- Arik Air Passengers Stranded at Abuja Airport
Hundreds of Arik Air passengers were left stranded at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja on Wednesday.
It was learnt that the airline had operational hitches, which resulted in flight delays on different routes out of Abuja that lasted for several hours, as about four of its aircraft were on ground at the NAIA tarmac.
It was further gathered that angry passengers on the Abuja-Owerri and Abuja-Benin routes were fed with biscuits and soft drinks by the carrier in a bid to calm tempers.
“This is past 4pm and people have been here since morning, waiting to board, but no way. The annoying thing is that some of the airline’s members of staff find it hard to explain why our flights are being delayed this much. This is horrible,” said an intending traveller on one of the delayed Arik flights, who simply identified himself as Austin.
Another passenger stated that two persons were arrested after they had misunderstandings with officials of Arik, but the airline was quick to refute this claim, arguing that no one was arrested at its terminal in Abuja on Wednesday.
A source at the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria told our correspondent that hundreds of passengers of Arik Air were stranded at the airport as their flights were delayed for several hours.
He stated that the airline’s first flight from Lagos landed at the Abuja airport around 4pm, whereas several flights of other domestic carriers were shuttling in and out of the NAIA without hitches.
The official stated that Arik Air was denied aviation fuel, otherwise known as JetA1, by marketers because the airline was allegedly not paying for the commodity.
“This is some minutes after 4pm and the first Arik Air flight from Lagos just landed here some minutes ago,” the FAAN official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said.
When asked what led to such operational lapses, the official replied, “About four of their aircraft are on ground and this is because marketers are not giving them fuel. The fuel marketers complain that the airline doesn’t pay for fuel. But the airline has been providing soft drinks and biscuits for its passengers since morning as they wait for their flights.
“Some of the passengers include those from Abuja to Owerri and from here to Benin. There has not been any flight for them and one of Arik’s flights to Lagos is boarding right now. This is after it has kept the passengers on ground at the airport since morning.”
When contacted, Arik Air’s spokesperson, Mr. Banji Ola, said there was no protest at the airline’s counter at the Abuja airport on Wednesday, adding that no one was arrested either.
He said, “It is not true. I have just called Abuja and was told that there was no protest at our counter; no flight was cancelled and nobody was arrested. I’m not aware of any cancellation and it is not true that anyone was arrested and there was no protest.”
He, however, did not refute complaints of flight delays by the airline at the Abuja airport on Wednesday.
Standard Bank Appoints Sanni Chief Executive for Africa
The Standard Bank Group, Africa’s largest bank by assets has appointed Yinka Sanni as its new Chief Executive for Africa Regions and a member of the Group Leadership Council.
Sanni, the group’s Regional Chief Executive for West Africa, takes over from Sola David-Borha, who is retiring after 31 years of service to the banking group.
This was disclosed in a statement.
Sanni holds a B. Agric. (Hons) degree in Agricultural Economics from the University of Nigeria and an MBA from Obafemi Awolowo University. He attended the Advanced Management Programme at Harvard Business School in 2009, and the Global CEO Programme at the Wharton School in 2017. He has over 30 years of experience in the financial sector across wholesale, retail and asset management, and joined Standard Bank Group’s Nigerian subsidiary, Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc, in December 1990.
In a note to employees, Standard Bank Group CEO, Sim Tshabalala, congratulated Sanni on his appointment and thanked David-Borha for her extraordinary contributions to the group.
“Sola was appointed as the Chief Executive of Africa Regions in January 2017 and is one of the group’s most deeply expert and experienced bankers,” Tshabalala said.
“Under her leadership, the Africa Regions portfolio has grown remarkably in capacity, market share and contribution to the group’s headline earnings.”
David-Borha has been a passionate advocate of culture change and executive leadership development, having sponsored the ‘Last Mile’ programme, which has resulted in the successful promotion of talented people into both Regional Chief Executive and Country Chief Executive positions, including the appointment of two female Chief Executives in the Africa Regions business.
“It has been a great honour and privilege to serve and contribute to the growth of the Standard Bank Group,” David-Borha said.
“I am delighted to be handing over to Yinka Sanni, an exceptional, authentic and experienced leader who will take the baton forward in driving Africa’s growth.”
David-Borha will remain with the group until the end of June to ensure a successful leadership transition and handover process. Sanni’s appointment is effective from today, 15 April.
Experts to Provide Insights on Tech & Digital Transformation at MSME Dialogue 3.0
The third edition of MSME Dialogue will take place on Saturday, April 24, 2021 at 10am (WAT). Experts at the virtual event will provide insights while discussing the theme: Powering MSMEs with Technology and Digital Transformation.
The event, which is organized by MSME Africa, is expected to have owners and managers of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Entrepreneurs and Business owners from different sector in attendance.
MSME Dialogue which holds every quarter, seeks to address, burning and relevant issues about entrepreneurship and running a small business as well as proffering solutions to those issues.
The event aims to provide the right knowledge and know-how for MSMEs, Entrepreneurs, and Startups to enable them to grow and thrive and features subject matter experts, seasoned entrepreneurs, professionals, and players within the MSME Ecosystem.
The speakers expected at the event are: Akeem Lawal, Divisional CEO, Interswitch Group, Rex Mafiana: CEO, FPG Technologies, Fatma Nasujo, Global Head of Operational Excellence at Sokowatch, Kenya, David Lanre Messan, CEO, FirstFounders, Bisoye Coker, CEO/Co-founder, Kiakia FX. The session will be moderated by Solape Akinpelu: CEO/Founder, HerVest.
According to the convener of the event who is also the founder of MSME Africa, Seye Olurotimi “Every business owner who is serious with their business would agree with me that technology and digital transformation are important factors for business growth and success. We all can’t all run or won Tech startups but we can always drive our businesses and operations with Technology and Digital Tools”
“Tech-driven Businesses are making waves and turning in almost unbelievable results against all odds. Businesses who have embraced technology, automation and digital transformation are enjoying unquantifiable advantages. It is because of this that I am calling on business owners and managers to join us at the 3rd Edition of MSME Dialogue, on Saturday April 24, 2021 at 10am ( WAT), as we bring in experts to provide insights on this theme” Olurotimi added.
MSME Africa is a multi-faceted resource platform for Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSME) in Africa providing capacity development, news, opportunities, business articles and other resources for MSMEs, entrepreneurs, and startups.
Olurotimi said the platform was poised to build the biggest network and community of MSMEs in Africa in the nearest future.
Ericsson Launches Automation Hub in Nigeria
Ericsson announces plans to create an Automation Hub in Nigeria to support operators for improved consumer experience.
Ericsson Automation Hub is an open innovation platform, inspired by lean startup methodology in which the Ericsson team works in close dialog with customers, users and partners to showcase and reach the high potential that network automation allows in configuration, provisioning, assurance and orchestration of network services.
This will enable service providers to gain the ability in their environments to govern, manage and orchestrate hybrid networks holistically and in real time and as a result, offer an enhanced consumer experience.
Fields to be covered include but not limited to 5G and Internet of Things (IoT) use cases, Network Slicing and Orchestration, Hologram Calls, Complex Standalone, Business Support System (BSS) and Operations Support System (OSS), Cloud and Core product cases, Automated Acceptance Tests demonstration and enhancements as well as complex charging scenarios for 5G and 4G networks.
Lucky La Riccia, Vice President and Head of Digital Services at Ericsson Middle East and Africa at Ericsson says: “As Industry 4.0 accelerates in Africa, automation in operations is proven to boost customer experiences. Ericsson continues to support the telecom industry players in setting #AfricaInMotion, and with the Ericsson Automation Hub in Nigeria, we will focus on driving business outcomes for our partners in Africa as they aim to leverage digital transformation to turn complexities into opportunities while offering a greater experience and value to consumers.”
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