- Aircraft Acquisition: Finally, Lessors Blacklist Nigeria
Nigerian airlines will henceforth find it extremely difficult to acquire aircraft through leasing, except by outright purchase as major aircraft leasing companies in the world have blacklisted the country.
The blacklisting was as a result of the failure of some indigenous airlines to return aircraft to lessors after they defaulted on the terms of the acquisition of the equipment.
Checks from reliable industry sources that recent efforts by some domestic carriers to lease aircraft met a dead end as many of the lessors shunned the request while others gave outrageous conditions that could not be met by the operators.
The leasing companies may have decided to blacklist Nigeria after Top Brass, a charter service airline allegedly defaulted in leasing agreement with Seagold, Canada based lessor, which leased a Bombardier Q300 aircraft to the Nigerian carrier.
Investigation shows that efforts to recover the aircraft by Seagold was made difficult by Top Brass, which went to court to frustrate the recovery; until the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) waded in and using the principle of the Cape Town Convention facilitated the Canadian company to recover the aircraft.
In reaction, Top Brass raised an alarm and accused Seagold of stealing the aircraft, which was deregistered by NCAA as a Nigeria aircraft and on arrival in Canada, was registered by the country’s civil aviation authority, Transport Canada.
The blacklisting was confirmed by the CEO of Aero Contractors, Captain Ado Sanusi, who noted that because of series of default by some Nigerian carriers, the lessors have decided not to lease aircraft to indigenous operators.
“Nigeria has reached to that point where there is subtle blacklisting. When a country is blacklisted there is no official letter written to you, telling you that you have been blacklisted. It is when you now go to the market to get these assets and you are turned down or you are given ridiculous and outrageous prices to discourage you from leasing the aircraft that you will know that your country has been blacklisted,” Sanusi said.
The Aero CEO said Nigeria domesticated Cape Town Convention (which enables commercial airlines to lease aircraft and other mobile assets without hindrances), in order to ease aircraft acquisition for Nigerian carriers, but one major condition for leasing aircraft was that in case of default or disagreement between the lessor and the lessee (the airline operator), the leasing company should be assisted to recover its equipment by the country’s government and civil aviation authority.
“The important thing is why did Nigeria domesticate the Cape Town Convention? The reason is so that Nigerian airlines can have easy access to acquisition of aircraft globally and we can pay our lease rentals as at when due.
“To give assurance to the owners of these assets, is that when they feel that there is default he can take back his airplane, his engine or whatever he has leased to you out of the country without any hindrance; be it from the regulator, be it from Customs or from the legal system. After that you can now start talking about the terms of the agreement and whether it was infringed upon,” Aero CEO explained.
The Director General of NCAA, Captain Muhtar Usman, recently raised an alarm and expressed the fear that the misconduct of some of the Nigerian airlines in defaulting leasing agreements with lessors might lead to the blacklisting of Nigeria.
The Director General singlehandedly took up the case of Seagold and made sure the aircraft was returned to the company in Canada in the effort to ensure that the Cape Town Convention principles were not breached.
“The aim of having the Cape Town Convention is to help, especially African airlines to be able to get leases easily and at affordable prices. Of course, it came with certain conditions because the people who are going to lease will always need to have some kind of comfort that if there is any default they will be able to recover their mobile equipment, aircraft, engine or anything along that line,” the DG NCAA had explained.
On the alleged stealing of the aircraft by Seagold, Sanusi said, “How in this day and age can anyone steal an aircraft when if you steal a phone you can be traced? If you steal a car from Europe to Nigeria, on arrival the car is demobilised.
“How can anyone steal an aircraft and fly it across Europe to Canada? It is not possible.”
NNPC Supplies 1.44 Billion Litres of Petrol in January 2021
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) supplied a total of 1.44 billion litres of Premium Motor Spirit popularly known as petrol in January 2021.
The corporation disclosed in its latest Monthly Financial and Operations Report (MFOR) for the month of January.
NNPC said the 1.44 billion litres translate to 46.30 million litres per day.
Also, a total of 223.55Billion Cubic Feet (BCF) of natural gas was produced in the month of January 2021, translating to an average daily production of 7,220.22 Million Standard Cubic Feet per Day (mmscfd).
The 223.55BCF gas production figure also represents a 4.79% increase over output in December 2020.
Also, the daily average natural gas supply to gas power plants increased by 2.38 percent to 836mmscfd, equivalent to power generation of 3,415MW.
For the period of January 2020 to January 2021, a total of 2,973.01BCF of gas was produced representing an average daily production of 7,585.78 mmscfd during the period.
Period-to-date Production from Joint Ventures (JVs), Production Sharing Contracts (PSCs) and Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) contributed about 65.20%, 19.97 percent and 14.83 percent respectively to the total national gas production.
Out of the total gas output in January 2021, a total of 149.24BCF of gas was commercialized consisting of 44.29BCF and 104.95BCF for the domestic and export markets respectively.
NNPC Says Pipeline Vandalism Decrease by 37.21 Percent in January 2021
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) said vandalisation of pipelines across the country reduced by 37.21 percent in the month of January 2021.
This was disclosed in the January 2021 edition of the NNPC Monthly Financial and Operations Report (MFOR).
The report noted that 27 pipeline points were vandalised in January 2021, down from 43 points posted in December 2020.
It also stated that the Mosimi Area accounted for 74 percent of the total vandalised points in Janauray while Kaduna Area and Port Harcourt accounted for the remaining 22 percent and 4 percent respectively.
NNPC said it will continue to engage local communities and other stakeholders to reduce and eventually eliminate the pipeline vandalism menace.
Nigeria’s Food Inflation Hits 22.95 Percent in March 2021
Food inflation in Africa’s largest economy Nigeria rose by 22.95 percent in March 2021, the latest report from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has shown.
Food Index increased at a faster pace when compared to 21.70 percent filed in February 2021.
Increases were recorded in Bread and cereals, Potatoes, yam and other tubers, Meat, Vegetable, Fish, Oils and fats and fruits.
On a monthly basis, the food sub-index grew by 1.90 percent in March 2021. An increase of 0.01 percent points from 1.89 percent recorded in February 2021.
Analysing a more stable inflation trend, the twelve-month ended March 2021, showed the food index averaged 17.93 percent in the last twelve months, representing an increase of 0.68 percent when compared to 17.25 percent recorded in February 2021.
Insecurities amid wide foreign exchange rates and several other bottlenecks that impeded free inflow of imported goods were responsible for the surged in prices of goods and services in March, according to the report.
The Central Bank of Nigeria-led monetary policy committee had attributed the increase in prices to scarcity created by the intermittent clash between herdsmen and farmers across the nation.
However, other factors like unclear economic policies, increased in electricity tariffs, duties, subsidy removal and weak fiscal buffer to moderate the negative effect of COVID-19 on the economy continue to weigh and drag on new investment and expansion of local production despite the Federal Government aggressive call for improvement in domestic production.
Nigeria’s headline inflation rose by 18.17 percent year-on-year in the month under review.
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