Worried by the low rate of exportation of perishable items, a cargo expert, Herbert Odika, Chief Executive officer of FMC aviation services limited, has called on the federal government to remove landing costs for carriers of such items in order to encourage exports in the country.
He made the call in a chat with aviation correspondents in Lagos.
“For perishable items, if the government can give concession in terms of taxes, I will not subscribe to out rightly removing them but concession in terms of lowering them and out rightly removing landing costs for carriers of these perishable goods to encourage them to come into Nigeria and lift and also encourage farmers”, he said.
According to him, it was time for Nigeria to commence exportation of such items to other countries while government concession its taxes on them.
While noting that the volume of cargo importation into the country has drastically dropped, the cargo expert urged the federal government to take advantage of the situation to encourage export by providing enabling environment.
“If you are flying your aircraft at 50% load factor you go back and reasses the inability of coming into the country. It is not only about signing agreements, its profit oriented, for now, there is a lot of meltdown especially in the area of cargo and with the current exchange rate in the financial world, its not profitable to import now”.
“Basically as a country, I think it’s an opportunity for people to go into export, the market has now digressed from import to export”
On the prospects of local airlines on the international routes, Mr. Odika said Medview airlines must be commended for its operations on the London Gatwick so far.
“I have personally flown the airline and I am rather impressed that the model that they put in place is the attractive fare but I don’t know what their profits margins are but I want to say they have done very well in terms of starting this”
He said with the experienced leadership of the airline in understanding the dynamics of the business, they will be able to sustain its operations.
Odika urged the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority to closely monitor airlines maintenance to avoid any mishap.
On levy increment by aviation agencies, he opined that it should be justified in all forms.
He added that rather than sudden increase, it should be staggered.
By: Sade Williams