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The Skyway Aviation Handling Company Plc is planning to expand its ground handling services to other countries in the West African sub-region in 2019.

The Managing Director of SAHCO, Basil Agboarumi, made this known to the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos on Sunday.

Agboarumi said the company was mapping out strategies toward achieving its vision to become the leading provider of passenger, ramp and cargo handling services in West Africa.

He said: “We are business people and every business person has a mindset to grow and I can assure you that we are looking at some of those areas that we can expand to.

“In doing that, we are going to look at our vision statement to be the leading provider of ground handling services in the West African sub-region.

“West Africa is in our radar and we are looking at it and I can tell you that with God helping us, as we go into the new year, those are some of the drives we are actually looking at.”

The managing director noted that SAHCO had grown as a company since its privatisation in 2009 when it was handed over to the SIFAX Group.

Agboarumi said: “As at 2009, we had less than 20 per cent of the market share but today we have far exceeded 40 per cent of the market share.

“SAHCO was worth N5. 25 billion when it was acquired in 2009. The company has grown under the leadership of our Chairman, Dr. Taiwo Afolabi, and is now worth about N16 billion.

“The government sees this place (SAHCO) as a test case for the story of privatisation in the world and we sat down with the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE).

“SAHCO is a testament that privatisation can work in Nigeria. Recently, BPE officials came here and they were very impressed with what the company has become.

“Since the privatisation, all major airlines that have come into Nigeria chose to do business with us.

“Some airlines have left our competitors to come to us because they recognise our ability to deliver safe, speedy and excellent services.”

He noted that the ongoing sale of SAHCO’s 406,074,000 shares was based on the terms of the executed Share Sale and Purchase Agreement in respect of the privatisation which mandated its shareholders to divest 49 per cent equity stake in the company to the Public.

According to him, the agreement also says SAHCOL must go to the stock market after a period of time.

Agboarumi, therefore, urged Nigerians and SAHCO’s clients to invest in the company by buying its ongoing shares in the market.

He said: “Why do you need to buy SAHCO’s shares? You need to buy our shares because since 2009 till date, most of the airlines operating in the country want to do business with us.

“The shares we are selling will serve as a form of robust to the company. We have been very consistent with service delivery and performance.”

The managing director sad he had received from abroad several telephone calls from intending subscribers of the Initial Public Offering, making enquiries on what they could do.

Agboarumi noted that he could not give a verdict on the IPO yet, saying at the end of the offer, there would be collation to know the extent of subscription.

According to him, federal character is also guiding the IPO to ensure that a local government does not get more than the other.

“The only assurance we can give you is that we will continue to discharge our jobs professionally and work assiduously to improve on the existing performance,” he said.

NAN reports that SAHCO Plc, which is a subsidiary of SIFAX Group, is an aviation ground handling company that offers services in passenger handling, ramp handling, cargo handling and warehousing.

It also offers services on aviation security, baggage reconciliation, crew bus and executive lounge services and other related ground handling services.

The company was handed over to the core-investor (SIFAX Group) on December 23, 2009, after being carved out of the liquidated Nigeria Airways Limited.

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