Emirates Airlines is engaging the Federal Government on a flight ban extended to the Middle East carrier this week.
The carrier said it has opened lines of communication with the Ministry of Aviation towards resolving the impasse insisting that it will give updates on the progress of the talks between the two countries.
The Federal Government at the weekend withdrew approval given to a Emirates Airlines to fly into Nigeria from yesterday.
In a reaction, the carrier said it was still committed to serving its teeming customers on the two Nigerian routes, Lagos and Abuja, to meeting the growing demand for air travel in and out of the country.
“Emirates remains committed to serving its two Nigerian points, Abuja and Lagos, to connect our customers to and through Dubai to Emirates’ global network, and meet the growing demand for air travel in and out of the country. Emirates is working closely with the UAE and Nigerian authorities, and will communicate any updates to our customers. We look forward to continue serving our customers in Nigeria.”
The Federal Government withdraw the approval to the airline following the refusal of United Arab Emirates (UAE) government to lift visa ban on Nigerians.The decision by the government was in compliance with its threat to reciprocate any maltreatment of Nigerians or her carriers by any country or their airline.
Aviation Minister, Senator Hadi Sirika, who made this known, said, the decision to revoke the approval was arrived at after a meeting with the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 to review the status of foreign carriers operating into Nigeria.
“The PTF Sub-committee met with EU Ambassadors to discuss Lufthansa, Air France/KLM ban.
The meeting progressed well. Emirates Airlines’s situation was reviewed and they are consequently included in the list of those not approved, with effect from Monday, September 21, 2020.”
Besides, Emirates Airlines, another carrier African World Airways (AWA) from Accra, Ghana, has also been denied approval to fly into Nigeria.
The Ghanaian carrier sources said was banned by government on account of recent developments in Ghana where Nigerian trader were maltreated.
Kidnapping Spree Hits Northern Nigeria: Eight Abducted in Dan Honu Attack
Gunmen targeted the Dan Honu community in Nigeria’s northern Kaduna state, abducting at least eight people in the latest incident of kidnapping for ransom in the region.
This form of criminal activity has become increasingly prevalent in northwest Nigeria, where armed gangs, locally known as bandits, have been wreaking havoc, targeting schools, villages, and travelers.
As a result, it has become perilous to travel by road or engage in farming activities in certain areas.
The attack occurred late on Tuesday in the Chikum local government area of Kaduna state. While the police are actively investigating the incident, residents shared harrowing experiences.
Mohammed Danjuma, a resident who narrowly escaped the abduction, reported that approximately 16 people were taken, but eight managed to evade capture.
During the attack, a vigilant member of the community fired a shot into the air, creating enough disturbance to unsettle the bandits, who subsequently left.
Malam Suleiman, another resident who was initially kidnapped, seized an opportunity to escape while being led into the bushes. Unfortunately, his teenage sons were among those taken by the assailants.
These incidents add to the pervasive insecurity in Nigeria, which includes a longstanding 14-year Islamist insurgency in the northeast and ongoing deadly clashes between farmers and herders in the central region.
Authorities are grappling with the multifaceted challenges posed by these security threats, seeking comprehensive solutions to safeguard the well-being of the population.
Fidelity Bank Set to Host 2 Days of Family Entertainment
In the spirit of the Yuletide, leading financial institution, Fidelity Bank Plc, has announced plans to host the maiden edition of the Fidelity Family Weekend.
Scheduled to hold on Saturday, 16 and Sunday, 17 December 2023 at the Fidelity Grounds, Oniru, Victoria Island, Lagos, the event is designed to create a fun and relaxed atmosphere for children to play, parents to relax and young adults to unwind during the festive season.
“The Yuletide season is all about coming together and spending quality time with loved ones especially as we wind down the year in anticipation of a new year. As a bank committed to providing memorable experiences for its clients, we pioneered the Fidelity Family Weekend to
fete host our customers and clients to two fun filled days of family entertainment. We believe this is one more way of thanking our customers for a successful year,” noted the Divisional Head, Brand & Communications, Fidelity Bank Plc, Meksley Nwagboh, Ph.D. in a chat with journalists.
The Fidelity Family Weekend would run from 10am to 10pm daily and would feature dedicated fun activities for children including dancing competitions, bouncing castles, train rides, Santa’s Grotto, balloon games, amongst others.
Similarly, the programme for the adults’ section would feature exciting activities like karaoke competitions, games arcades, couple games, musical performances and so many more fun games that are geared towards providing a memorable experience for guests.
Entry into the event is free but guests are required to pre-register at www.fidelitybank.ng/family-weekend before 12 December 2023.
Commenting further, Dr Nwagboh said, “As a bank dedicated to helping individuals grow, businesses thrive and economies to prosper, we boast of an array of products and services for our diverse client base. These include the Fidelity SWEETA account for young children below the age of 17 years, Fidelity Flex for teenagers and undergraduates; and even the Fidelity Vintage Account for senior citizens; all tailor-made to meet our customers specific needs. The Fidelity Family Weekend is therefore another demonstration of this devotion to provide platforms for our customers to fulfill their lifestyle requirements”.
Ranked as one of the best banks in Nigeria, Fidelity Bank is a full-fledged customer commercial bank with over 8 million customers serviced across its 251 business offices in Nigeria and the United Kingdom as well as on digital banking channels.
The bank has won multiple local and international awards including the Export Finance Bank of the Year at the 2023 BusinessDay Banks and Other Financial Institutions (BAFI) Awards, the Best Payment Solution Provider Nigeria 2023 and Best SME Bank Nigeria 2022 by the Global Banking and Finance Awards; Best Bank for SMEs in Nigeria by the Euromoney Awards for Excellence 2023; and Best Domestic Private Bank in Nigeria by the Euromoney Global Private Banking Awards 2023.
Egypt Eyes Tourism Boom Despite Regional Tensions
Despite the recent Israel-Hamas conflict, Egypt’s tourism sector remains optimistic about meeting its target of 15 million arrivals in 2023 with expectations of further growth in 2024.
The North African nation is gearing up for a hotel-building initiative to address the pressing need for additional capacity, aiming to add at least 25,000 rooms in 2024 and 40,000 the following year.
Tourism Minister Ahmed Issa emphasized that the scarcity of hotel rooms is the primary challenge, prompting the government to consider incentives such as tax breaks to expedite construction.
“The No. 1 challenge that Egypt faces today is the number of hotel rooms. We need at least 25,000 additional rooms in 2024 and 40,000 the year after,” said Issa.
Tourism, a crucial component of Egypt’s economy, is gaining increased significance amid the country’s fiscal challenges.
Despite concerns raised by the Israel-Hamas conflict impacting nearby countries, including Egypt, the relative containment of the conflict and the favorable exchange rates due to currency devaluations have made Egypt an attractive destination.
In the past financial year, tourism revenue in Egypt reached a record $13.6 billion, with a focus on attracting higher-spending tourists and solid visitor numbers from countries like Germany and Russia.
The government is also looking to tap into the vast potential of Chinese tourists, aiming for 1 million Chinese visitors between now and 2028. While Red Sea cities like Sharm El-Sheikh and Hurghada continue to be popular, efforts are underway to promote tourism in the northwestern Mediterranean coast.
To encourage further development, the tourism and finance ministries are proposing incentives for hotel builders, including rebates for funding costs and potential tax holidays on capital expenditure.
Issa stated, “We’re going to seek the approval of the cabinet over the coming couple of weeks” and expects to announce the incentives “before the end of December.”
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