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Nigeria’s aviation industry loses U.S. funding 

Donald Trump’s administration has decided to stop funding the Safer Skies for Africa programme which often takes place in Nigeria.

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US government to ban WeChat and TikTok from app stores, Reasons why a record number of people are giving up their US citizenship, US approves chloroquine as treatment for coronavirus COVID-19, Nigeria U.S. Donald Trump-oil prices, My COVID- 19 illness, a blessing from God –Trump

Donald Trump’s administration has decided to stop funding the Safer Skies for Africa programme that used to take place in Nigeria. This has left the organisers in limbo as there is no fund to keep the programme running. 

Reason for the action of the US: The United States Government made the decision to stop its financial backing without giving reasons. This could affect logistics as the Accident Investigation Bureauthe organisers of the Safer Skies for Africa programme has not found another sponsor to fill the vacuum. 

The event used to be attended by the Heads of Accident Investigation Bureaux from several African countries. It was sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation and Nigeria’s Accident Investigation Bureau for many years. 

[READ MORE: Why World Bank blacklisted CCECC, 5 other Chinese firms]

Speaking on the decision of the U.Sto back out of the programme, the Commissioner and Chief Executive Officer of the Investigation Bureau in Nigeria, Akin Olateru, said, “Today (yesterday), we have come to the end of the programme where we brought in African nations to an aviation safety gathering sponsored by AIB Nigeria in conjunction with the Safe Sky Africa, which is the Department of Transport in the U.S., and the U.S NTSB. 

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“Unfortunately, I heard the programme has come to an end as the U.S. Government will no longer sponsor it. This is very unfortunate because Africa has really benefited from this programme.” 

He added that, “I cannot speak on behalf of the U.S. Government on why they decided to stop funding the Safe Skies for Africa project. All I know is that we were told that the project has stopped. 

Replacement underway: The Accident Investigation Bureau has tasked African leaders to come together in order to salvage the situation. Olateru said he had approached the African Development Bank (AfDB) for support to keep running the programme, urging the bank to take over the initiative to enable African skies to remain safer. 

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“I think we Africans should put heads together on how we can help ourselves. We have approached AfDB, under its corporate social responsibility, to take up the sponsorship of the programmeWe owe it to ourselves to work together as a team and strengthen aviation and make aviation a safer place to be.” 

Explaining further on the process of finding a replacement, Olateru said the bureau would partner with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to facilitate the release of funds from AfDB. 

“I had a meeting with the ICAO president two months ago in Montreal, Canada. I had a discussion with him on how AfDB can continue to sponsor this project through ICAO because AfDB will not just release money to AIB Nigeria. Imust be an independent organisation, which is ICAO. It is not just to Nigeria but to African nations. 

“There will be another meeting during the next ICAO Assembly on the clear-cut modality on how to get this done. So, talks are still on, on how to make this work.” 

[READ ALSO: Three startup lessons from Kobo360’s $30 million fund raise]

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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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Energy

TCN restores collapsed electricity grid

TCN has now restored the electricity grid system which collapsed across the country over the past weekend.

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TCN MD Abdulaziz, four other directors receive appointment letters

The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) has restored the collapsed electricity grid system across the country.

This was disclosed by the Acting Managing Director of TCN, Mr Sule Abdulaziz, during a media briefing on Wednesday.

According to the TCN boss, the system which collapsed on Sunday evening was restored within 40 minutes of the incident.

He said, “The company immediately went into action and stabilised the system in Abuja, before other parts of the country. There is nothing strange but it is normal for a system to collapse and that can happen in any country of the world.

“Since I came on board, we never had any system collapse and this one that happened on Sunday was restored immediately which is the fastest system collapse recovery. We are guarding the grid, we don’t want the system collapse to happen, but when it happens, the most important thing is what was done and how it was done to restore the system.”

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What you need to know

Three days ago, Nairametrics reported that the recent power blackout in the country was due to multiple trippings.

General Manager, Public Affairs, TCN, Ndidi Mbah, who made the announcement through a statement said the company had started the process of restoration to the national grid.

Mbah pointed out that the places that power is yet to be restored were Calabar, Makurdi, Jos, Gombe, Yola, Ugwuaji and Maiduguri axis.

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She stated, “The Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) regrets to inform electricity consumers nationwide that at 11:25 am today, the nation’s electricity grid experienced multiple trippings, which led to the collapse of the system.’

“TCN has since commenced grid restoration; power has been successfully restored to every part of the country, except Calabar, Ugwuaji, Markurdi, Jos, Gombe, Yola, and Maiduguri axes. The effort is however ongoing to ensure full restoration nationwide.”

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Energy

N250bn to be spent to fund compressed Natural Gas infrastructure

The CBN is to make available the sum of N250 billion to fund Compressed Natural Gas infrastructure.

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) is poised to make available the sum of N250 billion to fund Compressed Natural Gas infrastructure.

This move is in a bid to expand gas use and cut reliance on imported fuel, as the government looks forward to offering free conversion to enable some cars run on gas.

It is expected that by 2021, about 1 million cars would have been converted from PMS to Autogas for free.

The National Gas Expansion Programme (NGEP) launched by President Muhammadu Buhari, is part of the country’s effort to free itself of costly gasoline subsidies and conserve the hard-earned foreign reserves from petroleum product imports, making it imperative to focus on gas as an alternative fuel.

(READ MORE: Nigeria to import petroleum products from Niger Republic, sign MoU on transportation, storage)

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What they are saying

According to the Group Managing Director (GMD) of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mallam Mele Kyari,

“Select NNPC stations across the country will offer free conversion of ‘some cars’ to enable them to run on liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) or compressed natural gas (CNG). There are currently 80 locations in the country capable of fuelling the vehicles.”

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Bottom line

This is a welcome development as it is cleaner, safer, and affordable to run the cars on gas.

It would also, to a large extent, conserve the foreign reserves being depleted from huge petroleum product imports, as well as offer millions of job opportunities.

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Companies

ABC Transport to raise N1.4 billion through rights issue

ABC Transport Plc has secured the approval of its shareholders to raise additional capital through a rights issue.

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The Board of Directors of ABC Transport Plc has secured the approval of its shareholders to raise additional capital through a rights issue from existing shareholders.

This disclosure was made by the board of ABC Transport in a notification issued by the Company’s Secretary, Onyekachukwu C. Chigbo, after announcing shareholders’ resolutions at its 27th Annual General Meeting (AGM), held on Friday 27th November 2020.

According to the information contained in the notification, the rights issue is N1.4billion, which could be raised via the issuance of shares and debt securities as determined by the Directors of the firm.

However, the rights issue is subject to the approval of regulatory authorities.

What this means

A rights issue is an invitation to existing shareholders to purchase additional new shares in the company. This type of issue gives existing shareholders the “rights” to purchase new shares at a discount to the market price on a stated future date.

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However, shareholders are not obligated to exercise this right.

In this regard, the company may decide to use the additional capital raised from these offerings to existing shareholders to acquire assets, make a take-over, repay debts or save itself from bankruptcy.

This is expected to strengthen the company’s balance sheet, free up capital for the management to execute revenue, and profit optimizing projects, plans, and strategies.

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What you should know

  • It is important to know that the board decided to raise additional capital after it had secured shareholders’ approval to increase the company’s authorized share capital from N1billion to N2.5billion by the creation of 3billion additional shares of 50 kobo each, ranking pari-passu in all respects with the existing shares in the Company’s equity.
  • In this regard, clause 6 of the Company’s Memorandum of Association and clause 5 of the Articles of Association respectively, will be amended to reflect the increase in the Authorized Share Capital.
  • This amendment will be done by deleting the words, “the authorized Share Capital of the Company is N1billion divided into 2billion ordinary shares of 50 kobo each,” and substituting therewith the words “the authorized Share Capital of the Company is N2.5billion divided into 5billion ordinary shares of 50 kobo each.”

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