July 27, (THEWILL) – The Upper Chamber of the National Assembly, the Senate, has pledged that it is saddled with the task of assessing the situation with privatised entities and intervene where necessary to ensure their operations are flawless.
The Senate Committee on Privatisation, led by its Chairman, Senator Theodore Orji, gave the promise on Monday when the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company Plc, nahco aviance, hosted the senators.
The committee also expressed willingness to bring the desired major challenges of the company to the floor of the Senate for consideration.
Senator Orji stated that, his committee is saddled with the task of accessing the situation with privatised entities and intervene where necessary to ensure their operations are flawless.
According to Sen, Orji, ‘’we have come for oversight functions on Nigerian Aviation Handling Company NAHCO (PLC). How they are faring, their constraints and how the committee can intervene to help them.
“My take on the company is that I’ve seen it and commended the group managing director, they are doing well, within the presentation you see the revenue before and you see the revenue now, you see they are trying, it is not easy especially during this COVID period and their areas of operations is so wide that is our impression.
Group Managing Director of NAHCO PLC, Mrs. Tokunbo Fagbemi expressed optimism that the committee would take their prayers seriously.
According to her, the crux of their prayer is for the works started on the Civil Aviation Act to be completed as that would pave way for benefits enjoyed by the airlines to trickle down to handling companies who are dependent on them.
She said,” one of the things we’ve asked for is that the Civil Aviation Act, the work started on it be completed as soon as possible because we believe that would open up opportunities in within the civil aviation industry and we support airlines in the same industry so whatever benefits the industry ultimately will trickle down to us.
“What I am saying if you have better regulatory frameworks, it will benefit the airlines and when it benefits the airlines it benefits us. We depend on the airlines and that is why we want that airline are stronger”.
Mrs. Fagbemi also said the management discussed the possibilities of granting waivers of under 10% interest loans like airlines as well as tax incentives to give the handling companies parity as they also buy equipment in foreign exchange and doesn’t have the luxury of converting them when the game changes.
She said, “One of the things we discussed, and we want government to look at is, where we can have waivers on duties just like the airlines have it, we can have some tax incentives and tax relief. We are also looking at below 10% interest rate borrowing like what the airlines have because we also buy our equipment in foreign exchange. “It is even worse off for us, an airline can sell its aircraft we can’t sell our equipment; they can choose to convert the aircraft from passenger to freighter, but we are stuck with the equipment, when an equipment life I exhausted we just scrap it.”
Promising to investigate the prayers Senator Orji said “If you look at their presentation, the last page titled our prayers: this contains their constraints and mostly, its government that would solve these problems for them not themselves, they will try but majority of the solution is on government.
“So, we will carry this along and do our bid and I’m sure that the relevant agencies and government parastatals will know about this. One of the things we’ve come here to do is find out their problems so we can intervene, everywhere we have gone to this is the objective. Find out their problems; find out how we can help, access them whether they are doing good or bad’’.