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Airlines Cancel 4,300 Flights to Kaduna Airport

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Kaduna International Airport
  • Airlines Cancel 4,300 Flights to Kaduna Airport

About 4, 300 out of the 8,694 flights to and from the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja in the next six weeks may have been cancelled following the diversion of flights to the Kaduna International Airport.

While seven out of the eight international airlines plying the Abuja airport have suspended flights to the Kaduna airport, investigation revealed that most local airlines have reduced their flights by 50 per cent.

The Federal Government had on Wednesday closed the NAIA, the country’s second busiest airport, for six weeks to repair its runway and diverted the airport’s operations to the Kaduna airport, which is about two hours drive from Abuja.

With the development, about 50 per cent of the number of flights operated from NAIA on the average have been affected as airlines have been forced to opt for skeletal operations.

It was learnt that about 14,300 passengers used the Abuja airport daily, while an average of about 207 flights landed or left the facility every day.

And for the six-week period that the Abuja airport will be shut for repairs, operators in the aviation sector said about 605,000 passengers would have been airlifted, but noted that this number would definitely be reduced by 50 per cent as many airlines are going to cut down the number of flights to Kaduna.

This, according to them, is because the traffic at the Kaduna airport cannot be compared to what obtained at the Abuja airport, adding that passengers were not showing enough willingness to use the Kaduna airport yet.

For instance, Chairman, Movement Committee from Abuja to Kaduna, who doubles as the Chairman, Skypower Express, Capt. Mohammed Joji, said, “According to our statistics, we are supposed to have about 14,520 passengers, about 207 flights with eight foreign airlines and eight domestic airlines. These are the numbers that went to Abuja.”

But out of the eight international airlines, only Ethiopian Airlines is using the Kaduna airport.

Meanwhile, the 207 aircraft movement (comprising arrivals and departures) that would have been handled daily at the airport would add up to 8,694 flights for the six weeks period (42 days) that NAIA will be closed.

Therefore, the expected 50 per cent reduction in the number of flights that will use the Kaduna airport as an alternative to the NAIA will cut the 8,694 flights down to 4,347. This also means that about half of 605,000 passengers (300,000 passengers) will not be airlifted.

Aside from the refusal by many foreign airlines to use the Kaduna airport as an alternative to the NAIA, it was also learnt that domestic airlines would reduce their frequencies to the alternative airport during the six weeks period.

For instance, Abuja Airport Manager for Azman Air, Mr. Abdullahi Saroke, told our correspondent that local carriers would definitely cut down their flight services to the Kaduna airport.

He said, “Definitely what you are getting out of Abuja cannot be got out of Kaduna. For instance, in Abuja we operate two flights from the NAIA to Lagos. For airlines that have the highest frequency like Dana, Medview, and Air Peace, who carry out about six to seven flights daily, I don’t foresee such kind of flight services happening in Kaduna.

“They have to cut down those schedules except they want to be flying empty aircraft up and down. I think for a start, the cut down is going to be by about 50 per cent for airlines to see how the traffic situation will pan out. And I’m sure that that is what is going to happen for now.

“One thing you should know is that the highest traffic days out of or into Abuja have always been Thursdays/Fridays and Sundays/Mondays. These are days when all airlines operate all their schedules out of Abuja to Lagos or from Lagos to Abuja because you have high movement of passengers moving during these days. However, by next week we should be able to considerably understand what the actual situation will look like.”

On whether Azman Air would increase its flights to Kaduna during the six-week period of closure of the Abuja airport, Saroke said, “We are going to be having two flights out of Kaduna to Lagos for now, with the hope that traffic will increase so that we can equally increase the frequency. But for now, we are still going to maintain our early morning flight, then introduce the afternoon or the evening flight. The traffic at Kaduna wasn’t encouraging today (Thursday), but we hope that maybe by next week or so things will improve and airlines will have more reasons to go there.”

Another domestic airline official with Aero Contractors confirmed to our correspondent that local carriers would reduce their operations to Kaduna and that flights would reduce considerably.

“You shouldn’t expect the full services we got at the Abuja airport to be replicated in Kaduna during the six weeks because it won’t be possible. The reduction will be up to 50 per cent because a lot of people are still skeptical about this whole exercise,” the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said.

However, the Federal Government has expressed confidence that more foreign airlines would eventually use KIA in order to reduce their losses.

The Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, said, “They will come. For sure, whoever is not in Kaduna at the moment, I’m sure you cannot count his losses. So, I believe that British Airways, Lufthansa Air France etc. are probably regretting now, and I pray that they will respond and start landing in Kaduna.”

Is the CEO/Founder of Investors King Limited. A proven foreign exchange research analyst and a published author on Yahoo Finance, Businessinsider, Nasdaq, Entrepreneur.com, Investorplace, and many more. He has over two decades of experience in global financial markets.

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Economy

Federal Government Set to Seal $3.8bn Brass Methanol Project Deal in May 2024

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Gas-Pipeline

The Federal Government of Nigeria is on the brink of achieving a significant milestone as it prepares to finalize the Gas Supply and Purchase Agreement (GSPA) for the $3.8 billion Brass Methanol Project.

The agreement to be signed in May 2024 marks a pivotal step in the country’s journey toward industrialization and self-sufficiency in methanol production.

The Brass Methanol Project, located in Bayelsa State, is a flagship industrial endeavor aimed at harnessing Nigeria’s abundant natural gas resources to produce methanol, a vital chemical used in various industrial processes.

With Nigeria currently reliant on imported methanol, this project holds immense promise for reducing dependency on foreign supplies and stimulating economic growth.

Upon completion, the Brass Methanol Project is expected to have a daily production capacity of 10,000 tonnes of methanol, positioning Nigeria as a major player in the global methanol market.

Furthermore, the project is projected to create up to 15,000 jobs during its construction phase, providing a significant boost to employment opportunities in the country.

The successful execution of the GSPA is essential to ensuring uninterrupted gas supply to the Brass Methanol Project.

Key stakeholders, including the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited and the Nigerian Content Development & Monitoring Board, are working closely to finalize the agreement and pave the way for the project’s advancement.

Speaking on the significance of the project, Minister of State Petroleum Resources (Gas), Ekperikpe Ekpo, emphasized President Bola Tinubu’s keen interest in expediting the Brass Methanol Project.

Ekpo reaffirmed the government’s commitment to facilitating the project’s success and harnessing its potential to attract foreign direct investment and drive economic development.

The Brass Methanol Project represents a major stride toward achieving Nigeria’s industrialization goals and unlocking the full potential of its natural resources.

As the country prepares to seal the deal in May 2024, anticipation grows for the transformative impact that this landmark project will have on Nigeria’s economy and industrial landscape.

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Economy

IMF Report: Nigeria’s Inflation to Dip to 26.3% in 2024, Growth Expected at 3.3%

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IMF global - Investors King

Nigeria’s economic outlook for 2024 appears cautiously optimistic with projections indicating a potential decrease in the country’s inflation rate alongside moderate economic growth.

The IMF’s revised Global Economic Outlook for 2024 highlights key forecasts for Nigeria’s economic landscape and gave insights into both inflationary trends and GDP expansion.

According to the IMF report, Nigeria’s inflation rate is projected to decline to 26.3% by the end of 2024.

This projection aligns with expectations of a gradual easing of inflationary pressures within the country, although challenges such as fuel subsidy removal and exchange rate fluctuations continue to pose significant hurdles to price stability.

In tandem with the inflation forecast, the IMF also predicts a modest economic growth rate of 3.3% for Nigeria in 2024.

This growth projection reflects a cautious optimism regarding the country’s economic recovery and resilience in the face of various internal and external challenges.

Despite the ongoing efforts to stabilize the foreign exchange market and address macroeconomic imbalances, the IMF underscores the need for continued policy reforms and prudent fiscal management to sustain growth momentum.

The IMF report provides valuable insights into Nigeria’s economic trajectory, offering policymakers, investors, and stakeholders a comprehensive understanding of the country’s macroeconomic dynamics.

While the projected decline in inflation and modest growth outlook offer reasons for cautious optimism, it remains essential for Nigerian authorities to remain vigilant and proactive in addressing underlying structural vulnerabilities and promoting inclusive economic development.

As the country navigates through a challenging economic landscape, concerted efforts towards policy coordination, investment promotion, and structural reforms will be crucial in unlocking Nigeria’s full growth potential and fostering long-term prosperity.

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South Africa’s March Inflation Hits Two-Month Low Amid Economic Uncertainty

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South Africa's economy - Investors King

South Africa’s inflation rate declined to a two-month low, according to data released by Statistics South Africa.

Consumer prices rose by 5.3% year-on-year, down from 5.6% in February. While this decline may initially suggest a positive trend, analysts caution against premature optimism due to various economic factors at play.

The weakening of the South African rand against the dollar, coupled with drought conditions affecting staple crops like white corn and geopolitical tensions in the Middle East leading to rising oil prices, poses significant challenges.

These factors are expected to keep inflation relatively high and stubborn in the coming months, making policymakers hesitant to adjust borrowing costs.

Lesetja Kganyago, Governor of the South African Reserve Bank, reiterated the bank’s cautious stance on inflation pressures.

Despite the recent easing, inflation has consistently remained above the midpoint of the central bank’s target range of 3-6% since May 2021. Consequently, the bank has maintained the benchmark interest rate at 8.25% for nearly a year, aiming to anchor inflation expectations.

While some traders speculate on potential interest rate hikes, forward-rate agreements indicate a low likelihood of such a move at the upcoming monetary policy committee meeting.

The yield on 10-year bonds also saw a marginal decline following the release of the inflation data.

March’s inflation decline was mainly attributed to lower prices in miscellaneous goods and services, education, health, and housing and utilities.

However, core inflation, which excludes volatile food and energy costs, remained relatively steady at 4.9%.

Overall, South Africa’s inflation trajectory underscores the delicate balance between economic recovery and inflation containment amid ongoing global uncertainties.

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