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Aircraft Manufacturers Jostle for African Market

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  • Aircraft Manufacturers Jostle for African Market

Major aircraft manufacturers – Boeing, Airbus, Bombardier, Embraer, ATR and others – are in fierce competition to have their aircraft types dominate the fleet of Nigerian and other African carriers, investigations have revealed.

The push for the dominance is coming on the heels of market survey studies, which revealed Africa as the new frontier market for the growth of global air transport.

Boeing, Airbus, Embraer and Bombardier’s surveys indicate the demand for their aircraft types in Africa as the next destination for growth.

Besides the reports, many African countries, including Nigeria, have opened discussions with some aircraft manufacturers to acquire their aircraft for either their national or flag carriers.

Investigations revealed that many African governments are about sealing their aircraft acquisition deals with Boeing Corporation, Airbus Company, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft Company and Brazilian aircraft maker – Embaer.

To confirm its interest in Nigeria as well as West and Central Africa, Boeing Corporation last year signed an agreement with Spring Fountain Infrastructure Limited to set up an aircraft company to facilitate airplane acquisition for carriers.

Part of the move, investigations revealed, was to encourage Nigerian and other African carriers to replace their ageing aircraft with state-of-the-art Boeing equipment that are environment-friendly and fuel efficient.

According to the project’s promoter, Mrs Tokunbo Fagbemi, this would boost Boeing Corporation’s inroads into Africa.

This move lauded by many operators, including Chairman of Air Peace, Mr Allen Onyema, has seen the airline acquiring more aircraft.

Though Boeing aircraft consists of over 60 per cent of the fleet in the airspace by indigenous carriers, others exist.

Air Peace, for instance, has acquired some Embraer jets. The aircraft, experts say, are good for short haul flights.

It was learnt that the Brazilian aircraft manufacturer is making inroads into the Nigerian and African markets as more operators are embracing the fleet because of its fuel economy, limited crew and lower maintenance cost.

In a recent interview in Lagos, Tropical cal Arctic Logistics Limited (TAL) President and Chief Executive Officer, Emperor Baywood Ibe, advised operators to consider Embaear regional and business jets as the most suitable aircraft for short haul flights.

The helicopter operator, who plans to launch scheduled domestic flights soon, said the company will settle for Embraer jets.

Also, in a recent interview, Minister of State, Aviation, Hadi Sirika confirmed that the government was discussing with some aircraft manufacturers to acquire airplanes for the proposed national carrier – Nigeria Air.

Investigations reveal that besides Boeing and Embraer aircraft types, many Nigetian carriers, including Arik Air, Aero Airlines and Overland Airways, have many Bombardier and ATR aircraft in their fleet.

While Overland Airways has ATR 72 aircraft type in its fleet, Aero and Arik Air have some Bombardier CRJ and Dash 8 Bombardier jets in their fleet.

Meanwhile, Canadian airplane manufacturer, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft, said three of it turboprops has been acquired by a Ghanaian operator – Passion Air.

The airline has become the first Bombardier operator in Ghana.

The aircraft manufacturer said the company placed three pre-owned Q400 turboprops.

The airline acquired the aircraft through a dry-lease with a third party.

“Bombardier has sold about 3,500 new regional aircraft to date, and we continue to be very active on the used aircraft market,” said David Speirs, Vice President, Asset Management, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft.

“Our recent momentum on the pre-owned aircraft market worldwide is a clear indication that our products are addressing a growing need for regional air transportation, especially in emerging markets.

“Our market penetration in Africa continues to intensify, and we are pleased to welcome Passion Air as the first commercial airline operating a Bombardier regional aircraft in the Republic of Ghana,” said Jean-Paul Boutibou, Vice President, Sales, Middle East and Africa, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft.

“Africa is the youngest and fastest growing region in the world, and regional aircraft like the Q400 will play a key role in helping advancing Africa’s economic growth.

The airline will operate the three Q400 aircraft in a 78-seat configuration on domestic routes.

“This is a first step, and we look forward to expanding our fleet with more Bombardier aircraft,” said Edward Annan, Chief Executive Officer, PassionAir.

Only last month, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft announced that it has signed a firm order for four new CRJ900 regional jets with Uganda National Airlines Company.

Based on the list price for the CRJ900 aircraft, the firm order is valued at $190 million.

“We congratulate the Government of Uganda on the revival of its national flag carrier, and are thrilled that the new airline has selected Bombardier and the CRJ900 regional jets for its upcoming debut,” said Jean-Paul Boutibou, Vice President, Sales, Middle-East and Africa, Bombardier Commercial Aircraft.

Investigations reveal that 21 operators are flying 58 CRJ Series in Africa. Bombardier has recorded firm orders for 1957 CRJ Series regional jets.

A recent batch of acquisitions by African carriers boosted Bombardier’s presence on the continent.

“As we seek to increase our market share on the continent, we have successfully placed a significant number of pre-owned regional aircraft with more than seven airlines from the region in the last three months,” Boutibou said.

Among African carriers that have acquired Bombardier aircraft are South Africa’s CemAir, Tunisian Syphax, Cameroon’s CamAir – Company, Kenya’s DAC East Africa and Congo Airways.

Others are: Kenya’s 784 Air Services and Silverstone Airways.

“Our market penetration in Africa is making headway,” Boutibou said at the African Aviation Finance conference in Johannesburg, South Africa

“Our strategy not only further supports our aftermarket revenue stream, we are confident that it will also lead to new aircraft orders in the future,” he added.

“These latest placements in Africa are testament to the residual value of our regional aircraft,” Bombardier Commercial Aircraft Vice President, Asset Management, David Speirs said

Africa’s fast growing carrier, Ethiopian Airlines, has signed a purchase agreement with Bombardier for 10 new Q400 aircraft.

“The Bombardier turboprops continue to deliver unmatched performance to our operators, and we are proud that the flag carrier of Ethiopia is once again recognising its tremendous value by increasing its fleet of Q400 aircraft,” said Fred Cromer, President, and Bombardier Commercial Aircraft.

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

Economy

FIRS Sets N5.9 Trillion Revenue Target for 2021

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FIRS to Generate N5.9 Trillion Revenue  in 2021

Mohammed Nami, the Chairman of Federal Inland Revenue Service, FIRS, on Friday said the agency is projecting total revenue of N5.9 trillion for the 2021 fiscal year.

Nami stated this while meeting with the House of Representatives Committee on Finance led by Hon. James Falake on the Service’s 2021 budget defence of its proposed Revenue and Expenditure Estimates.

According to the Chairman, N4.26 trillion and N1.64 trillion were expected to come from non-oil and oil components, respectively.

However, Nami put the cost of collecting the projected revenue at N289.25 billion or 7 percent of the proposed total revenue for the year, higher than the N180.76 billion spent in 2020 to fund the three operational expenditure heads for the year.

He said: “Out of the proposed expenditure of N289.25 billion across the three expenditure heads, the sum of N147.08 billion and N94.97 billion are to be expended on Personnel and Overhead Costs against 2020 budgeted sum of N97.36 billion and N43.64 billion respectively. Also, the sum of N47.19 billion is estimated to be expended on capital items against the budgeted sum of N27.80 billion in 2020. The sum is to cater for on-going and new projects for effective revenue drive.

Speaking on while the agency failed to meet its 2020 target, Nami said “There’s lockdown effect on businesses, implementation directive also for us to study, research best practices on tax administration which involves travelling to overseas and we also have to expand offices and create offices more at rural areas to get closer to the taxpayers, we pay rent for those offices and this could be the reason why all these things went up.

“And if you have more staff surely, their salary will go up, taxes that you’re going to pay on their behalf will go up, the National Housing Fund contribution, PENCOM contribution will go up. Those promoted you have to implement a new salary regime for them. There’s also the issue of inflation and exchange rate differential”, he said.

 

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Economy

Gov Emmanuel Attracts $1.4b Fertilizer Plant to Akwa Ibom

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The Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mr. Udom Emmanuel has signed an agreement for the citing of a multi billion fertilizer plant in his State.

Governor Emmanuel was part of a Nigerian delegation led by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, that visited Morocco to set out the next steps of the $1.4 Bln fertilizer production plant project launched in June 2018.

The agreement between the OCP Africa, the Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority and the Akwa Ibom State Government will birth one of the biggest investments in the fertilizer production industry worldwide.

The signing ceremony took place at the Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UMP6).

Mr. Emmanuel signed one of the agreements of the partnership, which covers a memorandum of understanding between OCP Africa, the Akwa Ibom State in Nigeria and the NSIA on land acquisition, administrative facilitation, and common agricultural development projects in the Akwa Ibom State.

Speaking while signing the agreement, Governor Emmanuel said, “Our state is receptive to investments and we are prepared to offer the necessary support to make the project a reality.

“With a site that is suitably located to enable operational logistics and an abundance of gas resources, all that is left is for the parties to accelerate the project development process”, Mr. Udom said.

The agreement reached between the Nigerian Government and the OCP further links OCP, Mobil Producing Nigeria (MPN), the NNPC, the Gas Aggregation Company Nigeria (GACN), and the NSIA.

The two partners agreed to strengthen further their solid partnership leveraging Nigerian gas and the Moroccan phosphate.

This project will lead to a multipurpose industrial platform in Nigeria, which will use Nigerian gas and Moroccan phosphate to produce 750,000 tons of ammonia and 1 million tons of phosphate fertilizers annually by 2025.

The visit of the Nigerian delegation to Morocco takes place within the frame of the partnership sealed between OCP Group and the Nigerian Government to support and develop Nigeria’s agriculture industry.

Following the success of the first phase of Nigeria‘s Presidential Fertilizer Initiative (PFI) and the progress of the fertilizer production plant project launched in 2018 by OCP and NSIA, the Moroccan phosphates group and the Nigerian government delegation have agreed on the next steps of their joint project which is rapidly taking shape.

Several cooperation agreements were inked on Tuesday at the Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P) by OCP Africa and the Nigerian delegation. Through these deals, OCP reaffirms its unwavering support of agricultural development initiatives in Nigeria including PFI.

OCP Africa and the NSIA have agreed, inter alia, to set up a joint venture which will oversee the development of the industrial platform that will produce ammonia and fertilizers in Nigeria.

The OCP has also pledged to supply Nigerian famers with quality fertilizers adapted to the needs of their soil at competitive prices and produced locally.

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Economy

ICPC Says Nigeria Loses $10bn to Illicit Financial Flows 

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The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) says Nigeria accounts for 20 per cent or 10 billion dollars (N3.8 trillion) of the estimated 50 billion dollars that Africa loses to Illicit Financial Flows (IFFs).

Chairman of ICPC, Prof. Bolaji Owasanoye, said this during a virtual meeting to review a report on IFFs in relation to tax, Mrs Azuka Ogugua, spokesperson for ICPC, said in a statement released in Abuja on Friday.

The ICPC Chairman said, “the African Union Illicit Financial Flow Report estimated that Africa is losing nearly 50 billion dollars through profit shifting by multinational corporations and about 20 per cent of this figure is from Nigeria alone.”

The ICPC boss explained that taxes played “very strategic role in the nation’s political economy.”

He said the objective of the meeting was to improve on the awareness on IFFs, especially in the areas of taxation.

The ICPC boss added that the meeting would give participants the opportunity to openly discuss how to effectively use the instrumentality of taxation to curb IFFs through risk-based approach.

“Risk-based approach, that is: monitoring and audit; due process in tax collection; structured tax amnesty framework skewed in public interest; data privacy; timely resolution of audits and payment of tax refunds and intelligence sharing among revenue generating, regulatory and law enforcement agencies,” he said.

Owasanoye also stated that for the contemporary tax man to remain relevant, he must build his capacity in areas of technology management, solution architects and an astute relationship manager.

The Executive Chairman of Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) Mr Muhammad Nani, expressed concerns that IFFs posed a serious threat to the Nigerian economy as the act robbed the nation of resources that were needed for development.

Nani declared that tackling IFFs would expand the country’s tax base and improve revenue generation, which was required for development.

He consequently pushed for policy reforms that would make it difficult for “capital flights” from occurring so that the country would be placed on the path of growth.

Other discussants at the event identified weak regulatory framework, opacity of financial system and lack of capacity amongst others as some of the factors that fuelled IFFs.

The discussants emphasised the need for capacity building of relevant stakeholders as one of the ways to stamp out illicit financial flows.

They commended ICPC for leveraging its corruption prevention mandate to open a new vista in IFFs discourse in Nigeria. (NAN)

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