Category : Economy

Business / Economy - 15 hours ago

‘28 countries set to adopt single air transport market’

ONLY  28 countries  are ready to implement the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM) aimed at strenghtening air liberalisation on the continent, Minister of State, Aviation, Hadi Sirika, has said. Sirika, therefore, called on more African states to adopt the SAATM. He said unless member states  of the African Union (AU) agree to  do so, they would have problems with intra-African air connectivity and other issues affecting air transport. In an interview during the Second Ordinary Session of the AU Specialised Technical Committee on Transport, Transcontinental  and Inter-regional Infrastructure, in Cairo, Egypt, he said SAATM is projected to stimulate intra-regional connectivity between the capital cities of Africa by creating a unified air transport market and  act as an impetus to the continent’s economic integration and growth agenda. Fifty-five nations make up the AU. Member states that have indicated interest in SAATM, Sirika said, include Benin, Burkina Faso,  Botswana, Capo Verde,  Central African Republic, Chad,  Congo,  Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, and  Ethiopia. Others are Gabon, Gambia,  Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Swaziland, Togo, and Zimbabwe. Sirika said African transport  ministers agreed to str...

Business / Economy - 15 hours ago

FAAN to withdraw services at airports over debts

THE Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has  threatened to withdraw its services from some private and state airports that are owing it. The private airports to be affected  include the Osubi Airport near Warri, Delta State, and the Murtala Muhammed Airport Terminal Two (MMA2 ). The state airports are Victor Attah International Airport, Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, Delta State Airport, Asaba, Bayelsa International Cargo Airport, in Ammassona, Gombe State Airport, in Gombe, Jigawa State Airport, Dutse, Kebbi State Airport, Birnin Kebbi and Taraba State Airport, Jalingo. FAAN services include security, aerodrome rescue and fire-fighting personnel. In the absence of these, there will be no flights, according to the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO). For some years, FAAN has been battling private/state airports  over  huge debts. Investigations reveal that Gombe Airport and Kebbi Airports  are owing over N 731, 873, 721. While the Gombe State Airport is  owing N607, 289, 972, Kebbi owed N124, 547, 240 as at September 10, last year. FAAN’s Credit Control Department recently issued an ultimatum to the airports to clear their debts or face sanctions. It will expire on April 30. The circular read: “Following the notice of intention to sanction issued to owners/operators...

Business / Economy - 15 hours ago

Oil hits $73 on threat to end Iranian export

The United States (U.S.) said it will end sanctions waivers in May that had previously allowed eight countries to purchase crude from Iran, a move that aims to send energy shipments from what had been the fourth-largest Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) producer to zero. The international benchmark Brent jumped 2.5 per cent to $73.77 per barrel, the highest level since November 1. West Texas Intermediate rose 2.1 per cent to $65.39. President Donald Trump withdrew the U.S. from the Iran nuclear deal last year, calling on buyers to cut off oil imports from the Islamic Republic. The administration granted several countries including China, Turkey, and India temporary waivers to avoid price shocks. Read also: US imposes sanctions on Iranian oil marketers The move was part of the Trump administration’s maximum-pressure campaign against Iran. The president designated the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist organisation earlier this month, the first time the U.S. has named part of a foreign government as such. The State Department last year created a list of demands Iran would need to meet for sanctions to be lifted, including completely halting its nuclear and ballistic missile program and ending military engagement in Syria and Yemen. Bloomberg r...

Business / Economy - 15 hours ago

A road legacy

President Muhammadu Buhari is expected to open the Oshodi Interchange and the 10-lane Murtala Muhammed International Airport road next Tuesday. Their opening will give motorists and other users a new road travel experience, writes ADEYINKA ADERIBIGBE. FOR two years, contractors worked to get the facilities ready. It came with discomfort for motorists,  and other road users, but now they are set to enjoy riding on the roads after being inaugurated by President Muhammadu Buhari next Tuesday. These projects are the Oshodi Interchange, the first multi-level and three terminal structure in the world, and the 10-lane Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) road, with five bridges, which will replace the two-lane road, which Governor Akinwunmi Ambode noted does not represent a smart city brand he is building for the state. Despite the problem with some Lagos roads  under his watch, the Ambode administration  will be leaving behind some audacious infrastructure meant to reposition public transportation and make it more friendly to the over 22 million commuters that it serves daily. From the removal of 10 roundabouts on the Lekki-Epe Expressway, to the laybys at some busy routes, such as in Ketu, Berger, and Oworo-Third Mainland Bridge, the two Jubilee bridges at Ajah and Abule-Egba...

Business / Economy - 15 hours ago

IMO warns on GPS reset 

The International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has urged maritime users of the Global Positioning System Standard Positioning Service (GPS-SPS) to check their systems ahead of the counter roll over. Some outdated GPS receiver systems may cease to function properly with serious impacts on navigation. The roll over occurs because the GPS system transmits time to GPS receivers, using the format of time and weeks as 10-bit value, which started on January 6, 1980 and can only count 1,023 weeks. Read also: Stakeholders identify threats to maritme security The previous roll over occurred on August 21, 1999, when systems reset and began counting towards week 1,023 again. When the GPS system reaches week 1,024, the system will revert to week zero. Some GPS receivers are known to be unable to make the transition from week 1,023 to 1,024. If the GPS receiver is outdated or has not been properly updated, the receiver will revert to reading the week zero as August 1999. The internal clocks of these GPS receivers will experience lack of absolute reference and may give the wrong time and position or may lock up permanently. Some of these GPS receivers are repairable with upgrades and others will become unusable.

Business / Economy - 15 hours ago

NIRSAL guarantees over N85.5b agric loans

The Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL) as a demonstration of its commitment to mechanising the agriculture sector, it has guaranteed over N85.5billion in loans along all segments of the value chain. It said while pre-upstream segment got N45.6billion, upstream segment and midstream segment got N19billion, and  N20.9billion respectively. Activities in these segments cover mechanisation, agricultural inputs, primary production, and processing. About N1.76billion of the  NIRSAL Credit Risk Guarantees (CRGs) issued were in mechanisation. In addition to paying claims on CRGs that crystallised to financiers, NIRSAL has paid about N1billion as its Interest Drawback (IDB) IDB to borrowers. A statement yesterday read: “A fundamental criterion is that every application must meet the terms of NIRSAL’s credit risk guarantees. These are components of governance to ensure a level playing field  “NIRSAL is a catalyst that enables providers of finance and investment to lend to and invest in agribusinesses, leveraging on its Risk sharing Facility to deploy the NIRSAL CRG and risk management products, tools, techniques, methodologies and strategic partnerships.” The CRG instrument is issued by NIRSAL to secure loans by up to 75 per cent of losses over the...

Business / Economy - 15 hours ago

Nigerian, Korean Customs collaborate

korean Customs officials and a few consultants have completed a training tour of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) and its operations in Abuja and Lagos. The training, which covered areas, such as modernisation, E-customs and risk management, among other areas of operations, aimed at sharing the Korean experience with their Nigerian counterpart. Leader of the delegation, Yeon Don Kim, told the Controllers of Customs at Murtala Mohammed Airport and Apapa Commands that the visiting team had spent three weeks at the Information  and Communication Technology (ICT) Department of the Service at the Abuja Headquarters before coming to Lagos. Areas visited included the Airport cargo handling section, Nigeria Breweries Factory, Apapa Customs Processing Centre, Don Climax Bonded Terminal and Lekki Free Zone. At the Apapa Command, the Area Controller in charge, Mohammed Abba-Kura, said efforts were in top gear to sustain customs’ operations and stakeholder’s compliance with extant imports and exports guidelines. He said the command resorted to physical examination of cargoes as a result of the failure of the scanner, while explaining the template on which imports and some consignments are profiled. According to him, since there are no traders enjoying Authorised Economic Operators (AEOs) be...

Business / Economy - 15 hours ago

Ambode urges workers on team work

Lagos State workers must continue to uphold the value of synergy and teamwork for maximum organisational performance, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode has said. Speaking at the opening session of a two-day training programme tagged: Team Building and Synergy Workshop for Peak Performance organised by the Lagos State Ministry of Establishments, Training and Pensions in Lagos, Ambode who was represented by the Commissioner of the ministry, Dr. Akintola Benson said the decision of the state government to approve training programmes for the workers is a proof that he recognises the importance of team work and synergy in achieving corporate objectives. Read also: ‘Ambode, an achiever Lagosians will miss’ He said this also represents the government’s commitment to fully assist the civil service to appreciate and acquire the benefits that trainings bring to bear on the attainment of the strategic objectives of the government and the effectiveness of the institutions of the civil service. He said: “The Ministry of Establishments, Training and Pensions is the government’s agent and trusted partner in this regard, and I believe that the ministry will continue to devote time and resources to the acquisition of all relevant skills by the officers of the state civil service.”

Business / Economy - 15 hours ago

Transcorp Hilton gets first indigenous Operations Director

Transcorp Hilton Hotel Plc Abuja said it has promoted Mrs. Ebikaboere Seimodei to the position of Director of Operations. By this, she becomes the first Nigerian to occupy the position. She will lead the Operations Team of the 670-room hotel to deliver consistent services. Until her promotion, Ebi was the hotel’s Operations Manager.  She started her hospitality career over 25 years ago when she joined Transcorp Hilton Abuja as a Reservations Sales Agent on the National Youth Service Corps(NYSC). She rose through the ranks and held several positions including Reservations Manager, Front Office Manager, Quality Manager and Operations Manager.  A graduate of Sociology from the University of Jos, Ebi has been on various Hilton leadership programsl including the Kaizen Institute of Africa also certified her as a Kaizen Manager.”

Business / Economy - 15 hours ago

Tech critical to legal services, says Quicklaw

Online legal support firm Quicklaw Limited has stressed the importance of leveraging technology to simplify legal processes in the country. It said navigating the Nigerian legal system could be quite intimidating for small business owners and individuals without the support of a lawyer. He added that the importance of legal support cannot be over emphasised as it helps to protect the business and individuals in the long run. The firm noted that with the operational cost of running a business, it is presumed that having a lawyer on retainership is an unnecessary expense and as a result, legal services are only patronised when serious legal problems arise. Taking into consideration the current wave of technological innovation across various industries of the business climate, the legal industry has also acknowledged the effectiveness of technology in improving service delivery. At the vanguard of this innovation is by Quicklaw Limited designed to redefine and modernise the legal industry in the country. QuickLaw Limited CEO, Sade Michael, said the online platform aims to change the perception of the Nigerian legal system with its value offering of easily accessible, fast and affordable services. Through the website, Quicklaw Limited fosters a community of increasingly l...

Business / Economy - 20 hours ago

Gwarzo awarded N33m contracts in SEC to personal companies – Reports

Suspended Director General of Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Mounir Gwarzo reportedly awarded contracts to a company in which he is a director to the tune of N33m while in office. According to a report, these and others were contained in the report of the Administrative Panel of Inquiry into allegations of violations of public service Rules, Financial Regulations and other Extant Rules and Regulations set up by Minster of Finance to investigate the allegations and come up with recommendations. The Terms of Reference of the Panel include investigating allegations against Gwarzo he was a director in Medusa Limited and Outbound Investment Limited while still serving as SEC DG and also used his influence to award contracts to those companies. On the allegation of Gwarzo’s directorship in Medusa Limited while still serving as DG, the report stated inquiry made and documents obtained by the panel at the Corporate Affairs Commission revealed that Gwarzo was still a director of the company as well as a major shareholder with a shareholding of N1.2m as at the time of the search. “His purported letter of resignation dates 19th December 2012 was not part of CAC’s records as at the date of the inquiry l. Read Also: Court to decide ex-SEC DG, Gwarzo’s fate on April 12 “It was equall...

Business / Economy - 1 day ago

FAAC disburse N1.92 trn to three tiers of govt. in 1st quarter – NBS

The Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) has disbursed N1.92 trillion to three tiers of government in first quarter of 2019, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS). The NBS said this in FACC monthly allocation for January, February and March, 2019 Disbursement statistics published on its website and analysed by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Abuja. The bureau said FAAC disbursed N649.19 billion to the three tiers of government in January, 2019; N660.37 billion in February while the sum of 619.86 was distributed to the three tiers in March. Out of the N1.92 trillion, the Federal Government got N803.18 billion in the quarter, states received N530.14 billion while the local governments received N398.43 billion. The breakdown showed that the federal government received N270.17 billion in January, N275.33 billion in February and N257.68 billion in March. States received N178.04 billion in January, N182.17 billion and N169.93 in March while the local governments received N133.83 billion in January, N136.88 billion and N127.72 billion in March. In addition, the report said the amount disbursed in January comprised N547.46 billion from the Statutory Account, N100.76 billion from Valued Added Tax (VAT) and N976.53 million exchange gain differences. T...

Business / Economy - 1 day ago

Local meter manufacturing up by 100%

Local meter manufacturers have increased production ca-pacity by 100 per cent to meet the Federal Government’s May 1 commencement date of the Meter Asset Provider (MAP) scheme. The government had given a-three-year window to close the metering gap of five million unmetered customers across the country. The MAP regulation provided for a local content policy to strengthen the government’s resolve to encourage participation of local entities in the sector. Section 9 of the Regulations stipulates that MAPs shall source a minimum of 30 per cent of their contracted metering volumes from local meter manufacturing companies. Further changes to the minimum local content thresholds shall be specified in the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) Local Content Regulations. “This position taken by the regulation is highly commendable as the participation of the local business entities in critical sectors of the economy is vital in increasing the capacity, sustenance and localisation of technical knowledge of the sector and minimising the appropriation of crucial resources that would have been spent to import such services,” NERC said. In response to this local content regulation, manufacturers said they have doubled their production capacity. Momas Electricity Meter Manufacturing...

Business / Economy - 1 day ago

‘Nigeria not serious about nuclear power’

Nigeria is yet to record a remarkable success in nuclear energy production and further improve electricity supply, ROSATOM’s Head, Technical  and Infrastructure Department, Jose Bastos, said at the weekend  in Sochi, Russia at the 2019 Atomexpo International Conference/Exhibitions. The country produces less than 5,000 megawatts (Mw) of electricity, which are not enough to increase socio-economic activities nationwide. The Federal Government is exploring the nuclear energy option for growth. Bastos said Nigeria’s declaration of interest to produce nuclear energy is not matched with a reasonable level of commitment, adding that the country will with time sort out issues that are hindering it from becoming one of the producers of nuclear energy in the world. According to him, many countries, including Nigeria have approached ROSATOM to help in producing nuclear energy for their citizens, stressing that they were at different levels of investing in nuclear energy production in their countries. Bastos said: “There are three stages in participating in nuclear energy programme. The stages are known as phases, as evident by the desires of each country to engage in energy mix through production of nuclear power. The first stage is known as consideration stage, as its shows the...

Business / Economy - 1 day ago

Weststar unveils Marcopolo Paradisio 1350

There is a new luxury bus that gives travellers a paradise feeling. It is called Paradiso 1350 Bus Model. The new generation Marcopolo Paradisio 1350 is luxury personified from all indication – its look, body, movement, space for loads and tasteful interior. No doubt, travellers are in for a new experience with the Paradisio 1350. Courtesy of Weststar Associates Limited, authorised general distributor of Mercedes-Benz in Nigeria in collaboration with Auto Alternative Nigeria Limited, the authorised representative of Marcopolo in Nigeria, the new Marcopolo Paradisio 1350 bus was introduced into the Nigerian market last Wednesday. The introduction of this bus, Weststar said, highlights the growth and expansion of interstate road travel in Nigeria as the industry continues to follow suit with technological advancements from around the world. The new generation Paradiso 1350 has been designed to provide the best passenger experience and greater comfort and safety to the driver making it even better than its predecessors. The Paradiso 1350 bus is built with the ever reliable Mercedes-Benz 0 500 RSD bus chassis developed for middle and long distance travel. It is a robust and highly durable vehicle that is built to carry 24 tonnes and a body length of up to 14 meters long. The Paradiso...