… as Cargo Agents lose N130m To Covid-19
A major stakeholder in the nation’s aviation industry has observed that the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) stands the chance of making over N252 million annually if the agency put its cargo facilities at the Lagos Airport terminals in order.
The Chairman DACAA, Monday Subair, who stated this at the inauguration of the cargo shed at the domestic Airport on Tuesday appealed to the Federal government to provide General Aviation Terminal (GAT) cargo shed, so that they could process their cargo from there.
Apart from MMA2, Subair lamented that they do not have any other alternative, a situation that rendered them dormant whenever Bi-Courtney did not operate.
According to him, with N7 port charge per kg FAAN can generate 21 million naira every month, if they put their cargo facility in place at the terminals.
Subair said “In a month and with N7 port charge can generate N21 million every month, if FAAN put their cargo facility in place. If they put their cargo in place, we will be patronizing them. Bi-Courtney will then be forced to bring down their prices.
On the effect of the pandemic, Subair lamented that they lost over N130 million to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“In a month, we make 90 tones of cargo. During the lockdown, we didn’t make up to 15 tones. So we lost a lot of revenue that period. We lost over 130 million naira during the pandemic”, he said.
On resumption of activities in the aviation sector, he said “People are not patronizing airlines these days because of this social distancing. Airlines priority are passengers and not cargo. Internally and domestically we don’t have cargo airlines. It is subject to availability of space.. We use commercial plane. So, if they don’t have enough passengers, there is every likelihood that our cargo might not go.”
“For now, there are so many countries that Nigeria is not flying to and they are not equally flying to Nigeria. That has actually reduced our tonnage. Things have not really picked up and am not sure we will make what we have been making till the end of the year”.
“Also we are appealing to Federal government to put General Aviation Terminal (GAT) cargo shed, so that we can process our cargo from there. Apart from MMA2, we don’t have any other alternative. When they don’t work, we don’t work” . “We are in the good books of NCAA and FAAN. We registered with them and they allow us to do our legitimate business. We are in good relationships with them including Bi-Courtney also” .
On plans to establish a cargo facility inside the airport terminals, Subair informed “Recently, we had a meeting with the terminal manager of FAAN and GAT and they promised us a space and there is likelyhood that we will move from here and operate within the GAT terminal before the end of the year” .
With about 250 agents, the Chairman said they have done several courses with cargo managers of all the airlines and were aware of steps they want to take as regards increment in charges.
“The challenges we are facing is the monopoly of Bi-Courtney. Last time they protested and we also did not work. That is why our request is for the Federal government to put GAT in a top shape so that we can have alternative.”
“Bi-Courtney is the only one now that process cargo in their terminal. They make a lot of money from Port charges. Initially, it was 7 naira to 15 naira. because of the monopoly, they increased to 18 naira. They are threatening us now to increase it to 20 naira. While international FAAN is still charging 7 naira per kg.”