- Foreign Airlines Demand Standard FX Rate
International carriers that operate to different destinations in the country have called on the federal government to give them standard exchange rate for the repatriation of revenues earned from ticket sales or they would be forced to leave Nigeria.
The Sales Manager of Emirates Airlines, Eghe Ekhator, issued the threat, why explaining the reasons why the airline decided to stop operations to the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) from October 22, 2016 during the on-going public hearing on how to revamp the aviation industry organised by the House Committee on Aviation.
Ekhator explained that due to the flunctuating value of the naira, when they sell ticket in the local currency, by the time they will exchange it to the dollar, it would lose its value. He said that the airlines have decided that the only way they could continue to operate in Nigeria would be for government to peg the naira for the airlines.
The House Committee Chairman on Aviation, Hon. Nkiruka Onyejeocha said the House was worried about the suspension of flights to Nigeria by foreign airlines and the number of domestic carriers that had gone under, noting that there are indications that more might stop operation.
Asked why Emirates decided to stop its operations to Abuja, Ekhator said: “The challenge we are facing is not unique to Emirates. The major point is forex. Another problem is the runway at the Abuja airport. The runway issues may be addressed but for now it is still a concern.
“Another problem is aviation fuel. There is no long- term assurance, which means that a flight can come and it won’t have fuel to depart. Emirates is losing money running into millions of dollars. The delay before we exchanged the ticket sales reduces its value because the naira is not pegged. For example, if you sell ticket for $1000 and collect its equivalence in naira by the time you exchange it you may have only $600 dollars because of the floating exchange rate. So the foreign airlines are losing millions of dollars this way. That is why some are considering pulling out their operations,” he said.
Onyejeocha however suggested that the government should introduce and implement policies that would enable airlines both foreign and local have profitable operation in Nigeria, noting that the foreign airlines are requesting for fixed rate of the naira for them so that they could exchange their money without losing any value.
At the public hearing, the Managing Director of Chanchangi Airlines, Trevor Worthington identified the challenges facing airlines in Nigeria and noted that the one of the major problem of the airlines is low aircraft utilisation due to poor infrastructure.
According to him, while aircraft in other parts of the world could operates for 22 hours, in Nigeria airlines hardly get up to 12 hours. He also noted that multi-taxation, high cost of aviation fuel and the fact that international operators are allowed to operate to many airports in the country, thereby discouraging code-share between foreign carriers and domestic operators.
Worthington urged the federal government to make a policy that foreign airlines should code-share with Nigeria airlines that meet their safety standard.
Speaking in the same vein, the Director of Engineering, Medview Airline, Lookman Animaseun said that many Nigerian airlines are now in the International Air Transport Association (IATA) registry as they have become certified after going through the stringent IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA), which qualifies them to code-share with any airline in the world.
Animaseun urged government to stop the multiple designation of foreign airlines and to facilitate the establishment of a major Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facility in Nigeria.
Prestige Assurance Grows Profit by 25.17 Percent to N776.500 Million in H1 2021
Prestige Assurance Plc, one of Nigeria’s leading insurance firms, grew profit after tax by 25.17 percent from N620.348 million recorded in the first quarter (H1) of 2020 to N776.500 million in the first half of 2021.
The insurance firm disclosed in its unaudited financial statement released on Tuesday and obtained by Investors King.
Gross premium written increased by 38.86 percent to N5.434 billion in H1 2021, up from N3.913 billion achieved in the corresponding period of 2020.
Net premium income also grew by 34.82 percent from N1.916 billion in H1 2020 to N2.584 billion in H1 2021. While underwriting expenses expanded to N2.262 billion in the period under review, up by 51.43 percent when compared to N1.494 billion filed in the same period of 2020.
Similarly, interest income jumped by 59.40 percent from N232.924 million in H1 2020 to N371.279 million in H1 2021. Other investment income and other operating income appreciated by 30.96 percent and 83.74 percent from N145.803 million and N7.264 million in H1 2020 to N190.947 million and N13.347 million in H1 2021, respectively.
Profit before tax inched higher by 14.22 percent to N970.624 million in H1 2021 from N849.792 million in H1 2020.
Profit after tax rose by 25.17 percent to N776.500 million in the period under review.
Total assets expanded to N19.423 billion in the first half of 2021, representing 4.96 percent when compared to N18.505 billion.
Basic earnings per share and diluted earnings per share grew by 25.17 percent each to N5.86 each.
Coca-Cola Creates Its First Collection Of Brand-Inspired NFTs
Coca-Cola has partnered with digital art and avatar company Tafi to launch its first collection of NFTs, or non-fungible tokens. NFTs are unique digital collectibles that exist on the blockchain and represent different types of files like images, audio, and video.
The collection, which Coca-Cola is offering to celebrate International Friendship Day on July 30, features an NFT “loot box” which contains digital wearables designed by Tafi.
Buyers can bid on the Coca-Cola Friendship Box, a digital version of a collectible vending machine, which comes with three one-of-a-kind digital assets: a custom Coca-Cola Bubble Jacket Wearable, which can be worn in virtual world Decentraland; The Sound Visualizer, which captures different audio cues like the pop of a bottle opening or the sound of the soda being poured over ice; and The Friendship Card, a digital design inspired by the company’s friendship-inspired trading cards released in the 1940s.
“Each NFT was created to celebrate elements that are core to the Coca-Cola brand reinterpreted for a virtual world in new and exciting ways,” said the president of the global Coca-Cola trademark, Selman Careaga. “We are excited to share our first NFTs with the metaverse where new friendships are being forced in new ways in new worlds.”
Besides the one-of-a-kind collectibles, the winning bidder will also have access to “additional unique and valuable surprises,” which will be unveiled when the loot box is digitally opened.
The sale, which will take place on popular NFT marketplace OpenSea, will open on July 30 and close on August 2. All bids must be placed with ETH.
All Coca-Cola proceeds from the auction will be donated to Special Olympics International, a global sports organization that provides children and adults with intellectual and physical disabilities, with year-round training and activities.
PiggyVest Acquires Savi.ng To Expand Operations
The Nigeria-based wealth management app giant, PiggyVest announced that it has acquired a smaller competitor Savi.ng.
Until the acquisition, Savi.ng was a wealth management app launched in 2018 that allowed users to save via various features like automated savings, fixed deposits, joint savings and PAYE.
According to the company, discussions to buy Savi.ng which started earlier this year has now been completed. However, the cost of acquisition was not disclosed.
Under the deal, all existing Savi.ng users will be automatically migrated to Piggyvest. Savi.ng was founded in 2018 by VFD Microfinance and currently has ten thousand plus downloads on Google Playstore. PiggyVest’s android app on the other hand has got one million-plus downloads.
Speaking on the acquisition, PiggyVest says it is in line with its vision of providing financial freedom for all. “It’s more of a team acquisition,” PiggyVest co-founder, Joshua Chibueze, explained to TechCabal over a call.
The team behind Savi are reputed to have solid expertise in finance and are savvy with financial tools. This talent quality prompted PiggyVest’s move to acquire the wealth management startup.
“Fintech is two things. Fin and tech. We believe we are as good at tech and customer acquisition so we need as many financial players as possible to consolidate what we are trying to do,” Chibueze adds.
The acquisition consolidates PiggyVest’s growth and capacity to dominate Nigeria’s hotly competitive savings and investment space. Last year, it paid back NGN90 billion ($220 million) to users which currently numbers up to 3 million.
The move also signals a positive trend for Africa’s local startup ecosystem – that it is possible to build for the sole purpose of selling to a larger player in the same sector.
Earlier this year, Piggyvest partnered uduX to help Nigerians invest in their favorite musicians. This shows how broadly the company is looking to expand its investment opportunities.
PiggyVest revealed that there are more acquisition announcements to come in the year.
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