The Nigerian Aviation Handling Company Plc has expanded its agricultural export business.
The Group Managing Director of NAHCO, Mrs Tokunbo Fagbemi, said the expansion was in support of the Federal Government’s efforts to diversify the economy and also boost food export businesses.
Fagbemi said the company’s agric export business had huge potential as one of the pet projects of the new management.
She said, “We are providing facilities that will encourage cold storage management. In a few months, we are creating cold storage hub for both existing and potential clients, including our new clients that want to tranship their goods through Nigeria with a bit of packaging.
“Our findings from the airlines revealed that a lot of agricultural products exported are destroyed by the time they get to their destinations, which is largely caused by inadequate storage facilities.
“We just got an approval to develop a facility in our packaging warehouse, which will tackle that challenge because it will help exporters to package their products at a particular temperature rate to reduce the incidence of rejection in the international markets.”
She said NAHCo also planned to provide CEIV Pharma, a project designed by the International Air Transport Association, to support the movement of pharmaceutical products through air transport.
“What that means is that at every point of the movement of the goods, whether vaccines or drugs, the temperature is maintained,” she said.
She explained that the company was also expanding its processing area, adding that most of its processes were governed by treaties signed by security regulations.
“So what we do is go back, look at all these processes and run our warehouse the best way we can,” she added.
Fagbemi said the Federal Government’s initiative in agriculture should be seen as a business and haven for investment and integration of food production, storage, food processing and industrial manufacturing to establish the linkage necessary in the agricultural commodity value chain.
According to her, the value chain must consider the role of players from food production to consumption and design to empower the smallholder producers to ensure that processors have good quality products for consumption.
“Our new equipment and technology would enable us to improve on its offerings to its clients, as NAHCO had recently invested about N1.9bn in equipment. The overhaul will help to replace ageing equipment which had increased maintenance cost due to high utilisation of fuel,” she added.
The Chief Operating Officer of the company, Mr Herbert Odika, said NAHCO’s strict adherence to global standards had made it outstanding in all its operations.
“We have a duty as the leading ground handler in the West Africa subregion to set standards,” he said.
He said the company would not shy away from playing a leadership role in all its operations including processing exports.