“Barge, Off Docks will aid port decongestion”, says SIFAX Off Dock ED

Captain Ibraheem Olugbade, Executive Director, SIFAX Off Dock, has urged all the stakeholders in the maritime sector to adopt the option of barge transportation for the movement of consignments from the Lagos ports.

Olugbade said the challenges of congestion and traffic caused by bad access roads would drastically reduce if credible alternative to road transportation like barge is encouraged by shipping lines and agents.

He said: “Shipping lines and agents should be encouraged to key into the use of barges for transfer in view of the poor state of the port access road. Aggressive transfer of cargoes through barges to the various off docks in Lagos will help decongest the port in a great way and help the port reach its maximum potentials”.

He also urged the Nigerian Shippers Council and other relevant agencies to execute the policy of establishing inland container depots in various parts of the country with more vigor as this will provide a very important leeway for the decongestion of Nigerian ports.

 

“The idea of floating inland container depots or off docks in various parts of the country is a very good initiative by the government. Although it is yet to yield its desired result, there is a need to pursue its implementation with more commitment by all stakeholders. Off docks are still very much relevant in Nigeria’s maritime business model. They will always help to decongest the ports and bring about efficiency in port operations”.

 

Olugbade further noted that SIFAX Group’s belief in off dock as a good port-decongestion strategy is responsible for the company’s massive investment in its current off dock facilities and acquisition of new ones in various locations across Lagos. This, he said, would enable agents to experience easier clearing process and faster consignment movement.

On the indiscriminate siting of off docks in Lagos, Olugbade urged relevant government agencies to strictly enforce the policies that guide the off dock location in Lagos state, in order to avoid environmental hazards.

Shareholders of Skyway Aviation Handling Company Plc have applauded the company’s management for its strategic repositioning of the company and effective cost saving techniques which has buoyed the company’s profit after tax.

At the 10th Annual General Meeting of the company which was held recently, the shareholders commended the board and management for a job well done, especially, the judicious use of the funds raised on the capital market
They noted that the wise investment of the funds in the acquisition of new equipment and facilities as well as bringing on board new clients would set the company on the path of better profitability in the future. The further commended the management for the dividend declared by the company.


A dividend of 16.50 kobo per share would be paid to shareholders.
Earlier in his welcome address, Dr. Taiwo Afolabi, Chairman of the company said the listing in 2018 is a natural progression in the company’s post-privatisation strategic growth plan and a furtherance of the vision to becoming the preferred ground handling company in the West African sub-region in terms of revenue, clientele base, quality of service, customer satisfaction, innovation and return on investment.

Basil Agboarumi, Managing Director, in his own address, noted that the company recorded an increase of 24.5% in its revenue from N6,136, 412 billion in 2018 to N7, 665,990 billion in 2019.
He said: “Similarly, an increase of 167% was recorded in our profit in 2019 accounting year. SAHCO PLC moved from a net loss of N696,985 Million in 2018 to a net profit of N446,531 Million in 2019. The remarkable shift was achieved through resilience of the entire workforce, aggressive marketing strategies that saw to the additions of our clientele list, concerted efforts of cost containment and effective and adequate internal control processes”, he explained.

The shareholders also unanimously re-elected Barrister Chike Ogeah, Ariyo Olutoye, Anogwi Anyawu, Oluropo Owolabi, Captain Shehu Usman Iyal as directors of the company. They noted that the expertise and experience of the directors had rubbed off on the company’s fortunes. Also Gbenga Badejo & Co. (Chartered Accountants), the company’s external auditor, was also retained by the shareholders.

In order for businesses to survive the current economic crunch as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, a comprehensive review of business processes and operations as well as willingness to adapt to new realities will be key.

According to Mr. Adekunle Oyinloye, Group Managing Director, SIFAX Group, while reviewing the impacts of the pandemic on businesses in Nigeria, highlighted the major hurdles they are currently facing, including supply chain disruptions, inflation, hike in prices of goods and services, weakened consumer purchasing power, contracting economy and business collapse, especially among SMEs and high-risk corporations.

In the midst of this harsh operating environment, Oyinloye urged them to build resilience and staying power as a strategy to survive.

He said: “It is not an all-gloom situation as many businesses will rise from the ashes of this pandemic to recover well and post impressive returns. There are opportunities even in bad situations. Businesses just need to position themselves correctly for these opportunities.

“Ideas, processes and mindset that were useful pre-COVID-19 might become obsolete for businesses as we are gradually transiting to a new era and a new dawn.

“Some of the factors that I recommend at a time like this are critical thinking, new business processes and templates, improved technology adoption, identifying and embracing new business opportunities and ability to adapt and respond to a changing business dynamics.

Oyinloye further lauded the combined efforts of governments, both at the national and sub-national levels, corporates, development partners, health workers on the frontlines and other stakeholders, in tackling the pandemic, adding that such collaborative efforts would certainly help in containing the spread of the virus and better management of the fall outs.

As part of our resolve to further strengthen the fight against the spread of Coronavirus at the Tin Can Island Port, SIFAX Group has donated protective equipment to the Nigerian Ports Authority. The donation was made through the Nigerian Ports Authority Liaison office at Tin Can Island.

 

At the short ceremony, Capt. Ibraheem Olugbade, Executive Director, SIFAX Off Dock, explained that as an organization committed to flattening the curve and curbing the spread of COVID-19, SIFAX Group is donating 100 cartons of hand sanitizers, 200 boxes of hand gloves, 20 packs of special nose masks and 100 boxes of nose masks to the Nigerian Ports Authority.

 

In his response, Alhaji Abubakar Umar Ali, NPA Port Manager, Tin Can Island, thanked SIFAX Group for the kind gesture and noted that the equipment will be adequately reported to the NPA headquarters and put to use.

 

L-R: Victor Olotu, Acting Head, Business Development and Strategic Planning, SIFAX Group; Capt. Ibraheem Olugbade, Executive Director, SIFAX Off Dock; Abubakar Umar, NPA Port Manager, Tin Can Island and Buba Jubril, NPA Traffic Manager, Tin Can Island, Lagos during the donation of COVID-19 protective items to the Nigerian Ports Authority, Tin Can Island Port, Lagos. SIFAX Group donated 100 cartons of hand sanitizers, 200 boxes of hand gloves, 20 packs of special nose masks and 100 boxes of nose masks

 

: L-R: Stanley Enumah, Deputy Manager, Procurement, Ports & Cargo Handling Services Limited; Victor Olotu, Acting Head, Business Development and Strategic Planning, SIFAX Group; Capt. Ibraheem Olugbade, Executive Director, SIFAX Off Dock; Umar Abubakar, Port Manager, Nigerian Ports Authority , Tin Can Island and Yetunde Okunade, Group Head, Procurement, SIFAX Group during the donation of COVID-19 protective items to the Nigerian Ports Authority, Tin Can Island Port, Lagos. SIFAX Group donated 100 cartons of hand sanitizers, 200 boxes of hand gloves, 20 packs of special nose masks and 100 boxes of nose masks

SIFAX Group, a group of companies with investment in Maritime, Aviation, Oil & Gas, Haulage & Logistics, Financial Services and Hospitality, has committed the sum of about N130 million as support fund towards the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Federal Government through the Presidential Task Force on Covid-19 will get the sum of N70 million, Lagos State Government and Ogun State government will get 15 million and 10 million naira respectively while the Nigerian Ports Authority will get N5 million naira.

The company through its foundation, the Ajoke Ayisat Afolabi Foundation is also committing about 30 million naira as relief support funds to the poor across the 36 states of the federation.

According to Adekunle Oyinloye, Group Managing Director, SIFAX Group, the company believes that this donation will help flatten the curve and aid in the collective fight against the pandemic.

He said: “We are delighted to be presenting this support fund to both the Federal and state governments. As a company, we believe that a healthy people translates to a healthy nation, that is why we are leaving no stone unturned in our support towards the eradication of this pandemic in Nigeria. Our foundation, Ajoke Ayisat Afolabi Foundation is also committing funds into making sure that the poor is adequately taken care of. We commend the visible and proactive efforts of government at all levels and believe that this collective effort will go a long way in flattening the curve and we will overcome soonest”.

Hadiza Bala Usman, Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority, has pledged the agency’s support towards resolving some of the challenges being experienced by SIFAX Group due to the lockdown imposed to contain the spread of coronavirus.

She made this pledge when she visited the terminal of Ports & Cargo Handling Services Limited, the flagship company of SIFAX Group during a tour of all terminals in Lagos to assess the impact of the lockdown on port operations.

While welcoming her, Adekunle Oyinloye, Group Managing Director, SIFAX Group, noted that the operations at the terminal has been faced with daunting challenges since the lockdown.

He said: “We have encountered a lot of challenges including the harassment and detention of our staff by security agencies despite presenting their ID cards and the cover letter from NPA and bank closure at the ports, among others. We will need your assistance to address these obstacles to our operations.

“Also, in order to avoid congestion at the ports, we have stemmed some of our containers to our off dock facilities.”

In his own contribution, John Jenkins, Managing Director, Ports & Cargo Handling Services Limited, noted that the agency should first sensitize security agencies on port operations, prevail on them to allow more trucks from outside Lagos access the ports and make public transport available for port workers.

In her response, Usman noted that the agency is collating the challenges of all terminal operators and will pass them to the appropriate agencies for proper actions. She hinted that the government was committed to having smooth operations at the port during this period in other to keep the economy running.

“I want to assure you that we will continue to support the operations of SIFAX Group and other port operators around the country. Any assistance required from the agency should be put into writing and forwarded to my office, this is because I read all letters addressed to me and I will make sure that proper action is taken on the requests”, she said.

In his final response, Dr. Taiwo Afolabi, Group Executive Vice Chairman, SIFAX Group, thanked the MD for taking out time to visit the ports. He used the opportunity of the visit to intimate her of SIFAX Group’s plan to expand its operations especially with the acquisition of new facility that will serve as an off dock that would further help in decongesting the ports

He said: “I want to inform you that we have acquired a new property that will be used as an off dock and we will require the assistance of the NPA in conjunction with the Lagos Channel Management in dredging the waters to allow for barges and even smaller ships to berth at this terminal.”

The NPA MD was accompanied on the trip by the agency’s newly-appointed Executive Director, Marine and Operations, Mr. Onari Brown as well as the Tin Can Island Port Manager, Alhaji Alli Umar.

A total of 120 persons have enjoyed free dental and medical care at the Taiwo Afolabi Free Rural Dental Outreach which was held at the popular Sango-Ojurin market in Ibadan recently. The beneficiaries included market men and women.

The rural community health outreach, which is organised by the University Of Ibadan Association Of Dental Students, is a free medical mission targeted at rural communities in Oyo State and is sponsored by SIFAX Group.

Some of the services the beneficiaries enjoyed were body mass index (BMI) measurement, blood pressure test, random blood glucose measurement, blood pressure measurement, dental clerking, examination and referrals, extractions and scaling and polishing.

 

 

Medical personnel deployed for the event included doctors, medical and dental students from the University College Hospital, Ibadan. There was also a free health talk on the imperative of maintaining good oral health.

Mr. Olumuyiwa Akande, Corporate Communications Manager, SIFAX Group, who represented the company at the event, said the sponsorship of the programme was part of the humanitarian initiatives of the company designed to provide succour and support for indigent people. He said, it was also in line with the company’s belief that a healthy citizenry translates to a healthy nation.

 

 

Adejumo Michael, President, University of Ibadan Dental Students Association, said the aim of the outreach was to create an oral health awareness and promotion of good oral health hygiene in the society. He noted that SIFAX Group’s support for the outreach has helped to not only reach out to many rural persons but also equipped the students with adequate field knowledge needed for them to excel in dentistry. He enjoined other corporate organizations to emulate the company by partnering with the student body to take the rural health mission to other communities.

In compliance with the social distancing directives of the government in order to slow down the spread of the COVID-19 disease and a reinforcement of our safety protocols, SIFAX Group wishes to inform our esteemed clients and other stakeholders that we have scaled down operations across our different subsidiaries.

As a company that operates in the essential services industry, our core operations and technical personnel will be on ground while the non-essential departments will either maintain a skeletal service or work from home.

 

For the few staff that will be at work and clients that will visit our business premises, necessary protective gears, thermometer checks, hand sanitisers, gloves and nose masks have been provided to keep them safe while the clinic at our port terminal in Tin Can Island Port, Lagos is open round the clock to attend to any emergencies.

 

For any information or enquiries, kindly contact us through all our social media platforms and our email- info@sifaxgroup.com

 

We urge you all to stay safe and follow all precautions as announced by relevant health authorities.

 

 

SIFAX Group cares…..

 

Adekunle Oyinloye,

Group Managing Director

Ports & Cargo Handling Services Limited, the flagship company of SIFAX Group and concessionaire of Terminal C, Tin Can Island Port, Apapa, Lagos, has added a new client to its growing clientele list.
The latest addition is Hapag Lloyd AG Limited, a German international shipping and container transportation company which is the world’s fifth largest container carrier in terms of vessel capacity. The shipping line made its maiden call at the terminal recently with one of its largest vessel, Navious Azure, a container ship built in 2007 with gross tonnage of 39,906 tonnes and length overall of 260.5m.

While welcoming the vessel’s crew to the terminal, Mr. John Jenkins, Managing Director, Ports & Cargo Handling Services Limited, expressed the company’s delight at the vessel’s maiden call, adding that the development is a testimony of the terminal’s readiness to provide cutting-edge port terminal services to more clients.
He said: “We are excited to have this ship berth at our terminal today. We are delighted that Hapag Lloyd, which is one the world’s largest ocean shipping fleet owners, prefer our terminal for their operations and the shipping line will call frequently at this terminal.

 

“This business relationship with Hapag Lloyd is one of several partnerships we have been working on in the past few months. This new wave of patronage is a result of the massive investment we have made both in modern equipment, quality personnel and improved processes over the years. All these have translated in better service delivery, which is what an average client wants.”
While responding on behalf of the vessel’s crew members, Captain John Trafiero, who was overwhelmed by the hospitality and excellent service provided by the company, expressed his joy at berthing at one of Africa’s prime ports.

“This is a resounding welcome we have received here today and it would stick in our memories wherever we sail to. Though we are sailing back very soon, my crew and I cannot wait to be back here again,” he said.

Skyway Aviation Handling Company Plc has been chosen as the ground-handling partner for TAAG-Angola Airlines.

TAAG-Angola, which commenced operations into Lagos, Nigeria, on Monday, December 16, is the national airline of Angola.

The Manager, Corporate Communications, SAHCO, Vanesa Uansohia, said the airline, operating all-Boeing fleet, would be flying twice a week from the Murtala Muhammed International Airport.

She said SAHCO would be responsible for its passenger and ramp handling, cargo services and warehousing, and other aviation-related activities.

Uansohia said SAHCO had been offering safe, speedy and efficient services to all its clients, adding that the new addition was a further testament to the endorsement of the company’s expertise.

She said, “SAHCO which is both European RA3 and International Air Transport Association Safety Audit for Ground Operations certified and present in all the commercially-operated airports in Nigeria, has had to expand its export custom-bonded warehouse in the Lagos airport due to the influx of business to the warehouse.

“It is also a recipient of massive deployment of ultra-modern equipment to all its stations nationwide all in a bid to continually provide world-class services to clients and would-be clients.”