In order to maintain uniform charges for their services, as approved by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Chief Executives of five ground handling companies operating in the country, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to guard against economic sabotage amongst its ranks.
A joint communiqué signed by the acting CEO, Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO) Plc, Olumuyiwa Olumekun; the CEO, Skyway Aviation Handling Company (SAHCO) Plc, Mr. Basil Agboarumi, Director, Aviation Handling Service (AHS), Mr. Samuel Oluwole, CEO, Butake Resources Ltd (BRL), Alahji Bello Salihu; and the CEO, Swissport Nigeria, Mr. John Adebanjo, agreed that all handling companies must abide by the new price regime while charging their clients for their services.
The communiqué, according to the signatories, would enable sustainable and profitable ground handling rates, while also maintaining the highest standards of safety operations in the sector in Nigeria.
Speaking on the development, Chairman, Precision Handling Company, Mr. Samuel Oluwole, said the handling companies have to hold themselves accountable because the current misnomer affects them all.
“So, we are going to have a technical committee in place that will be like an inspectorate that will be able to monitor the handling companies in the country and severe fine will be meted out by the disciplinary committee on the resolution and any infringement. This will be done after due notification to the NCAA.
This will be in place in the interest of everybody. The fact is that the system we have set up is in the interest of all to survive. The undercutting of over 30 years is not leading us anywhere, ” he said.
Chairman of Aviation Ground Handling Association of Nigeria (AGHAN), Mr. Olaniyi Adigun, who described the journey as tough said the first attempt at correcting the price anomaly was abortive because of the resistance of the strong and formidable airlines.
He said, “This (resistance) took us to the National Assembly where all was addressed. A one way ticket to Abuja now is about N80, 000, while we were handling them for between N10,000 and N20,000. Who does that? We needed to increase based on the economic realities on ground.
“The association is coming out with a watertight commitment that will stipulate the penalties to any of our members that violates the agreement. And like I said, it will be termed as economic sabotage and the chairmen of these companies are the ones signing this communiqué, which will convey the commitment,” he said.
Vice President, AGHAN, Ahmed Bashir, who spoke on the effective implementation of new charges, said apart from signing the agreement, chairmen of the handling companies would also have to sign the third document that would specify sanction and legal departments are already working on it to fine-tune the document.