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Flight Operations Begin at Abuja Airport’s New Terminal

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Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport
  • Flight Operations Begin at Abuja Airport’s New Terminal

The newly inaugurated international terminal at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, has officially been opened for operations as Asky Airlines began operations at the terminal on Sunday.

Asky Airlines’ B737-700 aircraft with flight number ET-AVP, which landed at the airport at 3:30 pm from Lome in Togo, had 91 persons on board comprising 85 passengers and six crew members according to the News Agency of Nigeria.

Commenting on the maiden flight, the Managing Director, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, Mr Saleh Dunoma, said the new terminal had been positioned to meet passengers’ expectations.

Dunoma said he expected other international airlines to move into the new terminal as soon as possible, saying it was a great departure from what was obtainable at the old terminal in terms of equipment and passenger facilitation.

According to him, other airlines have to key in because “you cannot compare this terminal and the old one because if you are looking for safety, passenger facilitation and comfort this is the place.”

The Regional General Manager, North Central, FAAN/Airport Manager, NAIA, Mr Sani Mahmud, said the maiden operation was hitch-free with the successful processing of 91 passengers on board Asky Airlines from Lome, Togo and the departing passengers to Ndjamena on the same flight.

Mahmud gave the assurance that all the facilities in the terminal had been tested and certified perfect to handle all international flights, adding that the commencement of operation by Asky was a confirmation.

According to him, WiFi is available and trolleys are also available for free in the terminal.

“We thank God for making it possible that today, we were able to commence flight operations in the new terminal of the NAIA that was inaugurated on December 20, 2018 by President Muhammadu Buhari.

“We sincerely appreciate all the stakeholders that made this possible and as you can see, all the agencies are on the ground for international operations.

“We want to assure Nigerians and the world that this terminal will be maintained beautifully because we have a very good strong team in this airport.

“This is the same team that certified this airport in 2017, won the best-improved airport in safety this year and also won the airport manager of the year back to back in 2017 and 2018,” he said.

A passenger, who is a Chadian and married to a Nigerian, Mr Patricia Monomon, said she was experiencing the best flight in Nigeria for the first time.

Monomon said the terminal could be described as one of the best anywhere in the world, saying it was a great achievement in the air transport sector.

She urged the government and the airport management to ensure that the facility was properly maintained to retain the standard, adding that the major problem in Africa was maintenance.

“The last time I travelled through this airport was like a nightmare but I can’t imagine the experience of today in this same airport because this time round, it is really fantastic.

“It paints a good image about the country because the airport is the first place you see in any country and it is the experience you get from the airport that will determine your view about the country.

“If you meet such facility at the airport on your arrival, you will feel relaxed,” she added.

Also Isidore Nwoko, a Nigerian technician based in Ndjamena, said he was delighted to see such an airport terminal in the country, saying he was angry that Nigeria could not afford to have a world-class airport before now.

According to him, he can be proud anywhere in the world that Nigeria now has a beautiful airport.

“As it is now, it is good and I am urging the government to ensure that this airport is maintained and kept it clean as it is today,” he said.

The Director/Chief Correspondent, China Radio International, Abuja Bureau, King Wang, said that Nigeria, being the most populous nation and number one economy in Africa, deserved nothing less than the new facility.

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

Electricity Consumers Get 611,231 Meters Under MAP Scheme

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power project

Electricity Consumers Get 611,231 Meters Under MAP Scheme

A total of 611,231 meters have been deployed as at January 31, 2021 under the Meter Asset Provider initiative since its full operation despite the COVID-19 pandemic and other extraneous factors, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission has said.

NERC disclosed this in a consultation paper on the review of the MAP Regulations.

The proposed review of the MAP scheme is coming nearly four months after the Federal Government launched a new initiative called National Mass Metering Programme aimed at distributing six million meters to consumers free of charge.

“The existence of a huge metering gap and the need to ensure successful implementation of the MYTO 2020 Service-Based Tariff resulted in the approval of the NMMP, a policy of the Federal Government anchored on the provision of long-term low interest financing to the Discos,” NERC said.

The commission had in March 2018 approved the MAP Regulations with the aim of fast-tracking the closure of the metering gap in the sector through the engagement of third-party investors (called meter asset providers) for the financing, procurement, supply, installation and maintenance of meters.

It set a target of providing meters to all customers within three years, and directed the Discos and the approved MAPs to commence the rollout of meters not later than May 1, 2019.

But in February 2020, NERC said several constraints, including changes in fiscal policy and the limited availability of long-term funding, had led to limited success in meter rollout.

NERC, in the consultation paper, highlighted three proposed options for metering implementation going forward.

The first option is to allow the implementation of both the NMMP and MAP metering frameworks to run concurrently; the second is to continue with the current MAP framework with meters procured under the NMMP supplied only through MAPs (by being off-takers from the local manufacturers/assemblers).

The third option is to wind down the MAP framework and allow the Discos to procure meters directly from local manufacturers/assemblers (or as procured by the World Bank), and enter into new contracts for the installation and maintenance of such meters.

“Customers who choose not to wait to receive meters based on the deployment schedule of the NMMP shall continue to have the option of making upfront payments for meters which will be installed within a maximum period of 10 working days,” NERC said.

The regulator said such customers would be refunded by the Discos through energy credits, adding that there would be no option for meter acquisition through the payment of a monthly meter service charge.

“Where meters have already been deployed under the meter service charge option, Discos shall make one-off repayment to affected customers and associated MAPs. Such meters shall be recognised in the rate base of the Discos,” it added.

NERC urged stakeholders to provide comments, objections, and representations on the proposed amendments within 21 days of the publication of the consultation paper.

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Economy

Nigeria’s Economy Moving in Right Direction but Slow – Amina Mohammed

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Banana Island

Nigeria’s Economy Moving in Right Direction but Slow – Amina Mohammed

Nigeria is moving in the right direction economically but its movement is not fast, the United Nations stated on Thursday.

Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, Amina Mohammed, said this during a meeting at the headquarters of the Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment in Abuja.

She said the challenges in Nigeria were huge, its population large but described the country’s economy as great with lots of opportunities.

The UN scribe stated that after traveling by train and through various roads in the Northern parts of Nigeria, she discovered that the roads were motorable, although there were ongoing repairs on some of them.

Mohammed said, “This is a country that is diverse in nature, ethnicity, religious backgrounds and opportunities. But these are its strengths, not weaknesses.

“And I think the narrative for Nigeria has to change to one that is very much the reality.”

Speaking on her trips across parts of Nigeria, she said, “What I saw along the way is really a country that is growing, that is moving in the right direction economically. Is it fast enough? No. Is it in the right direction? Yes it is.

“And the challenges still remain with security, our social cohesion and social contract between government and the people. But I know that people are working on these issues.”

She said the UN recognised the reforms in Nigeria and other nations, adding that the common global agenda was the Sustainable Development Goals.

Mohammad commended Nigeria’s quick response to the COVID-19 pandemic, as she expressed hope that the arrival of vaccines would be the beginning of the end of COVID-19.

On his part, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Adeniyi Adebayo, told his guest that the Federal Government was working hard to make Nigeria the entrepreneurial hub of Africa.

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N10.7tn Spent on Fuel Subsidy in 10 Years – MOMAN

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petrol Oil

N10.7tn Spent on Fuel Subsidy in 10 Years – MOMAN

Nigeria spent a total of N10.7tn on fuel subsidy in the last 10 years, the Chairman, Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, Mr Adetunji Oyebanji, has said.

Oyebanji, who was the guest speaker at the 18th Aret Adams Lecture on Thursday, said N750bn was spent on subsidy in 2019.

He highlighted the need for a transition to a market-driven environment through policy-backed legislative and commercial frameworks, enabling the sustainability of the downstream petroleum sector.

“Total deregulation is more than just the removal of price subsidies; it is aimed at improving business operations, increasing the investments in the oil and gas sector value chain, resulting in the growth in the nation’s downstream petroleum sector as a whole,” he said.

The managing director of 11 Plc (formerly Mobil Oil Nigeria Plc) said steps had been taken, “but larger and faster leaps are now required.”

According to him, deregulation requires the creation of a competitive market environment, and will guarantee the supply of products at commercial and market prices.

“It requires unrestricted and profitable investments in infrastructure, earning reasonable returns to investors. It requires a strong regulator to enable transparency and fair competition among players, and not to regulate prices,” Oyebanji said.

He noted that MOMAN had recently called for a national debate by stakeholders to share pragmatic and realistic initiatives to ease the impact of the subsidy removal on society – especially on the most vulnerable.

He said, “A shift from crude oil production to crude oil full value realisation through deliberate investment in domestic refining and refined products distribution, creates the opportunity to transform the dynamics of the downstream sector from one of ‘net importer’ to one of ‘net exporter’, spurring the growth of the Nigerian economy.

“Effective reforms and regulations are key drivers for the growth within the refining sector. Non-functional refineries cost Nigeria over $13bn in 2019. If the NNPC refineries were operating at optimal capacity, Nigeria would have imported only 40 per cent of what it consumed in 2019.”

Full deregulation of the downstream sector remains the most glaring boost to potential investors in this space, according to Oyebanji.

He said, “As crude oil prices will fluctuate depending on the prevailing exchange rates, it will be astute to trade in naira to avoid inevitable price swings.

“There needs to be a balance between ensuring the sustainable growth of the crude oil value chain (upstream through downstream) and providing value for the Nigerian consumer and the Nigerian economy.”

He said the philosophy should be for the government to put the legislative and commercial framework in place and let the market develop by itself.

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