The federal government through the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has approved new safety threshold charges for services rendered by the ground handling companies, commencing from October 1, 2021, for international carriers and January 1, 2022 for domestic operators.
This was disclosed by the Chairman of Aviation Ground Handling Association of Nigeria (AGHAN), Olaniyi Adigun, who stated that the approval of new charges was coming 35 years after the last amendment to the handing rates by handlers, carried out in 1986.
The association noted that with this approval, the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company Plc (NAHCO), the Skyway Aviation Handling Company Plc (SAHCO), Precision Aviation Handling Company (PAHCOL) and Swissport Handling Company could now charge the same handling rates as their counterparts in the sub-African countries.
Adigun disclosed that the NCAA approved between $1,500 and $5,000 (passenger and cargo flights) for handlers for a narrow and wide body aircraft, respectively, while domestic operators would now pay between N25, 000 and N70, 000, depending on the aircraft type.
Narrow body aircraft include Boeing B737, Airbus A320, ER 135 and ATR, while wide body aircraft are B767, A330, B777, B747 and B787.
THISDAY learnt that another circular signed by NCAA Director General, Captain Musa Nuhu, dated September 6, 2021, with reference number: NCAA/DG/AIR/11/16/315, addressed to all Airlines And Ground Handling Companies (foreign and local), drew the attention of Accountable Managers/Country Managers of both domestic and international operators.
The circular read in part: “All stakeholders are invited to note that the new ground handling rates for international and domestic operations will become effective on 1st October, 2021 and 1st January, 2022, respectively.
“All stakeholders are directed to ensure full compliance with the safety threshold ground handling charges. Any change to these charges must be done in formal consultation with and approval of NCAA. Please be guided accordingly.”
Reacting to this new development, Adigun said: “We want to appreciate the Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika for having the foresight to come to the rescue of the ground handling companies.
“In fact, the federal government saved us from extinction because the low pricing was gradually killing the ground-handling sub-sector.
“Income derived from our operations could not sustain us vis-à-vis the current reality on ground. Dollars have gone up and this equipment is foreign; 80 per cent of our training is foreign and to cap it all, aviation industry is global.
“Low control is global anywhere in the world; the same training and requirements for Africa and anywhere in the world. Most of what we do require dollars and for you to even operate in this sector, you must be certificated, which can only be achieved through training.”
Also the Vice Chairman of AGHAIN, Mr. Ahmed Bashir, thanked the managements of the ground handling companies, “who supported and trusted us to be able to go this far. Also, we want to laud the various critical stakeholders and professionals in the industry who actually craved for this safety threshold handling charges.
“For every project you want to embark upon, you need to get the strategy right.”
governor’s concern was revealed in a statement signed by the Special Assistant on Media to the former president, Mr. Kehinde Akinyemi.
Lamido said: “How do we remain safe is the biggest and current challenge in this country, because as it seems, nobody is safe anymore. Imagine that if they could kidnap three workers of Baba, a former president of the country? Who is now safe?”
However, he said Obasanjo has reinforced his faith in the country despite the appalling situation.
Lamido stated that Obasanjo was still committed to ensuring that Nigeria is out of the doldrum, adding that his meeting with Obasanjo has reinforced his faith in the country.
The former governor, who disclosed that he had come to visit his ‘father’ (Obasanjo) “my leader and my everything after a very long time, and I met him in a very high spirit and good health.
“But, he told me that he’s now ageing, and I responded that he’s not because we still need him in this country. And he said Sule: ‘I will do anything for Nigeria’, and that is very inspiring. That is why I like him, as this has reinforced my faith in Nigeria.
“We discussed a number of issues, particularly on Nigeria, that he loves so much. Honestly, no matter how down we go, we’ll rise again. But, obviously it is bleeding now. It is bleeding!”