- Airlines Begin Sale of Ticket for Abuja Flights
Ahead of the April 19 date for re-opening of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, domestic and international airlines have started selling tickets to Abuja as a destination, preparatory to commencement of flight to the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The Minister of State, Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika had expressed optimism that the ongoing work on the airport’s runway would be completed as scheduled. Specifically, the minister offered to resign if the airport was not re-opened on April 19.
Repair work on the Abuja airport runway project, according to the minister was already 60 percent completed and the contractors had given firm assurance that the April 19th deadline would be met.
This was said to have given the airlines the confidence that flight operations would resume at the airport as scheduled.
Since last week, there has been increasing demand from travellers for Abuja as a destination. In fact, bookings for the Federal Capital Territory, obtained by showed high demand for Abuja flights.
Spokesman of Dana Air, Kingsley Ezenwa said on Wednesday that the airline started selling ticket to Abujaafter the minister’s declaration that the airport would reopened as scheduled.
“We have started selling tickets for Abuja. We started receiving booking demands for Abuja and we have started selling; starting from April 20, a day after the reopening date. We are hoping that government would fulfil their promise and reopen the airport on 19th,” he said.
Checks revealed that some international airlines have also started selling tickets and have notified their Abuja staff currently on leave on their resumption date.
The president of foreign airlines association in Nigeria, Kingsley Nwokoma confirmed that foreign airlines have opened booking for tickets and cargo flights to Abuja have already been booked by some carriers.
“After the Minister of State, Aviation, Senator Sirika staked his job and seconded by the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, some foreign airlines have started selling tickets to Abuja. Everyone believes that the ministers will keep to their words. Even cargo booking has started for Abuja airport. That one is easier because it is not as sensitive as passenger service. Let us see how it plays.
“In a civilised country, if they give you a date people will work with that date. But since the minister has put his job on the line, we are confident that flights will start in Abuja after next week,” Nwokoma said.
Meanwhile, some of the international airlines, especially the legacy airlines, have stopped selling business class tickets in naira but sell to passenger who are willing to makethe paymentin dollars.
President of a major travel solution company, who confirmed this development on Wednesday, said: “I just learnt this afternoon that the airline (name withheld) does not sell business class tickets in naira. If you want to pay in naira they will tell you there are no seats but if you wish to pay in dollars seats will be avaliable. They don’t want to face the rigour of collecting naira and struggling with how to change it. They need this money for their operations and they have huge revenue in naira they are yet to repatriate.”
Foreign airlines, especially European and US carriers had cancelled their operations to Abuja airport due to security concerns, despite that the federal government allayed their fears over security issues.
Although recently, domestic airlines said there has been passenger surge from the Kaduna airport, which is alternative to Abuja airport, as load factor has been boosted.
However, a top travel agent said some foreign airlines have not opened their inventory to resume flights from Abuja airport.
Dangote Cement Emerges Best Performing Firm In Africa
The Kogi State Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (KOCCIMA) has named the Dangote Cement Plc, Obajana Plant, as the best performing company in Africa.
The award was presented to the company in Lokoja at the weekend by the Deputy Governor of Kogi State, Chief Edward Onoja, who represented the State Governor, Alhaji Yahyah Adoza Bello, at the Annual General Meeting(AGM) of KOCCIMA.
Speaking at the occasion, the President of KOCCIMA, Mr. Victor Ibrahim, said the Dangote Cement emerged through a thorough screening process that involved 20 companies.
He said: “Our screening committee considered many criteria before Dangote Cement Plc was selected”.
According to him, the Chamber put into consideration Dangote Cement’s contributions to the state’s economy through Internally Generated Revenue(IGR), as well as its good relationship with KOCCIMA.
Mr. Ibrahim said another criterion that placed the Dangote Cement in good stead is that the company has been environmentally friendly.
“We’ve visited DCP Obajana Plant and we found it complying with global best practices when it comes to the environment. Your parking lot does not constitute any environmental danger. We also considered returns to investors, the welfare of staff, the 43km Obajana-Kabba concrete road, your good relationship with the host community and your positive image”.
He announced that the Chamber of Commerce was planning to host its Trade Fair by year-end and looking forward to collaborating with the Dangote Cement Plc.
The Deputy Governor Mr. Edward Onoja expressed the appreciation of the Kogi State Government, saying the contributions of KOCCIMA and the private sector were crucial to the development of the state.
Speaking to newsmen on the sideline of the event, representative of the Dangote Cement Plc Mr. Ademola Adeyemi said the company was elated and that the award will further spur it to continue its support to the state’s economy, KOCCIMA and Corporate Social Responsibility schemes.
MTN Appoints Chika Ekeji as Executive Lead for Strategy and Transformation
MTN Appoints Chika Ekeji, A Nigerian-American as Executive Lead for Strategy and Transformation
MTN Group has announced the appointment of Chika Ekeji, a Nigerian-American national as an executive to lead the strategy and transformation unit of the mobile network operator.
Chika has a Master of Engineering in Computer Science from Cornell University and an MBA from MIT.
He will be leaving from McKinsey & Company, where he led the West Africa Digital Practice and served telco, financial services, and public sector clients across Africa.
His appointment with Africa’s leading mobile operator will be effective on, 15th of March. In his new role, he will be based in SA.
“We are very pleased that Chika is joining us as we work to accelerate our strategic repositioning,” says MTN Group chief operating officer Jens Schulte-Bockum.
To support the execution of the repositioned strategy, Ekeji joins a group of other recent appointees, including the new group chief financial officer, Tsholofelo Molefe.
In recent weeks, MTN also made changes to the group’s regional structure and the executive committee.
Union Bank Unveils Multi-Asset Trading Platform M36
Union Bank Unveils Digital Investing Platform, M36
A new digital platform designed to deliver a wide range of investment products directly to individuals and other investors, M36, has launched in Nigeria.
Through an innovative, user-friendly app, M36 offers investment options not typically available on self-service digital platforms including foreign currency transactions, commercial papers, local and foreign-denominated bonds, treasury bills and other fixed-income products.
M36 also offers bespoke solutions for both new and experienced investors as well as a 24-hour lifestyle concierge service to meet the needs of discerning customers.
In a rapidly evolving environment with changing consumer behaviour fueled by technology and growing access to information, M36 is looking to expand opportunities for investors at all levels, while also simplifying the process of investing.
M36 was developed by Union Bank as part of its strategic focus on delivering superior customer solutions leveraging technology and innovation. The bank partnered with several asset management companies to deliver a broad range of investment products on the M36 platform.
Speaking about this, Mr. Chuka Emerole, Head, Treasury at Union Bank said, “M36 eliminates the traditional barriers to investing and offers investors direct access to financial instruments that would usually require the service of an investment or relationship manager.
“We’ve designed M36 to ensure simplicity in the onboarding and investing process while also empowering the customer to make sound investment choices based on their financial objectives.
“We worked with key partners to deliver both the experience and products on M36 and are confident that we have launched a superior product in today’s marketplace”.
With the 24-hour concierge service, M36 users can access round-the-clock support from investment advisors as they actively manage their portfolios.
The bank said the M36 was a timely financial product meant to keep abreast with the rapidly evolving environment and changing consumer behavior that is fueled by technology and growing access to information.
The M36 is also part of the UBN’s strategic focus on delivering superior customer solutions by leveraging technology and innovation. The bank partnered with several asset management companies to deliver a broad range of investment products on the M36 platform.
M36 also offers loans, personal travel allowance, will and trust services and many more essential products under its Life Essentials menu.
M36 is available for download on the App Store and the Google Play Store.
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