By ADAKU WALTER
Africa Association of Professional Freight Forwarders and Logistics of Nigeria (APFFLON) has criticised the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO) Plc. and Free On Board (FOB) Goods and Logistics Company for abandoning a N250 million packing firm at the Murtala Muhammad Airport (MMA), Lagos.
President of APFFLON, Otunba Frank Ogunojemite, stated this in a letter addressed to the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika in which he lamented that it was unfortunate that two years after FOB and NAHCO announced plans to build a N250 million packaging factory, they abandoned the project.
He argued that NAHCO would have been more willing to make the project feasible if it assured economic gains for the company, adding that the aviation sector, shippers and the entire country would have benefitted immensely from the project.
Ogunojemite maintained that the factory was aimed at ‘Brand Nigeria’ to improve the packaging of all local items leaving the country for more visibility and global acceptance, noting that APFFLON and other stakeholders in the sector had anticipated assistance from the facility, which would have enhanced the quality and quantity of Nigeria’s exports.
He described the project as a national assignment, which was to ensure that products exported from Nigeria met international standards through proper labeling and packaging, stressing that the benefits of the facility would have been enormous even as Nigeria prepares for the African Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA).
“It would have also created jobs for the youth and showed that the government was committed to an enabling environment through its zero-oil policy to encourage the youths in works that would meet standards for export.
“We call on the Minister of Aviation to use his supervisory powers to get the project established for the overall good of the nation even as we draw his attention to the fact that NAHCO and its crony, Skyway Aviation Handling Company (SAHCO) PLC, have collaborated to increase ground handling charges by 70 per cent and successfully collects these new fees for almost two years,” he said.
In view of the several challenges facing Nigeria’s economy with huge losses to shippers, exporters and forex problems in the country, APFFLON appealed to NAHCO, FOB and other stakeholders to fulfill their promises of provide the aviation sector a befitting packaging factory that would enhance ease of doing business at the Lagos Airport.
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