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Domestic airlines protest against Emirates Airline operation in Nigeria

The additional flight given to @emirates operation in Nigeria has drawn criticism from stakeholders of the domestic aviation airlines. The new development didn’t go down well with the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) as it accused the United Arab Emirates (UAE) of taking advantage of Nigeria.

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Emirates Airline, Domestic airlines protest against Emirates Airline, Airline Operators of Nigeria

The additional flight given to Emirates Airline‘s operation in Nigeria has drawn criticism from stakeholders of the domestic aviation airlines. The new development didn’t go down well with the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) as its accused the United Arab Emirates (UAE) of taking advantage of Nigeria.

The Chairman of AON, Nogie Meggisson who called the attention of the public to the move said the addition has increased Emirates flights to four daily to Nigeria through Lagos and Abuja. This, he said, is to the disadvantage of domestic operators within the country. He said Nigeria’s economy and the unemployed also stand to lose.

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[READ ALSO: NCAA declares Air Peace fleet “air worthy” amidst growing concerns]

Air Peace, Domestic airlines protest against Emirates Airline, Airline Operators of Nigeria, Air Peace becomes Nigeria's national carrier, Air Peace Dubai flight,

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Unfair treatment: Meggisson described the development as an unfair treatment by the government at a time Air Peace just got approval to ply the United Arab Emirates route. He added that while Air Peace was still struggling to have a dedicated lounge or departure wing to its name at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, the likes of Emirates, British Airways, Lufthansa, Air France and others had branded dedicated lounges in their respective countries provided by the governments.

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“It is very unfair for Emirates to be allowed such increase barely two weeks after the inauguration of flights on July 5 to Sharjah, United Arab Emirates by Air Peace, our very own Nigerian airline.

“The move effectively places our indigenous carriers at a massive disadvantage, the Nigerian economy and the jobs of our youths and huge capital flight.

“You will recall that AON had appealed that government must stand tall to play the role of aero-politics to support Air Peace, otherwise it will end up the same way as others that went before it as they were unable to play in the wild and aggressive field of international aero-politics.

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“Emirates, as of today, operates two daily flights out of Lagos and two daily flights out of Abuja. Etihad, from the same country, also operates daily flights out of Lagos as well.

“This translates to five flights daily and a total of 150 flights per month from UAE; as against a Nigerian carrier that only just started operating three flights weekly (12 flights monthly into UAE).”

Domestic airlines protest against Emirates Airline, Airline Operators of Nigeria

Emirates Airline

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Clampdown needed to effect change: Meggisson argued on behalf of the domestic airlines. He gave instances of the United States President, Donald Trump, who shortened the number of flights from UAE after complaints of open skies and anti-competitive behaviour of the Gulf airlines from US airline companies such as United, American and Delta.

Meggisson said Trump ensured UAE reduce their flights into the US by 30% through policy,

“It is the role of government, therefore, to protect our very own Nigerian carriers and preserve the Nigerian economy and the jobs of our unemployed youths.

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“The additional double daily flights given to Emirates, a highly subsidised airline, is not necessary at this time as statistics show that half of the flights out of Abuja are half empty.

“The Emirate airlines already have an unfair trade advantage of 150 flights monthly out of Nigeria; as against 12 monthly flights for Nigerian airlines.

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“We will, therefore, like to use this medium to call on the government to review all existing Bilateral Air Services Agreements to readdress the unfair trade advantage given to foreign airlines against Nigerian airlines.” 

[READ MORE: Air Peace’s 737 Max order blocked by politics as Boeing struggles to get certification]

Patricia

Olalekan is a certified media practitioner from the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ). In the era of media convergence, Olalekan is a valuable asset, with ability to curate and broadcast news. His zeal to write was developed out of passion to shape people’s thought and opinion; serving as a guideline for their daily lives. Contact for tips: [email protected]

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Financial Services

CBN asks banks to place chronic loan defaulters on watchlist from August

It is to facilitate a seamless implementation of the GSI process.

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IMF, COVID-19, CBN OMO ban could give stocks a much-needed boost , CBN’s N132.56 billion T-bills auction records oversubscription by 327% , Nigeria pays $1.09 billion to service external debt in 9 months , Implications of the new CBN stance on treasury bill sale to individuals, Digital technology and blockchain altering conventional banking models - Emefiele  , Increasing food prices might erase chances of CBN cutting interest rate   , Customer complaint against excess/unauthorized charges hits 1, 612 - CBN , CBN moves to reduce cassava derivatives import worth $600 million  , Invest in infrastructural development - CBN Governor admonishes investors , Credit to government declines, as Credit to private sector hits N25.8 trillion, CBN sets N10 billion minimum capital for Mortgage firms, CBN sets N10 billion minimum capital for Mortgage firms , Why you should be worried about the latest drop in external reserves, CBN, Alert: CBN issues N847.4 billion treasury bills for Q1 2020 , PMI: Nigeria’s manufacturing sector gains momentum in November, CBN warns high foreign credits could collapse Nigeria’s economy, predicts high poverty, MPC Member, BVN, Fitch, Foreign excchange (Forex), Overnight rates crash after CBN’s N1.4 trillion deduction, Nigeria’s foreign reserves hit $36.57 billion; Emefiele keeps his word on defending the naira

The Central Bank of Nigeria has issued guidelines aimed at reducing non-performing loans in the banking sector and to monitor chronic loan defaulters.

This was disclosed in a circular the apex bank issued to all banks and other financial institutions tagged ‘Operational Guidelines on global standing instruction – Individuals.’

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The circular, which was signed by the Director, Financial Policy and Regulation Department, CBN, stated,

The Bankers’ Committee, at its meeting on February 18, 2020, approved the go-live on the Global Standing Instruction, which aimed at facilitating an improved credit repayment culture; reducing non-performing loans in the Nigerian banking system; and watch-listing consistent loan defaulters.”

The apex bank explained that it collaborated with stakeholders to develop necessary protocols to facilitate a seamless implementation of the GSI process, including eligible loans granted from August 28, 2019.

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It stated that the guidelines would take effect from August 1, 2020.

Under the guidelines, creditor bank are expected to ensure that borrowers were properly educated about the GSI mandate and its implications, and enshrine same in their loan application process.

The banks would review and validate the GSI mandate instrument prior to loan disbursement.

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“They would indemnify the Nigeria Inter-Bank Settlement System and other participating financial institutions from all liabilities that may arise from inappropriate use of the GSI infrastructure,” it added.

The CBN added that the banks would retain copies of physical or digital version of the executed GSI mandate and provide same when required.

According to CBN, the participating financial institutions must execute the GSI mandate agreement with NIBSS.

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It stated, “They must also ensure all qualifying accounts were properly maintained and visible to NIBSS on the industry customer accounts database or by any other service created or provisioned for this purpose.”

The guidelines stated that they must “ensure that accounts in NIBSS’ ICAD are correctly tagged with correct Bank Verification Number, and ensure and maintain connectivity to the Nigeria Central Switch.

 

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Coronavirus

Covid-19: US to start manufacturing vaccine for the virus in next 4 weeks 

Trump’s Operation Warp Programme has helped finance the development of 4 COVID-19 vaccines.

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Novavax secures $1.6 billion funding for covid-19 vaccine production

A senior United States administration official has said on Monday that, the government’s partnership with some drug makers to actively start the manufacturing of a vaccine for COVID-19 are on track. 

The US government has partnered and given grants ranging from several hundred millions of dollars to over $1 billion to drug makers like Johnson & Johnson, Moderna Inc, AstraZeneca Plc and Novavax Inc. 

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It also signed a $450 million contract earlier this month with Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc in order to help it supply therapies for patients who are sick with the virus. 

According to a report from Reuters, the US government official said, ‘’If you say exactly when will literally the vaccine materials be in production and manufacturing, it is probably four to six weeks away, but we will be actively manufacturing by the end of summer.’’ 

He also said that US is already working with companies to equip manufacturing facilities and acquire raw materials. 

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It should be noted that the Trump administration while working towards producing 300 million vaccine doses by the end of 2021, has helped finance the development of 4 COVID-19 vaccines through its Operation Warp Programme. 

The senior US official also said, ‘’While we think is fair to say that vaccine progress is occurring at warp speed pace, faster than any vaccines have been developed in history, therapeutics are even faster. 

He also pointed out that clinical trials for therapeutics can produce results in a matter of weeks, thereby making it possible to produce hundreds of thousands of doses in a couple of months. 

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There has been reported progress in the search of a cure for COVID-19 as the race amongst drug makers, health institutions and governments to develop a vaccine for the virus hots up. 

Nairametrics had reported that German biotech firm, BioNTech in partnership with New York-based pharmaceutical giant, Pfizer, had announced that the COVID-19 vaccine candidate is expected to be ready to obtain regulatory approval by the end of 2020. 

The European Union on its part has made deals with drug makers, Roche and Merck, to secure supplies of experimental treatments for COVID-19. The deal will secure supplies to any of the 27 European Union member countries who will be willing to buy the vaccines. 

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The World Health Organization (WHO) and its key partners also plan to purchase 2 billion doses of COVID-19 vaccines for distribution to the most vulnerable people around the world by the end of 2021. 

The WHO and the partners which include Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance and Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), revealed that about $18.1 billion will be needed to implement this plan.  

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Appointments

AfDB appoints Rabah Arezki as new vice president and chief economist 

Before Arezki joined the World Bank, he worked at the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

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The African Development Bank Group (AfDB) has announced the appointment of Dr Rabah Arezki as  Chief Economist and Vice President, Economic Governance and Knowledge Management, with effect from October 1, 2020. 

This was disclosed in a press statement on the bank’s website on July 13, 2020. 

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Dr Rabah Arezkiwho is an Algerian citizen, is currently the Chief Economist for Middle East and North Africa Region at the World Bank, a role he has held since 2017. 

At the World Bank, he led the development of the Bank’s “moonshot approach” for the Middle East and Africa which aims to achieve full internet and digital payment connectivity. He championed the agenda on fair competition, data and transparency to empower and unlock the potential of the region’s youth. 

Before Arezki joined the World Bank, he worked at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) from 2006 to 2017. He started his career at the IMF as an Economist and became the Chief of the Commodities and Environment Unit in the Research Department. He provided leadership on IMF’s rapid response to the historical collapse in oil prices that started in 2014. He advised authorities all around the world on risk mitigation policies. 

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Dr Arezki is a senior fellow at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, an external Research Associate at the Oxford University, UK, a research fellow at the CESifo, a global independent research network. Dr. Arezki is also a resource person for the African Economic Research Consortium and a Research Fellow at the Economic Research Forum. He has been a non-resident Fellow at the Brookings Institute, USA. 

He has published extensively both in top academic journals and policy-oriented outlets and is a co-editor and co-author of five books including Shifting Commodity Markets in a Globalized World. Many of his research papers have been cited extensively in academic circles and in prominent media outlets.  

In his statement after his appointment, Dr Arezki said, The African Development Bank is making excellent progress in accelerating Africa’s development. I am excited with the opportunity to work with President Adesina and the Bank’s leadership and teams to further provide top notch policy, knowledge and capacity building support for African countries.” 

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Dr Arezki holds a Masters in Economics and Statistics from Ecole Nationale de la Statistique et de l’Administration Economique (ENSAE) – France (2003), and a PhD in Economics from the European University Institute – Italy (2006). He is multilingual and fluent in French, English, and Arabic. 

In his own response, the President of the African Development Bank Group, Akinwumi Adesina, said, I am delighted that Dr. Rabah Arezki is joining the African Development Bank Group following an impactful career at the World Bank and the IMF. Rabah is an outstanding researcher and policy expert with extensive experience in research, policy and reforms.” 

“His leadership will be especially important as the Bank designs and deploys policy-based operations to address COVID-19, advances policy reforms, and supports African countries growth recovery efforts from the pandemic,” Adesina added. 

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