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How Asharami Synergy drives Nigeria’s aviation sector, by Sobanjo

*Says company eyes 30% ATK market in Nigeria

Asharami Synergy Limited, downstream arm of Sahara Group, has restated its commitment to quality and safe service to Nigeria’s aviation sector, assuring airlines of unbroken supply of aviation turbine kerosene (ATK) despite supply hiccups in the nation’s aviation industry.

The Head, Sahara Downstream Business, Foluso Sobanjo, made the commitment to airlines that operate in Nigeria when the company took energy correspondents on facility tour of its depot at the Murtala Mohammed Airport Depot, Ikeja, Lagos on Friday.

The company showed journalists its equipment and how they operate to ensure that airlines get the best in terms of quality and safety – the receiving and load-out areas, the gantries, storage tanks, the filtration system and centrifugation, which include double filtration during discharge of trucks, single filtration during loading out of the tanks and final filtration from the bowser to the aircraft.

Others include the water tanks and fire-fighting equipment. According to Sobanjo, the company has a 24-hour standby fire-fighting truck with all the necessary equipment in all its depot to assist the government in case of incidents.

Fielding questions from the journalists, Sobanjo said: “The success story of Asharami was a long one and many people participated to actualize that success. The major challenge that confronted the company when it started was acceptance. As an indigenous company in the aviation business especially in Nigeria, it was the most difficult of all but in Sahara we don’t give up.  Even when people thought it was impossible, we broke all the barriers. Then, international airlines because of quality and safety would not allow indigenous companies fill their aircraft but we proved them wrong and it took a lot financially, emotionally and physically to be able to make that transition.

“Ever since, others have been able to follow, and currently the competition is stiff no doubt, just like any business run in the world. Competition is good for participants and end-users in the business and also the general public. Today we are leaders in the aviation fuel business in Nigeria. The journey so far has been a success story for us. For competition, we are open to it.” He assured the company’s customers of the best in terms of service and satisfaction.

“Currently we have about 25 per cent share of the entire aviation fuel business in Nigeria. We are aggressively working to take more of that market share. Our aim is to take it up until it is 30 per cent. We are investing in infrastructure that will assist us in achieving that. We have invested in two bowsers that have 60,000 litres capacity each, one of the biggest in Nigeria. Those are some of the investments we are doing to capture more of the market share.

‘Presently, we operate in four airports – Lagos Airport, Port Harcourt Airport, Kano Airport, and Abuja Airport. We have a combined storage facility of 31.3 million litres for ATK alone. We are investing a lot to guarantee quality in our people and safety too to ensure that when we get that 30 per cent market share, we will maintain it.”

He also confirmed that the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC) is not the sole importer of ATK for now. “We import all the products we supply to the airlines and the 25 per cent market share Asharami Synergy currently holds translates to certain volume and the company imports at least 90 per cent of that volume directly.”

On manpower and quality control, Sobanjo said: “In the aviation business, it will be impossible for you to lag behind, because there are several certifications that need to be done, rules and regulations, for instance, the ISO certification. If my colleagues here are not trained, we would not be able to get those certifications. There are several certifications that are, I won’t say mandatory, but you need to have them. If our staff are not properly trained, we will never qualify to get those certifications, so we investing a lot in our people and like my colleagues have told you, we take priority in ensuring safety and quality and that goes hand in hand with training because you have to train your staff to ensure that they are up to date on the latest quality standards.”

“Asharami Synergy has an established and formidable presence in the sector-providing best-in-class fuel procurement and distribution solutions by utilizing innovative technology and improved efficiency across the downstream supply chain.

“Being a strategic member of the International Air Transport Association (IATA) avails us the opportunity of being abreast of trending issues, future perspectives in the aviation industry, and in particular, how it is relevant to aviation fuel (quality, availability, safety, among others). Being a strategic partner of IATA gives Asharami Synergy a global credibility that is driven by a statutory self-responsibility that propels our business operations in compliance with the highest global standards.

“Asharami Synergy is an ISO certified to ISO 9001:2015 (Quality), ISO 14001:2015 (Environmental) and ISO 45001:2018 (Occupational Health and Safety). Our mantra is to Safety First, Safety Always, ensuring that the health and safety of our employees and other stakeholders remains priority in all business decision making.”

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