”We felt that no matter what government is doing for the airlines, ground handling should be included and benefit from it too.
“We also place orders so that the manufacturers do them. We pay quite a lot of money to get in our handling equipment. We believe that what should be done is that same kind of waivers that the airlines are enjoying should also be extended to us to make life easier for us.
“We are taking our case to the government, Ministry of Aviation and the NCAA as the representative of government in the aviation industry.
“The last point was NCAA requesting for some information from us and some of the things that we learnt has to do with the issues have been raised in some higher places and they needed to submit data and positions.
“So we submitted our position and I believe that they have taken it from us and we are expecting a feedback from government in that regard. We believe governments should look at us.”
Agboarimi disclosed that SAHCO spend huge sum as customs duty on most of its equipment and this could be saved and ploughed back to improve the business if waivers are granted.
“As I talk to you, there are equipment we placed orders for since early 2020. By the time pandemic started, we still wanted to go on but we couldn’t raise funds. There was one that finished manufacturing and we couldn’t have money to pay, so they have to give it to another ground handling company.
“Sometimes, it takes about six months to produce ground handling equipment. These are some of the challenges. We fabricate those ones we have the capacity to do”
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NEMA’s Lagos Territorial Office Coordinator, Ibrahim Farinloye who confirmed the crash, said rescue operations were ongoing.
He said details were still sketchy, adding that information would be provided as soon as they were available.
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Emirates airline suspends operations in Nigeria over $85m trapped funds
From September 1st, 2022, Emirates airlines will cease to operate flight operations in and out of Nigeria.
It could be recalled that Emirate airline had cut down on its weekly number of flights into Lagos from 11 to seven over US$85 million of funds awaiting repatriation from Nigeria.
The airline said the figure has been rising by more than $US10 million every month, as the ongoing operational costs of our 11 weekly flights to Lagos and 5 to Abuja continue to accumulate.
They, however, said that the trapped funds are urgently needed to meet operational costs and maintain the commercial viability of their services to Nigeria.
“We simply cannot continue to operate at the current level in the face of mounting losses, especially in the challenging post-COVID-19 climate. Emirates did try to stem the losses by proposing to pay for fuel in Nigeria in Naira, which would have at least reduced one element of our ongoing costs, however, this request was denied by the supplier,” the airline had said.
However, with no considerable improvement and headway in repatriating the trapped fund, the airline, on Thursday, announced the suspension of its operations in Nigeria indefinitely.
The statement reads, “Emirates has tried every avenue to address our ongoing challenges in repatriating funds from Nigeria, and we have made considerable efforts to initiate dialogue with the relevant authorities for their urgent intervention to help find a viable solution.
“Regrettably there has been no progress. Therefore, Emirates has taken the difficult decision to suspend all flights to and from Nigeria, effective 1st September 2022, to limit further losses and impact on our operational costs that continue to accumulate in the market.
“We sincerely regret the inconvenience caused to our customers, however, the circumstances are beyond our control at this stage. We will be working to help impacted customers make alternative travel arrangements wherever possible.”
“Should there be any positive developments in the coming days regarding Emirates’ blocked funds in Nigeria, we will of course re-evaluate our decision. We remain keen to serve Nigeria, and our operations provide much-needed connectivity for Nigerian travelers, providing access to trade and tourism opportunities to Dubai, and to our broader network of over 130 destinations.”
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