- FG Plans Fresh Upgrade of 22 Airport Terminals
With the failure of the airports remodelling project of the former administration, there are indications that the government intends to replicate the facelift currently ongoing at the Lagos airport terminal in other airports across the country, MAUREEN IHUA-MADUENYI writes
Following the completion of the repairs of the runway at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja and the ongoing facelift of the terminal of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, the Federal Government plans fresh remodelling of all airport terminals in the country.
Our correspondent learnt that after the completion of the Lagos, Port Harcourt and Enugu airport terminals’ facelift, the next in line would be the remodelling of terminals in all the 22 airports across the country.
Areas expected to be fixed are chillers, travellators and escalators, conveyor belts that are out of use, check-in counters and toilets, among others.
It was gathered that engineers had already been mobilised to the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu to commence work on the terminal, while two terminals were being constructed at the Port Harcourt International Airport; one by the immediate past government and another one to cater to the needs of passengers presently being attended to under a tent.
The Federal Government, through the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, recently commenced the refurbishment of the MMIA, Lagos after Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo visited the airport some weeks ago and complained about the state of its facilities.
In the 2017 appropriation bill, the Federal Government sets aside over N31bn for the construction and repair of federal airports across the nation.
The Acting General Manager, Corporate Affairs, FAAN, Mrs. Henrietta Yakubu, said there would be total remodelling of all the airports.
She explained, “The last regime started construction of new terminals in most airports and work is ongoing on most of them, so that aspect of remodelling is going on. In Enugu, Port Harcourt and Jos airports, the remodelling is ongoing and new terminals being built through private partnership are coming up.
“We intend to take it up from there. In Lagos, for instance, the construction of a new terminal is ongoing and remodelling is also ongoing at the old terminal, which is the same thing that will happen in the other airports.”
The former Minister of Aviation, Ms. Stella Oduah, had invested massively in the remodelling of airport terminals across the country before she left office.
However, her successor, Mr. Osita Chidoka, in 2014, stopped the remodelling projects, saying that the resources of the ministry should be channelled towards boosting safety and security of airports rather than remodelling them.
“Globally, airport renewal, remodelling, facelift and growth are a continuous exercise as demand increases. It is a welcome development and one will only hope that short, medium and long-term development plans are well articulated and measured periodically in the national development plan for implementation by subsequent governments,” the President, Aviation Roundtable, Mr. Gbenga Olowo, said.
He said such facelift must be done without hardship to airport users, while passenger processing should remain seamless.
“Ordinarily, some of our terminal buildings should be shut down for complete overhaul; but in the absence of near alternatives during such periods, it becomes necessary to do the facelift while the facilities are in use, with minimal discomfort to users,” Olowo added.
Aviation safety consultant and the Chief Executive Officer, Centurium Aviation Security, Group Capt. John Ojikutu (retd.), however, stated that a fresh remodelling project was not necessary as it would disrupt the proposed concession of some airports to private investors.
He said the government should rather invest more funds in securing the airports.
Ojikutu stated, “The government should not use public money for any terminal building, especially when they are talking of concession; they should concentrate on safety and security infrastructure for all our airports, which are currently lacking.
“They know how much they spent on the Instrument Landing System at the Kaduna airport recently. Most of our airports do not have perimeter fence and those that have, don’t have security fence; the ones with perimeter fence should be enhanced with security fence.”
According to him, there are a lot of things to do with money at the airports rather than giving the terminals a facelift.
“Everywhere I know, terminals are given out to the private sector because they are mere shopping malls; they are not different from Shoprite. Terminal buildings are not in any annexes of the International Civil Aviation Organisation; they only talk about runway, navigational aids and safety, among other issues; from annex one to 19, there is nothing like air conditioner, conveyor belt and that is why we want the government to release these things to individuals and face where they have signed documents with international organisations,” Ojikutu said.
He advised the government to focus on providing good runways, taxiways, the ILS, radar and meteorological infrastructure, and not terminal buildings.
“They can replicate what they have done in Abuja and Lagos in other airports across the country but through concession, which is what happens everywhere else in the world,” he added.
Ecobank Partners NiDCOM to Mobilise Nigerians Abroad for National Development
In a bid to fulfill it’s objectives and mandate, the Pan African Bank has promised to support Nigerians living and working abroad through it’s partnership with NiDCOM.
The Managing Director, Ecobank Nigeria, Patrick Akinwuntan has stated that the bank is privileged to work closely with the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, (NiDCOM) and will continue to pursue one of its key mandates of helping to enhance the economic development and integration of Africa through its support to Nigerians living and working abroad.
Speaking at the maiden edition of the Diaspora Quarterly Lecture Series with Ecobank as the sole banking partner which took place on Saturday, 8th May 2021, he noted that Ecobank remains a critical bridge for Nigerians abroad, as it has made huge investments in the necessary platforms to enable them connect with home seamlessly. The event held online and had over 2000 participants from across all the continents in attendance.
“Nigerians in the diaspora play a major role in nation building, their contribution goes a long way to catalyse economic development. For us at Ecobank, we are a pan-African institution positioned to foster the economic growth and integration of our continent, so we are particularly pleased to work closely with the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission (NiDCOM), ably led by the Chairman/CEO, Hon Abike Dabiri-Erewa”.
“We are committed to ensuring that every Nigerian living abroad is able to remit home seamlessly and affordably, access viable investment opportunities and as the financial institution of choice for Nigerians abroad, we have deployed the necessary resources to actualise this.” He stated.
The Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, who was also present, reiterated the readiness of the government to collaborate with Nigerians in the diaspora, highlighting the new processes put in place to facilitate passport issuance, noting that all backlog of passport applications would be cleared by the end of May 2021.
Also speaking, the Hon. Minister of State, Foreign Affairs Amb. Zubairu Dada said harnessing the human capital and material resources of Nigerians in the diaspora towards the socio-economic, cultural, and political development of Nigeria can no longer be ignored. He pointed out that the Nigerian diaspora community is well educated, resourceful, skilled, and exposed to global best practices.
The NiDCOM Chairman/CEO, Hon. Abike Dabiri- Erewa explained that the Diaspora Quarterly Lecture Series is projected to be a major aspect of national discourse, where Nigerians abroad can be kept abreast of the government’s policies, programmes and projects.
Increase in Price Boosts Revenue of Dangote Sugar by 41.5 Percent in Q1 2021
Revenue of Dangote Sugar Refinery Plc rose by 41.5 percent to N67.394 billion in the first quarter (Q1) of 2021 from N47.643 billion recorded in the same quarter of 2020.
According to the leading sugar manufacturer, the increase in revenue was a result of the increase in the price of sugar in the first quarter. The company claimed price adjustment was necessary to mitigate the negative effect of inflation and depreciation on the company.
Volumes only rose by 5.7 percent during the quarter despite a 41.5 percent increase in revenue, meaning the increase in price was the main sales catalyst.
In the company’s unaudited financial statements, gross profit grew from N12.721 billion in Q1 2020 to N18.044 billion in Q1 2021.
Similarly, operating profit stood at N15.884 billion, up from N10.747 billion posted in Q1 2020.
Finance cost more than double from N1.353 billion in Q1 2020 to N3.412 billion in Q1 2021.
Dangote Sugar’s profit before tax rose from N9.509 billion recorded in the corresponding quarter to N11.949 billion in the quarter under review.
The company paid N3.646 billion in income tax, slightly higher than N3.137 paid in the same quarter of 2020.
Profit for the period grew from N6.372 billion in Q1 2020 to N8.302 billion in Q1 2021.
Commenting on the company’s performance, Dangote Sugar said “EBITDA increased by 34.7% to N17.02 billion (2020: N12.64 billion) on account of increased earnings. Group profit after taxation for the period increased by 30.3% to N8.30 billion (2020: N6.37 billion) reflecting management’s unrelenting drive to deliver consistent shareholder value.”
On price increase, the company hinged it on series of devaluation carried out in 2020 by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), escalating inflation, port congestion and rising in price of global sugar. Dangote Sugar said its imported raw sugar from Brazil under Federal Government’s backward integration plan.
“We have continued to witness high cost of raw materials, energy costs and other input costs due to rising inflation and FX rate fluctuation. Further cost escalation is anticipated in the year as inflationary pressure mounts,” the company said.
FBN Holdings Suffers 39 Percent Drop in Profit to N15.6 Billion in Q1 2021
FBN Holdings Plc profit after tax declined by 39 percent from N23.140 billion recorded in the first quarter (Q1) of 2020 to N15.6 billion in the first quarter of 2021.
In the leading financial institution’s unaudited financial statements released through the Nigerian Exchange Limited, gross earnings declined by 14.5 percent to N137 billion in the period under review, down from N160 billion filed in the previous quarter.
Similarly, net interest income declined from N60.253 billion achieved in Q1 2020 to N52.793 billion.
Net interest income after impairment charge for losses also dipped from N50.547 billion in Q1 2020 to N39.619 billion in Q1 20201. While net fee and commission income rose from N20.773 billion in Q1 2020 to N28.427 billion in Q1 2021.
Profit before tax declined by 34 percent to N18.906 billion in the quarter under review, down from N28.680 billion posted in the corresponding quarter of 2020.
FBN Holdings paid N3.285 billion in income tax in the first quarter of 2020.
Therefore, profit for the period stood at N15.621 billion. While Net Assets contracted from N765.2 billion to N764.8 billion.
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