Targets cargo bill of rights

By Prince Okafor

There are positive indications that the persistent challenges of delays and exorbitant charges for cargo at airports in Nigeria are poised for resolution.

The Federal Government, through the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, is undertaking measures to develop a cargo bill of rights, aiming to enhance exports and eradicate corruption within the system-a move recommended by the AviaCargo committee.

Recent reports from Aviation World reveal a historical trend of cargo leaving Nigeria being frequently rejected in international markets, particularly in Europe and America, citing quality concerns.

Notably, Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport and Lagos Airport lead with exorbitant charges among African airports. This situation, condemned by the International Air Transport Organisation, IATA, has been identified as a hindrance to the growth and profitability of indigenous carriers.

Stakeholders emphasize that delays and excessive charges for cargo at airports can lead to substantial economic losses, estimating that each day of delay costs the global air cargo industry approximately $500 million.

Why Nigerian goods are rejected abroad – Uko

Speaking at the monthly briefing with FAAN Managing Director, FAAN, Mr. Kabir Mohammed, FAAN, Aviacargo Coordinator Ikechi Uko, said that the five stage project plan is almost completed.

He noted that that other part of the project includes the collation and report writing of the findings by Subject Matter experts.

He identified 10 points that have been identified by the Committee for implementation. Among the highlights of his presentation includes the FAAN Cargo bill of rights that guarantees the swift, transparent and efficient handling of any good that steps into any Nigerian Airport.

The designated cargo village, he said will transform unknown goods to known Goods.

“Nigerian exports are rejected because they are unknown and cannot be traced. So the job of the Aviacargo Village is to transform unknown or unsecured goods to known goods before export. This is the global standard and should be enforced in Nigeria.

“Nigeria has successfully implemented IATA IOSA for airlines and should establish a similar thing for players in the cargo ecosystem.

“The identified levels of registration and certification needed for the industry will be starting from farm registration to certification of cargo agents, handling companies and freight forwarders.

FG intervenes

Meanwhile, FAAN MD, has promised to support the development of new Standard Operating Procedures, SOPs for the operators in the cargo terminals in Nigeria.

According to him, “By initiating and implementing the cargo bill of rights, the new SOPs and Service Level Agreements, SLAs, will effectively become a corruption free zone while it improves the integrity of the exports from Nigeria apart from reducing rate of goods rejection.”

He noted that FAAN will also implement a new Service Level Agreements that will overhaul the whole Cargo Operations in Nigeria.

He said: “The implementation of a new five level secure supply chain pathway will improve the quality of aviacargo business in Nigeria as it cuts across the whole value chain starting from the farms.

“Nothing will be accepted at the airport that cannot be traced and did not pass through the pathway.

“FAAN management will join the retreat for the final production of the report as it will mark the beginning of a new era for aviacargo in Nigeria.”

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