The Federal Government has listed the approved COVID-19 test centres for international travellers. This was disclosed by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) via its Twitter handle on Monday.
According to the agency, some of the 68 centres are: EHA Clinics, The 54gene COVID-19 mobile laboratory, Medicaid Radio-diagnostics Centre, FCT Abuja; SynLab Ikeja, VI, Lekki; 54Gene Lekki, Medbury Medical Services, Imeja & Lekki; Clina Lancet, Maryland, and Biologix Medical Services, Anthony, Lagos, among others.
— Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (@FAAN_Official) September 21, 2020
Also, the FG through the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has threatened to revoke the licenses of domestic airline operators over non-compliance with the COVID-19 protocols.
Director-General, NCAA, Mr Musa Nuhu, issued the warning in a letter to all operators (DG39/20), with reference NCAA/DG/AIR/11/16/267 on Monday.
Nuhu said the warning was made necessary because some domestic airlines had been flouting the protocols.
According to him, the continuous non-compliance with the COVID-19 protocols would attract severe penalties up to and including cancellation of approval to resume domestic operations.
He said: “It has been brought to the notice of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority that some domestic airline operators have not been complying with the COVID-19 protocols.
“These protocols were released through All Operators Letter (AOL) DG035/20 ref. NCAA/DG/AIR/ 11/16/260, dated Sept. 4 and an Advisory Circular (AC) NCAA-AC-AMS-006, also dated Sept. 4.
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“Approval for resumption of domestic operations are predicated on compliance with the above protocols.”
Nuhu added that this was a warning to all domestic operators who were not in compliance to desist from such acts immediately.
Nigeria set to lose on latest Bilateral Air Service Agreements
Experts have explained why Nigeria is at the losing end of yet another Bilateral Air Space Agreement.
It is no longer news that Nigeria signed Bilateral Air Service Agreements (BASA) with the United States, India, Morocco and Rwanda. However, who benefits more from the agreements has been a topical discussion amongst Nigerian stakeholders. Some of them, who spoke with Nairametrics in separate interviews, argued that the development would favour the partner countries more than Nigeria.
They argued that Nigeria has signed this deal with over 80 countries across the world, but has turned out to be disadvantageous to Nigeria. Most of the agreements are only beneficial to the countries and their foreign carriers, without any reciprocal benefits to Nigeria. This is allegedly due to the failure of the Nigerian representatives to put Nigeria’s interest first at the BASA negotiating table.
In most cases, Nigeria does not really benefit from the deal, especially with no National carrier or a domestic airline that has the required equipment to compete with their foreign counterparts.
Managing Director, Starburst Aviation Limited, Capt. David Olubadewo, who was once Nigeria’s youngest pilot, admitted that he has not seen the agreements. However, he told Nairametrics that the nation does not have the capacity/equipment to compete favourably with the countries it signed the deal with.
Capt. Olubadewo said, “In most cases, BASA entails specific agreement between two partners, where parties involved will agree on exchange of flights. It could be 10 flights weekly from Country A and same from the other Country.
“So, if US for instance, has done 10 flights to Nigeria as agreed and Nigeria has not, it will not affect US in anyway.”
In his own case, Muyiwa Lucas, another stakeholder in the industry, claimed that the aim of the international carriers and their countries is to make sure that indigenous carriers do not rise to compete with them on those lucrative routes like Lagos-London, Abuja-London, Lagos-Dubai, Lagos-Paris, Lagos-Amsterdam, and Lagos-Johannesburg.
In an interview with Nairametrics, he said that the partners are always quick to choose a favourable destination in Nigeria (Lagos and Abuja), while they dictate to Nigeria the airport to land its aircrafts in their countries.
Lucas said, “Nigerian flights are only allowed to drop passengers at Gatwick, which handled 46.1 million passengers in 2018. They don’t allow such in Heathrow airport, which is London’s main hub and also one of the world’s busiest airports with 80.1 million passengers in 2018.
“Arik Air was stopped from operating from Abuja to London, unless it paid for slot allocation, which cost a huge amount of money.
“But, while British Airways was and is still flying to Abuja, enjoying grandfather rights; Arik Air was paying for slots and when the Nigerian airline deemed that operation unprofitable, it stopped, leaving only British Airways to be operating to Abuja from London with minimum load factor of 85%.”
Lucas argued that while some of the countries introduced clauses to jeopardise Nigerian airlines operation to their countries, Nigeria rarely retaliated in the spirit of diplomatic principle of reciprocity.
However, Pranjal Pande, an Indian Aviation Expert, sees the development from a different angle.
According to him, Nigeria is home to a substantial Indian expatriate population, and India sees thousands of yearly visitors from Nigeria but noted that the lack of direct flights has meant passengers fly mostly with Middle East carriers.
Pande said, “Popular routes from Delhi and Mumbai to Lagos are over 4,100 nautical miles, putting them out of the range of the current generation of narrowbody aircraft. This means that, from India, only Vistara and Air India, the only airlines with widebodies, could start flights to Nigeria. Neither airline has signalled intentions of doing so soon.
“It’s most likely that Air Peace will be the first to start flights to India. However, the timing remains up in the air due to the current crisis.”
Backstory: On October 6, 2020, Nairametrics reported that the Federal Government announced the signing of Bilateral Air Service Agreements (BASA) with the United States, India, Morocco and Rwanda.
A copy of the agreement showed that it was signed in Abuja by President Muhammadu Buhari on September 30, 2020.
I am glad to announce that Mr President, on behalf of Nigeria, has signed the instruments of ratification of the bilateral air service agreement between Nigeria and USA, India, Morocco as well as Rwanda. 🇳🇬🇳🇬 🇲🇦🇷🇼🇺🇸🇮🇳🇳🇬🇳🇬🤝🤝🤝 pic.twitter.com/UHFx0VbqLW
— Hadi Sirika (@hadisirika) October 6, 2020
The disclosure was made by the Minister for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, through a tweet on his official Twitter handle on Tuesday, October 6, 2020.
What they are saying
The Minister said, “The agreement is the instruments of ratification of the bilateral air service agreement between Nigeria and USA, India, Morocco, as well as Rwanda.”
He added that Nigeria will take advantage of the agreement to strengthen economic, social and cultural ties with the US.
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Transport fare for motorcycle “Okada” more than doubled in 2020
Data from the NBS reveals the average fare paid by commuters for a journey by motorcycle more than doubled year on year.
Data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) reveals the average fare paid by commuters for a journey by motorcycle per drop more than doubled year on year (September 2020 vs 2019 respectively).
This was contained in the recently released data on Transport fare for September 2020 in Nigeria. This covers bus journey within the city per drop, bus journey intercity, state route, charge per person, airfare charge for specified routes single journey, journey by motorcycle (Okada) per drop, and waterway passenger transport.
- According to the report, the average fare paid by commuters for the journey by motorcycle per drop increased by 10.47% MOM and by 111.11% YOY to N255.51 in September 2020 from N231.29 in August 2020.
- The states with the highest journey fare by motorcycle per drop were Niger (N1,467.49), Kogi (N362.47), and Rivers (N345.80); while states with the lowest journey fare by motorcycle per drop were Adamawa (N76.55), Katsina (N100.84), and Kebbi (N125.60).
- Similarly, the average fare paid by commuters for bus journeys within the city increased by 7.92% MOM and by 63.88% YOY to N309.73 in September 2020 from N286.99 in August 2020.
The states with the highest bus journey fare within the city were Zamfara (N579.84), Bauchi (N492.14), and Cross River (N416.32); while states with the lowest bus journey fare within the city were Abia (N188.50), Kebbi (N192.48), and Borno (N200.80).
- The average fare paid by commuters for bus journey intercity increased by 0.36% MOM and by 24.30% YOY to N2,022.70 in September 2020 from N2,015.50 in August 2020.
- The states with the highest bus journey fare intercity were Abuja FCT (N4,315.22), Lagos (N3,073.25), and Sokoto (N3,000.00); while states with the lowest bus journey fare within the city were Kwara (N223.45), Benue (N274.64), and Ondo (N291.07).
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Average fare paid by air passengers for specified routes single journey decreased by -4.59% MOM and increased by 20.60% YOY to N36,884.59 in September 2020 from N38,659.86 in August 2020.
- The states with the highest airfare were Lagos (N39,750.00), Rivers (N39,520.00), and Anambra (N38,950.00); while states with the lowest airfare were Akwa Ibom (N32,500.00), Sokoto (N33,700.00), and Benue (N35,000.00).
- The average fare paid by passengers for waterway passenger transport increased by 7.06% MOM and by 34.13% YOY to N734.26 in September 2020 from N685.82 in August 2020.
- The states with the highest fare by waterway passenger transport were Bayelsa (N2,250.23), Rivers (N2,200.64), and Delta (N2,150.30); while states with the lowest fare by waterway passenger transport were Borno (N200.48), Gombe (N264.29), and Abuja FCT (N294.10).
What this means: According to the NBS, transportation makes up 6.4% of consumption expenditure of millions of naira next only to food at over 50%. Transport is also a key input cost for determining food prices and conducting business in the country contributing to the inflation rate. A combination of bad roads. poor infrastructure, exchange rate devaluation, removal of fuel subsidies, and a general rise in prices of goods and services have impacted transportation costs across the country.
FG to provide support to Aviation investors
FG to provide support and enabling environment for investors in aviation industry.
Federal Government has assured investors in the aviation industry that it is ready to provide support and enabling environment for them.
This was disclosed by the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, on Friday via the Ministry of Aviation’s Twitter handle.
According to the minister, the Federal Government through the ministry is always ready to provide support and enabling environment to those willing to invest in civil aviation.
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While inspecting aviation facilities at the Caverton Group Helicopters headquarters in Lagos, he said,
“I am here to see the investment they are making in the aviation industry.
“As one of the primary objectives of government, is providing full support to entrepreneurs in order to provide the needed services and employment for our people, and this is exactly what is happening here at @CavertonGroup…. I am willing to continue to support Caverton and other investors in civil aviation.”
The Minister emphasised that the Ministry under his leadership is re-orienting civil aviation bodies who are regulators to shift focus from being police in the industry to being enablers in the industry to create that partnership that will help to develop the industry and provide the services and employment for the people to kickstart the economy and ginger it as well as to add to the GDP of the country.
He added that these investments in Civil Aviation by Caverton Helicopters will certainly create more employment opportunities for the people and provide services that are needed in the country.
He further stated that, before now, the Aviation industry and services were dominated by foreigners, and that for Caverton Helicopters to embark on the massive investments, it is not only bridging the gap but creating a space for Nigeria to participate in.
“I will like to thank the Chairman of Caverton Helicopters for their foresight and decision to participate in the civil aviation industry, they have done so far very well,” the Minister said.
Sirika added that the parcel of land used by Caverton was given to the organisation by FAAN.