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Airports Upgrade May Cost FG N32b

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  • Airports Upgrade May Cost FG N32b

An aviation sector expert has said that as much as N32billion would be required for upgrade of major Nigerian airports to operate 24 hours.

The expert who is close to the Ministry of Transportation however stated that the government does not have the resources to embark on a comprehensive modernisation of these airports. He explained that the cost is high because many of the airport facilities have become obsolete.

On Wednesday the officials of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) confirmed that the airports had been neglected for long and would take a longer time to fix.

A source in the operations department of FAAN said of about 30 airports in the country, only about six operate night flights, which means that a flight in distress can have no airport to land in the nearest distance, a situation, which could result in a major tragedy.

“It is very expensive to provide the equipment that will enable the airports to receive flights in the night. FAAN is losing huge revenue because most of these airports do not operate 24 hours. For us to do night operations we need to put so many things in place. Lighting must e adequate. Night landing depends on the intensity of light. In this modern Nigeria, there is no reason why we should have airports without adequate lighting or airports that cannot operate for 24 hours. This is because any aircraft can be in distress and it won’t have any airport to land,” the source said.

He noted that technology has left Nigerian airports behind because “most of the equipment at the airports have become archaic,” and it is capital intensive to replace most of these obsolete equipment because companies that manufactured them then no more have them or can they manufacture them now because they have become obsolete.”

He remarked: “When you go back to the manufacturers they will tell you the equipment is no more in production. Some of the equipment was produced by more than one company; it will be very difficult to get them to manufacture the equipment again so you are forced to migrate to the new system, which means you will have to do away with everything that you have. Producing old equipment is very expensive.”

Reporters however gathered from the Ministry of Transportation official that government was not contemplating earmarking funds for the modernisation of airport facilities; rather, government is going ahead with the concession programme to bring in the private sector to develop airport infrastructure.

At the 10th anniversary of MMA2 the Chairman of Bi-Courtney Aviation Services Limited (BASL), Dr. Wale Babalakin said that government has other issues to contend with than funding airport infrastructure; therefore, the private sector should be encouraged to invest in infrastructure.

“Let us be frank, government cannot develop airport infrastructure. The number of challenges we have makes infrastructure development something we should give to private sector. We are still at the stage where there are no proper health care. We are still at the stage where power is a challenge, where education is an issue, where so many things require the government’s input. What we need to do is to give it to private sector but the private sector operates when there is rule of law and where there is pursuit of justice,” Babalakin said.

The Minister of State, Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika had earlier confirmed that government might not be disposed to funding modernisation of airport projects.

The minister has started making strong plans to concession the airports, insisting that it is the only solution to the obsolete airport facilities.

“I think the ultimate solution to all of these is to concession these airports. I have maintained this because I don’t know any other way we can go about it. That is the only way to go because government does not have the resources to continue to invest in these airports. I think that the ultimate end and solution to all of these is the concession of these airports. I have maintained this. It is the only solution, I don’t know any other way we can do it because government no longer have the resources to continue to invest in these airports,” Sirika said.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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Finance

Thomson Reuters Announces New $100M “Future of Professionals” Venture Capital Fund

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Thomson Reuters today announced the creation of a new $100 million Corporate Venture Capital (CVC) fund to support and accelerate innovation for the “Future of Professionals.” The fund will operate under the name “Thomson Reuters Ventures” and concentrate on investments and portfolio support for companies building breakthrough innovations that will allow professionals to operate more productively and with greater insights.

As a leader in content-enabled technology across the Legal, Tax & Accounting, Risk, Fraud, Compliance, and News & Media markets, customers rely on Thomson Reuters to deliver trusted solutions to manage and grow their businesses. Thomson Reuters Ventures builds on this commitment by investing in and supporting the broader ecosystem focused on these same challenges.

“I’m delighted to add Thomson Reuters Ventures as another way that we are investing in innovation and serving our markets. Our customers are the most informed professionals in the world, and they need to be trusted, accurate, and effective solutions now more than ever. We’re excited to partner with founders and entrepreneurs who share these goals, and to continue to drive emerging solutions as the industry leader,” said Steve Hasker, President and CEO of Thomson Reuters.

“Thomson Reuters Ventures is ultimately about investing in innovation and serving customers. Whether it be AI and Machine Learning innovations that allow professionals to better predict outcomes, identify and act on trusted information, or automate processes for greater efficiency, the overall goal remains the same. We are focused on identifying and supporting innovative companies that can help our customers deliver more value to their customers,” said Pat Wilburn, Chief Strategy Officer of Thomson Reuters, and Executive Director of Thomson Reuters Ventures.

Thomson Reuters Ventures will invest primarily in earlier-stage companies via Series A and B rounds, with a broad lens across Legal, Tax & Accounting, Risk, Fraud, and Compliance, News and Media, Corporates and adjacent areas. Our market positions, relationships with customers and organizational resources make us an ideal partner for entrepreneurs building and scaling companies.

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Islamic Estate Planning: Protect your Family and Leave a Legacy – FBNQuest

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Islamic Estate Planning involves the distribution of your assets that serve to preserve, manage, and distribute them after death according to the principles of the Shari’ah. According to the Islamic ordinance, those principles are significant in planning for dependents and represent an investment in the afterlife.

Islamic inheritance laws organise your wealth ownership and assets to ensure fairness and justice after your passing. Instead of leaving the tough decisions to grieving family members, you can arrange the gifting of your assets in advance. This creates a streamlined process for the distribution of the inheritance to all family members.

Islamic estate planning is essential in the life of Muslim faithfuls. Indeed, if you pass away as a Muslim without a proper plan for your assets, you may be breaching the bequest guidance stated in the Holy Book, which serves as an instruction manual for a Muslim’s life. However, many are not concerned with making an inheritance plan, even though a failure to make one could trigger intense family debate and hinder the transfer of some assets to specific beneficiaries.

According to the guiding principles of Islamic estate planning, after covering the funeral expenses and debts owed by the deceased, a person may designate up to one-third of their wealth. This discretionary giving is known as the Wasiyyah. However, there are limitations to this discretionary giving. For example, Wasiyyah cannot be given to someone already receiving a share under the Islamic inheritance laws. The Wasiyyah is most commonly given to charity or to care for distant relatives who cannot provide for themselves.

The residual two-thirds is the Mirath and is reserved for the Islamic heirs as ordained in the Holy Book. Primary beneficiaries are those who will inherit some of your wealth, provided that they are alive and Muslim. These are your spouse, children, and parents, and they receive a fixed share of the wealth. Secondary beneficiaries are those whose share of the inheritance is contingent on whether other primary beneficiaries are still alive. These may include siblings, grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, and other relatives. It is vital to appreciate the rights and obligations relating to an estate.

In preparing to bequeath an inheritance, it is crucial to organise your wealth in a manner that will make assets acceptable for consideration in an Islamic estate plan. In this regard, investments should be screened for compliance with Islamic estate ethics, and investments in interest-bearing assets are disqualified. Instead, it would help if you endeavoured to invest in increasingly popular Sukuk bonds. You should consider Mudarabah Investment accounts as substitutes to fixed deposit accounts and subscribe to a family takaful policy instead of a life insurance policy in your saving plans. As for pension assets, you should opt for a multi-fund structure with an option to invest in Shari’ah-compliant instruments.

Zakat, the third pillar of Islam, is a compulsory giving required from every financially stable Muslim. Those who have acquired wealth are obligated to respond to people in need and give back to the community. This response could include sponsoring widows or the education students and organising in a charitable Trust as part of an Islamic estate plan. Therefore, you must consult a professional estate planner to assist with setting up a Trust arrangement where 2.5% of your assets/wealth is set aside annually for Zakat.

Several other tools can be used to organise the transfer of assets to a specific beneficiary. They include Hiba (making gifts), Waqf (setting up an endowment or trust), Wasiyya (transfers by donation), and it is appointing a Wasi or guardian for living dependents. Getting it right requires a thorough understanding of the principles of Islamic estate planning and the various assets available to achieve compliance. FBNQuest Trustees can guide you through creating an Islamic estate plan that makes life easier for your beneficiaries.

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Fidelity Bank Empowers Entrepreneurs to Play Big In The Non-Oil Export Market

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For developing countries such as Nigeria to accelerate economic growth, there needs to be greater private sector participation in their export sectors. This was made known by Isaiah Ndukwe, Divisional Head, Export and Agriculture, Fidelity Bank PLC, at the just concluded 11th edition of the Fidelity Bank Export Management Programme (EMP 11).

Held at the Lagos Business School, from the 4th to 8th of October 2021, the programme, covered a wide range of topics including export documentation and application of export development processes and was facilitated by leading faculty from Lagos Business School, staff of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC) and experts in financial management and exports.

“Year-in, year-out, Fidelity Bank has demonstrated its resolve to help diversify the Nigerian economy and increase export earnings. One of the ways we are doing this is through the Export Management Programme which provides participants with the knowledge needed to navigate both the international non-oil export market and the larger export market,” explained Mrs. Nneka Onyeali-Ikpe, Managing Director, Fidelity Bank PLC when tasked on the rationale behind the programme.

The importance of exports has continually been emphasized by various bodies as it provides a means of increasing the markets for producers and especially in Nigeria’s case, an opportunity to attract much-needed foreign exchange earnings. In fact, Akinwunmi Adesina, President of the African Development Bank (AfDB), speaking recently at the Mid-term Ministerial Performance Review Meeting on the topic: ‘Nigeria’s Economic Resurgence: The African Experience’ expressed worry over disincentives to non-oil exports in the Nigerian economy. He, therefore, urged Nigerian fiscal authorities to remove bottlenecks in non-oil exports in order to promote economic resurgence.

One of the participants of the EMP 11, Mr. Kelechi Chukwukezirim, Chief Executive Officer of Dot Global Resources Nigeria Ltd said, “I am thankful to Fidelity Bank and Lagos Business School for this insightful and highly educative program. I came here with just an awareness of export management. However, my experience in the past five days has taken me from point zero to over 40% of quality knowledge on export management. I have enthused at the network and platform this program created that I could leverage going forward. I am excited at what the future holds in this regard”.

According to Mrs. Onyeali-Ikpe, “Previous editions of the EMP have recorded outstanding successes and made marked impacts in the lives and businesses of the participants. We are proud to say that the just-concluded eleventh edition is no exception. The feedback we have gotten from facilitators and participants alike has been nothing short of encouraging. The turnout was tremendous and we are certain that we will witness astonishing results as the participants put what they learned into practice.”

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