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Arik suspends flights to London, Johannesburg

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Arik air
  • Arik suspends flights to London, Johannesburg

The new management of Arik Air has announced the suspension of its international flight operations to enable the carrier find permanent solutions to the problem of delays and cancellation of flights.

The airline said the decision was aimed at realigning operations and refocusing on satisfying its domestic, West African and other international passengers.

The management said in a statement on Tuesday, “This is to bring to the notice of our travelling public our intention to suspend our international flight operations to enable us find permanent solution (to the problem) facing our passengers as it will enable us to carry out a thorough assessment of the situation.

“It will also present Arik with an excellent opportunity to engage and discuss with creditors, who have become restive since the intervention, and have also understandably exhausted their patience due to non-payment of accumulated debts and non-performance on services and contracts.”

The airline said arrangements were being made to refund all international passengers affected by the decision.

It added, “To our international creditors, Arik is most grateful for your patience and understanding. We reassure them that all pending issues with the airline will be duly addressed as a matter of priority as we plan to engage them in this regard.

“The international route is very critical for the strategic turnaround, growth strategy and stability of the airline. Therefore, we intend to revisit the routes immediately we address all the problems inherited, which are affecting and creating more dissatisfied passenger base. We appeal to all passengers to kindly bear with us as the decision is to ensure that the airline adheres strictly to international aviation best practices.”

Meanwhile, the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria has taken over Odengene Air Shuttle Services Limited, operators of the OAS Helicopters.

AMCON took over on Tuesday, February 14, 2017, following a possessory order granted by Justice Chuka Obiozor of the Federal High Court, Lagos over the assets and property of the company due to an outstanding debt.

Odengene Air Shuttle Services Limited is an indigenous aviation company registered by the Corporate Affairs Commission on February 4, 1992 and licensed by the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority to render flight services.

According to the company’s website, its flight outfit covers rotary and fixed wing, with the rotary wing being operated under OAS Helicopters, while the fixed wing is operated as Odengene Air.

The helicopter wing of the company, OAS Helicopters, commenced commercial flight in February 2006.

The company’s debt profile has not been revealed, but AMCON’s official takeover seal which read, “Possession taken today 14/2/17 by AMCON by court order in suit NO. FHC/4CS/1139/2016,” was pasted on Tuesday.

The development is coming few days after AMCON intervened in Arik Air by taking over its operations.

The Head, Corporate Communications, AMCON, Mr. Jude Nwauzor, who confirmed the takeover of OAS Helicopters to our correspondent in an email, said assets and immovable properties of the company had been taken over by the corporation’s solicitors.

“AMCON has increased the tempo of its recovery activities using firmer negotiation strategies as well as utilising the special enforcement powers vested by the AMCON Act to compel some of its recalcitrant debtors and business heavyweights to repay their debts,” he added.

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.

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Dangote Commits $700M To Sugar Production In Support of Backward Integration Policy

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The management of Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc has said it is committing over $700m to its sugar projects to support the Backward Integration Policy of the Federal Government to make Nigeria self-sufficient in sugar production.

According to a statement issued on Sunday by Dangote Industries Limited, the company disclosed this to visiting members of the Nasarawa House of Assembly on Friday.

The company noted that Nigeria was one of sub-Saharan Africa’s largest importers of sugar, second only to South Africa with an annual import of over $337m.

The Dangote Sugar management however assured the lawmakers that with the completion of its sugar projects in Nasarawa and Adamawa under the BIP, the nation would be saved more than half of the forex expended on sugar imports annually.

It added that the investment would also lift its people as other people-oriented infrastructures would come with the sugar projects.

The state lawmakers commended the Dangote Group for the choice of the state for the project and the accelerated pace with which the project was being executed, despite occasional delays arising from communal disagreements.

General Manager for the BIP, Dangote Sugar, John Beverley said when the factory was fully operational, it would have the capacity to crush 12,000 tons of cane per day, while 90MW power would be generated for both the company’s use and host communities.

He also disclosed that some 500km roads in all would be constructed to ease transportation within the vicinity. He solicited the support of the lawmakers in controlling the menace of land encroachment by settlers and itinerant farmers.

The Speaker of the Nasarawa State House of Assembly, Ibrahim Abdullah, and his team members, who were conducted around the company’s 78,000 hectares BIP in Tunga Awe Local Government Area commended the company for the project.

Abdullah noted that it would not only open up opportunities in the state but in Africa as a whole, and said the lawmakers were ready to partner and support the company towards the realisation of the sugar project through the relevant legislation.

When phase II of the project is completed, according to the company, it will make it the largest sugar refining plant in Africa.

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French Trade Advisors pledge Massive Investment In Lagos Free Zone

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The Conseillers du Commerce Exterieur (French Foreign Trade Advisors) has expressed readiness to invest massively in the Lagos Free Zone (LFZ) being developed by the Tolaram Group as they endorsed the zone as the ideal industrial destination for French businesses in Nigeria.

This was made known on Thursday, April 15, 2021, during a visit to the Lagos Free Zone. The delegation led by the Ambassador of France to Nigeria, His Excellency Jerome Pasquier accompanied by his Economic Advisor, the Consulate General of France in Lagos and the Conseillers du Commerce Exterieur comprising of CEOs of several French businesses in Nigeria.

Speaking during the visit, the Ambassador of France in Nigeria, His Excellency Jerome Pasquier explained that the aim of the visit of the Conseillers du Commerce Exterieur to Lagos Free Zone (LFZ) was to discover the opportunities in the Lagos Free Zone and the Lekki Port project, which is expected to have a huge positive impact on businesses in Nigeria.

Pasquier commended Tolaram Group, the promoter of the zone, for the foresight of integration of Lekki Port into the master plan of the Lagos Free Zone (LFZ), which would serve as the gateway for import and export from the zone thereby giving businesses in the zone a competitive edge.

The Ambassador also commended the Lagos Free Zone (LFZ) for its Master Plan for the zone which includes world-class infrastructure that is in line with its vision to be the preferred industrial hub and investment destination in West Africa.

“I am impressed by the huge size of the Lagos Free Zone project. We are very happy that the French companies will be deeply involved in this Lagos Free Zone project. It is really impressive to see how ambitious this project is. The French Minister was in Nigeria yesterday and I explained to him that Nigeria is a country where we can have big projects. For us, this project means big opportunities and that explains why we need to be here. We are happy to be here and work with Tolaram Group”, he added.

It is noteworthy to mention that the first French company to be established in the Lagos Free Zone is the terminal operations arm of CMA – CGM which has established a subsidiary within the Lagos Free Zone and is the appointed operator for the container terminal operations scheduled to commence at Lekki Port next year.

In his remarks, the Chief Executive Officer, Lagos Free Zone (LFZ), Mr. Dinesh Rathi assured the Ambassador of France and the Conseillers du Commerce Exterieur that the zone remains the best destination for investment in Nigeria and the West African sub-region given the seamless integration with Lekki Port and the world-class infrastructure provided by Lagos Free Zone.

Explaining the configuration of the zone, Rathi disclosed that the clustering is planned in line with the international best practices of Work, Live, and Play. He stated that the land-use plan of the Lagos Free Zone allocates 70 percent area towards industrial developments, 20 percent towards logistics and support services while the real estate will cover the remaining 10 percent.

He also stated that Lagos Free Zone (LFZ) has simplified the process of business entry and operation in the zone in line with the Federal Government of Nigeria’s Ease of Doing Business policy.

“We have made it very easy for the business to berth and take off at zone by making our process less cumbersome and friendly, we are open for business 24/7 and willing to help investors to settle in very fast,” he said.

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AIICO Refutes Claims of Non-Remittance of Pension Assets to PTAD

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AIICO Insurance Plc has refuted claims of non-remittance of pension assets to the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD).

This was disclosed recently in a statement by Segun Olalandu, the Head, Strategic Marketing and Communications Department.

It stated: “The attention of the Management of AIICO Insurance Plc. has been drawn to a recent report in the media on allegations of non-remittance of pension assets to the Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD).

“AIICO Insurance Plc. hereby wishes to inform the public that all pension assets due for remittance have been duly transferred to PTAD since the year 2017, in full compliance with the directive. Both parties are presently engaged in a reconciliation exercise to conclude the process. We implore the public to disregard any information that may suggest otherwise as there is no basis to that effect.”

Mr. Segun assured that AIICO Insurance Plc. remains a responsible corporate citizen of Nigeria and will continue to engage the best practice in all its business activities and operations in line with extant laws and regulatory provisions guiding its practice.

AIICO Insurance is a leading composite insurer in Nigeria with a record of serving our customers that dates back over 50 years. Founded in 1963, AIICO provides life and health insurance, general insurance, and investment management services as a means to create and protect wealth for individuals, families, and corporate customers.

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