- NSC Labels Nigerian Seaports ‘Import Ports’
The Executive Secretary and Chief Executive Officer, the Nigerian Shippers Council, Mr. Hassan Bello, has said that Nigerian seaports were only structured to take out exports and not to bring in imports.
Bello stated this on Tuesday while presenting a paper titled, “Nigerian Transport Policy; Maritime Dimension,” at the second edition of the Association of Marine Engineers and Surveyors’ Nigerian Maritime Technical Summit.
“Maritime transportation must be a two-way affair, we must export, just as we import. We cannot keep having containers coming in laden with goods and leaving our shores empty,” he stated.
He described the ports in Apapa and Tin Can Island as well as the one in Warri as ‘water ports,’ maintaining that they were not deep seaports and were not accessible to big foreign vessels.
“Navigation is very difficult in these ports and I am now worried about the connection to Lekki deep seaport. Government must ensure that existing access to Lekki is appropriate. We cannot have the Apapa mistake.”
He listed the challenges in the maritime transport sector as infrastructure, funding, lack of stable government policy, lack of transparency and predictability.
He called for increased private sector participation in maritime transport, arguing that it was not the role of government to run business but to regulate and provide enabling environment for businesses to thrive.
According to him, while government strives to mobilise as an enabler, the private sector must be seen as the driver, particularly of government’s interest and policies for the overall benefit of the common man.
Bello however cautioned that the private sector, in order to prove itself worthy of moving the economy forward, must be responsible and accountable to the people.
He said that Nigerians might continue to experience hiccups in the transportation sector, until an inter-modal approach, with a utilitarian value, was fully adopted.
A former Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority, Chief Adebayo Sarumi, who chaired the occasion, thanked AMES for its continuing efforts towards growing the nation’s shipping sub-sector, just as he commended the government, particularly the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, for his determination and genuine commitment to uplifting the Nigerian maritime industry.
“We are here to assist the policymakers. The policymakers have to be assisted and supported by all of us, whether as pseudo or core professionals,” he said.
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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