- AMCON Denies Plan to Nationalise Arik Air
Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) has denied plans to nationalise Arik Air after its takeover by the Federal Government.
The denial is contrary to claims making the rounds that the distressed airline and Aero Contractors are set to be merged, to become Nigeria’s new national carrier after the defunct Nigeria Airways.
AMCON reiterated that Arik was captured from its erstwhile management to save the airline from imminent collapse and not for any ulterior motive as currently peddled.
Recall that AMCON, a Federal Government-owned firm, last week took over management control of Arik. The largest carrier in West and Central Africa was alleged of bad corporate governance, erratic operational challenges, inability to pay staff salaries and heavy debt burden among others.
While stakeholders have expressed mixed feelings about the development, the Association of Concerned Aviation Professionals (ACAP) raised an alarm over the intervention, accusing AMCON of pursuing a selfish agenda to foster the Federal Government’s desire to establish a national carrier through subterfuge.
Secretary of ACAP, Justin Nwokolo, said his group strongly believed that the course of action was motivated by “the pursuit of a cabal’s selfish interest masquerading as public good with the deployment of a ruthless propaganda machine to give it a gloss.”
Nwokolo added: “How laughable that the same AMCON hired the erstwhile Deputy Managing Director of the same management it accused of ‘poor corporate governance’ as new CEO of Aero Contractors on the very day it forcibly took over the company. Who is fooling who?
“The agenda is to bring together Arik Air and Aero to form what they call a new national carrier and bring in Ethiopian Airways as technical partner. What a shame! We bring a smaller country like Ethiopia to run a national carrier for Nigeria, the supposed Giant of Africa? If government could run an airline, Nigeria Airways would not have gone under,” he said.
But in reaction, Head of Corporate Communications, Jude Nwauzor, said the claims were figments of some people’s imagination, as the aim of AMCON’s intervention was to save the airline from collapse and normalise it operations.
Nwauzor added that the new management had started with receiving briefs from different departments, coupled with KPMG auditing the airline.
He said: “We have hired KPMG to look into the financials of Arik with a tooth comb and advise us with verifiable facts on what went wrong with the airline. We need to do that because the outcome will help us plug the loopholes and stabilise the airline. That is what we are doing now and focused on. We have no agenda to nationalise the airline.”
Deputy Director, Press and Public Affairs, Aviation Ministry, James Odaudu, also explained that the government only intervened in Arik in order to save the carrier from collapse.
He added that the Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, had never given inkling to suggest that Arik will be converted to a national carrier.
Odaudu said: “I have heard such claims too and they are just speculations. The Federal Government is not planning to convert Arik Air to a national carrier. I don’t have that information. Like the minister has always stated, the Federal Government will establish a private sector driven national carrier.
“As far as I know, I don’t think the government will want to start a national carrier with an airline that is full of encumbrances like Arik Air. Why did AMCON take over Arik Air? It is because of the problems faced by the airline.
“We’ve heard even senior officials of the airline saying that the Federal Government wants to take over Arik because it wants to establish a national carrier, but to the best of my knowledge that’s not true. The truth is that as far as government is concerned, the more healthy airlines we have in the country, the better for us as a nation,” he said.
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.”
Chevron To Invest In The Offshore Wind Sector
Chevron’s venture capital arm and Moreld Ocean Wind have agreed to invest in Ocergy Inc.’s development and commercialization of floating offshore wind turbines.
The investment by Chevron Technology Ventures is it’s first in offshore wind. The size of the investments wasn’t disclosed. Floating turbines would be useful in ocean areas that are too deep for fixed turbines.
A senior analyst at Wood Mackenzie Ltd, Anthony Logan said: “To my knowledge, this is the first investment by a U.S. oil major in offshore wind”
Logan said, floating wind turbines will become important as the U.S. electrical grid increasingly depends on offshore wind power.
“If you can get into those deeper waters, chances are you can build a system of offshore wind production that isn’t vulnerable to low wind or no-wind events.”
The investment will also fund the development of an environmental monitoring buoy that will gather data and support biodiversity, Ocergy said in a news release Tuesday. The company has previously invested in onshore wind. Moreld is owned by HitecVision, a private equity investor that specializes in European renewable energy.
Chevron’s deal with Ocergy doesn’t mark a strategic pivot to renewable energy, but part of a $300 million-a-year plan to invest in early-stage technologies that may play a future role in the energy transition. The company is unwilling to erode returns by investing aggressively in an unfamiliar business where it doesn’t have a competitive advantage and sees oil and gas as its core products for years to come.
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