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Hospitality & Travel

N5billion bailout fund underway for the Aviation sector – Minister

FG has approved N5 billion as bailout fund to the country’s aviation sector following the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic

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There is a strong indication that the federal government would soon start disbursing the approved bailout fund of N5billion to operators in the aviation sector, which is intended to ameliorate the harsh realities of the COVID-19 pandemic on their business operations.

READ: CBN reveals framework for the N75 billion Youth Investment Fund

The disclosure was made by the Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, to the key stakeholders, during the ongoing three-day public hearing to repeal and enact Acts of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB), Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET), and that of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).

READ: FG warns Nigerians about on-going N3million COVID-19 grant scam

According to the Minister, out of the N5 billion bailout fund, N4 billion would go the domestic airlines, while the balance of N1 billion will be fairly shared amongst other agencies and other relevant aviation companies that were severely affected by the pandemic.

READ: Commercial Paper value appreciates by N243 billion YOY, hits N539.8 billion in H1, 2020

According to the Chairman, Senate Committee on Aviation, Senator Adeyemi Smart, he considers the bail-out fund as too small to cushion the effects the pandemic had on the operators’ businesses and requested the FG to magnanimously review to a more reasonable amount, that would be sufficient to bail the operators out.

In his words, “N4 billion is very little to solve some of the problems of the airlines, who are battling to survive. We urge the government to take charge of the sector. They need to give them more and they also need to support in all ways.”

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READ: Power: Nigeria records transmission peak of 5,459.50MW – TCN

That COVID-19 pandemic pummeled Nigeria’s aviation industry is no longer a subject of argument or analysis, but the impact of its devastating effects will take a long time and resources to erase. A beleaguered sector that was merely floating, got hit by a ravaging pandemic, albeit unprepared, and caught some of the airlines’ hemorrhaging.

READ: #EndSARS: Access Bank announces N50 billion interest-free facility for businesses

What you should know

At the commencement of aviation activities after over three-month lockdown as a result of the whirlwind of COVID-19 pandemic, the Federal Government promised to assist the industry with N27 billion bailout palliative, to cushion the effects of the lockdown in the industry.

READ: Aviation Unions threaten to shut airspace on Monday, as NLC insists on strike

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It is important to know that some airlines have been limping since life came back to the sector, after the lockdown, in the hope that the proposed bailout would speedily come to provide them with the much-needed lifeline/succor for them.

READ: PenCom okays N2.58billion for relatives of 591 deceased workers in three months

No doubt this fund would go a long way in assisting the sector to rebound, but not adequate to assuage the excruciating losses and pains inflicted by the pandemic on the sector.

Johnson is a risk management professional and banker with unbridled passion for research and writing. He graduated top of the class with B.sc Statistics from the University of Nigeria and an MBA degree with specialization in Finance from Ambrose Alli University Ekpoma, with fellowships from the Association of Enterprise Risk management Professionals(FERP) and Institute of Credit and Collections management of Nigeria (FICCM). He is currently pursuing his PhD in Risk management in one of the top-rated universities in the UK.

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Business News

NRC confirms Nairametrics’ report, reveals how tickets are hoarded for second-hand buyers

It was disclosed that some people use an app to digitally alter the name printed on the e-tickets to reflect the second-hand buyers’ names.

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Nigerians lament over hike in train fare by black market operators

The Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) has revealed how some Nigerians hoard e-tickets and sell them to second-hand buyers. This is coming few weeks after Nairametrics reported Nigerians’ lamentations over the hike in train fares due to the hoarding of e-tickets.

How does it work?

Nigerians allegedly game the new e-ticketing system as they buy multiple tickets (using multiple e-mails) and resell them to second-hand buyers. But the name of the original buyer will not tally with the second buyer, you ask?

Findings of the corporation revealed that this is taken care of by the original buyers, as they use an app to digitally alter the name printed on the e-tickets to reflect the second-hand buyers’ names.

This was revealed by the Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Digital and New Media, Tolu Ogunlesi, via his Twitter handle on Friday.

He tweeted, “NRC says Nigerians trying to game the new e-ticketing system are using an app to digitally alter the name printed on the e-tickets. So they buy multiple tickets (using multiple emails) and then resell – altering ticket names to match the second-hand buyers.

“This tweet is not to suggest that the authorities are helpless or are not doing anything to stay ahead of criminals, instead to show just how desperate some of the people we inhabit this space with can be.”

What you should know

On March 16, 2021, Nairametrics published a special report that revealed how Nigerians lamented over the recent hike in train fares, which many of them said was illegal.

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Aside from the difficulties and over 100% hikes in the fares, most of the victims, who spoke with Nairametrics, urged the Federal Government through the Rotimi Amaechi led Ministry of Transportation to investigate the allegations and expose the activities of the desperate individuals involved in the menace.

A Software Engineer, Segun Mustapha, told Nairametrics that he was not surprised when he read about the activities of the black market operators on Twitter. Though, he admitted that he had not experienced such but called on the Rotimi Amaechi led Ministry of Transportation to ensure such activities are removed from the system.

He said, “It should not be a big deal for the government to do if it has the political will to do such. We used to experience similar situations in the aviation industry before now and that was easier because airlines are operated by private firms.

“It is a system failure because it is not the louts selling at exorbitant rates that were booking the tickets online but we should not allow such to linger. Government should ensure that tickets booked online are not reallocated at the station if it is determined to get rid of the black market operators.”

Read the Nairametrics report here.

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Business News

FAAN warns of delays due to passenger traffic increase, urges travelers to arrive airport early

FAAN advised passengers to get to the airport early to avoid missing their flights due to delays.

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The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria has urged that passengers intending to travel should arrive at airports earlier particularly those at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja due to built-up vehicular traffic occasioned by an increase in passenger traffic.

FAAN disclosed this in a statement on Friday titled, “Vehicular Traffic: FAAN advises passengers to get to airports early.”

READ: Trouble looms as FAAN threatens to withdraw services at airports

“The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria wishes to advise passengers and airport users, particularly those at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja to get to the airport early so as to complete their check-in procedures in good time and avoid the unpleasant experiences associated with missing their flights,” they said.

FAAN disclosed that it has become necessary, as passengers are likely to go through a little delay at the entrance to the terminals, due to built-up vehicular traffic occasioned by an increase in passenger traffic being witnessed presently.

READ: FAAN denies allegation of stolen N750 million, admits breach of procurement process

In case you missed it

  • Nairametrics reported that Airfares across Nigeria have increased by as much as 100%. Ticket fares to cities like Port Harcourt, Ilorin, and northern states like Kebbi, Borno, Adamawa and Kano have increased by as much as 100% in the last month.
  • The Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved the sum of N10.5 billion to supply Airport Management Solution to Nigerian international airports at Lagos, Abuja, Kano, Port Harcourt and Enugu.

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