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Hospitality & Travel

US imposes $15,000 visa bond on 15 African countries, others

The US has issued a visa rule requiring tourist and business travelers in some countries to pay a bond of up to $15,000 in addition to the visa fees.

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US imposes $15,000 visa bond on 15 African countries, others, Berger Paints' improved margins ride on the back of cost efficiency

The outgoing administration of US President, Donald Trump, on Monday, November 23, 2020, issued a new temporary visa rule that requires tourist and business travelers from 15 African countries and others to pay a bond of up to $15,000 in addition to the visa fees, which ranges from $16 to $300, in order to visit the United States.

According to TheCable, the US State Department said the visa bond pilot programme, expected to take effect from December 24 and end on June 24, 2021, is targeted at countries whose citizens have higher rates of overstaying B-2 visas for tourists and B-1 visas for business travelers.

READ: Update: No one will take our democracy away, not now, not ever- Biden

The Trump administration said the six-month pilot program aims to test the feasibility of collecting such bonds and will serve as a diplomatic deterrence to overstaying the visas. Hence, overstay places significant pressure on Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security.

The visa bond rule will permit U.S. consular officers to request tourist and business travelers from countries whose nationals had an overstay rate of 10% and above in 2019 to pay a refundable bond of $5,000, $10,000, or $15,000.

READ: COVID-19: IMF Chief predicts $345 billion financing gap in African countries 

The countries whose tourist and business travelers fall into this category and subjected to the bond requirements are 24 countries, including 15 African countries. While these nations had higher rates of overstays, they sent relatively fewer travelers to the United States.

The countries include Afghanistan, Angola, Bhutan, Burkina Faso, Burma, Burundi, Cape Verde, Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Kinshasa), Djibouti, Eritrea, the Gambia, Guinea-Bissau, Iran, Laos, Liberia, Libya, Mauritania, Papua New Guinea, Sao Tome and Principe, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen

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Nigerian travelers escaped paying the temporary visa rule, as their overall score was below the threshold of 10% and above overstaying rate.

Chike Olisah is a graduate of accountancy with over 15 years working experience in the financial service sector. He has worked in research and marketing departments of three top commercial banks. Chike is a senior member of the Nairametrics Editorial Team. You may contact him via his email- [email protected]

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    Hospitality & Travel

    National Carrier to benefit from Single Africa Air Transport Market – Aviation Ministry

    The Aviation Ministry has stated that the proposed national carrier will improve Nigeria’s position with the Bilateral Air Service Agreements (BASA).

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    2019 Budget, Hadi Sirika and Rotimi Amaechi, President Buhari passes 2019 budget, Nigeria Air, Nigeria national carrier, Hadi Siriki, Senate Committee, FG to revive national carrier

    The Ministry of Aviation has disclosed that the proposed national carrier will enable Nigeria take full advantage of the Single Africa Air Transport Market (SAATM), reduce air rates through competitive pricing, and improve Nigeria’s position with Bilateral Air Service Agreements (BASAs) with other nations.

    This was disclosed by Mr James Odaudu, the Director of Public Affairs, Ministry of Aviation, in an interview with NAN on Tuesday in Abuja.

    Establishment of the national carrier will also make Nigeria take full advantage of the Single Africa Air Transport Market (SAATM), introduce competition leading to competitive fares, better services and generate employment,” the Director said.

    He added that Nigeria had worked out the arrangements needed with stakeholders for a national carrier to begin domestic flights, stating that the national carrier project would be private-sector driven, made up of international airlines, leasing companies, aircraft manufacturers, and institutional investors, with the FG holding not more than 5%.

    On the part of the FG, he added that the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) had completed a feasibility study of the proposed airline, in line with the FG’s goals to create a business climate to sustain the airline.

    The next phase is the placement of Request For Qualification (RFQ) in local and international media as part of the procurement exercise,” he said.

    What you should know

    Nairametrics reported this week that the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, had held a discussion with the government of the United States of America over the establishment of a national carrier for Nigeria, stating that the FG was aiming to launch Nigeria Air by the end of the year.

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    Hospitality & Travel

    Cargo handling business records boom in Q1 2021, firms make N2.63 billion

    Aviation handlings firms made N2.63 billion from cargos handling against N2.53 billion recorded in same period in 2020.

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    Cargo handling businesses recorded a boom in the first quarter of 2021, as aviation handling companies made N2.63 billion (import and export) against N2.53 billion recorded in the same period in 2020.

    This was extracted from the Q1 2021 financials of Nigerian Aviation Handling Company Plc and Skyway Aviation Handling Company Plc (major Aviation handling firms in Nigeria).

    For instance, SAHCO, the Aviation handling firm, made N1.44 billion from its cargo handling services, up from the N1.32 billion recorded in Q1 2020.

    Cargo handling in SAHCO Plc also includes income from cargo documentation services rendered to airlines, which include import and export cargo facilitation through Nigeria’s biggest network of customers, bonded warehouses in Lagos, Kano, Abuja, and Port-Harcourt.

    In the case of NAHCO Aviance Plc, it made N1.19 billion from import and export cargo handling within the first three months of 2021. This is against the N1.22 billion recorded in the same period in 2020.

    Cargo handling includes invoices raised for cargo documentation services for airlines, import, and export.

    What led to the cargo revenue growth?

    While commercial airlines are still struggling to come out of the woods after they recorded losses from their passenger businesses in 2020, cargo handling companies were able to avoid a similar fate.

    The cargo aspect of their revenues has witnessed an increase over the years, as airlines continued lifting goods, especially essential items such as medical supplies, and personal protective equipment (PPE) during the pandemic.

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    What you should know about cargo revenue

    NAHCO, Nigeria’s oldest cargo handling company, recorded revenue growth in import cargo handling from N3.60 billion in 2019 to N3.65 billion at the end of 2020, according to Nairametrics.

    Revenue from its export cargo business rose from N348.6 million to N397.4 million in 2020.

    Cargo handling includes invoices raised for cargo documentation services for airlines, import, and export.

    SAHCO, on the other hand, reported that its import handling revenue rose from N4.436 billion in 2019 to N4.865 billion. It also grew its cargo handling export revenue from N318.38 million recorded in 2019 to N447.90 million in 2020.

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