Dr. Olu Owlabi, Managing Director of Skyway Aviation Handling Company Limited SAHCOL has decried the high cost of tariff in purchasing ground handling equipment.
Speaking in his office at the cargo complex in Lagos, Dr. Owolabi said the high tariffs on imports has remained the greatest challenge in cargo handling.
According to the SAHCOL boss, the company recently acquired some state of the art equipment for the handling of the South African Airways that was making a debut in to Abuja airport, got the handling equipment at a very high tariff cost
While condemning the high tariff cost, Owolabi called on government to address the situation urgently to save the handling companies from collapse especially with the high rate of foreign exchange that has affected imports and exports.
Owolabi who noted that there has been increase in export in recent time urged, the Standard Organizations of Nigeria (SON) to be proactive by embarking on enlightenment programme for farmers at the grass root on the type of farm produce to be cultivated for export and packaging.
According to him, the days of exporting rotten products were over in the country and appealed to all agents at the airports not to frustrate exporters by introducing bottle neck with the introduction of different forms of levies.
Owolabi regretted that packaging companies in the country has not been able to live up to expectation in packaging farm produce and urged them to double up.
While calling on government to stop paying lip services to cargo business but to create a common warehouse for farmers to evacuate their farm produce, Owolabi urged FAAN to build locations for cargo pickups for onward movement to farmers.
The SAHCOL boss noted that foreign airlines have been landing in the country with heavy tonnages while they go back empty and challenged exporters to take the advantage to negotiate with these carriers as low as fifty percent to convey their goods abroad as against the airlines going back empty.