By Foster Obi
West Africa’s foremost ground handling company, NAHCO Plc yesterday commissioned its Export Processing and Packaging Centre at its Lagos headquarters.
The commissioning was done by the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo represented by Mrs Olubunmi Oluwaseun Kuku, MD/CE of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria(FAAN).
The event was attended by various stakeholders in the Nigerian aviation sector, including Directors from FAAN and DSS; the Nigerian Customs Service, and the Nigerian Police.
NAHCO, handled the United States Secretary of State’s flight upon its arrival in Abuja on Tuesday January 23, 2024. The Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, embarked on a four-nation African tour earlier in week.
GMD/CEO, NAHCO PLC, Mr. Indranil Gupta had hinted about the Company’s plans for 2024, including the company’s investment in a state-of-the art Export Processing Centre, which would set a new standard for export processing in Nigeria.
Speaking at the launch, the Chairman of NAHCO’s Board of Directors, Dr Seinde Fadeni pleaded for the support of the Federal Government to enable the company achieve its set objectives.
While appreciating the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo, Fadeni said NAHCO, as a private sector operator, “values the support of the government to make the business environment less challenging”.
He noted that the occasion was not to state the “numerous challenges that we face while operating at the Airport,” but to thank God and those who made it possible.
“We have achieved this and the new task is to set a new goal. Our only request to the government on this occasion would be that; should we need your support in our quest to move aviation forward in Nigeria in own little way, please be there for us.
“At NAHCO, we firmly believe that there is a lot of foreign exchange that Nigeria can earn through food exports. We have come to lead the charge. We would need the government to give us all the support we need,” he stated.
The chairman held that the livelihood and prosperity of many Nigerians depend on the export of perishables, asking the government to summon a meeting of stakeholders to deliberate on the ways to move the segment forward.
“And to all our stakeholders, the airlines, the agents, exporters, farmers, I tell you this today: NAHCO is ready for export business. You cannot get this facility anywhere else in Nigeria. It is built with you in mind. I urge you to use it,” Fadeni added.
Meanwhile, Gupta, maintained, “Non-oil exports will have to play a pivotal role in strengthening the economic might of our great nation”.
According to him, exports bring about economic development by way of earning foreign exchange and helping the domestic economy by generating jobs, thereby putting money into the pockets of Nigerians.
Picture: Nahco officials shows the Minister’s representative (FAAN MD) round the state of the art facility during the commissioning.