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FAAN denies banning Uber, Bolt from operating inside airport after Nigerians protest 

The decision of the FAAN to ban ride-hailing operation inside the airport has generated criticism from Nigerians.

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FAAN denies banning Uber, Bolt from operating inside airport after Nigerians protest 

The decision of the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) to ban ride-hailing operation inside the airport has generated criticism from Nigerians. The airport authority reportedly erected a signpost warning UberBolt (Taxify) and other ride-hailing drivers against operating in the airport or face fine charges of N10,000.

There has been disagreement between the airport authority and ride-hailing drivers who have often complained about their mistreatment at the airport by officials of FAAN.

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The airport transportation system was initially operated by the traditional taxi driver before the advent of car-haling apps in Nigeria. But since the entry of the latter into the Nigerian market, the transport business in the airport has become competitive.

Car-hailing business: InDriver threatens Uber's and Bolt's operations with yellow-taxi's pricing model , Should Nigeria follow suit as Uber loses operating license in London?

Why ban car-hailing drivers?

It is believed that the operation of car-hailing drivers in the airport is affecting the gains of traditional taxi drivers who are registered association in the airport and also paying operational fees to the airport authority. Meanwhile, the ride-hailing app drivers are said to be operating in the airport without being regulated or licensed by the airport authority. This means they are not making payment to FAAN.

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The competition has left the traditional taxi drivers redundant due to a decline in daily demand. Such a ban was expected to assist the traditional cab drivers. However, a further clampdown on operators in this market will discourage investors from investing to expand or discourage new player from entering the market because ride-hailing companies have been struggling in Nigeria in recent months. They are being hit with strict regulation or ban. The market is gradually becoming hostile for the operators who are being harassed by various authorities.

[READ MORE: FAAN, FCI to set up Lagos trade centre]

Reactions that trailed the FAAN ban claims

One Twitter user, who tweeted through his handle, @toni1billion, stated that the ban is “The handwork of Airports taxi who have been rendered jobless by digital transport disruption. @FAANews this is not global practice, stop acting like a local agency. @hadisirika.” 

Another Twitter user@nnwigene tweeted, “FAAN put up signs at the airport today saying Uber and Bolt are no longer allowed to pick up passengers in the premises. EASE OF DOING BUSINESS MY ASS.” 

While @HelloMilez advised riders and drivers on how to avoid being detected by the airport authority.

“If FAAN is trying to play smart by not allowing Uber/Bolt to operate, there’s always the joker. This is what you should do 1. Call your Uber/Bolt driver 2. Give them a detailed description of yourself 3. Run to them and shout “UNCLE” when they arrive 4. Enjoy your ride home.” 

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@MustaphaNdajiwo also suggested that FAAN should monetise its partnership with car-hailing service rather than chase them out of the airport.

“Nonsense! in other countries they have designated spots. FAAN can actually make money from this by going into an MoU with Uber to collect a percentage as fees. But no, one guy that benefits from the resistance by traditional taxis will kill that opportunity for personal gains.” 

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Meanwhile, @Aeeshamoh said the decision by FAAN was because they owned some of the traditional taxi operating in the airport.

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“So FAAN Nigeria wants to start sanctioning Bolt and Uber drivers for airport pickups. This will solely be because most of their officers own the ridiculously expensive airport taxis that the majority have stopped patronizing. Everybody is selfish.” 

[READ ALSO: FAAN commences renovation of Enugu Airport)

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Alleged sex for cab rides controversy rocks Bolt Nigeria 

Did FAAN bow to pressure? 

Hours after the ban announcement trended online, FAAN reacted via its official Twitter account to a comment, stating that the message on the signpost carrying its logo did not originate from FAAN. The airport authority said, “Uber, bold and taxify are free to drop passengers at our airports.” FAAN didn’t deny the existence of the billboard inside the airport. It rather said, “The signpost has been removed, be assured the issue would be addressed.”

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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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Business

Update: FG extends second phase of eased lockdown by another 4 weeks

This is the third time the second phase of the eased lockdown is being extended.

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President Buhari may sign 2020 Budget tomorrow, President Buhari approves N37 billion for National Assembly renovation, President Buhari appoints Sarki Auwalu to head DPR , FG may stop interstate and inter-town travels, COVID-19: President salutes Elumelu, Dangote, Atiku, Banks, others for support, Naira export earnings, Covid-19: FG to set up N500 billion intervention fund, sovereign wealth, FG issues guidelines on implementation of gradual easing of lockdown nationwide

President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the extension of the second phase of eased lockdown by another 4 weeks.

According to a monitored media report, this is the third time the second phase of the eased lockdown which is currently observed across the country is being extended

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The disclosure was made by Boss Mustapha, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, during the Task Force briefing in Abuja on Thursday.

The Federal Government had on July 27 extended the current lockdown by an additional one week due to the Sallah celebration on July 29.

Mustapha disclosed that the extension followed the briefing and recommendation to President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday on the progress made so far by Presidential Task Force in containing the spread of Covid-19 and keeping citizens safe from contracting the virus.

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The PTF Chairman noted that they made a couple of recommendations to the president and the extension of the current phase of ease of lockdown was one of the ones approved.

He revealed that in the recommendation that was made to the president about retaining the current phase of the lockdown, the PTF made some minor changes to address the economic, socio-political concerns of Nigerians.

Under the current extended second phase, the current curfew of 10 pm to 4 am is still in force, civil servants on grade level 12 and above are now to resume work fully and close by 4 pm and no longer 2 pm that currently operates. He, however, said that virtual meetings by government officials and parastatals will be maintained.

He also said that while the restrictions on recreational parks have been lifted for non-contact physical activities, the ban on entertainment centres will be sustained.

Mustapha explained that despite the accomplishments and challenges, some challenges continue to pose a considerable concern. Some of them include increased non-compliance with non-pharmaceutical prevention measures, lack of enforcement of necessary guidelines issued to preserve lives, insufficient engagement by some states with the national response, and lingering concern about the gap between identified cases and the actual burden of disease.

He also talked about apathy, fatigue and disbelief combining to challenge public enlightenment, compliance and behaviour change.

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The SGF said that to address these challenges, the PTF decided that it was important to ensure that restrictions were not completely relaxed in order to control transmission.

He noted that it was also important that at this Community Transmission Phase of the pandemic, sub-national governments should step up to take more responsibilities by owning the response.

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The various state authorities and the Federal Capital Territory were mandated to enforce non=pharmaceutical guidelines, the use of face masks in public appearances and places.

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Corporate deals

Just In: Access Bank acquires Zambian Cavmont Bank Ltd

The statement from Access Bank says that the deal is a highly complementary transaction.

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Access Bank Zambia, a subsidiary of Nigeria’s Access Bank Plc, has reached a ‘definitive agreement’ with Cavmont Capital Holdings Zambia Plc (CCHZ) to acquire Cavmont Bank Ltd.

The tier-1 bank announced this latest development regarding the merger talk which has been ongoing for a while, in a statement that was signed by its Company Secretary (Sunday Ekwochi) and issued to the Nigerian Stock Exchange earlier today.

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According to the statement by Access Bank, the deal is a highly complementary transaction that is expected to combine Access Bank Zambia’s wholesale and trade finance capabilities with Cavmont Bank’s retail and commercial banking operations.

The proposed transaction which, in the meantime is still subject to relevant shareholder and regulatory approvals, is also expected to better position Access Bank Zambia as one of the top 10 banks in the Southern African country.

Customers from the enlarged bank will benefit from greater security offered by what will be one of the most capitalized banks in Zambia with a more diversified product and service offering and a broader geographical footprint and infrastructure.

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Access Bank on its notification stated, ‘’Subsequent to our announcement on July 8, 2020, the Board of Access Bank Plc announces today that its subsidiary, Access Bank (Zambia) Limited, has entered into a definitive agreement with Cavmont Capital Holdings Zambia Plc (CCHZ) regarding proposed acquisition of Cavmont Bank Limited, a subsidiary of CCHZ and subsequent merger of Cavmont Bank’s operations into Access Bank Zambia. The proposed transaction, which remains subject to relevant shareholder and regulatory approvals, will position the enlarged Access Bank Zambia as one of the top 10 banks in Zambia and create the momentum to advance its strategic objectives.’’

‘’Under the terms of the agreement, Access Bank Zambia will acquire the entire issued ordinary share capital, assets and liabilities of Cavmont Bank while Capricom Group Limited, the ultimate majority shareholder of CCHZ will invest at least ZMW300 million ($16.5 million) of preference shares into Access Bank Zambia. Capricorn will hold preference shares in the enlarged Access Bank Zambia for a period of five years, after which the preference shares will be acquired by Access Bank Plc.’’

The statement also notes that the enlarged bank will be well placed to participate in the long-term economic growth of Zambia and will be predicated on the country’s vast reserves of natural resources and fast growing young population.

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The transaction is expected to be completed during the fourth quarter of 2020.

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Appointments

Nnaemeka Ewelukwa assumes office as new MD/CEO of NBET

Dr, Eweluka replaced the sacked Dr. Amobi as NBET Chief before full assumption in August 2020.

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Dr Nnaemeka Ewelukwa has assumed office as the new Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Bulk Electricity Trading (NBET) Plc. This was announced earlier today by the Federal Government of Nigeria.

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The Backstory: In December 2019, the former CEO of NBET, Dr Marilyn Amobi, was suspended by Nigeria’s Minister of Power. This followed a series of complaints made against Dr Amobi who was appointed to the position in 2016. Following her sack, the Minister of Power also noted that he was seeking to bring sanity back to the system. A committee was also set up to investigate the many complaints against the former NBET CEO.

“In view of this, the minister has also directed the Constitution of a 5-man investigative committee to look into the myriads of complaints against the MD/CEO (of NBET) with the view of restoring sanity in the management of the company. Consequently, she is to handover to the most senior director in the organisation,” a statement issued by Aaron Artimas, the spokesman of the Minister of Power had read.

Interestingly, President Muhammadu Buhari reinstated Dr Amobi in January this year, but then finally sacked her later in June. Now, Dr, Eweluka, who was earlier announced as Amobi’s replacement, has now taken over.

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Before now, Eweluka was appointed the General Counsel and Company Secretary of NBET in march 2012. He has also served as a Technical Adviser with the Presidential Task Force on Power (PTFP) where he was a member of the Regulatory and Transactions Monitoring Unit.

He graduated with an LLB from the  University of Nigeria Nsukka, an LLM in International Business Law from the London School of Economics and a PhD from Queen Mary, University of London.

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