit .
Agboarumi, who was fielding questions on SAHCO’s performance in the NSE, explained that though the company’s revenue profile reduced but that despite the COVID-19 pandemic, it did not declare loss instead it gained.
“Our un-audited report for the year end is already published in the stock market. There is no doubt that our revenue went down because of the pandemic. Even at that, for us as a company, we still did very well. If you look at what we declared in that un- audited report, it is not too bad. Because we know that many companies declared loss but we didn’t declare loss, it was profit,” he said.