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Aviation: FG woos stakeholders to invest at nation’s airports



By Seun Ibiyemi

The Federal Government on Tuesday in Abuja advised relevant stakeholders to invest at various airports across the country. The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika made the call in a goodwill message at the maiden edition of FAAN National Aviation Conference (FNAC) with the theme, “Advancing the Frontiers of Possibilities for Safe, Secure and Profitable Air Transport. “According to him, such move will strengthen the aim of Public Private Partnership (PPP) in the aviation sector.

“This conference will also feature trade and investment section, where opportunities for investments at our various airports will be highlighted.

“Investors will have first-hand information on how to partner with Federal Airports Authority of Nigerian (FAAN).

“It will be in mutually beneficial business arrangements to develop Nigerian aviation industry.

“It’s is our intention to come up with a working document that would be transmitted to relevant authorities for immediate action,” he said.

Sirika expressed optimism that resolutions and recommendations that would come out from the conference would bring lasting and sustainable solutions to the challenges confronting the aviation industry.

The Minister reiterated that the Federal Government was always willing and ready to discuss business and partnership with investors to bring the desired and development to the industry.

“I therefore implore well-meaning Nigerians and foreign investors alike to come on board and take advantage of these business opportunities, with limited potential for huge returns of investments.

“This maiden edition would be institutionalised as a platform where great ideas that will propel the Nigerian aviation sector into a global reference point will be developed.

“We appreciate your deep commitment and patriotism to the Nigeria project. Our advantage position in terms of regional positioning, population and natural natural resources has positioned us strategically as a continental leader,” he said.

In an address, FAAN Managing-Director Capt. Rabiu Yadudu ,  explained that the conference was a gathering of industry stakeholders, assembled to discuss the past, present and future challenges and opportunities in the Nigeria aviation industry.

Yadudu said the conference was to present a holistic platform for all stakeholders in the industry to discuss the state of the industry in Nigeria with emphasis on prospects and challenges of the air transport industry.

“This will chart the way forward for a Nigeria air transport industry that will not only be effective, efficient and profitable, but that will also be a major catalyst to national economic growth and development.

“COVID-19 pandemic did not only impact negatively on the global socio-economic space, it also slowed down global travels, consequently affecting aeronautical operations and revenue generation.

“As we commence process of rebounding, it is important that we come together to identify and analyse the positive from the challenges, with a view to consolidating on them and fostering sustainable development in our industry.

“We have assembled a crop of faculties that are both seasoned and have distinguished themselves globally  in various fields of aviation, ranging from regulation to operation and financing, among other critical areas for deliberations,” he said.

The Managing-Director said that the nation‘s  potentials and capacity in the global air transport industry were being grossly underutilised.

According to Yadudu, it is high time the nation intensified effort to reposition and move the industry forward.

“I am looking forward to a time when we domesticate activities, instead of sending our human resources and flying machines for training and check abroad, thereby expending huge foreign exchange in the process.

“We will also earn foreign exchange from it when other countries send their machines here for checks and their manpower for training in Nigeria,” he said


NIMASA, MWUN dialogue on fate of disengaged NNSL seafarers



By Seun Ibiyemi

The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, and the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria, MWUN have begun discussions on how to resolve the lingering issue of terminal benefits of Seafarers whose appointments were terminated due to the liquidation of the defunct Nigerian National Shipping Line, NNSL.

The Director General of NIMASA, Dr Bashir JamohOFR, and the Vice President of the Nigerian Labour Congress who is also the President General of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju, jointly announced an agreement for physical verification of the affected seafarers/next of kin as the case may apply; the nature of appointment of all affected seafarers, and the exact amount due each beneficiary.

The NIMASA DG also assured the Union that their position will be communicated to the Ministry of Marine and Blue Economy, to ensure the Government takes all necessary actions to bring to a conclusion the issue of NNSL.

“The issue of industrial harmony in the maritime sector is of uttermost interest to our administration at NIMASA. We have been at this for a while. NIMASA had offered N100 million as settlement, which the Union declined.

“We have also discovered that some of those demanding settlement did not even have any employment letter. We will follow the lead from our supervising Ministry and ensure the physical verification exercise is brought to a logical conclusion. Our Honourable Minister will be duly updated by the Agency. I look forward to closing this issue in months to come,” the DG said.

On his part, the President General, Maritime Workers’ Union of Nigeria (MWUN) Comrade Adeyanju restated the commitment of the Union to peaceful resolution of disputes; to ensure the rights and privileges of workers are well protected, without disrupting productivity in the Maritime Sector. He commended the Jamoh led Management at NIMASA,urging others to follow suit.

“I would like to commend NIMASA under Dr Jamoh, for the unflinching commitment to industrial harmony. He is always a phone call away to resolve any issue. Yes, NIMASA offered N100 million to offset the terminal benefits.

“However, if others like Nigerian Ports Authority, Nigerian Shippers Council and the rest also add funds, there will be enough to go round the expected beneficiaries. As we did for dockworkers when a flat rate of two hundred thousand was paid during port concession; that is what we want, putting into consideration the realities on ground now.”

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COP28: Airtel Africa calls for enabling policy environment, collaboration for climate action in Africa



The Group CEO of Airtel Africa plc, Segun Ogunsanya, has reiterated the importance of an enabling policy environment for sustainable development and climate action in partnership with Africa’s private sector at COP28.

Mr. Ogunsanya, a member of the United Nations Global Compact’s African Business Leaders Coalition (ABLC), addressed a distinguished audience at a COP28 side event co-hosted by Airtel Africa and the ABLC.

Guests included the President of Botswana, His Excellency Mokgweetsi Masisi; the Finance Minister of Nigeria, Mr. Wale Edun; the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory Nigeria, Mr. Nyesom Wike; Ms. Sanda Ojiambo, the Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC); Chairman of BUA Group Nigeria limited, Abdul Samad Rabiu and several business leaders from across Africa.

The Group CEO of Airtel Africa urged African business leaders and governments to join forces to advance sustainable growth, development, and prosperity across the continent.

He said, “We stress the importance of an enabling policy environment for sustainable development and climate action in partnership with Africa’s private sector. Livelihood and living must go together.”

He also shared details of Airtel Africa’s environmental stewardship initiatives. These include ‘Project Green,’ launched in 2022, and focused on circular economy practices, especially in the responsible replacement of end-of-life equipment to minimise potential adverse environmental impacts.

Furthermore, in March 2023, Airtel Africa joined the multi-stakeholder partnership to eliminate open waste burning from Africa. This collaborative effort with local authorities, private companies, community groups, civil society and development partners targets a 60 percent reduction by 2030 and complete elimination of open waste burning by 2040.

Mr. Ogunsanya declared, “Airtel Africa’s corporate purpose, our driving force, is to ‘transform lives.’ This is not simply a slogan but a genuine passion that informs every aspect of our operations and every decision we take.”

He concluded, “It is our firm belief that African businesses, including Airtel Africa, stand ready to leverage global markets to accelerate the transition to a future-fit economy. We must deliver economic development, inclusive growth and GHG emissions reduction at the same time to enjoy the fruits of sustainability.”

The United Nations African Business Leaders Coalition (ABLC) is a collaborative initiative comprising African business CEOs committed to fostering sustainable growth, prosperity, and development throughout the African continent.

Members in the coalition, including Airtel Africa, committed to escalating the adoption of renewable energy, investing in climate-adaptation solutions, and ensuring an equitable transition. During COP28, the ABLC released a policy recommendation urging governments to establish conducive regulatory frameworks that facilitate collective climate action.

The recommendation further advocates for the setting of decarbonization targets and the acceleration of initiatives such as green minerals and climate adaptation programs and calls for increased access to climate financing to support these endeavors.

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Non-Interest Financing critical to funding amidst high debt service levels — Wale Edun



By Matthew Denis

The Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Mr. Wale Edun has stated that the country needs Non-Interest Financing  as a critical sector towards funding as the country is faced with high levels of debt servicing.

The Minister’s disclosure at the SEC Nigeria-Islamic Financial Service Board (IFSB) International Forum held in Abuja on Wednesday.

He said, “Non-interest financing is a critical part of funding and that is because as we all know, we are faced with three crises right now which are the climate, and biodiversity but there is also a debt crisis in major countries and of course, the available solution is non-debt, equity and financing mechanisms that will eliminate the pains of paying interest on loans. Rather, it is better to have a participatory opportunity that equity and non-interest finance gives.

“And so what we are saying here is a critical piece of the solution to the crises of the world currently, including the fact that for the rapid and inclusive growth this administration desires, we need to have green projects so we don’t only need to have projects funded by equity.

“As we all know, our debt service levels and revenue to debt service ratio are so high and currently constrained.”

The Minister stressed that there is fiscal exhaustion in many parts of the world and there is also a need to finance green projects.

“So the only way to grow our economy is not just relying on foreign direct investments, and domestic investments but tap into the world of non-interest financing.”

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