Freight Forwarders in Nigeria’s aviation sector have bemoaned the arbitrary charges being collected by government agencies, airlines and ground handling firms at the nation’s airport.
Chairman, Nigerian Association Of Freight Forwarders And Consolidators (NAFFAC), Airport Chapter, Mr Abdul Abu said the multiple charges being collected by these agencies makes agro export from the country uncompetitive.
Speaking during the Aviation Safety Round Table Initiative, ASRTI, Business Breakfast Meeting, held in Lagos, with the theme: ‘Nigerian Aviation Sector Charges, Duties and Tariffs: Truly Exorbitant’, he said all the charges and tariffs have a major role to play on the cost of goods been exported from Nigeria or been imported into Nigeria.
He said these charges are making Nigeria exports loose markets to international competitors and depriving the country of the much-needed foreign exchange.
Abu called on the country’s regulatory body, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, to interrogate freight rates issued by carriers for both import and export and check whether this are commensurate with other international cargo rates.
He said: ‘Our interest is majorly to contribute towards creating a progressive operating environment that enhances the delivery of cargo (import/ exports), such that international trade of Nigeria will be supported. But these charges and tariff we are talking about, freight rates issued by carriers, handling rates issued by handling agents, namely NAHCO and SAHCOL, Statutory rates issued by Federal
Government Agencies are not commensurate with international best practice.
‘We also concerned with arbitrary on official charges by personnel of Federal Government agencies.
‘It is the position of NAFFAC that all the above charges and tariffs that comes under the above have a major role to play on the cost of goods been exported from Nigeria or been imported into Nigeria.
‘On import such charges brings in higher cost of goods, whereas on export such charges makes our produce uncompetitive, thus making Nigeria exports loose grounds to international competitors, in this regard NAFFAC looks up to NCAA to interrogate freight rates issued by carriers for both import and export and check whether this are commensurate with other international cargo rates.
‘FAAN is manning those scanners illegally and collecting 7 naira per kilo on cargo since it is not an agency empowered to take part in cargo processing, beyond this NCAA should also interrogate the collection of charges of carrier based on cargo weights as per cargo manifest a document that FAAN has no power to demand for.
‘More so it is generally known that FAAN collects handling and parking fees based on the landing weight of the aircrafts which includes cargo these charges are ultimately passed to freight forwarders who then pass them on to the owners of the goods.