The Federal Government has said concrete steps are being geared towards ensuring Nigeria air cargo businesses and their operations are revamped in order to make cargo movements’ charts through the country’s airports top on the Africa continent.
Nigeria currently ranks 5th in Africa’s air cargo movements while it also imports more than she exports, creating an imbalance that is adversely affecting the economy.
Speaking at an inauguration of three sub-committees of the AviaCargo committee in Lagos, Mr. Ikechi Uko, Coordinator of the committee, said Nigeria can move up the ladder of air cargo movements in Africa if all hands were on deck.
Ikechi explained that “We need to be number one in Africa, in a hurry for the simple fact that we have the largest economy in Africa, we have busy airports, and we want to be the hub for cargo movements in West Africal
” i Kenya is ranked number one in Africa, yet it has a smaller economy, what are we not doing right in Nigeria where we have busier airports?
“We found some gaps and that gave rise to setting up these committees. We found out that the quantity of domestic cargo through the airports is too small; we cannot develop a regional cargo hub without having strong domestic operations. Why are the airlines not taking this seriously”, he said.
The coordinator, who noted further that there is a need for an engagement with the logistics companies, revealed that the issue of funding was also identified.
“We have three years to turn things around but we can do this in 18 months if we are committed. We plan to work with five clusters, what we can do to scale up production, export and distribution in all the clusters. We will work using the Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) analysis for each of the clusters”, he added.
Earlier, Mr. Hycineth Ngwu, General manager, Business Development, (FAAN), explained that the Managing Director of FAAN, Captain Rabiu Yadudu, decided to champion the development of air cargo by first nominating Ikechi Uko as coordinator of AviaCargo committee to kickstart the process.
The three sub-committees inaugurated on Tuesday are the Airport, Cargo and Export sub-committees having 45 days to deliver its results.