- ‘Local Content Law’ll be Extended to Other Sectors’
The House of Representatives has said henceforth any infraction of the Local Content Law, which seeks to ensure adequate participation of Nigerians in the oil and gas industry, will no longer be tolerated.
It, therefore, vowed to beam its searchlight on the power, construction, telecom, as well as the Information and Communication Technology sectors to ensure adequate participation of Nigerians in the industries.
The Chairman, House Committee on Local Content, Mr. Emmanuel Ekon, said this in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State capital, when he led other committee members on a visit to the headquarters of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board.
He said the law was being expanded to capture other sectors being dominated by foreigners.
During the two-day visit, which took the lawmakers to the permanent site of an ongoing 17-storey office building of the NCDMB and the Polaku Pipe Mill at Gbarain, Ekon noted that all key sectors must buy into the new vision to patronise Nigeria and employ Nigerians.
He stated, “The multinationals must patronise these people, even the Central Bank of Nigeria, which is still building its headquarters using foreign companies.
“We want the multinationals to remit one per cent of their funds, which is enshrined in the law. As I said, the first reading has been passed. We are waiting to do some legislative fireworks to fine-tune the bill for the President’s assent before the end of this year.”
On the major sectors to be affected when the law, which is already before the House of Representatives is expanded, Ekon said, “The key sectors will be power and construction. They are very important.”
He also urged the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company to comply with the law and ensure the remission of a percentage to ensure that the local content law was implemented without inhibition.
He commended the leadership of the NCDMB board for its strides despite the challenges, stressing that the committee would help it to succeed.
Ekon said, “We are ready to partner the board to ensure all the challenges are surmounted within the shortest time. We will synergise; where there’s chaos, we can’t achieve anything.
“We are overwhelmed by what we have seen. A lot of money has been spent here. I keep telling people that the cost of construction in the Niger Delta is like in some parts of Lagos too. The challenges here are enormous.’’
The Executive Secretary of the NCDMB, Mr. Simbi Wabote, noted that the board had increased the marine vessel utilisation to 36 per cent, which was just about three per cent when he took over.
Flour Mills of Nigeria Repays N51.64 Billion Series 2 Commercial Paper
Flour Mills of Nigeria Plc (FMN) has successfully repaid its N51.64 billion Series 2 Commercial Paper as revealed in a statement issued by the company.
This follows the earlier repayment of its N13.33 billion Series 1 Commercial Paper in August 2023.
Both the Series 1 and Series 2 Commercial Papers, totaling N64.97 billion, were initially issued on February 22, 2023, under FMN’s N200 billion Commercial Paper Programme.
The Series 1, with a yield of 13.0%, raised N13.3 billion, while the Series 2, with a yield of 14.0%, raised N51.64 billion.
FMN had launched its N200 billion Commercial Paper Programme on February 10, 2023, reflecting the company’s strategic financial planning.
The Group Chief Finance Officer, Mr. Anders Kristiansson, expressed satisfaction with the timely and successful repayment of the Series 2 Commercial Paper.
He emphasized FMN’s commitment to financial prudence and acknowledged the confidence placed in the organization by the investing public.
Kristiansson expressed gratitude to stakeholders for their continuous support, reiterating FMN’s dedication to delivering sustainable value and upholding the highest standards of corporate governance.
In addition to the successful repayment, FMN tapped into the market for its Series 3 Commercial Paper in June 2023, with subscriptions from banks and Pension Fund Administrators, contributing 39.7% and 40.8%, respectively.
The transaction was managed by FBNQuest Merchant Bank Limited as the Lead Arranger, with ChapelHill Denham Advisory Limited, FCMB Capital Limited, and United Capital PLC serving as Joint Arrangers.
African Airlines Projected to Cut Losses to $400m in 2024, Says IATA
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has forecasted a reduction in losses for Nigerian and other African airlines from $500 million in 2023 to $400 million in 2024.
The Switzerland-based IATA made this projection while presenting the global airline industry outlook in Geneva, Switzerland, on Wednesday.
IATA’s Director-General, Willie Walsh, shared the outlook, stating that global airlines are expected to generate approximately $964 billion in revenue in the coming year.
The report indicated that airline industry net profits are anticipated to reach $25.7 billion in 2024, reflecting a slight improvement over the projected $23.3 billion net profit for 2023.
Despite the challenges faced by the aviation industry in recent years, IATA sees the $25.7 billion net profit in 2024 as a testament to aviation’s resilience.
Walsh acknowledged the impressive speed of recovery but emphasized that the net profit margin of 2.7% remains below industry expectations.
IATA estimates that around 4.7 billion people will travel in 2024, surpassing the pre-pandemic level of 4.5 billion recorded in 2019.
However, Walsh highlighted ongoing challenges, including regulatory burdens, fragmentation, high infrastructure costs, and a supply chain populated with uncertainties.
He emphasized the need for the industry to build a resilient future, given its significant contribution to global GDP and livelihoods.
Fuel prices are expected to average $113.8 per barrel in 2024, accounting for 31% of all operating costs, totaling $281 billion.
Walsh concluded by expressing optimism about more normal growth patterns for both passenger and cargo in the post-pandemic era.
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