The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has directed all airlines operating in Nigeria to issue health declaration forms to their passengers and crew members before arriving Nigerian airports, or risk being sanctioned.
The General Manager (Public Relations) of the regulatory body, Sam Adurogboye, gave this directive in a statement issued on Thursday.
According to him, this had become necessary following the failure of some airlines operating international and regional flights in Nigeria to provide health declaration forms, also known as passengers’ self-reporting forms, to their customers.
Adurogboye stated that the NCAA had issued a letter to that effect to all airlines and other stakeholders in the industry.
“In view of the above, airlines are to remind passengers to provide factual address and phone numbers to enhance contact tracing in case there is a need to do so,” the statement read.
(READ MORE: Aviation: A boost to Africa’s development)
He explained that the health declaration forms would be retrieved and evaluated by the personnel of the Port Health Services on the arrival of the passengers and crew members, and subsequently returned to the airlines at the various international airports in the country.
According to the agency’s spokesman, failure to comply with the NCAA directive would attract stiff penalties, as the regulatory body would not slack in implementing it.
Why this matters: The first case of the coronavirus in sub-Saharan Africa was confirmed in Nigeria last week. The patient, a 44 year old Italian, arrived in Nigeria aboard a Turkish Airlines flight from Milan en route Istanbul. Since then, efforts have been made to trace all passengers aboard the flight.
The Lagos State government said it was yet to trace all of the 158 passengers, who came in contact with the Italian diagnosed, as some of the passengers aboard the Turkish airliner had travelled to other states in Nigeria, while others had gone back to Europe.
The government added that some of the passengers, who were contacted on the telephone, gave “false information” making it even more difficult to trace and examine them.
Global oil market to re-balance in 2 months’ time
In the meantime, OPEC+ wants to keep the existing production output cuts beyond the June expiry date as part of efforts to rebalance the market. Countries like Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Iraq, have all reaffirmed their commitment to this effect.
With the uncertainty that still prevails in the global oil market due to the prevailing coronavirus pandemic, analysts have been coming up with different forecasts on the future of the market. The latest forecast is that the market will most likely recover by July 2020.
Crude oil prices and oil demand plunged over the past few months as a result of the pandemic. However, with the lifting of global lockdowns and gradual reopening of global economies, oil prices are expected to rebound. Russia’s energy minister, Alexander Novak, said the global oil supply and the oil demand will most likely rebalance by July.
In his analysis earlier today, OPEC’s Secretary-General, Mohammed Barkindo, urged OPEC+ members not to flout the output cut. According to him, OPEC+ members must remain committed to production cuts despite signs that oil demand is beginning to recover.
On its part, Russia had agreed to cut down its oil production to 8.5 million barrels of crude per day in May and June, down from 10.5 million barrels. There is a possibility that the country could extend the current level of output cut beyond June, a situation that is expected to serve as a major boost in the rebalancing of the oil market.
Last week, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said that it had seen signs that the oil market would rebalance quicker than originally expected after the United States and OPEC implemented the agreed output cut. The development came as a big relief to Nigeria because the rebound of oil prices and the rebalancing forecast will help reduce the country’s fiscal pressure and boost its revenue.
Note that the Brent crude and Bonny light crude sold for about $36 per barrel and over $33 per barrel respectively. These are above the revised budget oil benchmark of $25 per barrel for the 2020 budget.
LIRS further extends deadline for filing annual tax returns by one month
“We constantly debated what other measures could be taken as an organization to support individuals and businesses at this time, hence, the additional one-month extension from June 1, to June 30, 2020.” – Ayodele Subair
The Lagos State Internal Revenue Service (LIRS) has again extended the deadline for filing of Annual Tax Returns from May 31 2020 to June 30, 2020.
This is part of the state government’s effort to provide relief to taxpayers in light of the economic impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. With this development, annual returns for individuals, both employees and self-employed persons, can be filed anytime before June 30, 2020.
In a press release signed by Monsurat Amasa, the head of LIRS’ Corporate Communications Department, the agency urged taxpayers to take advantage of the magnanimity of the government and file their returns. The LIRS’ Executive Chairman, Mr. Ayodele Subair, explained the extension thus:
“As the Lagos State Government keeps abreast of global best practices in containing the Covid-19 pandemic and eases the effects of an economic downturn on taxpayers and residents of the State, LIRS had initially extended the deadline for filing annual tax returns for two months, from the statutory March 31st of every fiscal year to May 31, 2020.
“We constantly debated what other measures could be taken as an organization to support individuals and businesses at this time, hence, the additional one-month extension from June 1, to June 30, 2020.”
He further explained that taxpayers can file the annual returns from the comfort of their homes and offices using the LIRS eTax platforms. They can also generate assessment and payment schedule, and other tax administration matters on the same platform. Updates on business operations and alternative payment platforms are to be found on the verified handles, and the LIRS website.