One of the frontline cargo handling company in the company, SAHCOL, recently went to the stock market about ten years after it was privatised and handed over to the SIFAX group by the federal government. The company hopes to raise N1,888, 244, 100, offering 406,074,000 shares at N4.65 per share. Other than to raise funds, the company’s managing director, Mr. Basil Agboarumi explained to Frank Kintum another reason for the move and its market exploits in a recent chat in his Ikeja Airport office.

Why did your company opt to go to the capital market?

SAHCOL was privatised by the government in the year 2009, before that time, SAHCOL was 100% owned by the government of Nigeria, so when they decided to sell to the public, they sold 100% of the company to the SIFAX group of companies, and under that agreement there was a part which we refer to today as the share purchasing agreement which says that after some time, SAHCOL will have to divert some of its shares to the public, so we are respecting that agreement. That’s why SAHCOL has taken part of the shares that it agreed with the government through the Bureau of Public Enterprise and sold them to the public. So basically one of the reasons we are going into the market is to respect that agreement and secondly to give room for all Nigerians to be part owners of the company.

As a prospective shareholder, why do you think I should buy the shares?

By the time SAHCOL was privatised in 2009, the value of the company was just worth about N3 billion, today the company has grown in terms of assets and everything from N3 billion to N15 billion. In terms of profit, we are looking at more than 100%, so what is the essence of investments? It is to get returns, when you put your money into an investment, it is to get returns.

I can tell you SAHCOL is a profitable company, a lot has happened between 2009 and now. When SIFAX group took over SAHCOL, most of the airlines that entered into Nigeria opted for SAHCOL. Today, we have one of the best warehouses in Africa, I’m talking about cargo warehouse, and we have the best warehouse in West Africa when it comes to rendering of services like we are known for. The company has grown in terms of having the right certification, as of today we are a stable certified organisation. We have IATA certification which give us the privilege of being a gateway of movement of exports to European countries. So it’s a place where everybody would want to do business, it has become so good that any airline that is operating in the country knows for sure that the best place to be is to use the SAHCOL service. So anybody that knows that the essence of investment is to get returns, then SAHCOL is the place to be, because a lot has gone into the company. You would be aware if you follow the news that our engineering staff are producing some equipment in line with some of the facilities we have in Nigeria to operate. That tells you the kind of company that we are talking about, so if you put money in here, there is a guaranteed return of investment.

What is your current market share? And after this IPO, are you projecting to increase your market share?

We are business people, there has been a lot of mind-set change and metamorphoses that has happened from government to private. From the time of privatisation, a lot has been done, we have imbibed what we call the private sector mentality because once someone invests into a business he expects returns. I can tell you that at the time SIFAX group covered SAHCOL, we were having about 20% of the shares, as I talk to you today we have more than 40% of the market shares. I’m talking about the growth that we have made, you can talk to some of our clients, we have clients that came from our competitors, it’s not just one, and there are a lot of them. So you can see, when you have a choice between two products and you say ok I have been used to this and I’m now leaving this place for the other, because you felt this is the place to be. All we project to the public is there for all to see, the manpower we have we can boast of them anywhere in the world in terms of ground handling services. We go for brand new equipment, in fact we have invested a lot.

If you recall, we signed an agreement with Arik recently, for some months now, we have handled all their flights both at point of initiation and termination, go and check how many flights Arik operates per day. We are their partners in terms of ground handling. The statement Arik MD made recently, for a service user to make that kind of statement and I told the media that is a great endorsement and it takes confidence for you to want to do that and he said “SAHCOL has really improved” so this is a service user and before an airliner can say this, it’s a big boost on our services and we have made a huge impact on their operations too. The kind of company that we are, we don’t allow that to get into our head, we are focused on where we are going and we know that what the customer want is service and we as service providers have promised to give to them service.

So we will continue to ensure that we do not just give them their expectations that we will surpass their expectations because what we promise in this company is to give safe, speed and excellent service, and that is what we are out for and that is what we are doing, and of course if we are doing that we are determined to grow and we will use every opportunity that is presented to grow in this industry.

So by the grace of God, we believe in God so much in this place because we know that if we don’t have God on our side, it doesn’t matter the plan that we have, it is just by the way, so we have consciously thrown ourselves in the hand of God knowing that if God is the one that is leading, we are just following but what we do is that we place him so that we will do the right thing, that we are not lazy, that we are doing what should be done and I know that His wisdom is there for us to continue to move forward and so with him on our side we will continue to grow.

Why change of name?

It used to be SAHCOL, SAHCOL means Skyway Aviation Handling Company Limited, and so going public now the Limited in SAHCOL is gone we now have Skyway Aviation Handling Company (SAHCO) Plc.

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