Emirates Airlines has yet again announced the suspension of flight operations to Nigeria indefinitely. The latest suspension which is a result of the company’s inability to repatriate its stacked fund from Nigeria is the second time in less than three months.
According to the statement released by the Airline, the suspension will take effect from October 29, 2022.
The airline added that it has no option but to suspend flights to and from Nigeria to mitigate further losses moving forward.
Emirate added that its efforts and meetings with the Central Bank of Nigeria to repatriate its fund haven’t yielded much possible result. However, the airline noted that it is open to any negotiation that could reach a reasonable conclusion within the possible shortest time.
“We hope to reach a mutual resolution with the Nigerian government around the repatriation of blocked funds to enable the resumption of operations and connectivity for travellers and businesses,” the airline said.
It would be recalled that Emirates Airlines has lamented the inability of the company to repatriate about $85 million that was trapped due to foreign exchange scarcity.
Investors King earlier reported that the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila had assured foreign airlines operating in Nigeria that they will be able to repatriate half of their trapped fund by December 2022.
The speaker stated this at a roundtable discussion he had with the representatives of foreign airlines operating in Nigeria under the toga of the International Air Transport Association (IATA ).
Meanwhile, the Minister of Aviation who was present at the meeting rejected any form of threat from the foreign airlines. He stated that Nigeria’s Aviation Industry will survive if foreign airlines suspend operations in Nigeria.
“Every country, every airline will threaten Nigeria. We will not fly to Nigeria again; we are not given Nigerian visa again”.
“Countries have been shut down completely and they did well. We are not afraid of being shut out. It will help us to do better. We will begin to go to our hospitals and sc
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Nigeria to Implement Biometric Clearance Gates at International Airports by March 2024
Nigeria is gearing up to introduce a significant upgrade to its airport security measures with the implementation of biometric clearance gates at international airports by March 2024.
This move aims to streamline passenger processing and bolster national security efforts.
Under the plan, five major international airports across Nigeria, including the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos, Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja, Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Port Harcourt International Airport, and Akanu Ibiam International Airport in Enugu, will be equipped with biometric clearance gates.
These gates will utilize advanced technology to provide seamless clearance services for passengers entering the country.
Minister of Interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, emphasized that the installation of biometric gates reflects Nigeria’s commitment to enhancing border control management and adhering to global best practices.
The gates are expected to significantly reduce clearance times, with a passenger clearing in just 30 seconds.
Tunji-Ojo highlighted the gates’ dual purpose: expediting passenger processing while also enhancing national security by allowing for quick identification of persons of interest.
The initiative aligns with President Bola Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda, aiming to provide quality services to Nigerians while ensuring national security.
This modernization effort is poised to address long-standing issues of delays and improve the overall travel experience for passengers at Nigeria’s international airports.
Foreign Embassies Given Two Weeks to Settle $5.36M in Ground Rents
The Nigerian Government has issued a firm ultimatum to 43 foreign embassies and diplomatic houses in Abuja, the nation’s capital, demanding the settlement of outstanding ground rents totaling $5.36 million within two weeks.
In an official advertorial published by the Federal Capital Territory Administration in the Newspaper, the government emphasized the urgency of the matter.
Failure to comply within the stipulated period could result in the revocation of the rent titles held by the diplomatic entities.
The notice serves as a final warning to embassies, including prominent ones like the British High Commission, South African High Commission, Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia, and the Embassy of Japan, among others.
These embassies and diplomatic entities have been identified as defaulters in the payment of their ground rents.
This directive underscores the Nigerian government’s commitment to ensuring compliance with legal obligations and financial commitments within its jurisdiction, regardless of the status of the entities involved.
The ultimatum is reminiscent of a similar notice issued last September to organizations in Abuja, emphasizing the importance of timely payment of annual rents.
The consequence of non-compliance, as stated in the notice, is the potential revocation of land titles.
The deadline creates a sense of urgency among the affected diplomatic missions, as failure to meet the payment deadline could lead to diplomatic tensions and logistical challenges for the embassies involved.
As the clock ticks, attention is focused on how these foreign embassies will respond to the Nigerian government’s ultimatum and whether they will meet the financial obligations within the stipulated timeframe.
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