Seafarers in the employ of the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas Ship Management Limited, a subsidiary of the Nigeria LNG Limited, will from September 1 receive half of their current salaries.
The decision is said to be in response to the more than 60 per cent reduction in the company’s revenues occasioned by the drop in the global oil price, which has fallen from $140 to about $40 per barrel in the last one year.
The Manager, Nigerian Content, NLNG, Mr. Charles Okon, who spoke for the General Manager, External Relations, Dr. Kudo Eresia-Eke, confirmed the review of manning levels and wage scale for officers on the Bonny gas transport vessels.
Okon said, “This action is in line with the depressed global market situation and consistent with prevailing industry rates, and has been taken in the interest of the sustainability of the business.
“In reality, the reviewed wage scale cannot be said to be a salary reduction as claimed. The fact is that the company has simply adjusted and aligned wages with internationally obtainable benchmarks.”
He stated that the company’s Nigerian officers’ dollar- denominated wages, upon conversion at the existing rates, far exceeded wages for their peers who were being paid in naira.
He added that other conditions of service of all the NSML personnel, including leave days, would remain the same, while leave emoluments earned in line with current wage scales would also be unaffected.
Okon said, “Several BGT vessels have already been laid up and many more areas of reduction are being explored. This is consistent with the national oil company guideline for relevant industry operators to reduce operating costs by 40 per cent.
“Management has already communicated these developments to the staff and shall continue to engage them during the implementation process, and appeals for the continuing understanding and cooperation of all parties.”
However, seafarers with the NLNGSML have protested the decision, claiming that it was taken without proper consultation with their representatives.
Some of the seafarers, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said their counterparts from other countries like India, Malaysia, Pakistan, Russia and Croatia, who were also in the employ of the company, had challenged the 20 per cent wage cut imposed on them.
One of the affected seafarers said, “This unjust proposed wage cut could kill dreams of achieving the indigenisation plan, which is committed to ensuring that Nigerian seafarers are well represented on the board of the BGT and NLNG chartered vessels.
“We are being forced to comply with a proposed 50 per cent salary cut within seven days or risk losing our jobs. Why should Nigerian seafarers earn lower than their foreign colleagues?”
The President, Nigerian Merchant Navy Officers and Water Transport Senior Staff Association, Matthew Alalade, said the association was informed of the situation last week.
He stated, “Although the company has blamed the economic downturn for this decision, the seafarers are not happy with it. We plan to resolve the issue on behalf of the senior officers. The junior officers are already members of the Maritime Workers Union but we still intend to protect them.
“For the senior staff, it will be a 40 per cent cut in salaries, while it will be 50 per cent for the junior staff.”
Flour Mills of Nigeria Repays N51.64 Billion Series 2 Commercial Paper
Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc (FMN) has successfully repaid its N51.64 billion Series 2 Commercial Paper as revealed in a statement issued by the company.
This follows the earlier repayment of its N13.33 billion Series 1 Commercial Paper in August 2023.
Both the Series 1 and Series 2 Commercial Papers, totaling N64.97 billion, were initially issued on February 22, 2023, under FMN’s N200 billion Commercial Paper Programme.
The Series 1, with a yield of 13.0%, raised N13.3 billion, while the Series 2, with a yield of 14.0%, raised N51.64 billion.
FMN had launched its N200 billion Commercial Paper Programme on February 10, 2023, reflecting the company’s strategic financial planning.
The Group Chief Finance Officer, Mr. Anders Kristiansson, expressed satisfaction with the timely and successful repayment of the Series 2 Commercial Paper.
He emphasized FMN’s commitment to financial prudence and acknowledged the confidence placed in the organization by the investing public.
Kristiansson expressed gratitude to stakeholders for their continuous support, reiterating FMN’s dedication to delivering sustainable value and upholding the highest standards of corporate governance.
In addition to the successful repayment, FMN tapped into the market for its Series 3 Commercial Paper in June 2023, with subscriptions from banks and Pension Fund Administrators, contributing 39.7% and 40.8%, respectively.
The transaction was managed by FBNQuest Merchant Bank Limited as the Lead Arranger, with ChapelHill Denham Advisory Limited, FCMB Capital Limited, and United Capital PLC serving as Joint Arrangers.
African Airlines Projected to Cut Losses to $400m in 2024, Says IATA
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has forecasted a reduction in losses for Nigerian and other African airlines from $500 million in 2023 to $400 million in 2024.
The Switzerland-based IATA made this projection while presenting the global airline industry outlook in Geneva, Switzerland, on Wednesday.
IATA’s Director-General, Willie Walsh, shared the outlook, stating that global airlines are expected to generate approximately $964 billion in revenue in the coming year.
The report indicated that airline industry net profits are anticipated to reach $25.7 billion in 2024, reflecting a slight improvement over the projected $23.3 billion net profit for 2023.
Despite the challenges faced by the aviation industry in recent years, IATA sees the $25.7 billion net profit in 2024 as a testament to aviation’s resilience.
Walsh acknowledged the impressive speed of recovery but emphasized that the net profit margin of 2.7% remains below industry expectations.
IATA estimates that around 4.7 billion people will travel in 2024, surpassing the pre-pandemic level of 4.5 billion recorded in 2019.
However, Walsh highlighted ongoing challenges, including regulatory burdens, fragmentation, high infrastructure costs, and a supply chain populated with uncertainties.
He emphasized the need for the industry to build a resilient future, given its significant contribution to global GDP and livelihoods.
Fuel prices are expected to average $113.8 per barrel in 2024, accounting for 31% of all operating costs, totaling $281 billion.
Walsh concluded by expressing optimism about more normal growth patterns for both passenger and cargo in the post-pandemic era.
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