.…..insists grant of waiver on cargo rest with government
The Nigerian Aviation Handling Company Plc (NAHCO) says it lost N1.4 billion during the one month lockdown by government due to the COVID-19.
This is just as the company has ruled out granting 100% waiver on cargo cut in the lockdown.
Group Executive Director, Business Development and Commercial, Prince Shaheed Lasisi in a chat with newsmen in Lagos said, ” Aviation sector has lost N17 billion monthly due to the lockdown and out of that N17 billion if you calculate for ground handling and catering we have lost like N2 billion and from that NAHCO has lost N1.4 billion monthly.”
Explaining further, Lasisi noted that during the period 90% of its revenue were impeded because there were no International flights coming in only skeletal services in cargo.
“Even our own overheads we can’t even cater for it with 10% and you are giving waiver on that 10% so how do you survive as a company when you have over 2,200 staff to cater for?”
He added that 85% of its staff were currently at home because there was nothing for them to do at the airport, adding that apart from the cargo service that is ongoing, the airports were still shut for passenger.
On the waiver on demurrage by clearing agents, the NAHCO ED, BD&C stressed hat there was no directive from the government approving waiver of any form for the customs clearing agents at the airport.
According to him, “it is government that gives waiver like what happened in the Nigeria Ports Authority, NPA, granted waiver for certain periods during the lockdown especially and the letter was written to the terminal operators, so it was government given waivers to operators not terminal operators giving waivers. As private organizations everybody is affected by the lockdown so no private sector is giving waiver apart from donations to support government in the ongoing war against COVID-19.”
Lasisi said the covid-19 lockdown has greatly affected the whole aviation sector with only five cargo airlines operating into the country.
Lasisi stated that every waiver would be given as soon as government gives the directive adding that for now there was nothing like waiver because NAHCO was not given any palliatives.
“Those goods does not belong to the clearing agents, we have importers who are called the consignee, clearing agents are just middle men. What we expect them to do and we have adviced them is to go to the appropriate quarters, they can approach the PTF or write to Ministry of Aviation”.
He said NAHCO has over a million tonnage in its warehouse and were safely kept in good condit
“Over a million tonnage that is over one million kilos of cargoes in the warehouse when we are even discussing this during the lockdown period we have to bring some certain staff, even some of them slept here for about two weeks because they couldn’t move to provide this essential service, protect the Cargo, make sure they are safe, so we spent a lot of money than normal day and if anything had happened to the cargo you will see the other side of these clearing agents.”