Nigeria’s ground handling companies to increase tariff by 300% in June
By Oyise Oghene
There are strong indications that the two ground handling companies in Nigeria’s aviation industry, Skyway Aviation Handling Company Limited (SAHCOL) and the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company Plc, (NAHCO) have planned to increase their tariff by 300 percent beginning anytime from June.
Disclosing this development, a source close to the two ground handling companies who did not want his name in print told Biztellers that the two companies had been meeting in the last few weeks to put finishing touches to the planned increment.
He also disclosed that they have even gone ahead to meet with the representatives of the licensed customs agents (ANLCA) to inform them of the new tariff, but the customs agents was said to be prevailing on the companies to reduce the planned 300 per cent increase to 150 per cent.
According to the source, one of the meetings held last week in Lagos, the two ground handling companies hinged their planned increment on tariff that is obtainable in other West African countries adding that the ongoing transformation at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos and other airports in the country also contributed to the planned increase.
The source also explained that in the last two years, there had been a 49 per cent increase in aviation fuel price, which has led to increases in charges and costs nationwide, and specifically among airport operators especially airlines.
The source further stated that the ground handling companies argued that there had not been any price increase since 2009 in the sector adding that “the industry being a highly regulated one, could not afford to cut corners with the current low tariffs.”
Confirming the report, the Head, Communications, SAHCOL, Mr. Basil Agboarumi stated that the two ground handling companies were actually planning to increase their tariffs by some percentage soon.
Mr. Agboarumi also noted that both organisations were currently in discussions with ANLCA on the issue and attributed the high cost of operations to the planned increase of tariff by both companies.
“What ANLCA told you is true. We are actually planning to increase the tariff by some percentage, but I can’t specifically say it is for 300 per cent because we are still discussing with them. This is a thing we would have loved to commence immediately, but we can’t just go ahead and effect it without their inputs or consent”.
“We are also cautious of the fact that we are dealing with people and we are also not ignorant of the fact that for us to remain in business, we have to increase our tariff because cost of productions have gone up very high in the last few years and cost of operations is an issue here” he stressed.
Corroborating Agboarumi, ANLCA Secretary, Mr. Davies Ben, who spoke on telephone with our correspondent, said that the two ground handlers are still discussing with ANLCA.
He emphasised that the two ground handlers could not independently increase the tariff without some inputs from the agents, stressing that, “They have not increased the tariff yet. We are still discussing. They cannot increase it independently”