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AON Says Airlines Need VAT Removal, Forex Availability, Not Just Cash Bailout

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Dana Air
  • AON Says Airlines Need VAT Removal, Forex Availability, Not Just Cash Bailout

Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) has finally stated how the federal government can help mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the aviation sector.

According to Obi Mnabuzuo, the Operating Officer, Dana Air, Nigerian airlines are not necessarily seeking cash bailout but support to resume operation without having to lay off their staff or cut operations.

He also stated that the airline companies want a market price reflective aviation fuel now that crude oil price has dropped substantially, saying marketers are still selling fuel to them at old prices.

“We don’t know what nature of bailout government wants to give the aviation industry, but contrary to those speaking against the bailout, we are not really looking for cash. The last bailout was done with the banks; some airlines are still paying for it. AON has made its position clear in the request it made to the government.

“We are looking at the removal of VAT, we are requesting for availability of forex. There was an effort to remove VAT but it was not gazetted; they have removed duty on aircraft spares but you still pay Customs duty when you import aircraft.

“On the discussion that government should give airlines waivers, the agencies would say that it is their source of revenue but I think these things should be reviewed,” he said.

He explained that “For example, we pay en route and terminal charges to the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) but we do not utilise the service of NAMA en route; the airlines take care of that one because navigational aids do not work on the airways until you are on approach. The ground based navigational aids are not working. For example, there should be Voice Omnidirectional Radio Range (VOR) in Bida area but it is not working. Pilots rely on instrument onboard their aircraft. So we expect that there should be a review of those charges. They should remove enroute charges for domestic airlines.”

Mnabuzuo also urged the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) to review its policy of charging domestic airlines in US dollars whenever they fly West Coast and other international services despite the fact that they sell tickets in local currency.

“The idea that once a local airline takes off to destination like Accra, Ghana it will be charged in dollars, $50 passenger service charge and $20 security charge is not good because we generate revenue in naira; so we expect that government should look into it,” Mbanuzuo added.

Last Week, the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) called on the federal government to make bailout of the aviation sector a priority to protect jobs.

This was after Minister of Aviation, Hadi Siriki, said the nation’s airlines are losing around N17 billion to the lockdown brought about by COVID-19.

He, therefore, said unfortunately many airlines won’t come out of this.

He said “Certainly in civil aviation, we’re in very difficult moments like everyone else…but we are worst hit than any other sector. Some N17bn monthly is being lost by the Airlines to COVID-19.”

“This is the situation of civil aviation. It is really a pathetic one and I can guarantee you that several airlines won’t come out of this unfortunately.”

“To open up and start business as usual, there are safety issues and concerns. Those airplanes have been kept, and when we see going to bring them back into service, we will ensure their worthiness.

“For the flight crew, there are certain standards they must conform to, like ensuring they are up to date with their licensing. Their medical health and proficiency in order to conduct a very dare flight must be ascertained.”

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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Unilever Nigeria Appoints Mr Jaime Aguilera as a Non-Executive Director

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Unilever Nigeria Plc

Unilever Nigeria Plc announced it has appointed Mr. Jaime Aguilera as a Non-Executive Director of the company effective from January 2021.

The company stated in a statement filed with the Nigerian Stock Exchange.

Mr Jaime Aguilera worked with Coca-cola, Nestle and Procter & Gamble before joining Unilever as Executive Vice President Unilever Eastern Europe in September 2016.

Therefore, his experience spans from Europe, Americas and Asia.

His key expertise areas are “in Sales & Marketing and he has lead teams in Spain, Brazil, South Eastern Europe, Middle East, Mexico and Global teams.

“In 2009, he joined Unilever Spain as EVP & Chairman and then moved to his current role as Unilever Executive Vice President Africa, leading the Unilever business in Africa. Jaime is of Spanish origin and is an alumnus of the Universidad Pontificia de Comillas- ICADE. Jaime majored in Economic Sciences, Management & Business Administration.”

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MTN Nigeria, Gameloft Partner to Increase Access to Variety of Exciting Games

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MTN Nigeria announced it has partnered with Gameloft, a leader in the development and publishing of games, to increase access to a variety of fun and exciting games online.

The telecommunications giant in collaboration with its new partner, Gameloft announced the launch of MTN Gameworld, a new gaming platform for its subscribers.

According to MTN, the new platform will allow the Nigerian growing gaming community access to a lot of unique games online through an extensive premium catalogue from Gameloft and other renowned publishers.

Commenting on the partnership, Srinivas Rao, the Chief Digital Officer, MTN Nigeria, said, “We are constantly seeking to deliver innovative products that support the aspirations of our customers, whilst delivering superior user experience. This partnership allows us to provide our customers with access to a variety of exhilarating games from Gameloft and other leading publishers at an affordable rate.”

MTN Gameworld will allow subscribed customers access to a variety of games, which they can play at subsidised data rates through the MTN Gameworld app. Android, iOS and Windows phone users can subscribe via SMS, app, web, USSD menu (*447#), 131 USSD menu and any other MTN customer channel.

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President Buhari Commissions 5,000bpd Modular Refinery Built in Imo State

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President Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari on Tuesday commissioned the 5,000 barrels per day modular refinery built by Waltersmith Group in Imo State.

President Buhari, who commissioned the new modular refinery virtually, said the refinery will enable Nigeria to export petroleum products to neighbouring countries and other markets.

The 5,000 barrels per day Waltersmith Modular Refinery is the first phase of 50,000 barrels per day combined capacity plant planned for Imo State, according to the Group.

Buhari commended Waltersmith Group, an indigenous oil firm, and the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board for the collaboration that led to the actualisation of the modular refinery.

President Buhari, therefore, directed the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, the Department of Petroleum Resources and all other relevant government agencies to provide Waltersmith all the necessary support in terms of access to crude oil and condensate feedstock.

Buhari said, “We rolled out our refining roadmap in 2018, to address challenges in the downstream sector. After many years of government giving out modular refining licences without any coming on-stream, we are today seeing a commissioning within two years.

“The plan to commence the expansion of this refinery to 50,000bpd capacity, to refine crude oil and condensate, is a demonstration of the economic reform Nigeria is undergoing.

“The realisation of the refinery roadmap will ultimately lead us to becoming a net exporter of petroleum products, not only to our neighbouring countries but to other wide markets,” he said.

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