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Airlines Accuse Aviation Agencies of Illegal Charges

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  • Airlines Accuse Aviation Agencies of Illegal Charges

Domestic airlines have said some of the charges they pay to aviation agencies, estimated at N10 billion per annum, are arbitrary and illegal, saying they should be stopped immediately.

The airlines alleged that the agencies did not secure the approval from the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) before introducing the charges, as stipulated in the 2006 Civil Aviation Act.

A senior official of one of the major domestic carriers said that those charges that did not get the approval of NCAA ought not to be paid by the airlines because they are illegal charges.

“All charges have to be approved by NCAA. There should be discussion with all stakeholders before charges are introduced but nothing like that has occurred. This regulation is contained in 2006 Civil Aviation Act. When Fidelia Njeze was the Minister of Aviation she directed the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and the Nigeria Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) to present their charges to the then Director-General of NCAA, Dr. Harold Demuren for approval but the management of FAAN then said they were not answerable to NCAA.

“This is enshrined in the Civil Aviation Act and if they make a law they should abide by the law, so why is FAAN and NAMA refusing to do so? They ought to call the meeting of airlines and discuss with them on the charges from NAMA and FAAN. The charges are even discriminatory because it is alleged that some airlines are exempted from paying some charges leveled on others,” the official said.

The source also urged the Minister of State, Aviation to invite an independent body to reconcile accounts between the agencies and the airlines, noting that the high charges leveled on the airlines are threatening their existence.

“As at June this year we paid the agencies N20.1 billion and this can be verified. The agencies have to sit down and reconcile with us. Government should set up a committee of independent people to look into the matter,” the official said.

Also the Chairman of Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), Captain Nogie Meggison confirmed that arbitrary charges are levied on the airlines, adding that the charges are outrageous and that is why the existence of the airlines is being threatened.

“All charges have to be approved by NCAA. There should be discussion with all stakeholders but nothing like that has occurred,” an official of Arik Air told said.

But an NCAA source said that there is conflicting issue about the autonomy of FAAN, which was being deliberated and was expected to be rectified by the National Assembly, adding that technically the Act that established FAAN designated it as autonomous but NCAA is the regulator of the industry, which automatically makes FAAN subordinate to its rules until the Act is repealed, FAAN officials would always argue on its autonomy, especially in areas that do not have to do with safety and security of flight operations.

 

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

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Africa’s Richest Man, Aliko Dangote Ready to Sell Refinery to Nigerian Government

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Aliko Dangote, Africa’s wealthiest entrepreneur, has announced his willingness to sell his multibillion-dollar oil refinery to Nigeria’s state-owned energy company, NNPC Limited.

This decision comes amid a growing dispute with key partners and regulatory authorities.

The $19 billion refinery, which began operations last year, is a significant development for Nigeria, aiming to reduce the country’s reliance on imported fuel.

However, challenges in sourcing crude and ongoing disputes have hindered its full potential.

Dangote expressed frustration over allegations of monopolistic practices, stating that these accusations are unfounded.

“If they want to label me a monopolist, I am ready to let NNPC take over. It’s in the best interest of the country,” he said in a recent interview.

The refinery has faced difficulties with supply agreements, particularly with international crude producers demanding high premiums.

NNPC, initially a supportive partner, has delivered only a fraction of the crude needed since last year. This has forced Dangote to seek alternative suppliers from countries like Brazil and the US.

Despite the challenges, Dangote remains committed to contributing to Nigeria’s economy. “I’ve always believed in investing at home.

This refinery can resolve our fuel crisis,” he stated, urging other wealthy Nigerians to invest domestically rather than abroad.

Recently, the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority accused Dangote’s refinery of producing substandard diesel.

In response, Dangote invited regulators and lawmakers to verify the quality of his products, which he claims surpass imported alternatives in purity.

Amidst these challenges, Dangote has halted plans to enter Nigeria’s steel industry, citing concerns over monopoly accusations.

“We need to focus on what’s best for the economy,” he explained, emphasizing the importance of fair competition and innovation.

As Nigeria navigates these complex issues, the potential sale of Dangote’s refinery to NNPC could reshape the nation’s energy landscape and secure its energy independence.

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Dangote Shelves Steel Project to Prevent Monopoly Allegations

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Aliko Dangote - Investors King

Aliko Dangote, chairman of Dangote Industries Limited, announced the company’s decision to halt plans to enter Nigeria’s steel industry.

The decision comes just two months after the conglomerate had initially unveiled its intentions to invest in the sector as part of efforts to expand the economy.

Addressing journalists at his refinery in Lagos, Dangote explained that the board’s decision was driven by concerns over potential accusations of creating a monopoly.

“We have decided against pursuing the steel business to avoid being labeled a monopoly,” Dangote stated.

He explained that the company’s operations focus on adding value by transforming local raw materials into finished products.

The industrialist dismissed claims that his group enjoys monopolistic advantages, pointing out that their business practices have always fostered a competitive environment.

“When we entered the cement market, Lafarge was the only player, yet no one accused them of being a monopoly,” he stated.

Dangote further encouraged other Nigerian investors to explore opportunities in the steel industry, suggesting that there are ample resources and space for new entrants.

“There are many Nigerians with the financial capacity to invest. They should seize this opportunity to contribute to our nation’s growth,” he urged.

The billionaire’s call to action extended to Nigerians living abroad, inviting them to invest in their homeland.

“Bring your resources back from Dubai and other parts of the world and invest in Nigeria,” he said, reinforcing his commitment to seeing the country’s economy thrive through diverse contributions.

This decision marks a strategic shift for Dangote Industries, focusing on dispelling monopoly myths and promoting a collaborative business landscape.

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Goya Foods Takes Legal Action to Assert ‘Goya Olive Oil’ Trademark Ownership

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“Goya Olive Oil” trademark in Nigeria, Goya Foods Incorporated has initiated legal proceedings against the Registrar of Trademarks under the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment.

The case, numbered FHC/ABJ/CS/883/2023, was brought before the Federal High Court in Abuja.

Goya Foods, a prominent producer and distributor of foods and beverages across the United States, Spanish-speaking countries, and Nigeria, seeks to enforce a longstanding consent judgment issued by the court in December 2006.

The judgment directed the Registrar to rectify the Trademarks Register to reflect Goya Foods Incorporated as the rightful owner of the “Goya Olive Oil” trademark, without any further formalities.

The lawsuit, exclusively revealed to sources, underscores Goya Foods’ determination to safeguard its intellectual property against alleged infringements.

According to court documents, Goya Foods obtained the consent judgment against Chikason Industries Limited, which was accused of marketing “Goya Olive Oil” in Nigeria, thus infringing on Goya Foods’ registered trademark.

Legal counsel for Goya Foods, Ade Adedeji, SAN, emphasized the necessity of rectifying the Trademarks Register to protect their trademark interests effectively.

Despite appeals to the Registrar, the requested rectification has not been implemented, prompting Goya Foods to escalate the matter through legal channels.

The case has been adjourned to September 27, 2024, for further proceedings, highlighting the complexity and significance of trademark disputes in the global marketplace.

Goya Foods remains committed to upholding its brand integrity and securing its proprietary interests amidst the evolving landscape of international trademark law.

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