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Abuja airport: FG Builds Lounge for Elderly, Physically-challenged

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Elderly, Physically-challenged
  • FG Builds Lounge for Elderly, Physically-challenged

The Federal Government on Thursday announced that it would open up a lounge for the elderly and physically-challenged persons at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja on the exact day that the NAIA would be reopened for flight services.

It also stated that it was carrying out a complete rehabilitation of the departure terminal at the airport, adding that work on the runway was about 57.5 per cent complete.

These were disclosed at during an inspection of the airport by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed; and the Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika.

The ongoing repair at the Abuja airport has entered its fourth week as the facility was closed on March 8 and flights to the NAIA diverted to the Kaduna International Airport. The Federal Government has promised that it will unfailingly reopen the Abuja airport on April 19.

Speaking to journalists after inspecting the airport, Sirika stated that the NAIA would be reopened with a fully rehabilitated departure terminal and a lounge for the disabled and elderly people.

He said, “Work is going on smoothly on the runway and everything is in order, and we have done about 57.5 per cent of the total work. This shows that we are on course, on time and doing what we are supposed to do to ensure that the runway opens to flight operations come April 19.

“I’m glad to say that this airport will be opened come the 19th of April, and it will not only be opened at the time, but the terminal building will wear a new look, for we are doing a complete rehabilitation of the Terminal D. We will put escalators or lifts at the departure hall of that terminal.”

He added, “Also, we are opening up a lounge for the disabled or physically-challenged and the elderly, and this is a response from our folks and from the feedback we get. This has been part of what we planned earlier on. In Terminal D, we are building and will install a new lift, as well as provide other ancillary services.

“So I guess that the benefits of this airport closure means that we will have improved terminals. Terminals that will be more robust and can take more passengers and create some seamless flow of international and local passengers not mixing, for they will be in different sites of the airport according to global standards.”

Mohammed stated that it was important for the government to update Nigerians on how far it had gone with the work at the Abuja airport.

He said, “We were in Kaduna last week and had a wholesome experience of the efforts put in place to ensure minimal inconvenience and maximum security and safety occasioned by the temporary closure of the Abuja airport.

“We believe it is befitting to inspect this airport again since three weeks out of the six weeks we promised have gone. This is to see the extent of work that has been done and for us to reiterate that the six weeks we promised the world is still valid and we don’t intend to give any excuse.”

On flight statistics at the Kaduna airport since the closure of the NAIA, Sirika stated that about 77,000 international and local passengers were transported through the KIA.

“So far we’ve had about 50 international flights from Kaduna, we moved about 4,000 international passengers and also moved about 73,000 domestic passengers. Also, about 1,119 domestic aircraft movement was recorded during this period,” the minister stated.

He also stated that the plan to use local airlines to fly passengers to London from Kaduna was still in place and that the government would commence flights on that route soon.

“We had a couple of issues with the local carrier we want to partner; the aircraft is available, but we need to sort out the issues. I think we were of the belief that everything would be okay and that was why we projected to start by last Monday. However, as soon as we sort out that issue, we will commence the flight,” Sirika added.

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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