- Aero Plans Fleet Expansion as it Marks 60 Years
The Chief Executive Officer, Aero Contractors, Capt. Ado Sanusi, has said the airline planned to increase the number of aircraft in its fleet before the end of year, having returned to full operations.
Sanusi, who spoke at a ceremony to mark the airline’s 60th anniversary in Lagos on Tuesday, said Aero had risen from its hard times and was currently being re-invented through its aircraft management organisation, approved training organisation and charter services.
He said, “The airline service has since December, 2016 returned to full operations and grown its fixed wing operational aircraft from one to four. It is our expectation to grow our fixed wing aircraft to six by the close of this year.
“The present count of four aircraft improved our domestic flight operations to 32 daily. From one helicopter in 2017 we now have five operational helicopters with capacity to further grow this number to 10 helicopters by close of the year so as to deepen our services.
“In all, we began our repositioning journey growing our domestic operations from eight to 32 daily flights and from ferrying 8,000 passengers per month, to 52, 000 passengers per month into and out of the several airports in our route.”
Representing the Ibru family, a former Managing Director of the defunct Oceanic Bank Plc, Mrs Cecilia Ibru, said people’s confidence in the airline had been restored in the last few years.
Acknowledging the role played by Sanusi after the takeover of the airline by the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria, Ibru said Aero remained the backbone of aviation in Nigeria, in terms of services and personnel, among others.
“The passenger service, the C-checks and other things are testimonies that Aero is on an upward trajectory,” she added.
A former Director- General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Dr Harold Demuren, said the management of AMCON should be commended for resuscitating Aero.
“Without AMCON, Aero will not be here today as an airline that has contributed a lot to the growth of aviation and the oil and gas sectors. Only Nigeria Airways surpasses Aero’s human capital development in the industry,” he said.
Sanusi said Aero’s Aircraft Maintenance Organisation which was approved by the NCAA to carry out C-checks on Boeing 737 Classics helped to revive the airline, adding that it had successfully conducted C-checks on 737 CL Boeing aircraft and had secured approval from the governments of Ghana and the Democratic Republic of Congo to carry out C-checks on B737 aircraft registered in their countries.
He stated that Aero Contractors was first formed in 1959 in the Netherlands before being officially registered in Nigeria in 1960, wholly owned by Schreiner Airways B.V. of the Netherlands.
According to him, the airline later became a partly Nigerian owned company with an initial 40 per cent Nigerian shareholding in 1973, which grew to 60 per cent by 1976 in fulfilment of the requirements of compliance with the Nigerian Enterprises Promotion Decree of 1977, also known as the indigenisation decree.
“By January 2004, Schreiner Airways was bought over by CHC Helicopter which acquired a 40 per cent holding in Aero while the 60 per cent majority share remained within the Ibru family. By July 2010, CHC sold its interests in Aero and the airline became wholly owned by the lbru family,” he added.
Eat’N’Go Expands To East Africa, Projects 180 Stores By Year End
In a bid to further extend its tentacles beyond the West African market, Eat’N’Go limited, one of the leading Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) operators in Nigeria and master franchisee for world-class food brands – Domino’s Pizza, Cold Stone Creamery, and Pinkberry Gourmet Frozen Yoghurt, announced its expansion into the East African market.
This development comes after the successful acquisition of the franchisee which operated Cold Stone Creamery and Domino’s Pizza in Kenya. This acquisition will see Eat’N’Go limited become the largest Domino’s pizza and Cold Stone Creamery Master Franchisee in Africa with operations in Nigeria and Kenya.
Since its entrance to Nigeria in 2012, the QSR company has grown exponentially and has continuously nurtured the drive to extend its footprint across the African market. This acquisition provides them their first foreign market expansion, making them a Pan African company with a total number of 147 outlets across Africa and a projection to reach 180 stores by end of 2021.
Group Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director Eat’N’Go Limited, Patrick McMichael said that expanding into East Africa represents a very exciting time in the growth of the organization and also a strategic investment for the firm and its stakeholders. “Over the years, we have fostered the mission to not just bring the best QSR brands to Africa, but to directly impact on Africa’s economy and we are glad we are finally on the way to making this happen. Studying the growth of the Kenyan market in the last couple of years, we are convinced that now is the time to extend our footprint into the country.”
“We are very thrilled about this expansion as this move avails us more opportunity to provide Jobs to more Africans, especially in times like this. We remain thankful to all our customers, partners, and stakeholders who have supported us this far and we are more than ready to strengthen our dedication in satisfying the needs of our customers” Patrick added.
Eat’N’Go has over the years maintained its position as the leading food franchisee in Nigeria. As it expands its presence to other parts of Africa, the organization also places a strong focus on the quality of its products and services of all its three brands. The expansion to this new region is in line with the company’s plan to reach 180 stores across Africa by the end of 2021.
The milestone achievement and development will better position the company in its contribution to Nigeria and Africa’s economy. Currently home to over 3000 staff members across Africa, the company is committed to continuously provide job and business opportunities across the continent.
Eat’N’Go launched in 2012 in Nigeria with the vision to become the premier food operator in Africa. Today, the company has over 147 stores in Nigeria and Kenya and it continues to deliver on this promise by successfully rolling out the globally recognised brands Cold Stone Creamery and Domino’s Pizza across Africa. The company continues to expand its presence in key markets by fusing company goals with new strategic development goals and is projected to reach 180 stores across Africa by end of 2021.
Shoprite Exit: LCCI Explains Challenges Hurting Business Operations in Nigeria
Following the recent announcement of Shoprite, a leading South Africa retail giant, that it is leaving the Nigerian market due to harsh business environment and tough business policies, Dr Muda Yusuf, the Director-General, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has explained some of the challenges responsible for such decision despite Nigeria’s huge population size.
Yusuf said while such decision is negative for the Nigerian economy, several factors like harsh business environment could have forced the company to make such decision. He said it also could be due to intense competitive pressure.
He said, “Shoprite is an international brand with presence in 14 African countries and about 3,000 stores. The comparative analysis of returns on investment in these countries may have informed the decision to exit the Nigeria market.
“The opportunities for retail business in Nigeria is immense. But the competition in the sector is also very intense.
“There are departmental stores in practically every neighbourhood in our urban centres around the country. There is also a strong informal sector presence in the retail sector. It is a very competitive space.”
According to the Director-General, there are also important investment climate issues that constitute downside risks to big stores like Shoprite.
He said, “These include the trade policy environment, which imposes strict restrictions on imports; the regulatory environment, which is characterised by a multitude of regulators making endless demands.
“There is also the foreign exchange policy, which has made imports and remittances difficult for foreign investors. There are challenges of infrastructure which put pressures on costs and erodes profit margins.”
The LCCI boss added, “But we need to stress that Shoprite is only divesting and selling its shares; Shoprite as a brand will remain. I am sure there are many investors who will be quite delighted to take over the shares.
“It should be noted that there are other South African firms in Nigeria doing good business. We have MTN, Multichoice, Stanbic IBTC, and Standard Chartered Bank, among others. Some of them are making more money in Nigeria than in South Africa.”
He added that some sectors are more vulnerable to the challenges of the business environment than others.
Afrinvest Appoints Mrs. Onaghinon As COO
Afrinvest West Africa Limited, has appointed the former head of public private partnership agency of the Edo State, Mrs Onoise Onaghinon as its chief operating officer.
Onaghinon joined Afrinvest in 2003 as an analyst in the firm’s investment banking division, rising through the ranks to become an associate, then vice president and eventually executive director & head of investment banking.
She is a seasoned veteran in the Nigerian capital markets and investment landscape with over 18 years of experience in capital raising, mergers and acquisitions, and restructurings across many industries.
In 2017, Onaghinon took a sabbatical from the Firm to head the Public Private Partnership Agency of the Edo State Government. Having acquitted herself creditably in the public sector, she has rejoined the Firm to resume as the new COO.
Speaking on the appointment, group managing director of Afrinvest, Ike Chioke, said: “over the years, Onaghinon has demonstrated great leadership, professional excellence and outstanding client commitment in driving the firm’s business units, particularly our investment banking division. We are delighted to have her back and we look forward to leveraging her cross-disciplinary experience across the Afrinvest group”.
In her new role, Onaghinon will oversee human resources, legal & compliance, internal control and general services while leading the firm’s initiatives to improve efficiency across its subsidiaries.
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