NAHCO re-positions as investment in handling equipment to hit N3.6bn by Sept. 2019

Mrs. Olatokunbo Fagbemi, GMD/CEO, NAHCOaviance while briefing the press on Friday

…Fagbemi says N1.9bn already invested few months back

…Company rolls out 5-year strategic plan

…says NAHCO would maintain leadership position in handling business

Posted by Sade Williams

Rising from the palpable quietness and the aura that enveloped the company after the erstwhile managing director, Idris Yakubu was allegedly asked to resign by the Board, the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO) plc, says it is re-positioning and has invested N1.9 billion on ground support equipment (GSE) in the last few months, adding that by September 2019, continuous investment in GSE would hit N3.6 billion.

Olatokunbo Fagbemi, group managing director/Chief Executive Officer of the company made these disclosures at a press briefing at the company’s headquarters at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja on Friday.

Fagbemi, who assumed the GMD/CEO position six weeks ago, said the management has evolved new vision and mission to reposition the company with a view to attracting more customers and reshape the market.

She said the new vision of the company is to be the leading service provider, to continuously innovate and reshape the market, adding that in the next five to six years of growth plan, NAHCOaviance would have assumed an enviable position that would be unrivaled.

“Sometimes last year, a lot of changes took place in NAHCO, the Board made some changes which led to my becoming the GMD/MD but I joined NAHCO as Executive member in August last year. So one of the things I was charged to do is to do a business review, we have to engage KPMG on that and we went to Kigali to do strategic review, therefore, we have a new vision and mission for this company including our three subsidiaries: NAHCO Free trade zone, Logistics and Power .

“We want this business to grow from what it is now to five times bigger and stronger as part of the 5-year strategic plan, in five years time, this company would have attained a greater height that is unfathomable, I am not saying the journey would be smooth but we will do everything to achieve this , we will introduce automation, we will be different, NAHCO wants to maintain leadership position in the business, we want to drive the business in an excellent way, so we are looking at 5-7 times growth plan which is audacious but achievable”, she said.

On GSE, Fagbemi said: ‘the company has invested about N1.9 billion on equipment in the last couple of months, these equipment would be shipped into Nigeria soon and by September this year, we would have invested close to N3.6 billion. We are going to have a master plan for our facilities, we will also refurbish what we have; the warehouse, the buildings/structures and equipment too, we will do everything to attract customers, we will set new standards. We also know that we are in a business where our customers are stronger than us so there is pressure on pricing but that should not make us compromise safety and security”, she added.

She added that the new management as led by her, operates an open-door policy, adding, ‘we are selling the new vision, mission and cultural changes to everyone, everybody in the company is involved, we just want to let the public know where we are, we just want to be open about where we are going. We’ve gone to the stock exchange and we will continue to engage them on where we are going’.

While explaining reasons for the exit of Lufthansa airline from the company, she said the airline acted based on its corporate decision,  adding that it was a decision taken in 2016 but happened in 2018.

She said: Lufthansa’s leaving has nothing to do with NAHCO, rather, it has to do with Corporate decision in 2016, Lufthansa is still in some business with us, so it shows it wasn’t an issue with NAHCO”.

She conclude by asking the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), to intervene in the pricing war in ground handling business in Nigeria such that the companies would operate safely without infringing on any safety and security regulations.

There is no doubt that some customers have left NAHCO but others have also come into NAHCO, there are areas of competition we need to improve on, we have to think about the issue of anti-trust, we have to ensure that we do not compete in such a way that safety is not considered but the regulators should ensure that there is balance in the completion so that it does not affect safety”.

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