- Nigeria Lost $2.8bn to Piracy, Others in 2018–UN Report
A report released by the United Nations Secretary-General’s office in New York has shown that Nigeria lost estimated revenue of $2.8bn in 2018, as a result of crude oil and maritime crimes.
The report revealed that maritime crime, including piracy, dominated in the coast of West Africa and posed a big threat to peace and development in the region.
The report also noted a rise in the drug trade in the region.
Part of the report read, “Maritime crime and piracy off the coast of West Africa continued to pose a threat to peace, security and development in the region.
“Oil-related crimes resulted in the loss of nearly $2.8bn dollars in revenues last year in Nigeria, according to government figures.”
The report noted that between January 1 and November 23, there were 82 reported incidents of maritime crime and piracy in the Gulf of Guinea.
It added that in the Republic of Benin, the Gambia and Nigeria, more than 50 kilogrammes of cocaine were seized between July and October by joint airport interdiction task forces.
“During the same period, joint airport interdiction task forces seized more than six kilogrammes of methamphetamines, eight kilogrammes of heroin (double the amount in the first half of 2018) and 2.6 tonnes of cannabis.
“Drug production across the region was also reportedly on the rise, with more than 100 kilogrammes of ephedrine and phenacetin seized by competent authorities.’’
The report is coming on the heels of concerns raised in April by the International Chamber of Commerce’s International Maritime Bureau that warned of the surge in armed attacks against ships around West Africa, and said that the attacks were pushing up global levels of piracy and armed robbery at sea.
The IMB’s Piracy Reporting Centre recorded 66 incidents in the first quarter of 2018, up from 43 for the same period in 2017, and 37 in Q1 2016.
The Bureau noted that in the first three months of 2018, 100 crew were taken a hostage and 14 kidnapped from their vessels. A total of 39 vessels were boarded, 11 fired upon and four vessels hijacked. IMB received a further 12 reports of attempted attacks.
The Gulf of Guinea accounts for 29 incidents in the first quarter of 2018, more than 40 per cent of the global total. Of the 114 seafarers captured worldwide, all but one was in this region, the report noted.
The Bureau also reported that in the first nine months of 2018, a total of 156 incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships were reported, compared to 121 for the same period in 2017.
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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