- FG Decries Huge Loses to Illegal Mining Seriki Adinoyi in Jos
The federal government has lamented the activities of illegal miners across the country.
It noted that 80 per cent of mining activities in Nigeria are illegal, causing the country to lose billions of Nigeria annually and greatly constraining the contribution of the sector to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, Georgina Ekeoma, who raised the alarm in Jos at the opening ceremony for ‘Capacity Building for Special Mines Surveillance Task Force on Illegal Mining,’ said that the products of the illegal miners are smuggled out of the country, thereby depriving government of supposed royalties, and posing serious detriments to the Nigerian economy.
Identifying Mining as a growth enabler all over the world, Ekeoma observed that the case in Nigeria, where illegal mining poses serious threat to growth, is unfortunately different.
She said, “Mr. President has expressed concern over the alarming rate of illegal mining going on in the country and its attendant consequence of scaring off investors, as well as making an unattractive investment for sustainable development of the sector.
“We will therefore be delighted to see the end of the menace in Nigeria. That is why government established the Presidential Special Mines Surveillance Task Force in 2012 with membership drawn from relevant ministries and security organisations.”
Turning to the participants who were drawn various security agencies including the Nigerian Customs and Nigerian Security Civil Defence Corps, Ekeoma said: “Your tasks as members of this taskforce is critical to the realisation of government’s confidence in this sector as a substitute for oil in revenue generation.
“You are charged with the responsibility of curbing illegal mining, reducing environmental degradation and plugging revenue leakages amongst others.
“While appreciating the risks involved in your operations, I would like to commend you for your efforts so far at achieving your mandate. But much still needs to be done by the SMSTF especially with the disturbing upsurge in illegal mining activities across the federation particularly in Ebonyi, Niger, Plateau, Oyo, Taraba and Zamfara.”
Also charging them to avoid the temptation of compromising the objective of their assignment by conniving with or serving as a cover for illegal miners, Ekeoma said, “I admonish you to focus your drive on the illegal mining activities perpetrated by foreign operators.”
“These operators will never engage in such activities in their countries knowing it will deny their government of due revenue. As a result, you should not support them in undermining our economy to the detriment of us all.”
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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