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Emirates, Kenya Airways Suspend Abuja Operations

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Emirates Airlines
  • Emirates, Kenya Airways Suspend Abuja Operations

Dubai-based Emirates Airlines and Kenya Airways have announced the suspension of their flights to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, Nigeria’s capital, in the face of the economic downturn in the country, foreign exchange scarcity, and the shrinking passenger traffic on international routes.

Emirates, one of the biggest foreign airlines operating in Nigeria, said it would stop flights effective October 22, while the East African carrier, Kenya Airways, has also announced that it would suspend flights to and from Abuja with effect from November 15, 2016 as part of its restructuring and loss-saving measures.

In this regard, Emirates was said to have written to the Minister of State, Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, over its intention to stop flights from Abuja, indicating its inability to buy FX.

The letter was said to have been received by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transportation.

The airline was reported to have said, if after weeks off the Abuja suspension, no drastic change happens, Emirates would also suspend Lagos operations indefinitely and with that exit the Nigerian market.

Emirates like many major international carriers operating in Nigeria, has huge sums for ticket sales with the banks, which it has not been able to repatriate.

About two months ago, foreign airlines’ funds trapped in the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) was put at $900 million but the federal government granted the airlines access to FX at a concessionary exchange rate to enable them repatriate about 50 per cent of their ticket sales.

Besides the huge funds trapped in Nigeria, the recession has led to a reduction in passenger traffic, forcing the foreign airlines to reassess the logistics of operating from Nigeria with low load factors.

Emirates Airline has also threatened to stop its flights into Africa if the economic downturn on the continent worsens.

The president of the airline, Tim Clark, stated this in Dubai yesterday at an International Air Transport Association (IATA) forum.

Clark said foreign airlines flying to Africa now refuel abroad because jet fuel supplies had become more expensive and scarce in some African countries.

“In certain African countries, the currencies have really gone down, so we’re reflecting on a number of these to look at where it’s just not worth for us to travel,” Clark said.

He added that Emirates’ load factor – a measure of capacity utitlisation – for the rest of 2016 and 2017, would probably be in the mid-70s to low-80s in percentage terms.

Clark, however, said there would be some peaks and troughs in that time.

About a month ago, Emirates started tanking fuel from Accra, Ghana because of the scarcity of jet fuel in Nigeria.

Other foreign carriers were also forced to refuel at different locations outside the country before flying to Nigeria.

The airlines’ media office in Lagos confirmed the suspension of Abuja flights, stating: “Emirates can confirm that it’s suspending its four times weekly service between Abuja, Nigeria and Dubai with effect from 22nd October 2016.

“The decision was made after a review of the airline’s operations to ensure the best utilisation of its aircraft fleet for its overall business objectives. The airline continues to serve Nigeria with a daily flight to and from Lagos.”

In a related development, the federal government after the recent shake up at the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), yesterday announced the appointment of two new directors to help the organisation realise its new set goals.

The new directors are Mrs. Nike Aboderin, who was made Director, Finance and Accounts (DFA), and Mr. Sadiku Abdulkadir Rafindadi, appointed as Director, Commercial and Business Development (DCBD).

The agency said Mrs. Aboderin is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (FCIB). She holds an M.Sc degree in Banking and Finance from the University of Lagos.

“Mrs. Aboderin possesses over 23 years experience in the financial services industry, which has exposed her to both public and private exploits at different institutions including multinationals.

“She is also an Advanced Management Programme (AMP) graduate of the Lagos Business School.

“In addition, she holds a post graduate certificate in Global Strategic Management (GSM) from the Harvard Business School, Boston, USA. She is married with children,” FAAN said in a statement signed by its acting General Manager, Public Affairs, Mrs. Henrietta Yakubu.

The agency added that Rafindadi is a 1985 graduate of Economics of the University of Pittsburgh. He also holds an MBA in Finance from the Clark Atlanta University, USA.

“He attended Kaduna Polytechnic, where he obtained a certificate in Management Studies. Mr. Rafindadi is a seasoned amiable manager who started his career as a young officer and rose to the pinnacle through diligence and commitment.

“Until his current appointment, Rafindadi worked in several management capacities in different institutions, including Phoenix Investment Services and British Petroleum. He is married with children,” FAAN said.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Business

NAHCO Recalls Suspended GMD/CEO, Mrs Adetokunbo A. Fagbemi

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NAHCO Recalls Suspended GMD/CEO, Mrs Adetokunbo A. Fagbemi | investorsking.com

Mrs. Adetokunbo A. Fagbemi Resumes Work With NAHCO

The Board of Directors of Nigerian Aviation Handling Company Plc (NAHCO) has recalled Mrs. Adetokunbo A. Fagbemi, the Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, who was suspended over Management’s failure to diligently secure the delivery of a purchased equipment from vendor within the contracted period and Management’s inability to provide satisfactory/acceptable reason for the unreasonable long delay.

Mrs. Fagbemi was suspended by the Board at a meeting held on 27th of January 2021 in line with the Board’s earlier decision that if a certified bill of lading for the equipment was not received by 2nd February 2021, the GMD/CEO shall proceed on suspension with half pay until receipt of acceptable evidence of equipment shipment from the manufacturer.

Since Mrs. Fagbemi commenced her suspension on February 3rd, 2021, Mr. Olumuyiwa A. Olumekun, the Group Executive Director, Corporate Services, has been acting as the GMD/CEO, according to a statement put out by the company.

It said “the Board is however pleased to inform the investing public and the Exchange that on, Tuesday, February 24, 2021, a satisfactory evidence of departure and arrival dates of the equipment has been received by the board from the equipment manufacturer.

“Consequently, the Board at its emergency meeting today, February 24, 2021, has recalled the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Mrs. Adetokunbo A. Fagbemi from the suspension and she has resumed work.”

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Businesses Groan as Price of Diesel Rises to N250 Per Litre

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Petrol Importation

Businesses Groan as Price of Diesel Rises to N250 Per Litre

Businesses have started feeling the negative impact of the rising price of Automotive Gas Oil, known as diesel.

A single litre now goes for N250 in some parts of Lagos, with businesses taking a beating on the back of rising energy costs.

Our correspondent observed that some filling stations in Lagos had increased the price of the product to N250 per litre, while many others sold it at between N220-N245.

Northwest Petroleum along the Oshodi-Apapa road increased the pump price of diesel to N250 per litre; AP (Ardova Plc), along Airport road, Ikeja, N248; and Oando, along Acme Road, N240.

The National Bureau of Statistics, in its AGO price report on Tuesday, said the average price paid by consumers for diesel increased by 0.22 per cent to N224.86 per litre in January 2021 from to N224.37 in December 2020.

It said states with the highest average price of diesel were Adamawa (N268.33), Zamfara (N262.78) and Kebbi (N257.50).

“States with the lowest average price of diesel were Osun (N194.60), Anambra (N195.83) and Enugu (N198.24),” the NBS added.

Crude oil price accounts for a large chunk of the final cost of petroleum products, and the deregulation of the downstream oil sector by the Federal Government means that the pump prices of the products will reflect changes in the international oil market.

The international oil benchmark, Brent crude, has risen by more than 25 per cent this year from the $51.22 per barrel at which it closed last year. It rose to $65.25 per barrel as of 6:30pm Nigerian time on Tuesday.

Diesel is mostly used by businesses to power their generators amid a lack of reliable power supply from the national grid.

The President, Association of Small Business Owners of Nigeria, Mr Femi Egbesola, lamented that the recent increase in the price of diesel was taking a heavy toll on businesses, especially Small and Medium Enterprises.

“The cost of diesel and raw material is giving us a nightmare. The price of diesel has been skyrocketing in a way that creates fear in particularly manufacturers,” he told our correspondent on Tuesday.

According to him, it is difficult for businesses to factor all the increase in diesel price in their final product prices.

Egbesola said, “That is why a lot of companies are downsizing and are making sure that they only produce products that they are so sure will sell in the market.

“Many companies have reduced their product lines significantly just to be able to cope. And that is not good for us because by the time this goes on, unemployment will increase. I believe government should be able to do something about this.”

He said although the downstream petroleum sector had been deregulated, there should be checks and balances.

Egbesola said many small businesses’ savings had been eroded already because ‘we keep spending our savings to make sure we don’t close shop’.

He said, “If things continue this way, there is no way we are not going to close shop. We are still struggling with the recent increase in electricity tariff.

“Many small businesses still depend so much on diesel generators because there is no alternative power supply. It is only the big players that have the facilities to use gas. And we cannot use solar installation because it is very expensive.”

Nigeria, Africa’s largest oil producer, relies largely on importation for petrol and other refined products as its refineries have remained in a state of disrepair for many years.

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United Capital Appoints Latunji Head, Marketing/Corporate Communications

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United-capital

United Capital Appoints Latunji Head, Marketing/Corporate Communications

United Capital Plc has been appointed, Tolu Latunji as its Head, Marketing & Corporate Communications.

In the new role, he is expected to drive a strategic communications, marketing and brand management programme for the investment banking group.

Latunji is a communication and marketing expert with 12 years’ experience in products development, marketing, brand & franchise building, effective management and communication of strategic objectives whilst ensuring adequate visibility for both organisation and product/service offerings through product, content and brand initiatives.

“With a 360 degree knowledge of communications and marketing, which includes but not limited to – brand management and initiatives, corporate affairs, internal and external affairs, product and brand marketing, event management and experiential marketing, cluster/segment marketing, Tolu has served at various capacities on government constituted sub-committees on financial inclusion,” a statement explained.

Prior to joining United Capital Plc, he was the Managing Partner of Ten & Square Media Co., a bespoke creative ideation and brand/crisis management firm, based in Lagos, Dakar and London.

Latunji was recently the Strategic Communications lead at FMDQ Securities Exchange, Nigeria’s first integrated financial market infrastructure (FMI), where he had the responsibility of effectively positioning the group, together with its subsidiaries, as the most sophisticated and technologically driven securities exchange in Africa.

Prior to that, he worked in Guaranty Trust Bank for nine years with roles in brand management & monitoring, events and experiential marketing, products and content marketing and user experience.

He led the marketing team to the successful development and launch of various retail, SME and corporate products. He was also instrumental in curating and developing the bank’s social footprints. Outside the corporate environment, Tolu engages in various humanitarian activities with food banks and empowerment programmes. He holds a B.Sc. Economics from University of Lagos.

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