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Nigeria, India Bilateral Air Service Agreement

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  • Nigeria, India Bilateral Air Service Agreement

Recently the federal government signed a Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA) with the Republic of India in order to deepen flight operations with the Asian country.

This was disclosed by the Minister of State, Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika through his twitter handle, as plans to reach this partnership had been afoot in the last six months.

While it is necessary to reach this agreement with India because of the increasing volume of trade, the increasing number of Indians doing business in Nigeria and the fact that India has provided succour to many sick Nigerians who could not be treated in the country, there is still apprehension about the agreement; whether like many others signed in the past, it was lopsided against the interest of Nigeria and her airlines.

India benefits most from medical tourism by Nigerians than anywhere in Africa, findings revealed that the major job of some Indian companies in Nigeria is to facilitate medical checks and movement of patients from the country to the world’s second most populated country.

Aviation industry consultant and CEO of Aglo Limited, Tayo Ojuri, said there is a lot of health tourism from Nigeria to India and that a lot of Indians are doing business in Nigeria.

Ojuri added: “Nigeria and India also have large population and market strata. There are some levels of balance of trade between the two countries.”

Sirika however, did not give details of the bilateral agreement in the information he made public but it has to be noted that currently there is no direct flight service between Nigeria and India.

Many Nigerians that travel connect flights in Addis Ababa or in Dubai but the federal government had designated Air Peace to Mumbai and with this agreement it is hoped that Indian carriers would be coming to Nigeria too.

But many industry observers are sceptical that many bilateral agreements entered into by Nigeria are always skewed against the country.

That explained why aviation experts have variously advised the federal government to review its BASA with many countries whose airline operate into Nigeria.

This is critical and sobering when it is considered that that foreign airlines generated revenues from ticket sales of over $3.2 billion in the last two years from Nigeria but no Nigerian airline benefitted from such long-haul operations.

The last time he was in Nigeria, the international aviation consultant, Chairman of African Business Aviation Association (AfBA) and the former Secretary-General of Africa Airlines Association (AFRAA), Nick Fadugba, said most of the BASA agreements signed between Nigeria and other countries are largely tilted against Nigeria and that it would be difficult to begin to renegotiate them.

He, however, said Nigeria should be careful henceforth and ensure that new BASA deals don’t follow the old ways.
“When I look at BASA in Nigeria, it is like we opened the stable door and the horse has gone and to catch it back it is going to be very difficult. We entered into BASA agreements with numerous countries, the principle of BASA is reciprocity and yet we entered into BASA and we are not able to reciprocate,” he said.

So industry operators are demanding that the federal government should make available the details of the agreement it recently signed with India to ensure that Nigeria is not short-changed.

They also stated that Nigeria should ensure that its own airlines benefit from such agreements and not just designating them to foreign destinations, adding, “other governments follow their airlines to do the leg work.”

The Director of Research and Strategy at Zenith Travels, Fidel Olu Ohunayo, said governments that care for the interest of their indigenous carriers must ensure that the interest of their home airlines are protected first but in Nigeria government officials sign agreements that are tilted against the interest of Nigerian operators.

Ohunayo, said there is no way Nigerian airlines can survive if government does not protect their interest as other countries do; noting that the priority of governments in aviation is to protect their own.

“British Airways has input in all British government’s bilateral, hence they get good slots in other countries, while our own carriers battle Heathrow or Gatwick airport management for slots and space which should have been factored in the BASA agreement Nigeria signed with UK,” he said.

Recently the President of Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Babatunde Ruwase said the trade volume between Nigeria and India had hit over $20 billion, noting that the trade had brought about strong bilateral relationship.

It is estimated that Nigeria spends about $1.3 billion on overseas medical treatment, including kidney and heart diseases and many of them seek such treatment in India.

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.

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Akinwumi Adesina Says It Is Impossible for Businesses to Survive Without Generator in Nigeria

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The President of the African Development Bank (AFDB), Akinwumi Adesina faulted the lack of reliable power supply in Nigeria as a hindrance to industrial growth in the nation.

Speaking at the 49th Annual General Meeting of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria in Abuja, Adesina stated that Nigerians spend $14 billion yearly on generators and fuel. He further went on to quote a report by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) which stated that Nigeria loses $29 billion annually, about 5.8 percent of its Gross Domestic Product due to a lack of reliable power supply.

He went on to note the various challenges affecting manufacturing in the country stating that lack of reliable power supply in the country is a major challenge to manufacturers. His words were “To be a manufacturer in Nigeria is not an easy task. You succeed not because of the ease of doing business in the country, but by surmounting multiple constraints that limit industrial manufacturing. Today, the major challenge facing Nigeria’s manufacturing is the very high cost and unreliability of electricity supply. Load shedding and the inconsistent availability of electrical power have resulted in high and uncompetitive manufacturing costs.

He went on saying “Today, no business can survive in Nigeria without generators. Consequently, the abnormal has become normal. Traveling on a road one day in Lagos, I saw an advertisement on a billboard that caught my attention. It was advertising generators with the bold statement, we are the Nation’s number one reliable power supplier!!”

He then went on to proffer potential solutions to the problem, saying that Nigeria should invest in different means of energy generation to ensure the efficiency of the local industries. He suggested there should be massive investment in variable energy mixes, including gas, hydropower resources, and large-scale solar systems to ensure stable baseload power for industries to direct power preferentially to industries and to support industrial mini-grids and concentrate power in industrial zones. In addition, he suggested the development of more efficient utilities which would reduce the technical and non-technical losses in power generation, transmission and distribution systems.

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World Bank Says Nigeria’s Economy is Static, Per Capita Income Unchanged in 40 Years

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The World Bank claims Nigeria’s per capita income has been static since 1981, which is a total of 40 years.

The Country Director of the World Bank, Shubham Chaudhuri said this at the breakout panel session of the 27th Nigerian Economic Summit on Lightning Nigeria: Solution framework for power recovery held in Abuja.

He further went on to advise Nigeria’s economic managers to quickly assemble potent strategies to harness the robust potential of the country.

He went on to say that the medium-term development plan for 2021-2025 is set on the development agenda for sustainable growth driven by new and emerging sectors. He claimed about three million Nigerians come of working age yearly, but surveys have shown that they aspire to go abroad to earn a better standard of living.

Per Capita Income is an Economic indicator that indicates the average income earned per person in a country in a specified year. It is calculated by dividing the country’s total income by its total population. In 1981, according to World Bank data, Nigeria’s per capita income was $2,180.2 and per capita income was $2,097 in 2020, meaning there has been no significant change in four decades.

 Earlier in the session, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed called for a paradigm shift in running the country’s economy through comprehensive and targeted reforms, a reorientation of national values, and a radical shift in attitudes to taxation and public financial management. 

She said, “This is consistent with the focus of this administration on targeted investment in critical infrastructure and social development.

 The Nigerian Economic Summit is the flagship event of the Nigerian Economic Summit Group (NESG) and it is organized in collaboration with the National Planning Commission (NPC). The Nigerian economic summit has consistently focused on job creation, small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) growth, competitiveness, dismantling the pillars of corruption, encouraging sustainable growth and development, and aligning home-grown long-term agenda with the UN sustainable development goals. The 27th Nigerian Economic Summit has the theme Securing our Future: The Fierce Urgency of Now.

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East African Countries to Discuss Economic Recovery and Investments Promotion this Week in Kigali

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More than 100 decision-makers and economic stakeholders will gather in Kigali this week to discuss the road to social and economic recovery and how to attract investments in East Africa. The meeting known as the 25th session of the Intergovernmental Committee of Senior Officials and Experts (ICSOE), will take place from 27 to 29 October 2021. 

The ICSOE is the annual gathering of the office for Eastern Africa of the UN Economic Commission in Africa (UNECA) organised in collaboration with the Rwanda Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning. The theme of this year’s meeting is: “Strengthening resilience for a strong recovery and attracting investments to foster economic diversification and long-term growth in Eastern Africa”.

Dr Mama Keita, Director of UNECA in Eastern Africa said that the Covid-19 pandemic has weakened the economic conditions of all countries in the region. She stressed that the ICSOE meeting will provide a platform for various stakeholders from governments to have a conversation with experts and private sectors on the needed economic recovery and on how to re-ignite the engines of trade and investment.

Dr Uzziel Ndagijimana, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning said that this meeting is timely and significant. “This is the time for Rwanda to discuss with other countries of the region the potentials and the ability to rise and be responsive to the socio-economic challenges, exacerbated by the Covid-19 crisis.

According to Ms Keita, the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) is undoubtedly critical to support the recovery from the severe adverse impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic, increase the economic multiplier in the region and will help countries to build back better, grow their economies and create jobs that foster inclusive growth.

The participants at the meeting will discuss thematic issues such as deepening Regional Value Chains, environment for investment Opportunities and Interlinkages between peace, security and development.

The subregional office for East Africa of UNECA serves 14 countries: Burundi, Comores, RD Congo, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Madagascar, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.

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