The Managing Director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria(FAAN), Capt. Rabiu Hamisu Yadudu has disclosed strategic plans and implementation of federal government directives to ensure the aim at boosting the air cargo business sub sector of the Nigerian aviation industry.
Whilst he identified impediments like infrastructure decay, multiple government agencies conducting the same checks and oversights at airports among others as hampering the development of cargo business in Nigeria, he expressed optimism that the cargo sector is in for a great leap.
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Speaking at an Aviacargo conference in Lagos on “The Role of Airport Authority in Growth and Development of Aviation Cargo in Nigeria”, the FAAN helmsman acknowledged that multiple activities of government agencies resulted in the increase in cost of operations and loss of revenue to cargo handling companies and agents.
To arrest the ugly trends, Yadudu said parts of the turnaround plans to support, develop and enhance air cargo business in the country was the designation of strategic airports as Cargo Airports.
He listed them to include Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Kano, Owerri, Calabar, Akure, Ilorin, Jos, Makurdi and Minna airports affirming that freight of fresh agricultural produce from local communities to markets within Africa, Asia, Europe, USA and countries across the world will originate from the airports.
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Yadudu urged cooperation among players in the cargo businesses and identified lack of synergy with ground handlers, limited number of cargo facilities to handle import, export and trans-shipment, low patronage by domestic airlines as factors that makes the airports underutilized and lack of specialised warehouses.
According to him, while FAAN awaits the take-off of the National Single Window, it is exploring the possibility of creating a One-Stop-Shop in the Cargo Terminal.
The OSS would comprise of all critical border agencies working together from the same location to fast track cargo clearance and reduce impediments to trade through sharing of information physically and electronically, he added.
Also, he said export at the Lagos Airport is currently done 24h hours while import business is carried out from 8am – 4pm, adding that plans are at an advanced stage to extend the working hours for import operation to 24 hours service .