The Managing Director of Skyway Aviation Handling Company, Mr. Rizwan Kadri, says the firm may lose between N70m and N80m monthly revenue during the closure of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja for runway repairs.
Kadri said SAHCOL had not decided on whether it would move its equipment and personnel to the Kaduna airport, adding that the government was taking the right step to repair the Abuja airport’s runway, which was long overdue, but was going about it in a wrong way.
He added, “The stakeholders are going to lose a lot of revenue if airlines are not going to Abuja. That is why the foreign airlines are not going to the Kaduna airport. We are definitely going to lose a lot of revenue; if we make about N70m to N80m out of Abuja in a month, we have lost that.
“No one asked us what we think. We will need to move manpower and equipment to Kaduna. We will continue to pay them salary if they stay on in Abuja doing nothing for six weeks. We are still hanging in the balance; we are still waiting. We hope it lasts just six weeks.”
Kadri also said that for Nigeria to fully benefit from its untapped export market, the government must address the challenges of global certification of agro-allied products and enhance infrastructure.
He added, “We need safety on the roads, empower our farmers and give them facilities to help grow their products. If government invests in these, the returns will be in tenfold. The road infrastructure have to come in, the freezing facilities also have to come in, because the farmers are in remote places and for them to exports, the products have to come in from one of the major airports, either Lagos, Abuja, or Kano.
“They also need the refrigerators fans. The government has to get into the global certification process because the goods are going out and they are accepted from other countries but not from Nigeria. The government should have confidence in the products we have. The vegetables, mangoes and yams can be acceptable through the global certification process.”
He disclosed that as against 31 million metric tonnes carried by the handing company in 2015, imports last year gradually increased by 12.9 per cent to 35 million tonnes.
All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from PUNCH.