- 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.
Uber to Halt Services in Parts of Belgium
Uber will stop its ride-hailing service in most parts of Belgium tomorrow after a court ruling on Wednesday which extends an order given in 2015, banning its p2p (Peer to Peer) UberPop service to also cover professional drivers who provide its ride-hailing service.
Uber told TechCrunch that it is currently closely examining the details of the ruling, in order to arrive at a decision on whether or not to appeal the decision with the country’s Supreme Court.
This also follows a temporary decision to discontinue Uber’s service in Brussels, a decision which was referred to as “exceptional and unprecedented” by the tech giant. The company said that it was merely taking a step to complain about the lack of reform rules which forbid drivers from using smartphones.
After the ruling by the Brussels appeal court, private hire vehicle drivers have been obstructing a major tunnel in the capital of Belgium.
In a statement made concerning Friday’s impending shutdown, the chief of Uber in the country, Laurent Slitsagain criticized the government for not providing a reform which it has been soliciting for, stating that the decision was made depending on regulations which are now outdated as they were written before smartphones.
The company stated that the government has promised a reform but has failed to deliver said reforms for the last seven years.
According to Bloomberg, the shutdown will not be applicable to a small number of drivers who are licensed in the Flemish region of Belgium, and are therefore still permitted to use the application. Uber confirmed that the Appeal Court ruling only applies to drivers with Brussels licenses.
In another statement, Slits stated that the tech giant is hugely concerned about the 2,000 possessors of LVC licenses (rental car with driver licenses) who according to the country chief will lose their ability to generate earnings.
Honeywell Flour Mills Refutes Ecobank Winding Up Proceeding Claims, Assures Investors of Total Transparency
Following media reports that Honeywell Flour Mills Plc (HFMP) is a subject of an ongoing winding up proceedings instituted by Ecobank Nigeria Limited in a suit no: FHC/L/CP/1571/2015, Honeywell Flour Mill Plc has now refuted the publication, insisting there is no winding-up petition against the embattled company.
The company disclosed in a statement signed by Yewande Giwa, Company Secretary and obtained by Investors King.
It said “It is pertinent to set the record straight that there is no Winding-up Petition currently pending or live against HFMP in any Court in Nigeria. There is also no pending Court Order restraining trading in the shares of HFMP or inhibiting HFMP or its owners from dealing in its assets. HFMP assures its investors, regulators and stakeholders that in all of its engagements with FMN, it received independent legal advice and asserts that the transaction is not in breach of any subsisting Order of Court. The issue as to whether HFMP is indebted to Ecobank is still before the Courts and the final decision remains the exclusive preserve of the Courts. It is also important to state that the Court of Appeal judgement being referred to in the reports did not declare HFMP to be indebted to Ecobank.”
This was in response to a publication titled “Ecobank Warns against Acquisition of Honeywell Flour Mills, Alleges Company Facing Winding Up Proceedings” that claimed Ecobank Nigeria Limited had issued a 7-day ultimatum to Flour Mills to desist from completing the acquisition of 71.69 percent stake in Honeywell Flour Mills Plc on the ground that the company was hugely indebted to Ecobank.
However, Honeywell claimed “The assertions lack merit, were written in bad faith and are a deliberate attempt to undermine a transaction that will result in substantial benefit to the Nigerian economy and entrench the collaboration of two publicly quoted companies. As a responsible corporate citizen, we have entered the transaction with FMN having taken all legal issues into consideration.
“All stakeholders are hereby assured that management of Honeywell Flour Mills Plc will continue to act in the best interests of all concerned and work diligently to preserve value for all its shareholders.
“We expect that from the proposed combination, stakeholders will benefit from the more than 85-year combined track record of FMN and HFMP and their shared goal of making affordable and nutritious food available to Nigeria’s population. The country and its food security agenda will benefit from both companies’ focus on developing Nigeria’s industrial capability, its agricultural value chain and specifically backward integration of the food industry.”
This whole drama started immediately Honeywell Flour Mills and Flour Mills of Nigeria, in a joint statement, announced FMN has agreed to acquire a 71.69 percent stake valued at N80 billion in Honeywell Flour Mills Plc. A deal that will automatically make Honeywell Flour Mills Plc Flour Mills of Nigeria’s asset.
Flour Mills of Nigeria Acquires First Bank of Nigeria Limited’s 5.06 Percent Stake in Honeywell Flour Mills
Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc, Nigeria’s leading flour mill company, has acquired First Bank of Nigeria Limited’s 5.06 percent stake in Honeywell Flour Mills Plc.
The company disclosed in a statement signed by Umolu, Joseph A.O., Company Secretary/Director, Legal Services.
The acquisition was in addition to the 71.6 percent stake of Honeywell Flour Mills Plc (HFMP) FMN acquired on the same day. Therefore, Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc will now hold 76.75 percent equity interest in HFMP.
According to the company, the move will help build a resilient flour mills company that will ensure job continuity, deepen productivity and support national growth.
Commenting on the transaction, Omoboyede Olusanya, Group Managing Director of FMN, said “The proposed transaction is part of our global growth strategy, which is aligned with our vision to not only be an industry leader, but also a national champion for Nigeria in the Food and Agro-allied industries.”
“Given FMN’s parallel negotiations for both stakes culminating in the agreements being signed on the same date, the basis for arriving at key commercial terms including final equity price per share, will be the same. The price payable to FirstBank will be the same with Honeywell Group Limited.”F
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