- Aviation Workers Vow to Oppose Airports’ Concession
Aviation workers have vowed that they will continue to oppose the planned concession of major airports in the country, saying it would lead to job losses.
The federal government since 2016 had set out a plan to concession the airports and brings in private investors to expand and modernise its infrastructure in a public, private partnership (PPP) arrangement.
According to the Minister of State, Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, government would kick off the concession programme with the four international airports in Lagos, Abuja, Kano and Port Harcourt.
But aviation workers have insisted that they would not allow government to concession the airports, considering what happened to ex-workers of the defunct Nigeria Airways Limited (NAL), which was finally liquidated in 2004, without settling the workers of the national carrier.
They stressed that they do not believe the government would be sincere in paying severance benefits when the airports are concessioned.
Addressing members during the celebration of Workers’ Day on Wednesday, the President of the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), Mr. Ben Nnabue said: “My leadership is committed to the just cause of ensuring that the unjustifiable policy of concessioning the four major airports does not see the light of day. This battle shall be escalated in the coming days as we know that government is unrelenting on the matter.”
Nnebue in his speech reinforced the position of the workers’ opposition despite the overtures made by government for them to understand the benefits of concession.
A former National Secretary of NUATE, Olayinka Abioye had reiterated the position of the workers and stated that the decision of NUATE, other unions in the industry, and their national affiliates was to shut down all air operations if government decide to carry out the concession programme without carrying the workers along.
Abioye had said: “We are going to confront the government because what they are doing is fraudulent. We know that when concession is done transparently it is beautiful to behold and if concession is the key for infrastructural renewal, this is not the way to go about it. Sirika does not want to be a servant but a slave driver.”
The former NUATE national secretary said the unions and the workers did not support the planned airport concession under the present arrangement, unless there was transparent effort that also effectively took into account the interest of the workers.
“We have said no to concession. We are not unmindful of the benefits of concession when properly done, but this government wants to concession the four major airports in the country.
“But one of the fundamental questions is, what do they want to concession? Do they want to concession the terminals, the runways or the services? And they said that there won’t be job losses, but we know that all over the world there will be job losses when concession takes place.”
However, government said it is focused on the benefits of concession and as the new government is sworn into power on May 29 2019, it is believed it would swing into action with the process of concesioning the four major airports.
Government believes that concession would remove the funding of public infrastructure from government to the private sector and creates competition, more jobs and profitability, as concessionaires strive to modernise and expand such public utility.
Sirika recently restated the determination of the Buhari administration to concession the airports.
“I hope you have not forgotten that the major purpose of this government from the inception, as far as aviation is concerned, is to concession the airports. This is because we do not believe that government can effectively run these airports.
“We must have to work with the private sector in airport management. But because we are like social democrats, we don’t intend to cede the assets to private hands.
“We intend to concession it for a maximum period of 30 years. I am very sure they will be run very efficiently and the private sector will make their money and get the service that we need that has been eluding the country,” Sirika said.
Global Markets Near Record Peaks and Will Get Stronger: deVere CEO
As the FTSE 100 hits 7,000 points for the first time since the Covid pandemic, global stock markets are poised to “get even stronger”, says the CEO of one of the world’s largest independent financial advisory and fintech organisations.
The observation from Nigel Green, the chief executive and founder of deVere Group, comes as London’s index jumped over the important threshold in early trading in London, gaining over 0.5% to 7024 points.
Mr Green notes: “London’s blue-chip index is up 40% since the worst lows of the pandemic.
“This landmark moment represents the wider optimistic sentiment gripping global markets which are near record peaks.
“We can expect global stock markets to get even stronger as investors look to seize the opportunities from economies reopening.
“They are looking towards economies rebounding in a post-pandemic era due to the monetary and fiscal stimulus, pent-up cash and demand, and strong corporate earnings.
“The current ultra-low interest rate environment and the under-performance of bonds will also act as a catalyst for stock markets.”
However, the CEO’s bullish comments also come with a warning.
“I would urge investors to proceed with caution as there are some headwinds on the horizon, including relations between the U.S. and China, the world’s two largest economies, which could be coming to a tipping point in coming weeks.
“As such, in order to capitalise on the opportunities and mitigate risks, investors must ensure proper portfolio diversification.”
Mr Green concludes: “A variety of factors are going to drive global stock markets. Investors will not want to miss out and should work with a good fund manager to judiciously top-up their portfolios.”
Refinitiv Expands Economic Data Coverage Across Africa
Building on its commitment to drive positive change through its data and insights, Refinitiv today announced the expansion of its economic data coverage of Africa. The new data set allows investment managers, central bankers, economists, and research teams to use Refinitiv Datasteam analytical data for detailed exploration of economic relationships and investment opportunities among data series covering the African continent.
Securing reliable, detailed, timely, locally sourced content has not been easy for economists who have in the past had to use international sources which often can take many months to update and opportunities to monitor the market can be missed. Because Africa is a diverse continent, economists and strategists need more timely access to country-specific data via national sources to create tailored business, policy, trading and investment strategies to meet specific goals.
Africa continues to develop critical infrastructure, telecommunications, digital technology and access to financial services for its 1.3bn people. The World Bank estimates that over 50% of African inhabitants will be under 25 by 2050. This presents substantial opportunities for investors who can spot important trends and make informed decisions based on robust and timely economic data.
Stuart Brown, Group Head of Enterprise Data Solutions, Refinitiv, said: “Africa’s growing, dynamic and fast evolving economies makes it a focal point for financial markets today and in the coming decades. As part of LSEG’s commitment to empowering the global markets with accurate and timely data, we are excited about making these unique datasets available via the Refinitiv Data Platform. Our economic data coverage of Africa will provide our customers with deeper and broader inputs for macroeconomic analyses and enable more effective investment strategies and economic research.”
Refinitiv Africa economic data coverage:
- Africa economics content comprises around 500,000 nationally sourced time series data covering 54 African nations
- Content is sourced from national statistical offices, central banks and other key national institutions
- The full breadth of economics categories in Datastream including national accounts, money and finance, prices, surveys, labor market, consumer, industry, government and external sectors
- International sources including OECD, World Bank, IMF, African Development Bank, Oxford Economics & more provide comparable data & forecasts across the continent
Refinitiv® Datastream® has global macroeconomics coverage to analyze virtually any macro environment, and better understand economic cycles to uncover trends and forecast market conditions. With over 14.2 million economic times series map trends, customers can validate ideas and identify opportunities using Refinitiv Datastream. Access its powerful charting tools, 9,000 pre-built chart templates and chart studies for commonly used valuation, performance, and technical and fundamental analysis.
Refinitiv continually grows available data – the China expansion in 2019 covered a unique combination of economic and financial indicators. Refinitiv plans to expand Southeast Asia covering Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines and Malaysia with delivery expected in 2021. This ensures that Refinitiv will have much needed emerging market economic content.
Oil Rises on Drawdown in U.S. Oil Stocks, OPEC Demand Outlook
Oil prices rose in early trade on Wednesday, adding to overnight gains, after industry data showed U.S. oil inventories declined more than expected and OPEC raised its outlook for oil demand.
Brent crude futures rose 28 cents, or 0.4%, to $63.95 a barrel at 0057 GMT, after climbing 39 cents on Tuesday.
U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures similarly climbed 28 cents, or 0.5%, to $60.46 a barrel, adding to Tuesday’s rise of 48 cents.
Oil price gains over the past week have been underpinned by signs of a strong economic recovery in China and the United States, but have been capped by concerns over stalled vaccine rollouts worldwide and soaring COVID-19 infections in India and Brazil.
Nevertheless, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) tweaked up its forecast on Tuesday for world oil demand growth this year, now expecting demand to rise by 5.95 million barrels per day (bpd) in 2021, up by 70,000 bpd from its forecast last month. It is banking on the pandemic to subside and travel curbs to be eased.
“It was a welcome prognosis by the market, which had been fretting about the impact the ongoing pandemic was having on demand,” ANZ Research analysts said in a note.
Further supporting the market on Wednesday, sources said data from the American Petroleum Institute showed crude stocks fell by 3.6 million barrels in the week ended April 9, compared with estimates for a decline of about 2.9 million barrels from analysts polled by Reuters.
Traders are waiting to see if official inventory data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) on Wednesday matches that view.
Market gains are being capped on concerns about increased oil production in the United States and rising supply from Iran at a time when OPEC and its allies, together called OPEC+, are set to bring on more supply from May.
“They may have to contend with rising U.S. supply,” ANZ analysts said.
EIA said this week oil output from seven major shale formations is expected to rise by 13,000 bpd in May to 7.61 million bpd.
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