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Nahco’s investment in free trade will boost export drive, says Fagbemi



•Plans over N3bn investment in equipment
•Targets 47 per cent profit growth in 2019

To boost Federal Government’s economic diversification drive, the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company Plc (NAHCo), said it is investing heavily in its Free Trade Zone (NFZ), with particular focus on agricultural produce export to reduce the incidence of rejection in the international markets.

NAHCo’s Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Mrs Olatokunbo Fagbemi, said on Sunday that the move is targeted at optimising agriculture operations, while adding value to small scale exporters, especially in handling, storage, and packaging, in line with acceptable international standards.

NAHCo’s Chief Operating Officer, Herbert Odika, used to opportunity to chip in that most of the stories about Nigerian produce being sold under foreign labels are false, as these produce only survive under specific environment temperature.


He said this is why the company is urging the Ministry of Agriculture, do focus more on the soil texture to aid the preservation of Nigerian produce awaiting export.

To this end, Fagbemi said NAHCo through its NFZ, reputed as the first airport-based free trade zone in Nigeria, is not only planning educational support for small exporters particularly of perishable items, but also plans to engage with the Quarantine authorities and NEPZA.

She explained that the investment in the free zone area, is part of NAHCO’s efforts to “Diversify revenue streams beyond aviation, into land and sea logistics and other businesses.”

In line with the above, she said the company will invest up to N3.3billion in Ground Support Equipment (GSE), spread in two phases to be delivered this July and before year end.

Besides, Fagbemi said the new management has initiated a five-year transformation process, hinged on five pillars to support current diversification drive, which also include operational excellence, process digitisation, people and culture transformation to deliver set goals, and attain organic and inorganic growth to retain market leadership currently pegged at 63 per cent.

With regards to market leadership, NAHCO’s Chief Finance Officer, Adeoye Emiloju, ahead of the company’s Facts Behind The Figures and the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), tomorrow, disclosed that it hopes to achieve 27 per cent increase in revenue and 47 per cent rise in profits this current financial year, despite prevailing environment challenges.

He said: “We believe this growth projections set us on the path to challenge ourselves and work on delivering efficiencies and improving performance.”

Broken further, he said revenue target is pegged at over N13.52 billion, while gross profit is estimated in excess of N6billion, just as current performance indicators buoy the hope of achieving targets.

For instance, cargo movement is already two per cent up; no of customers, three per cent; cargo revenue, seven per cent; and cargo flights handled, 12 per cent, on year-to-date (YTD).

Besides, Fagbemi noted that NAHCo has pruned administrative cost by 17 per cent due to “efficiency in resource utilisation, and we expect that by year end there will be more reduction.”

But she attributed the rise in the operations cost to “frequent infrastructure failure at the airport, aging equipment leading to increased maintenance,” adding that “with the injection of new GSEs and ongoing improvement of airport facilities operating cost will reduce materially.”


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