Chairman, AGHAN, Mr. Olaniyi Adigun
Ground Handling Companies in Nigeria can now heave a sigh of relief as the Federal Government has approved a new Safety Threshold Handling rates for ground handling services in the aviation sector.
The new rates are to take effect from October 1, 2021 for international airlines and January 1, 2022 for domestic airlines.
The new handling rates approval is coming after 35years of the last amendment in 1986 by handlers.
The Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA in a document convening the Federal Government’s approval shown that, the amount approved for handlers for passenger and cargo flights for narrow and wide body aircraft for foreign operations are between $1,500 and $5,000 while domestic operators will now pay between N20,000 and N70,000, depending on the aircraft type.
The document stated, narrow bodied aircraft to include Boeing B737, Airbus A320, ER 135 and ATR, while wide bodied aircraft are B767, A330, B777, B747 and B787.
The Director General, NCAA, Captain Musa Nuhu at a news conference in Lagos said, the new rates was done in consultation with all stakeholders and approved by the Ministry of Aviation.
He explained that, it was not fair that same services were provided by Nigerian handlers like their counterpart in the Africa sub-region but paid less.
“Why should I be charging $400 in Nigeria when my neighbor country is charging $4,000 and you except the ground handlers to give you the same service, that’s not feasible and this charges is a reflection in the ECOWAS region”.
Reacting to the development, the Chairman, Aviation of Ground Handling Association of Nigeria, AGHAN, Mr. Olaniyi Adigun said, the federal government had saved them from extinction because the low pricing was gradually killing the ground handling sub-sector in the aviation industry.
He stated that, with the right pricing in handling rates, they would be able to provide quality, efficient and safe service delivery to the airlines.
“With the right pricing in handling rates, we will be able to provide quality, efficient and safe service delivery to our clients. We will be able to compete with any service provider gradually and we will be able to acquire modern equipment that can facilitate handling, it’s a new dawn and a new development that will inject more lives into the industry, it’s a win-win situation”.
Speaking on the benefits accruing from the new rates, the Vice President of AGHAN, Mr. Ahmed Bashir said, they would be be able to recruit more Nigerians, increase the welfare of staff, acquire better and modern equipment as well as develop capacity.
“The impact is that it will be able to sustain the industry, ensure stability and financial stability for the handlers. We will be able to recruit more Nigerians and increase the welfare of our staff. It will also ensure that we have better and modern equipment, develop our capacity. We will be able to initiate modern trainings and all these are cost effective. And, some of the training are not even conducted here in Nigeria”.
They commended the Minister of Aviation’s vision for a safer sky for Nigeria, stability in the industry and for his innovative ideas that had helped to transform the industry.