Airlines in Nigeria Loses $2.09 Billion in April and June
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has estimated that Nigerian airlines lost about $2.09 billion in the month of April and June due to COVID-19 lockdown.
In its report titled ‘Quarantine measures threaten aviation restart in Africa and the Middle East,’ IATA stated that the aviation sector in Africa and the Middle East was the worst-hit.
According to the report, the aviation sector in the two regions provides over 8.6 million direct and indirect jobs.
While the report did not provide data for the month of May, it stated that the number of Nigerian passengers declined by 4.7 million in April and 5.32 million in June when compared with the same period of 2019.
Similarly, the report said 125,400 jobs were at risk in April and 139,500 jobs were at risk in the month of June.
Muhammad Albakri, the Regional Vice President for Africa and the Middle East, IATA, said governments in Africa and the Middle East must devise alternative methods to the current quarantine measures in place, saying the two regions have the highest number of government-imposed quarantine measures on arriving passengers.
He said, “It is critical that AME governments implement alternatives to quarantine measures. AME has the highest number of countries in the world with government-imposed quarantine measures on arriving passengers.
“The region is effectively in complete lockdown with the travel and tourism sector shuttered. This is detrimental in a region where 8.6 million people depend on aviation for their livelihoods.”
Economists Evaluate Nigeria-China Currency Swap
Some Financial Economists have expressed great concerns about the minor influence that the Nigeria-China currency swap had on the country’s economy, three years after.
The experts told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Friday that the volume of currency import so far traded had not been significant, though a few swaps took place.
The pact which marked three years of implementation in April was signed on April 27, 2018, to ease demand pressure on the country’s supply of foreign exchange.
The Chief Executive Officer of Arvo Finance, Mr. Ayotunde Bally, said that the pact had not been fully utilised due to a decrease in the drawdown of the money input of the Chinese Yuan to the Central Bank of Nigeria.
“This pact which was aimed at creating a harmonious relationship between the two countries has not been utilised as it ought to be. Statistics have it that Nigeria-China bilateral trade which was around 2 billion dollars in 2002 is within the space of about 14 billion dollars in contemporary years. And yet, we cannot boast of about three billion dollars Yuan being utilised in such market transaction,’’ he said.
According to Bally, that has clearly displayed the negligence of the pact by most business importers
He said the poor state of the pact was due to ignorance and the benefits of the pact to those who utilise it.
“Also, the deliberate avoidance of the pact by those who believe transactions are easier with dollars or some other methods like Bureau De Change among others. Even those who know about the pact but avoid it, indicating that it is not lucid and that the regulations and procedures are rigid to them,” he told NAN.
He advocated massive sensitisation on the usefulness of the pact to both the business individuals and the country at large.
Mr. Johnson Chukwu, Founder of Cowry Asset Management Limited, also said that the pact recorded minimal benefit to the economy.
“If you look at our demand for foreign exchange particularly for imports, you will observe that we still have pressures coming from import demand. China is our biggest trading partner and our largest import market.
“We bought more products from China than any other country in the world. So, if the currency swap has been very significant, then the pressures we are witnessing on the balance of trade would have been abated.
“So, I do not think the volume of currency import has been significant. Certainly, there must have been a few swaps that have taken place since then but it is clearly not significant because if it was, it would have reflected in our balance of trade,” Chukwu said.
According to him, China accounts for more than 25 percent of our imports; so we should not have a currency swap that delays immediate payments of our foreign reserves.
Also, Prof. Ndubisi Nwokoma, Director, Centre for Economic Policy Analysis and Research (CEPAR), University of Lagos, said that the swap deal had a positive impact on the naira exchange rate with major currencies.
“The Nigeria-China currency swap deal, according to reports, has some positive impact on the stability of the naira exchange rate with major currencies. But, its effect is limited by the volume of trade between Nigeria and China.
“With the decline in global productivity occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic and other factors, the effect appears not to have achieved the originally intended objectives.
“Nigeria has been bedeviled by other economic challenges. The current sorry state of the country’s exchange rate is quite instructive in this regard,” Nwokoma said.
Unilever Nigeria to Create New Company For Tea Business
Unilever Nigeria Plc announced on Friday that its Board of Directors had approved the steps required to implement the separation of its tea business in Nigeria.
The approval on April 30, 2021, followed the announcement made on Feb. 25 about Unilever Nigeria’s planned separation of its tea business as part of the global separation, according to a statement obtained from the Nigerian Exchange Limited.
The company noted that on 23 July 2020, following the completion of a strategic review, Unilever Plc announced its intention to separate its global tea business, including the retail and food solutions businesses, plantations, T2 and Pukka.
It said, “Subject to approval by the company’s shareholders and any regulatory approvals, the Nigeria Tea Business will be transferred to a newly incorporated tea company in Nigeria (New TeaCo), held under a newly incorporated tea holding company to create a dedicated tea group within the Unilever Group (TeaCo Group).
“The assets being transferred by Unilever Nigeria Plc to New TeaCo include production assets and other tangible assets used exclusively in relation to the tea business; distribution rights to tea products in Nigeria and export markets; and locally owned unregistered intellectual property rights.”
According to the statement, Unilever Nigeria will retain ownership of the site at Agbara.
“Unilever and Unilever Nigeria Plc will also provide certain intercompany services to the New TeaCo and the TeaCo Group for a transitional period,” it said
Nigerian Breweries Picks Hans Essaadi to Replace Borrut Bel as MD/CEO
Nigerian Breweries, the largest brewing company in Nigeria, has appointed Mr. Hans Essaadi as the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) effective 31st, July 2021.
Mr. Essaadi will replace Mr. Jordi Borrut Bel, the current Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Nigerian Breweries who will be completing his tenure on the 30th of July, 2021.
Mr. Borrut Bel is expected to take up another assignment within the Heineken Group, hence why the Board accepted his letter of resignation.
Mr. Hans Essaadi Profile
Mr. Essaadi, is currently the Managing Director of Al Haram Beverages, the HEINEKEN Operating Company (“OpCo”) in Egypt and joined the HEINEKEN Group as a Sales Representative in 1991.
He subsequently took up increasingly senior roles within the Group in Sales, Export and Marketing. He commenced his international career with HEINEKEN Puerto Rico as the Country Manager, and thereafter became the General Manager, Brau Union International, the HEINEKEN OpCo in Austria.
Before his current role in Egypt, he was General Manager, Siroco (the HEINEKEN Joint Venture with the Emirates in Dubai) and Managing Director, HEINEKEN Malaysia Berhad, a listed company in Malaysia.
The Board is pleased to have a person of Mr. Essaadi’s experience and knowledge to take up the position of Managing Director/CEO of the Company and to continue the turnaround work started by Mr. Borrut Bel.
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