Connect with us


FAAN committee seeks revival of cargo lifting from Plateau



The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) aviation cargo roadmap development committee  has called for the revival of cargo lifting  from the Plateau airport.

Mr Ikechi Uko, Coordinator of the committee, made this known during a fact-finding meeting on Friday in Jos.

Uko noted that Plateau which used to be known to be a major contributor to air cargo transportation in the past has gone from 25 flights per day to barely available.

He noted that research had shown that Plateau’s location and agricultural potential is central to the progress of the nation.

The committee, he said, held a fact-finding meeting which is aimed towards boosting exportation of agricultural products in the state.

“We chose to come to Plateau first, because this is the food basket of Nigeria and this airport is central to the future of this particular thing because they have done it in the past; if we can get it right in Plateau, then we have solved Nigeria’s problem.

“So if it is only this airport we can get to be active to begin to export, then Nigeria can do well. We heard that in the past they had 25flights a day out of Jos but today if you have one flight, it’s a miracle; so what went wrong?

“We are here on a fact finding mission, we have seen the State Governor, we have told him what we observed and what we think we need to do, such as widen the runway a little, build a warehouse with cold chain facilities so that when you bring this fresh produce from the farm you can keep them there until the plane comes.

“Because if you bring them to the airport now and there is no aircrafts they are gone, so that’s why we are here, after meeting with the state government we are meeting with the producers to examine their challenges and how can we change this narrative,” he said.

Uko explained that the reports from the visit to Plateau when collated, would serve as a template to the other states the group will be visiting.

“So when we go back, in writing our reports, we would say, this is what we think went wrong in Plateau state, If we can solve whatever has gone wrong, then we can use this template and take to other states and begin to implement them” he said..

Also speaking, Mr Davou Gyang, the Plateau Commisioner for Transport noted that though repairs on  the airport is the federal government’s responsibility, the benefits for reviving the sector would be of immense  to the people of Plateau.

“We have had an interaction with the airport authority and got to know that the runway is so limited for cargoes to land, that is the only limitation we have at hand which of course, is the federal government’s project.

“But our visitors here today are pleading with the state government if need be, by considering the advantages to the Plateau people, they are pleading and asking the state government to intervene by way of doing such upgrade.

“So that we can blossom the economy of the state and as well bring in other investors into the state from other countries of the world. So basically, that’s why we are here discussing on the ways we can boost the agricultural setting in Plateau,” he said.

Earlier, Mr Dung Dayi and Mr Lomak Yakubu producers of agro products in the state while highlighting some of the challenges confrinting air cargo llifting, highlighted high rate of travel charges and cheaper imports of same produce among other factors.

It was reported that stakeholders from all relevant sectors of the economy, Standard Organisation of Nigeria, Export Promotion Council,Tourism Council, Agriculture, Transportation participated in the deliberations.

It was reported that the Federal Government set up the Avia-Cargo Roadmap Committee to investigate the dwindling rate of air cargo transport within and out of the country with Plateau being the first point of focus due to its agricultural strengths.

It was reported that the federal government said addressing aviation cargo processing and facilitation will increase in volumes to rank Nigeria among the first or at least the second in Africa before or by the year 2027.

Nigeria is in the fifth position in Africa, having facilitated only 204, 649 tonnes of Cargo in 2021.

The terms of reference for the committee includes among others to articulate action plans that meet international best practice and assign timelines for facilitation of cargo processing at our airports and articulate guidelines that meet international best practice for Public-Private Partnership in developing modern cargo infrastructures and facilities for optimum air-cargo facilitation that meets destination Country’s standard.

The committee is also to articulate programmes and incentives that will encourage mass participation of local airlines in domestic cargo facilitation, articulate mechanisms that will bridge the Turn-around time in cargo facilitation.

Others are articulate solutions to lack of adequate insurance coverage in the cargo value chain and any other suggestions that may help us achieve the desired goal in cargo business in our airports”.

Patience Aliyu

NEWSVERGE, published by The Verge Communications is an online community of international news portal and social advocates dedicated to bringing you commentaries, features, news reports from a Nigerian-African perspective. A unique organization, founded in the spirit of Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, comprising of ordinary people with an overriding commitment to seeking the truth and publishing it without fear or favour. The Verge Communications is fully registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as a corporate organization.



Shell Digital Plan RESPONSIVE600x750
Shell Digital Plan RESPONSIVE600x750