By Adegboyega Oni
Air-ground handlers – Nigerian Aviation Handling Company PLC, Skyway Aviation Handling Companies and Aviation Handling Company – have been counseled to consider adjusting their dividends to their shareholders to reflect the current economic situation in the country rather than keep slamming high charges on cargoes intermittently to meet the high taste of their shareholders for huge profits.
It would be recalled that Dr. Harold Demuren, a former director-general of Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), had advised the ground handlers to adjust their charges instead of an increase in a recent webinar organized by the handlers.
But the President of African Association of Professional Freight Forwarders and Logistics of Nigeria(APFFLON), Frank Ogunojemite, who gave the counsel, posited that the ground handlers may lose a substantial percentage of their cargo to the seaports if they keep increasing charges and fail to adjust their dividends.
Frank Ogunojemite, in an interview with PortNews on the state of freight forwarding in the country at Ikeja, Lagos last week, said the handlers could seek the intervention of government on the cost of their operation while considering dividend adjustment, saying this would reduce pressure on them to meet the financial obligations and as well reduce the burden on the generality of Nigerians who bear the pain of an incessant increase in charges as the final consumers of the imports
He said ‘’Demuren has said a good thing. If the cost of doing business in the airports keeps increasing, the ground handlers may lose a substantial percentage of their cargo to the seaport. I advise they seek government intervention and as well adjust their dividends to their shareholders instead of increasing charges all the time.’’
Ogunojemite who commended the handlers for forming their association said if a court case had not been instituted against them on charges, they would not have considered forming the association to discuss charges. He maintained that his association was happy about the development and ready to support them whenever required.
‘’We are happy with the handlers for the formation of the association. This will provide a platform where everybody can be carried along to discuss issues that affect the industry,’’ said Ogunojemite.