Nigeria aviation: Ground handling company, SAHCOL, renews contract with Arik Air, country’s largest airline


Skyway Aviation Handling Company Public Liability Company (SAHCOL) has renewed its ground handling contract with Arik Air, the company said in a statement to TODAY NEWS AFRICA on Monday.

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Arik Air is Nigeria’s largest airline with about 30 aircraft and hundreds of flights a day from the commercial city of Lagos to the capital Abuja and elsewhere. 

 Nigeria’s latest aviation contract  signed

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Vanessa Uansohia, assistant manager, Corporate Communications at SAHCOL said the contract has been renewed for three years. She did not say how much was involved.

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But the net asset of SAHCOL, which was N3 billion ($8.2 million) in 2009 has grown to about N15 billion ($41.2 million) in 2018, according to the Chairman of Sifax Group of Companies, Mr Taiwo Olayinka Afolabi.

Last week, SAHCOL announced that it was going public and would be listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE), nine years after the company was privatized.

Based on the terms of the executed Share Sale and Purchase Agreement (SSPA), the shareholders of the company are obligated to divest 49 per cent equity stake in SAHCOL to the investing Nigerian public, with 10 per cent sold to the staff of the company.

The ground handling company is offering 30 per cent to the public through an initial public offering (IPO), while the other 19 per cent would be offered at a later date. About 10 per cent offer would go the staff of the company.

SAHCOL said it would be offering the ordinary shares of 50 kobo each at N4.65 per share. The shares will then be listed on the NSE after the IPO. SAHCOL will become the second ground handling company to be listed on NSE, after the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO) Plc.

Mr Afolabi, the Chairman Sifax Group of Companies said the acceptance list would open on November 12, 2018, while close on December 19, 2018.

According to him, since privatization, SAHCOL has built strong competence as one of the leading aviation ground handling service providers in Nigeria, growing its market share from 21 per cent in 2009 to over 40 per cent at present with over 100 per cent growth in revenue and total assets.

“SAHCO’s future strategy is to create long term shareholder value through the profitable operation and expansion of its business beyond Nigeria and into other West African markets with a vision to become the leading provider of passenger, ramp and cargo handling services in the West Africa sub-region,” he said.

On the renewed contract with Arik, Mr. Basil Agboarumi, the Managing Director/CEO, SAHCOL, promised to deliver quality and improved ground handling services to all its clientele across the nation’s airports especially as it acquires more state-of-the-art equipment for operations.

He made the promises during the renewal of ground handling service agreement with Arik Air at the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos on Monday.

Agboarumi disclosed that some new ground handling equipment of the company would in the next few weeks arrive the country.

The new equipment would further improve the quality of its service to its clients, including Arik Air, he said. 

According to him, since the company was acquired by Sifax Group of Companies about nine years ago, the board had strived to improve the quality of services to its clients, and it would continue to grow its services especially as the company is enlisted on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).

On the renewed agreement with Arik Air, Agboarumi said it portends endorsement and credibility on the services of the ground handling company.

He said: “Today is unique for SAHCO. The Initial Public Offering (IPO) for SAHCO begins today (Monday) and we are signing this contract with Arik Air. Arik Air has been with SAHCO for several years and we have witnessed the growth of the company over the years.

“We are happy that the new management has established the airline on the right path. Arik Air is a good company to do business with. We are very proud to associate with the airline. Wherever Arik Air is mentioned, we will stand up for you. We have new equipment coming in. Some of them are on the high seas, while others are with us here already in the country.

“We have warehouses in Port Harcourt, Kano, Lagos and Abuja and we are ready to build warehouses wherever they are needed. You have to understand that we are business people. If there is need for business expansion to any airport in the country, we will not hesitate to do that. Not just in Enugu, but across Nigeria. As long as business is expanding to those sides, you will see SAHCO there.

“You will understand that we are the only ground handling company that operates in all commercially operated airports in Nigeria. So, when it comes to warehouses and we are sure that it will be utilised to the fullest capacity, we will be there.”

Also, Mr. Murat Ozcan, Vice President, Ground Operations, Arik Air expressed excitement with the renewed agreement with the ground handling company.

Ozcan also said that the airline had for the past five years developed a mutual relationship with SAHCO.

He explained that the renewed agreement would run for three years, adding that the management would be willing to constantly renew its contracts with the ground handling company.

He posited that equipment of SAHCO had improved over the years and urged the management to constantly invest in state-of-the-art equipment.

“We have a very long standing relationship with SAHCO and they have always been there for Arik Airlines. For the past five years, we have had a very great experience with them and I am happy to say that we have signed for another three years for SAHCO to provide ground handling assistance for our networks.

“It is a very happy day for us and we will be looking forward to work with them for the next three years as well as many more years to come.”

SAHCO is an Aviation Ground Handling company, offering services in Passenger Handling, Ramp Handling, Cargo Handling and Warehousing, Aviation Security, Baggage Reconciliation, Crew Bus and Executive Lounge Services and other related Ground Handling Services.


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Simon Ateba
Simon Ateba covers the White House, the U.S. government, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank and other financial and international institutions for Today News Africa in Washington D.C. Simon can be reached on


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