Connect with us

Markets

Stakeholders Allege Diversion of $100m BASA Fund

Published

on

Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika

There are fears that the Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA) fund, which accruals had risen to over $100 million (N38.1 billion) may have been diverted to fund projects outside the aviation sector, aviation industry sources have said.

Investigations revealed that the funds, which are paid by foreign airlines operating into Nigeria, stem from the commercial agreement between Nigeria and host countries of the international carriers may have been depleted without definite projects executed with the funds.

The fund is domiciled with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) but managed by the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), with the Director General as signatory.

In 2014, the then Ministry of Aviation hinted that Nigeria may abolish commercial agreement, an offshoot of BASA, which defines the amount of money an airline should pay for each passenger, but indications show that this was not carried through.

So while there was a belief that Nigeria was transiting to slot allocation, which is an alternative to commercial agreement, the fund has continued to accrue.

An NCAA source hinted that since the funds were utilised for airport remodeling, which was not completed as planned, the fund has continued to accumulate and may have been diverted to fund projects outside the industry.

Industry observers noted government is in dire need of money to fund landing aids, runway lighting, perimeter fencing of most airports and improve facilities and equipment at the Nigeria College of Aviation Technology (NCAT) Zaria, but the BASA fund, which ought to be used to carry out these projects has been left in CBN.

They also suggested that the money should also be used to complete some of the perishable terminals now government is emphasising on export of agro-allied produce and as it planned to concession four international airports in the country.

The Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika travelled to Singapore few days ago with top official of the industry to negotiate BASA for effective resumption of flight by Singapore Airlines to Nigeria.

It is the view of industry stakeholders that BASA fund be accounted for and what it is used for clearly stated projects to ensure that the money is not being diverted for personal use by individuals who have access to the funds.

“So much money has accumulated in the BASA fund. The only time the money from there was used was during the airport remodeling project; since them we don’t know what is happening to the fund. Government may have taken money from the fund when some parastatals in the industry failed to remit their 25 percent allocation of their revenue to the federation account and their money was drawn at source, but we are not sure that the money is being utilised now,” said a source.

BASA is a reciprocal agreement between two countries whose airlines ought to fly to both countries but as Nigeria does not have a national carrier, foreign carriers pay government for their frequencies into the country and over time there has been criticisms that Nigeria is being shortchanged because while other airlines fly to Nigeria, most of those destinations are not being reciprocated by Nigerian carriers, which fly to few international routes.

“These international airlines pay us a lot of money. Recently Air France paid us $8million and Emirates pays us a lot of money; the same with other foreign airlines but no one is talking about the fund,” industry source told THISDAY.

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

Continue Reading
Comments

Markets

Black Friday Lull

We’re seeing subdued trading at the end of the week, with the absence of the US leaving markets lacking any notable direction.

Published

on

gold bars - Investors King

By Craig Erlam, Senior Market Analyst, UK & EMEA, OANDA

We’re seeing subdued trading at the end of the week, with the absence of the US leaving markets lacking any notable direction.

This isn’t really unusual and at the end of the week too, it really makes sense. Barring a flurry of big headlines from elsewhere, we could now see equity markets just drift into the weekend with investors already having an eye on next week.

Perhaps today people are trading in their charts for some Black Friday deals, the outcome of which will certainly be on everyone’s radar. Going into the holiday season, we’ll get an early idea of the state of play for household spending in the midst of a cost-of-living crisis.

Of course, it will naturally be difficult to distinguish how much of that bargain hunting will prove to be holiday season shopping brought forward in an attempt to get the “best deals”. But if Black Friday shopping takes a hit this year, it won’t bode well for the rest of the holiday period which is so important to retailers.

PBOC cuts the RRR

The PBOC cut the RRR by 25 basis points this morning in a bid to support the economy which is once more going through a difficult period. How effective that will prove to be when cities are seeing restrictions and effective lockdowns reimposed is hard to say. But combined with other measures to boost the property market and ease Covid curbs, the cut could be supportive over the medium term when growth remains highly uncertain.

Oil pares losses as price cap talks continue

Oil prices are higher on Friday, continuing to pare losses after being hit heavily in recent weeks by surging Covid cases in China and discussions around the price cap on Russian crude.

Lockdowns in all but name appear to be popping up in major Chinese cities in an attempt to get a grip on record cases which will weigh heavily on economic activity once more and in turn demand. It’s now a question of how long they last but clearly investors’ enthusiasm toward the relaxation of Covid restrictions was a bit premature.

Talks will continue on a price cap but it seems it won’t be as strict as first thought, to the point that it may be borderline pointless. That’s hit oil prices again this week as the threat to Russian output from a $70 cap, for example, is minimal given it’s selling around those levels already.

Gold establishing a range ahead of key data releases

Gold is marginally lower today but has been quite choppy throughout the session, and broadly lacked any real direction. We could be seeing a little profit-taking as the dollar edges higher following the relief rally that followed the Fed minutes.

The yellow metal is trading roughly in the middle of what may be a newly established range between $1,730 and $1,780, potentially now awaiting the next catalyst ahead of the December Fed meeting. With another jobs and inflation report still to come, a lot could change between now and when the FOMC next meets.

Bitcoin still extremely vulnerable

Bitcoin is edging lower again today after recording three days of gains. That dragged it off the lows but didn’t really carry it that far from them. It’s trying to stabilize around the $15,500-$17,000 region and weather the storm but I’m not sure it will be that easy. There’s likely more to come from the FTX collapse and the contagion effects, not to mention potentially other scandals that could be uncovered. This may continue to make crypto traders very nervous and leave the foundations supporting price extremely shaky. ​

Continue Reading

Crude Oil

Lack of Inflows, Revenue Shortage Plunge Nigeria’s Excess Crude Account By 89%

The ECB balance declined from $4.1 billion recorded in November 2014 to $472,513

Published

on

markets energies crude oil

Weak foreign revenue inflow amid fluctuations in the global oil market has plunged Nigeria’s Excess Crude Account (ECA) by 89% in the last eight years.

The Excess Crude Account (ECA) is an account used to save excess crude oil revenue by the Nigerian government.

The ECB balance declined from $4.1 billion recorded in November 2014 to $472,513 in the same period of 2022, according to a statement from the Ministry of Finance, Budget, and National Planning.

Economists attributed the substantial decline to the nation’s persistent depreciation in foreign revenue inflows and the struggle with crude oil production amid global uncertainty.

According to Jonathan Aremu, professor of economics at Covenant University in Ogun State, the decline was a result of constant withdrawal without replenishment.

“For you to increase the ECA, the oil price must rise above the budgeted price. If it does not, nothing goes in.  Also, if what you are spending is higher than what goes in, it depletes. This is the situation,” he noted.

On Thursday, crude oil prices declined following the Group of Seven (G7) nations’ proposed plan to cap Russian oil at $65-70 a barrel.

Brent crude oil, against which Nigerian oil is priced, declined to $85 a barrel while the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude fell by 0.6% to $77.48 a barrel.

Despite the fact that the benchmark price for oil in the 2022 budget was $57, the price of oil today is still about $30 higher. In spite of higher oil prices, the ECA has been on a decline since early 2022, suggesting that the issue is internal.

“Nigeria’s crude production plunged below 1 million barrels per day (mbpd) for the first time since Buhari became President this year and has averaged about 1.2 mbpd most part of 2022. Therefore, it is impossible to take advantage of the Russian-Ukraine war inflated oil prices like we did during the Gulf war under former president Ibrahim Babangida,” Samed Olukoya, CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd stated.

The government needs to address internal issues, revamp refineries, reduce oil theft and diversify the economy to reduce overexposure to global oil fluctuations.

Continue Reading

Crude Oil

Crude Oil Opens at $85 as G7 Nations Move to Cap Russian Oil

The Group of Seven (G7) proposed to cap Russian crude oil at $65-$70 a barrel

Published

on

Crude oil

Crude oil opened lower on Thursday, declining to a two-month low following the Group of Seven (G7) proposal to cap Russian crude oil at $65-$70 a barrel.

A greater-than-expected build in U.S. gasoline inventories and widening COVID-19 controls in China added to downward pressure.

Brent crude dipped 50 cents, or 0.6%, to $84.91 a barrel, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude fell by 46 cents, or 0.6%, to $77.48 a barrel.

Both benchmarks plunged more than 3% on Wednesday on news the planned price cap on Russian oil could be above the current market level.

The G7 is looking at a cap on Russian seaborne oil at $65-$70 a barrel, according to a European official, though European Union governments have not yet agreed on a price.

A higher price cap could make it attractive for Russia to continue to sell its oil, reducing the risk of a supply shortage in global oil markets.

That range would also be higher than markets had expected, reducing the risk of global supply being disrupted, said Vivek Dhar, a commodities analyst at Commonwealth Bank in a report.

“If the EU agree to an oil price cap of $65‑$70/bbl this week, we see downside risks to our oil price forecast of $95/bbl this quarter,” Dhar said.

Oil and gas exports are forecast to account for 42% of Russia’s revenues this year at 11.7 trillion roubles ($196 billion), according to the country’s finance ministry, up from 36% or 9.1 trillion roubles ($152 billion) in 2021.

The G7, including the United States, as well as the whole of the European Union and Australia, are planning to implement the price cap on sea-borne exports of Russian oil on Dec. 5.

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Advertisement




Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending