The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has termed the charges being paid by Nigerian and other African airlines as excessive and a burden to their operating costs.
The association called on the Nigerian government and other governments in Africa to reduce the airline charges that accounted for 11.4% of the airlines’ operating costs.
According to Punch, the Chief Executive Officer of the IATA, Alexandre de Junaic, highlighted the need for a cost-competitive operating environment for airlines in Africa. He stated that governments should follow recommended standards and practices for taxes and charges, adding that close hidden costs such as taxes and fees could be against global best practice.
“User charges are excessive. They account for 11.4 per cent of African airlines’ operating costs. That is double the industry average. And there is a plethora of taxes and charges, some unique.
“African carriers lose $1.54 for every passenger they carry. High costs contribute to these losses Flying is not a luxury—it is an economic lifeline for this continent. That’s why it is critical for governments to understand that every extra cost they add to the industry reduces aviation’s effectiveness as a catalyst for development.”
Away from the charges, Junaic also urged the aviation industry stakeholders to focus on the priorities that would allow aviation to drive economic and social development on the continent, enrich people’s lives and enable the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. The four priorities include safety, cost-competitiveness, opening the continent to travel and trade as well as gender diversity.
Speaking further, the Association’s CEO called on more African countries to introduce the IATA Operational Safety Audit into their safety oversight systems just as Mozambique, Rwanda, Togo and Zimbabwe had done.
“Smaller operators should consider becoming IATA Standard Safety Assessment certified. ISSA provides a valuable operational benchmark for carriers not eligible for IOSA.
“African states need to implement ICAO standards and recommended practices in their regulations. Currently, only 26 states meet or exceed the threshold of 60% implementation,” Junaic said.
COVID-19 Update in Nigeria
On the 5th of March 2021, 371 new confirmed cases and 3 deaths were recorded in Nigeria
The spread of novel Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria continues to record significant increases as the latest statistics provided by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control reveal Nigeria now has 158,042 confirmed cases.
On the 5th of March 2021, 371 new confirmed cases and 3 deaths were recorded in Nigeria.
To date, 158,042 cases have been confirmed, 137,025 cases have been discharged and 1,954 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.
A total of 1.54 million tests have been carried out as of March 5th, 2021 compared to 1.49 million tests a day earlier.
COVID-19 Case Updates- 5th March 2021,
- Total Number of Cases – 158,042
- Total Number Discharged – 137,025
- Total Deaths – 1,954
- Total Tests Carried out – 1,544,008
According to the NCDC, the 371 new cases are reported from 20 states- Lagos (101), Rivers (54), Anambra (31), Ebonyi (23), Imo (23), Kwara (22), Kano (20), Taraba (17), Akwa Ibom (16), FCT (15), Abia (13), Kaduna (13), Osun (5), Edo (4), Oyo (4), Kebbi (3), Ogun (3), Ekiti (2), Nasarawa (1), and Zamfara (1).
Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 56,374, followed by Abuja (19,328), Plateau (8,939), Kaduna (8,623), Oyo (6,761), Rivers (6,651), Edo (4,645), Ogun (4,419), Kano (3,830), Ondo (3,066), Kwara (2,953), Delta (2,582), Osun (2,449), Nasarawa (2,248), Enugu (2,078), Katsina (2,060), Gombe (2,010), Ebonyi (1,951), Anambra (1,811), Akwa Ibom (1,588), and Abia (1,568).
Imo State has recorded 1,551 cases, Borno (1,297), Bauchi (1,232), Benue (1,188), Adamawa (942), Niger (917), Taraba (863), Ekiti (825), Bayelsa (779), Sokoto (769), Jigawa (496), Kebbi (401), Cross River (334), Yobe (288), Zamfara (221), while Kogi state has recorded 5 cases only.
Lock Down and Curfew
In a move to combat the spread of the pandemic disease, President Muhammadu Buhari directed the cessation of all movements in Lagos and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days, which took effect from 11 pm on Monday, 30th March 2020.
The movement restriction, which was extended by another two weeks period, has been partially put on hold with some businesses commencing operations from May 4. On April 27th, 2020, Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari declared an overnight curfew from 8 pm to 6 am across the country, as part of new measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19. This comes along with the phased and gradual easing of lockdown measures in FCT, Lagos, and Ogun States, which took effect from Saturday, 2nd May 2020, at 9 am.
On Monday, 29th June 2020 the federal government extended the second phase of the eased lockdown by 4 weeks and approved interstate movement outside curfew hours with effect from July 1, 2020. Also, on Monday 27th July 2020, the federal government extended the second phase of eased lockdown by an additional one week.
On Thursday, 6th August 2020 the federal government through the secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 announced the extension of the second phase of eased lockdown by another four (4) weeks.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State announced the closed down of the Eti-Osa Isolation Centre, with effect from Friday, 31st July 2020. He also mentioned that the Agidingbi Isolation Centre would also be closed and the patients relocated to a large capacity centre.
Due to the increased number of covid-19 cases in Nigeria, the Nigerian government ordered the reopening of Isolation and treatment centres in the country on Thursday, 10th December 2020.
On 26th January 2021, the Federal Government announced the extension of the guidelines of phase 3 of the eased lockdown by one month following the rising cases of the coronavirus disease in the country and the expiration of phase 3 of the eased lockdown.
On 28th February 2021, the federal government confirmed that the first tranche of Covid-19 vaccines will arrive in Nigeria on Tuesday, March 2nd, 2021.
MMA2 imports new x-ray machines from US
MMA2, Lagos took delivery of new x-ray machines ordered by Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited (BASL) to upgrade its facilities.
The Murtala Muhammed Airport, Terminal 2, Lagos has taken delivery of new x-ray machines ordered by Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited (BASL) to upgrade its facilities on Friday.
This was disclosed by the Group Corporate Affairs Manager of BASL, operator of MMA2, Mikail Mumuni, in a statement on Friday.
He said, “The equipment imported from the US arrived the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos Wednesday night from where they were later moved to MMA2.
”Installation of the x-ray machines and air conditioners will commence on Friday evening and that this would be completed within one week.”
The BASL spokesperson quoted the acting Head of Business of the company, Mr. Ralph Uchegbu as saying that “the installation of the new X-ray machines and air conditionals will further reinforce the status of MMA2 as the nation’s pre-eminent airport terminal in terms of customers security and comfort.”
What you should know
- BASL recently announced that it had invested over $500,000 massive upgrading of its X-ray machines and air conditioning systems for passengers safety, security and comfort.
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