The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has announced a new date it will commence the closure of some selected travel agencies despite being accredited by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the trade association of the world’s airlines. The shutdown is likely to affect over 400 travel agencies in Nigeria.
The Nigeran aviation regulator had threatened to shut-down some travel agencies on May 7, 2019, if they didn’t register and obtain a certificate of registration. The NCAA gave the companies 60 days to work on their documentation, but the regulator has now extended the timeframe.
The first ultimatum ended in July 2019. After the deadline elapsed, NCAA did not sanction the defaulters because of the controversies that arose. The organisation made the decision to postpone the shutdown until next year after a meeting with the National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies (NANTA).
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In Nigeria, there are over 600 travel agencies but only 149 of them are registered under the NCAA. A source said in a report that several agencies had begun to register their companies after the threat was issued in May.
The deadline has, however, been postponed to January 2, 2020. Also, IATA has been informed not to accredit any travel agency that is not certified by Nigeria’s aviation authority.
Meanwhile, the Director of Air Transport Regulation, NCAA, Group Capt. Edem Oyo-Ita (rtd) said only about 200 out of the over 600 travel agencies operating in Nigeria are registered with NANTA. Registering under NANTA is also a requirement for accreditation by the NCAA.
NCAA to blame: The NCAA is to be blamed for the lackadaisical attitude of the travel agencies towards following registration guidelines. According to Oyo-Ita, the NCAA has been poor in effecting regulations for the travel agencies, admitting that the downstream sector of the aviation hasn’t been cared for properly.
“We take the blame that we may be poor in our regulations in the downstream sector of aviation which has not been adequately taken care of in the past years but it is mandatory that all travel agencies must be registered with the NCAA and NANTA.”
Uncertified agencies are bad for business: While the President of NANTA, Bankole Bernard, urged the NCAA to pay more attention to the travel agencies, he revealed that unregistered travel agencies were affecting business for the NCAA-certified companies.
According to Bernard, the infiltration of uncertified agencies had led to the shutdown of some travel agencies in the past.
REMINDER: FGN Ijara Sukuk Bond auction closes on 2nd June 2020
Proceeds from the Ijara Sukuk Bond auction will be used solely for the construction and rehabilitation of key roads across the six geopolitical zones of the country.
The Debt Management Office (DMO), on behalf of the Federal Government, has reminded the general public that the offer for subscription to the N150 billion FGN Ijara Sukuk Bond will close on Tuesday June 2nd, 2020.
The offer for subscription was announced some days ago by the DMO, as Nairametrics reported. Below are the details of the offering.
The Auction: N150, 000,000,000 – Rental Rate of 11.20% per annum IJORA SUKUK FGN JUNE 2027 (7-Yr Opening)
Arranger: FBNQuest Mechant Bank Limited and Lotus Financial Services Limited.
Opening Date: May 21, 2020
Closing Date: June 2, 2020
Settlement Date: June 9, 2020
Summary of the Offer
Instrument Type: Ijarah (Lease) Sukuk
Issuer: FGN Roads Sukuk Company 1 Plc. on behalf of the Federal Government of Nigeria.
Units of Sale: N1,000 per unit subject to a minimum Subscription of N10,000 and in multiples of N1,000 thereafter.
Rental Payment: Payable Half Yearly.
Redemption: Bullet repayment on the date of maturity
Use of Proceeds: Proceeds will be used solely for the construction and rehabilitation of key roads across the six geopolitical zones of the country.
About Sukuk bonds
Sukuk is derived from the word Sakk, which can be translated to mean legal instrument, deed, and cheque. Sakk can also mean to strike a deal on a paper document.
The origin of Sukuk dates to 7th century AD, where the first Sukuk transaction took place in Damascus, Syria in the Great Mosque of Damascus (Umayyad Mosque).
Since Islam prohibits usury – collecting interest from your loans – interest-based bonds are banned in Muslim nations.
Difference between Sukuk and regular bonds
Sukuk indicates ownership of an asset. The assets that back Sukuk are compliant with Shariah. In other words, such assets adhere to the Islamic prohibitions on gambling, alcohol, tobacco, narcotics, and adult entertainment products and services.
Sukuk notes pay a fixed percentage return as a profit-sharing percentage of the underlying assets’ revenues.
Regular bonds, on the other hand, pay a fixed rate of return as interest (coupon) semi-annually or annually.
Just In: PPPRA reduces petrol price to N121.50 per litre
“After a review of prevailing market fundamentals in the month of May and considering marketers realistic operating costs as much as practicable, we wish to advise of a new PMS guiding pump price…”
The Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) has announced a new retail price band for oil marketers.
In a circular dated May 31st, as seen by Nairametrics, the downstream regulator said oil marketers are now expected to sell petrol within the price range of N121.50 and N123.50. Part of the circular said:
“Please recall the recently approved pricing regime which became effective March 19, 2020, and the provision for the establishment of a monthly price band within which petroleum marketers are expected to sell PMS at the retail stations.
“After a review of prevailing market fundamentals in the month of May and considering marketers realistic operating costs as much as practicable, we wish to advise of a new PMS guiding pump price with the corresponding ex-depot price for the month of June 2020, as follows; price band N121.50 – N123.50 per liter.”
Hedge funds, institutional investors rush to own stakes in Bitcoin
Hedge funds are firms that offer alternative investments to a specific type of investors (high net worth individuals), in a bid to protect their investment portfolios from market uncertainty, while generating positive returns regardless of market sentiments.
With global economic uncertainty gradually becoming a daily norm, institutional and hedge funds around the world have been rushing to have a stake in crypto assets which all have been outperforming other financial assets in 2020).
Just recently, a popular hedge fund based in New York –Grayscale Investments –caught the investment world by surprise by buying up Bitcoin (BTC) at a great rate in recent months.
Lennard Neo, the head of research at Stack Funds, told Cointelegraph that institutional investors have been seeking for other options, not just to provide returns, but also to hedge their existing portfolio from downside risks. Neo said:
“Similar to Grayscale, Stack has seen an uptick in investors’ interest — almost double that figures of pre-crash in March — in Bitcoin. I would not say they are ‘gobbling up BTC’ blindly but cautiously seeking traditional structured solutions that they are familiar with before making an investment.”
In addition, Paul Cappelli, a portfolio manager at Galaxy Fund Management, explained in detail the reasons for this demand. According to him, “we’re seeing increased interest from multiple levels of investors’ wealth channels, independent RIAs, and institutions.
“The recent BTC halving came at an interesting time amid the COVID-19 outbreak and the growing unease about quantitative easing. He noted: “It clearly demonstrated BTC’s scarcity and future supply reduction as concerns deepened around unprecedented stimulus by the Fed with the CARES Act.”
Also, Michael Sonnenshein, the Managing Director of Grayscale Investments, explained briefly why his firm uses Bitcoin as an option in hedging its firm’s portfolio position.
“All three are facing issues this time around. Bitcoin has emerged as an alternative hedge, operating independently of the dramatic monetary policies enacted by central banks,” he said.
What you need to know about Hedge Funds
They are firms that offer alternative investments to a specific type of investors (high net worth individuals), in a bid to protect their investment portfolios from market uncertainty, while generating positive returns regardless of market sentiments.