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Directors Resign As Lufthansa Sells Shares In Troubled NAHCO

January 11, 2019

Directors have resigned from the company, as their shares have nosedived in recent weeks.

Barely three weeks after Idris Yakubu, Managing Director of the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO) Plc, was eased out of office, one of its major shareholders, Lufthansa Airlines, has sold its shares in the company.

SaharaReporters had reported on December 22, 2018 about the departure of Yakubu from the company, some five months after his confirmation by the board. [story_link align="left"]65762[/story_link]

It was also gathered that its directors have resigned from the company, as their shares have nosedived in recent weeks.

A source close to the company confided in SaharaReporters on Friday that NAHCO issued a statement to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) informing the organisation of the divestment of the investment of Lufthansa Airlines in the company.

It was gathered that Lufthansa had six per cent stake in NAHCO before last week's sales.

The shares, which stood at 97.5million, were transferred to a local firm, Godsmart Nigeria Ltd, allegedly owed by one of the major shareholders in the company.

Before the acquisition, Godsmart had about 20 per cent stake in NAHCO and this latest transaction increased its shares in the company to 26.95 per cent, making it the largest single investor.

The German carrier was the only foreign airline that had shares in NAHCO. As a result of its shares, the ground handling company handles all its operations in the three airports it operates in Nigeria: Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos; Port Harcourt International Airport (PHIA), Omegwa and the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja.

There are fears that with the divestment of its shares in NAHCO, the airline and some of its partners, including other foreign carriers, may terminate their handling contracts with the company.

If such happens, the Skyway Aviation Handling Company (SAHCO) Plc, which commenced the sales of its Initial Public Offering (IPO) of 406,074,000 ordinary shares of 50 Kobo each at N44.65 per share last November, may gain more of NAHCO’s clients.

Besides, apart from sales of Lufthansa’s shares in the company, it was learnt that another institutional investor, Aviance from France, may also divest its shares from the company. Also, all the directors of the ground handling company have been forced out of NAHCO by the Board of Directors. At present, there are only four management staff in NAHCO, apart from the Group Managing Director, Mrs. Olatokunbo Fagbemi.

The management staff are Head Corporate Services, Mr. Ahmed Gulma; Chief Finance Officer, Mr. Bamidele Ademola Adelaja; Head Internal Audit & Compliance, Mr. Anthony Eromonsele Iyayi and Cargo Services Manager, Mr. Enenamah Chukwuemeka.

“All is not well in NAHCO. As it is, its shares have continued to drop in the stock exchange. As at last Wednesday, its shares had dropped to N3.65 from N5.00 almost a year ago. Nobody knows what will happen tomorrow. No one’s job is guaranteed at present. More clients may leave NAHCO for SAHCO in the next few weeks," the source said.

When contacted the spokesman for NAHCO, Mr. Tayo Ajakaiye, declined to comment on the issue. He said that the company would issue a statement at a later date.