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IATA to Africa: Invest in Airport Infrastructure



  • IATA to Africa: Invest in Airport Infrastructure

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has advised African governments to invest in airport infrastructure.

Such investment, IATA said, would ensure improvement in air safety.

Besides, focusing on airport infrastructure, the global airlines regulator also urged African governments to consider committing more resources to training of technical aviation personnel to boost the quality of industry expertise and education.

IATA said investment in human capital development was neccessary for the growth and development of air transportation in Africa.

Its Regional Vice President, Africa and Middle East, Muhammad Ali Albakri, made this known in an interview with The Nation at the weekend in Lagos.

He said air transport could grow in Africa, if governments plough revenues accruing from taxes and levies into expanding operational facilities to enable airline operate safely and profitably.

Albakri said the global body will continue to engageAfrican governments on ways to improve civil aviation regulation,promote safety and security as well as design measures that will stimulate the growth of air transportation.

The global airlines regulator, however, canvassed the sharing of security information among African countries to facilitate the movement of cargo and people across transnational borders.

He said connectivity within African countries still remains a major hurdle for many countries because of failure of African governments to liberalise their airspace.

Liberalising the African airspace, Albakri said, will make it easy for more carriers to fly into major capitals without bilateral restrictions.

Regrettably, Albakri said the Single African Sky Agreement reached by many countries many years was yet to take off, because some of them were yet to realise the benefits a liberalised airspace could bring to their economies.

He said though Nigeria has taken some steps to fix its aviator sector, a lot still needs to be done.

Albakri said: “Air transport in Nigeria supports more than 650,800 jobs, including tourism-related employment, and contributing $8.2 billion to the country‘s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

“ Over the next 10 years, passenger volumes are forecast to grow more than seven per cent yearly, exceeding the global average by a healthy margin.

“For Nigeria, this means an additional 7.9 million passengers that will take to the sky every year, creating significant opportunity to accelerate economic growth, boost prosperity and support development.”

He said despite significant investment in Nigeria’s aviation sector, the country’s air transport infrastructure still ranks low among African states.

Albakri said though IATA recognises and supports the positive developments by Nigeria on infrastructure, it seeks continued adherence to international best practices and an optimal regulatory environment.

He said: “Now that the country is emerging from recession, aviation can unlock the enormous economic potential that exists within Nigeria. We encourage the government to continue to promote aviation for its role as a catalyst and economic enabler for the country, and to promote stronger connectivity within Nigeria and its neighbouring African countries.

“In addition, now is the time to continue to invest in modern and efficient infrastructure to accommodate the future traffic growth that will occur,” he said.

Albakri said unwarranted or excessive taxation on international air transport will continue to have negative impact on economic and social development.

This, he said, pushed IATA to join forces with industry partners in ensuring that airlines are subjected to fair and efficient taxation measures with respect to their operations, regardless of location.

He said: “IATA will continue to work with the industry to ensure that government authorities adhere to the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and the United Nations taxation principles. In this regard, IATA is actively involved in a range of activities.

“We will ensure that new and existing taxation measures, be they direct or indirect, are fairly applied and adequately consider the economic and social ramifications.

“We will continue to push against measures that result in double taxation, mobilise against taxation measures that unjustly target the industry, where the resulting tax revenues are not reinvested in air transport related services and infrastructure. He also said IATA will continue to play leadership role in influencing airport and airspace planning and development projects worldwide to meet airline requirements for safety, efficiency and functionality.

The IATA chief, however, spared a thought for the multiple entry policy obtainable for African carriers into Nigeria, urging other African carriers to open their skies for accelerated development of the continent.

Albakri said: “We encourage other countries to embrace what Nigeria has done by removing all restrictions that serve as obstacle to opening Africa with the least requirements.

“What we need in Africa is air services to connect the entire continent so that there could be exchange of expertise, knowledge and commerce.”

He said air safety in Africa has improved tremendously with more carriers embracing the International Operations Safety Audit ( IOSA).

Albakri said: “Safety has improved for African carriers due to hard work and focus on international standards, practices and procedures.

“We will continue to urge African countries to focus on airport and airspace management infrastructure improve training documentation, engage in regulatory information sharing to drive safety culture.”

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


United States Firms Operating in Nigeria Plans to Invest $2.4 Billion in Nigeria – Report



United States Firms Operating in Nigeria Plans to Invest $2.4 Billion in Nigeria – Report

A report compiled by the American Business Council, the United States Embassy, Verraki, KPMG and PwC showed American firms operating in Nigeria plans to invest $2.37 billion in the country in the next three years.

In the 2020 Nigeria Economic Impact Survey, the impact of US firms on the Nigerian economy was analysed while changes in business revenue, foreign investment, job creation, gross value added and plans for expansion were measured.

45 United States companies operating in Nigeria were surveyed and data obtained analysed, according to the report.

The report revealed that US companies in Nigeria created over 30,000 indirect jobs in 2019, a decline from three million in 2018 and over 13,100 direct jobs, down from 18,000 in 2018.

The firms realised N1.08 trillion in revenue in 2019, representing a decline from N1.47 trillion when compared to N1.47 trillion generated in 2018.

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Afreximbank, AAAM to Drive Automotive Investment




Afreximbank, AAAM to Drive Automotive Investment

The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) and the African Association of Automotive Manufacturers (AAAM) have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the financing and promotion of the automotive industry in Africa.

President of Afreximbank, Prof. Benedict Oramah and President of AAAM/Managing Director of Nissan Africa, Mike Whitfield, signed the MoU in early February, according to a statement yesterday.

The deal formalised the basis for a partnership aimed at boosting regional automotive value chains and financing for the automotive industry while supporting the development of enabling policies, technical assistance, and capacity building initiatives.

Oramah, said, “the strategic partnership with AAAM will facilitate the implementation of the Bank’s Automotive programme which aims to catalyze the development of the automotive industry in Africa as the continent commences trade under the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).”

Under the terms of the MoU, Afreximbank and AAAM will work together to foster the emergence of regional value chains with a focus on value-added manufacturing created through partnerships between global Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEM), suppliers, and local partners.

The two organisations plan to undertake comprehensive studies to map potential regional automotive value chains on the continent in regional economic clusters, in order to enable the manufacture of automotive components for supply to hub assemblers.

“To support the emergence of the African automotive industry, they will collaborate to provide financing to industry players along the whole automotive value chain. The potential interventions include lines of credit, direct financing, project financing, supply chain financing, guarantees, and equity financing, amongst others.

“The MoU also provides for them to support, in conjunction with the African Union Commission and the AfCFTA Secretariat, the development of coherent national, regional and continental automotive policies, and strategies.

“With an integrated market under the AfCFTA, abundant and cheap labour, natural resource wealth, and a growing middle class, African countries are increasingly turning their attention to support the emergence of their automotive industries.

“Therefore, the collaboration between Afreximbank and AAAM will be an opportunity to empower the aspirations of African countries towards re-focusing their economies on industrialisation and export manufacturing and fostering the emergence of regional value chains,” the statement added.

“The signing of the MoU with Afreximbank is an exciting milestone for the development of the automotive industry in Africa. At the 2020 digital Africa Auto Forum, the lack of affordable financing available for the automotive sector was identified as one of the key inhibiters for the growth and development of the automotive industry in Africa and having Afreximbank on board is a game changer and a hugely positive development,” CEO of AAAM, David Coffey said.

“It is wonderful to have a partner that is as committed as the AAAM to driving the development and growth of our sector on the continent; this collaboration will ensure genuine progress for our industry in Africa,” Coffey added.

Other areas covered by the MoU include working with the African Union and the African Organisation for Standardisation to harmonise automotive standards across the continent and developing an automotive focused training program for both the public and private sector.

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FG Warns Foreign Investors Against Enslaving Nigerians




FG Warns Foreign Investors Against Enslaving Nigerians

The Federal Government on Monday warned foreign investors against subjecting Nigerians working in their companies to industrial slavery.

The government said the warning became necessary following several complaints against foreign companies maltreating some of their staff.

The Chief Commissioner, Public Complaints Commission, Chile Igbawua, issued the warning during a courtesy call on him by a delegation of Pan Africa United Youth Developments Network who came to lay complaint against some foreign companies allegedly maltreating Nigerians working under them.

The PCC said that it would not allow only its state commissioners to handle the issues due to their magnitude as there had been so many complaints about the ways some of the foreign companies were treating their staff.

At the event, the leader of the delegation, Habib Muhammed, expressed concern over alleged injustice and irregularities perpetrated by some company on Nigeria youths whom they engaged as factory workers.

He called on the Federal Government to look into the alleged slavery and injustice meted on Nigerian youths.

While calling on the foreigners to obey the labour laws of Nigeria, Igbawua said, “Our resources cannot be used to enslave us again.”

He said, “We have labour laws in Nigeria for goodness sake and we also have industrial standards; people working in various industries are entitled to good working conditions and minimum conditions of service.”

He added that the law was clear on the issue of casualisation and should be implemented.

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