- Reps Ask NCAA to Test Pilots for Alcohol, Drugs
The House of Representatives on Thursday warned pilots and crew members against flying under the influence of alcohol and other psychoactive substances capable of altering their moods.
The House specifically directed the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority to conduct regular pre-flight tests on pilots to be sure that they are not under any influence of any substance.
A member, Mr Taofeek Adaranijo, brought a motion before the House to raise the alarm over cases of pilots being under the influence of alcohol.
He said pre-flight alcohol consumption, apart from being a breach of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations, also constituted a serious safety threat to passengers.
The lawmaker recalled that since 2016, the NCAA had been recording cases of alcohol and substance consumption by air crew members, an indication of a growing trend.
He stated, “In December 2016, the NCAA suspended the medical certificates of five members of the crew, who tested positive to marijuana during a drug screening conducted on participants of the Cabin Crew Training Basic Course at the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology, Zaria, Kaduna State.
“When the NCAA in May 2017 conducted random tests on 87 personnel from Air Peace, Med-View and Air Traffic Controllers of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency as they were about to embark upon flight operations and air traffic control duties, a member of the crew tested positive to a psychoactive substance, Tetrahydrocannabinol.
“The substance is known to be the chemical responsible for most of marijuana’s psychological effects.
“Psychoactive drugs work by manipulating the synapses in-between nerves in the central nervous system, thereby distorting thought processes and causing a variety of side effects such as anxiety, psychosis, mood swings, depression and sleep problems, all of which are not suitable for the job demands of pilots/members of crew.”
Adaranijo noted that to fly to safety, “a pilot or member of crew requires the highest level of sobriety and clear headedness,” adding that the “use of alcohol or psychoactive substances endangers the lives of passengers on board an airplane.”
The motion, which was passed in a unanimous voice vote, also asked airline operators to “diligently ensure that only sober pilots/members of crew are allowed to fly their planes and this diligence should extend to the initial period of employment.”
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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