No fewer than 36,350 cases of delayed flights were recorded in 2018 from domestic airlines operating in Nigeria, according to the figures released by the Consumer Protection Department of Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).
The News Agency of Nigeria reported that the number of delayed flights represents about 60.1% of all flights, even as 544 flights were cancelled.
There are about nine airlines operating in Nigeria, all of whom operated a total of 59,818 flights last year. These airlines are – Aero Contractors, Arik Air, Air Peace, Azman Air, Dana Air, First Nation, Med-View, Overland and Max Air.
Air Peace was most affected
Out of the nine airlines in operation, Air Peace topped the list in regards to the number of delayed flights in 2018. The airline scheduled 22,055 flights, with 14,067 delayed flights and 67 outright cancellations.
Similarly, it was reported that Arik air ranked second with the 8,073 delayed flights out of 15,205 and 152 outrightly cancelled schedules. It suggests 53% of scheduled flights were delayed.
Dana Air scheduled 5,944 with 3,915 cases of delayed flights and 67 cancelled. Also, Aero Contractors operated 4,361 flights with 2,459 delayed and 70 cancellations; Overland, 601 flights with 1,960 delayed and 29 cancellations.
Medview, 2058 flights with 1,256 delayed and 42 cancellations. It was also reported that Max Air recorded 1,151 delays and five cancellations, out of the 2,205 flights operated by the airline.
Furthermore, First Nation Airways, whose licence operating license was recently suspended by the NCAA, recorded 137 delayed flights and three cancellations, out of 445 flights operated within the period under review.
Reacting to this development, the NCAA’s General Manager in charge of Public Relations of NCAA, Mr Sam Adurogboye, stated that the construction of modern terminals and remodelling of old terminals to ease passengers facilitation is one of the major ways to reduce flight delays.
“Some of these problems are infrastructural related. The government is remodelling most of the airports and this will ease passenger facilitation. By the time these modern facilities are deployed, it will curb unnecessary delays.”
“However, issues like adverse weather or a machine (aircraft) developing a problem cannot be ruled out, and you can’t expect them to fly with a machine that had developed problem. Those ones happen occasionally.”
Airline Patronage Increased by 20.8 Percent in 2018
Air travellers who went through Nigeria airports increased by 20.8 in between January and December 2018. The figure released by Consumer Protection Directorate of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority revealed that 14,171,722 air travellers went through Nigeria airports in 2018 as against 11,221,608 recorded in 2017.
NAN reported that the 34 airlines on the international routes operate 15,645 flights and flew 4,079,078 passengers during the period under review.
The nine domestic airlines operated a total of 59,818 flights and airlifted 10,092,648 passengers across the country, it added.
NCAA said that airlines on the domestic routes accounted for 72 per cent of the passenger traffic, while the international route recorded 28 per cent. Adurogboye further stated:
“We are hoping and working harder to ensure that there is more movement of passengers. By the time those new terminals in Lagos and Kano come on stream, they will equally enhance more frequencies.”
UPDATED: Court rules ICAN members do not need CITN license to file tax returns
The suit, which was filed some years ago by CITN, was basically struck out for lacking merit.
Justice S. A. Onigbanjo of the High Court of Lagos State has ruled that members of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) do not need to be licensed by the Chartered Institute of Taxation of Nigeria (CITN) before they can file tax returns.
The ruling on July 2nd followed a suit filed by CITN trying to restrain ICAN members from filing tax returns for their clients unless they have a practicing CITN license.
A notice to ICAN members regarding this development, as seen by Nairametrics, noted that Justice Onigbanjo struck out the suit after describing it as “an abuse of court process and an embarrassment to the judiciary.”
The backstory: Nairametrics understands that the disagreement between ICAN and CITN stemmed from the misinterpretation of a 2015 Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) and Terms of Settlement (ToS) between the two organisations. Consequently, CITN had filed a suit before the High Court of Lagos State, seeking the following:
- A declaration that the Memorandum of Understanding and Terms of Service both dated February 12, 2015 between the CITN and ICAN are valid, subsisting, and binding on the CITN and ICAN.
- An injunction restraining ICAN whether by its agents, privies, assigns, or whosoever called, from repudiating, resiling from or acting in any manner or doing anything that is inconsistent with, contrary to or is a violation of the Memorandum of Understanding and the Terms of Settlement dated February 12, 2015, between the CITN and ICAN.
- Determine whether the Memorandum of Understanding and Terms of Settlement both dated February 12, 2015 between the CITN and ICAN are valid, subsisting, and binding on CITN and the ICAN.
However, last week’s ruling by Justice S. A. Onigbanjo which, by the way, was delivered virtually due to COVID-19, has made it impossible for the CITN to implement the terms of the 2015 MoU and ToS. The ruling also aligned with ICAN’s earlier objection to the MoU and ToS.
The status quo: In view of this development, ICAN has informed its members that they do not need to obtain any license from the CITN before they can file tax returns for their clients with the Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS.
ICAN members were also informed that an earlier ruling by the Federal High Court on the case does not affect the status quo. This is because “the earlier ruling by the Federal High Court in Suit No. FHC/L/CS/125/2019 did not make pronouncement on the memorandum and terms of settlement between ICAN and CITN.” More so, regulation 5 of the FIRS Act was not reflected in the earlier judgment of the Federal High Court.
China more willing to restructure Africa’s debt than private creditors
Agreements have been easier to reach with Chinese lenders than with private creditors.
A recent study by John Hopkins University reveals it may be easier for African Nations to raise debt and also get debt relief from China than private creditors.
The report of the study comes a day after China promised to cancel interests from loans to African nations and restructure debt to Africa. The study also revealed that China has restructured $15 billion of African debt and written off $3.4 billion in the past ten years.
After 1,000 Chinese loans, including restructured Mozambican and Republic of Congo debt, were analysed, the researchers concluded that “the agreements have been easier to reach with Chinese lenders than with private creditors”.
The Paris Club recently agreed to pause debt payment valued at $11 billion for the poorest 73 nations freeing up capital to tackle the coronavirus pandemic. However, not all eligible nations signed up citing fears of default ratings if debt obligations are not met.
The study discovers difficulties in renegotiating terms on International Bonds for African countries due to the disparate ownership structure making private creditors unwilling to grant complete debt relief, citing warnings on rating downgrades.
China accounts for about 20% of Africa’s external debt and lent over $150 billion to the continent between 2000-2018 the study reveals. Chinese President, Xi Jinping has urged global leaders to be more pragmatic with debt suspension for Africa.
The study says much of the terms of Chinese debt to Africa has not been transparent and the relief negotiations may follow the same path.
Orange, France’s largest telco operator, may come to Nigeria in months
Orange would also be looking at bolstering partnerships with health companies or institutions.
France’s largest telecom operator, Orange, is set to extend its tentacles to Nigeria and South Africa.
Chief Executive Officer, Orange, Stephane Richard, who disclosed the news, said that the firm would make the move in a few months.
He said, “It could make sense to be in economies such as Nigeria and South Africa. If one considers there are things to do, the time frame I am considering is rather a few months than a few years.”
The Middle East and Africa, where Orange has a presence in 18 countries, is the company’s fastest-growing market.
What you need to know: There are chances that the company may eye payment transfers (mobile) in Nigeria.
That is because it makes the largest chunk of its revenue from payment transfers (Middle East), a key part of the group’s diversification into financial services, and Nigeria, which is the most populous black nation, is always an attraction.
Meanwhile, earlier in 2020, Orange had stated that it was bringing its operations in the Middle East and Africa into a single entity, paving the way for a potential listing of the operations that could raise cash to invest in overseas expansion.
“Orange would also be looking at bolstering partnerships with health companies or institutions,” he added.
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