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Price war killing ground handling firms : Aviation


Ground handling firms in Nigeria’s aviation industry are lamenting the raging price war on their operations as they seeking the intervention of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to restore normalcy to the industry.

Managing Director of Skyway Aviation Handling Company Limited (SAHCOL), Mr. Basil Agboarumi, who stated recently at the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos, during an interaction with aviation journalists, said unhealthy rivalry by investors in Nigeria’s ground handling industry has led to ridiculous charges on airlines and refusal to make upward adjustment on fees to reflect existing economic realities. He said the ugly trend has marred the ability of investors to recoup investments.

“The price war going on has ensured that we have not reviewed prices in so many years to reflect the changes in the economy, the fluctuation in the exchange rate or even the recession,” he said. “We are losing a lot of money. Airlines come in and pay peanuts because of the ongoing price war. The NCAA needs to step in; this is what the CBN (Central Bank of Nigeria) and regulators do in other sectors because our airlines, when they go outside, are made to pay exorbitantly for ground handling services, which doesn’t allow them compete with those who come here and pay peanuts,” he added.

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Agboarumi said SAHCOL plans to be enlisted on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) as part of measures to recapitalise and expand its operations beyond Nigeria into other West African markets. He said talks have reached advance stages between the ground handling firm and officials of NSE and that an agreement would soon be reached on the actual date the company would be listed on the floor of NSE.

He stated that the company is exploring the possibility of making an inroad into the West African market and hence funds are required for the purchase of equipment and the hiring of additional staff. He said talks between the company and NSE have to be stalled at a stage some time in 2016 due to the economic recession that had bedevilled the country.

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