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By NBF News
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Strong indications have emerged that Nahco and Sahcol, would soon raise their cargo handling charges by 300 percent.

Our correspondent gathered from inside sources that Nahco and Sahcol have been holding talks and engaging with the licensed customs agents before the new rates are announced before the year ends.

It was also gathered that customs agents are putting pressure on Nahco and Sahcol to reduce the planned 300 percent increase to 150 percent at most.

The impending 300 percent cargo handling charges by the ground handlers, our correspondent gathered, equate Nigerian charges with tariffs in other West African countries.

Some other reasons, according sources in both Nahco and Sahcol who didn't want their names in print, include: 'the transformation at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA) and other airports which is putting a lot of pressure on the ground handling companies; the customs area command at MMIA that enforces compliance of full payment of customs duties and the general operating environment.'

They said that the ground handlers who pay concession fees to FAAN still invest heavily on provision of security and alternative power supply to run their numerous ground support equipment, thus the need to raise more revenue to remain afloat.

They also noted that 49 percent in fuel price hike has also led to increases in charges and costs nationwide,specifically among airport operators, especially airlines.

Our sources say the new price regime is necessary because there has not been any price increase since 2009.

The ground handlers also believed that the industry, being a highly regulated one, could not afford to cut corners with the current low tariffs.