Air cargo agents inaugurate BoT, call for more collaboration

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By Itohan Abara-Laserian

The Domestic Airport Cargo Agents Association (DACAA) has inaugurated its Board of Trustees (BoT), while calling for more collaborations with aviation agencies for a favourable nation building.

Members of the BoT and patrons were inaugurated on Friday in Lagos.

Chairman of the BoT, Mr Ikpe Nkanang, in his welcome address said that the newly inaugurated BoT was the second since inception after the last set, 20 years ago.

According to Nkanang, DACAA is  an essential part in the aviation sector as it contributes to nation building, job creation and expanding medium-scale enterprises.

He said: “We call on the authorities to provide the infrastructure that will make Lagos the hub of air cargo in Africa.

“With the population of what we have and the industries, the cargo business is not easy,” he said.

Nkanang called on the Federal Government to support the aviation industry with solutions and policies that would help Nigeria attain its height as the cargo and aviation hub of the continent.

According to him, the new BoT team has aviation safety and security as the core agenda, while calling on cargo agents to be mindful of dangerous cargoes.

“A little mistake of dangerous cargo that enters inside an aircraft can cause huge damage, irreparable, with even human life lost and so we are committed to check this.

“DACAA is committed to train and re-train our members on dangerous cargo and all other techniques that will help us to bring safety and security to various carriers, even the airlines that we are patronising,” he added.

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Nkanang disclosed that a little above 200 tons of cargo goes out and into the airport monthly, adding that the figure was not an adequate representation.

Meanwhile, a Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) Director, Mr John Ogala, disclosed in his speech that the Authority was planning to open cargo terminals and had established a Cargo Directorate.

Ogala, pledging FAAN’s support and partnership with the association, said that the publics had yet to understand that air cargo is safe, faster and has limited interference.

“So, we are going to partner with DACA, creating an enabling environment, to build a safe, efficient, and cargo-serving community.

“We look forward to supporting you in this entire process and on this note, I would like to tell you that we are opening the Cargo Terminal soon.

“For the operation of cargo, cargo transportation in the industry, we are planning to open up Port Harcourt and Abuja and we plan to take it to the next level.

“We are going to have cargo warehouses. We want to have a temperature-controlled compartment where we can have cargo that can afford to stay. There are temperature-controlled cargoes like trucks and other products,” he said.

Mr Remi Jibodu, Acting Chief Operating Officer, Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Ltd., said that the industry must innovate so as not to be left behind in the global community.

He said the global community had already gone into digital cargo and Nigeria should key into the trend, adding that digital cargo is basically a cargo marketplace.

He said that referrals grow the business and a lot had to be done on awareness for more people to embrace air cargo.

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Also, Mr Musa Ibrahim of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), said that the agency was ready to support and partner with the association to eradicate dangerous cargo.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Nigerian Police, members of the association and other stakeholders in the air cargo industry were present at the event. (NAN) www.nannews.ng

Edited by Ifeyinwa Okonkwo/Folasade Adeniran

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