Wednesday , 18 May 2022
CEO, Mainstream Cargo Limited, Seyi Adewale

Mainstream Cargo boss backs development of cargo infrastructure to grow economies

CHIEF Executive officer Mainstream Cargo Limited, Mr. Seyi Adewale has said that there is the need to encourage and support state governments in build airport cargo infrastructure stressing that it is critical for connecting-the-dots in moving mostly agricultural produce and would aid in growing state economy, generate IGR and create jobs.

This is just as he decried that the nation has just one dedicated cargo airline stressing that if there were two, they would be busy all year round and urged handling companies to explore that possibility since they already have facilities that enable them handle cargo.

Adewale made these known at the CHINET Aviation and Cargo conference while making his presentation, Growing the Air Cargo Value Chain in Nigeria stating that to enable any of this to come to fruition, there is need for good and effective cargo warehouses within and around these airports

In the area of infrastructure, the Mainstream Cargo boss questioned if most airports have the facilities to hold perishables, pharmaceutical products as a means to strengthen the value chain

He said,” Since airports are a critical need for the movement of air cargo, connecting-the-dots in moving mostly agricultural produce is a veritable need. As at date, many agricultural products or farm produce are moved via road transport particularly from the north / middle-belt region of Nigeria to its southern region whereas finished or manufactured goods, equipment, and material resources move in the northern and middle-belt direction.

“So, there is the need to encourage and support these state governments to build this infrastructure to grow affected state economy, generate IGR and create jobs noting that supply creates its own demand.

“To support the needs of the domestic airports, we need good and effective cargo warehouses within and around these airports. We can explore the current opportunity within the airport itself using Lagos domestic airports as an example.  Does MM2 or GAT have a good/ large storage, sterile, or temperature regulated warehouses to hold perishables, pharmaceutical products, etc within? He asked

He also decried the lack of domestic air cargo airlines, stating that even when business opportunities open up,  the processes are so cumbersome and inefficient and this affects the value chain.

“..As at today, we do not have dedicated air cargo airlines operating within the domestic airports. Allied Air appears to be the only cargo airline attempting to bridge this gap albeit not as efficient as one would like.

“Even the airlines most preferred route (LOS-ABV-LOS) is at the instance of a government parastatal that needs its frequent services in/ out of Lagos-Abuja route and only looks for added opportunities for its return flight back to Lagos.

“When air freight transport opportunities occur, freight forwarders, businesses seek air (cargo) charter with lots of processes that makes it inefficient: sourcing cargo aircraft, signing agreement, getting NCAA approval, liaising with FAAN or airport operator, handling agreement including equipment rentals etc.

“ If we have a t least 2 approved/ licensed air cargo airline operating in the domestic side, I trust they will be busy all year round and this could be embedded with West Africa Regional air cargo flight.

He went further to canvass the need for ground handling companies who have invested in warehousing to explore the idea of procuring aircraft for cargo service stating that it would help their quest

“What even stops any of the handling companies in Nigeria to procure aircraft for this purpose and thus provide this domestic air cargo service? This will even largely benefit their quest of enjoying tax, forex and other incentives enjoyed by the airlines (especially international) as they could integrate their handling services with this.

“ I understand they have explored this opportunity from a Free Trade Zone, but they have met legal huddles/ challenges that has limited these expectations of benefiting from such FTZ license.,” he mused.

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