- Investor to Provide $10bn For Nigeria’s Speed Rail Projects
A United States-based investor, Ameri Metro Incorporation, on Monday declared its readiness to provide $10bn for the construction of speed rails in Nigeria.
The firm told the Federal Government that it had the capacity to fund rail projects across the country while making a presentation at the headquarters of the Federal Ministry of Transportation in Abuja.
Officials of the firm, who were hosted by Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, stated that they decided to show interest in the rail projects after it was confirmed that the Chinese group that was initially billed to handle them would not be able to deliver on the projects as planned.
Speaking after a meeting with officials of the Federal Government, the Founder, Ameri Metro Inc., Shah Mathias, said, “We are in the design process and our goal is to take this and build it. We are here to do the presentation for the high speed rail.
“Our goal is to build the rail system in order for other industries to come. We will like to commence the project as soon as we are given the opportunity, and we will invest 100 per cent of the project cost.
“We have been told that the project cost is over $10bn and we are ready to deliver new railway, new locomotives, everything will be new.”
Mathias added that Ameri would wish to commence with the Port Harcourt-Lagos-Calabar route, and that it was ready to take over the project from the Chinese firm.
“We are looking at the Port Harcourt-Lagos-Calabar route first because we heard that the Chinese have not been able to raise the money. We are possibly going to raise the money and take it over from the Chinese,” he noted.
On whether Ameri would enter into partnership with the Chinese group to deliver on the project, Mathias said, “We are not partnering anybody at this point.
“We want to build the coastal rail for Nigeria and it is going to be high speed and not the standard gauge. We have the capacity and competence to do it. We have done it in the United States and we can do it here.”
When asked what the response of the ministry to Ameri’s proposal was, Mathias stated that “tentatively, there is prospect.”
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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