Nigerian aviation firm planning US$100 million African expansion

Nahco_warehouseDancers taking part in celebrations to mark the inauguration of Nahco’s new warehouse in Lagos, Nigeria. (Image source: Nahco Aviance)The Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (Nahco Aviance) has announced plans to plough US$100 million into the first phase of its expansion across Africa between 2012 and 2014

According to Nahco vice chairman Alhaji Suleiman Yahyah, the $100 million investment has already been approved by the company’s board of directors.

Speaking at the inauguration of the firm’s new Lagos warehouse, Yahyah said that over the past six years the company invested $70 million in a transformation programme and that it would now look to expand to other parts of Africa in order to consolidate its industry-leading position on the continent.

“We have the right governance and have identified 11 Africa opportunities that we are focusing on,” remarked Yahyah.

“We will go outside Nigeria to replicate our cargo warehouse and passenger handling experience starting from this year through 2014.”

The investment will be welcome news to the Nigerian aviation industry following the recent Dana Air plane crash in which 159 people lost their lives.

Yahyah said that Nahco handled a total of 36,595 flights in 2011, of which 33,721 were passenger flights and 2,811 cargo flights. He also claimed that the company had handled more than 9.6 million tonnes of cargo imports and exports for the year.

“We achieved IATA Safety Audit for Ground Operations (ISAGO) certification of safety under the leadership of [retired] General Ike Nwachukwu who launched the board’s vision of transformation,” he added.

The company’s new warehouse has been designed to handle 230,000 tonnes of cargo and features cold storage facilities, freezers, hazardous goods facilities, and bomb and explosive detectors.

“The warehouse project will generate a stream of cash flow, profits, more dividends and greater transparency by reducing leakages and enabling high revenue capture for the benefit of all stakeholders,” remarked Yahyah.

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