By Seun Ibiyemi
The Federal Government has described as untrue, claims that foreign airlines are selling their tickets in foreign currency in Nigeria due to their earnings that are trapped with the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).
Recall that there have been reports in some segment of the media that some foreign carriers like Turkish Airline, Lufthansa and Delta were selling tickets only in foreign currency.
The move, according to the reports, was to evade the forex liquidity crisis in Nigeria, coupled with alleged upward review of charges by the local authorities.
Speaking to journalists, the Director General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Capt. Musa Nuhu, said none of the foreign carriers had notified the concerned agencies of any change in ticketing modalities.
According to Nuhu, Nigerian currency (Naira) remains the statutory currency of transactions in the aviation sector, saying that the regulation mandates operating airlines to notify the NCAA where there are significant changes, but none has approached the apex regulator on dollarisation of flight tickets.
“In fact, on one of the airlines that is claimed in the social media to be selling in dollars, I actually got its ticket purchased today in Naira in preparation for the ICAO event coming up next month. I bought the ticket ahead of time so that I can get a lower price. So, we are not aware of dollarisation where airlines have demanded dollars for the purchase of tickets,” Nuhu said.
He added that the NCAA has also not reviewed mandatory charges on airlines in the last 10 years. He said though the substantive rates are outdated, yet they were not unmindful of the current harsh economic environment to jack up the charges.
“Certainly, we would have to sit at a round-table to review the charges but not now if at all, we will have to review the charges with the stakeholders,” Nuhu said.
His counterpart in FAAN, Capt. Rabiu Yadudu, reckoned that the charges collected by the Authority are statutory, and therefore, cannot be increased without the knowledge of its esteemed passengers and other airport users.
“While it is true that the cost of aviation fuel has gone astronomically high and has adversely affected airline operators worldwide, culminating in an increase in ticket fares, we want to reiterate that FAAN has not increased its charges.
“We are mindful of the challenges of our esteemed passengers and other airport users as a result of the increase in airfares. Hence, the need not to increase the charges. However, the Federal Government and agencies within the aviation sector have intensified efforts to ensure that the challenges facing it are resolved,” Yadudu said.
NIMASA DG calls for contributory pension for dockworkers
…As agency hosts maiden ‘day of the dockworker’ event
By Seun Ibiyemi
It was a milestone event for the local maritime industry as the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) hosted the maiden edition of the ‘Day of the Dockworker’ in Lagos recently.
With the theme of the event being “Healthy Dockworker, Better Productivity,” it was an opportunity for stakeholders gathered to not just appreciate the efforts of Nigerian dockworkers at the center of the nation’s import-dependent economy, but also to focus on ways of improving their health and general well-being.
Delivering his welcome address at the event, the NIMASA Director General, Dr. Bashir Jamoh OFR, charged employers of labor to ensure all dockworkers are enrolled on contributory pension schemes, while also emphasising the need for operators of Oil and Gas Terminals to allow only approved stevedores aboard their installations, to ensure compliance with relevant international guidelines and conventions.
According to Dr. Jamoh, “As we celebrate today, it is important to put in perspective the plight of dockworkers who spend the greater part of their working life at the ports, with little or nothing to show for it. As employers of labour, you must endeavour to put in place a Contributory Pension Scheme for dockworkers and ensure prompt remittances of both Employers and Employees contributions at the end of each month.”
Speaking on compliance with stevedore inspections, he stated, “This occasion presents me with an opportunity to express the need for operators in the private jetties and Oil & Gas Terminals to grant operational access to the Stevedoring Contractors appointed by the Honorable Minister of Transport, to carry out stevedoring activities in assigned operational areas.”
On his part, the President General of the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN), Comrade Adewale Adeyanju, in his address, thanked the NIMASA Management for organising the event to celebrate Nigerian dockworkers in recognition of the important role played by them.
In attendance at the event were representatives from the Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity; Nigerian Ports Authority; Seaport Terminal Operators Association and the National Association of Stevedoring Operators (NASA).
Internationally, July 7th is marked as ‘The Global Day of Action’ and is organized by the International Dockworkers’ Council (IDC) and International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF). It aims to raise awareness of port working conditions and emphasize the importance of collective bargaining rights.
LCCI tasks govt on transparent FX regime, multinationals’ engagement
The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) has implored the government to create a more flexible and transparent foreign exchange policy to address scarcity issues.
Its Director-General, Dr Chinyere Almona, gave the advice on Thursday in Lagos, in reaction to the recent announcement of Procter & Gamble to transition its Nigerian operations to an import-only model.
Recall that the Chief Financial Officer of Procter & Gamble, Andre Schulten, had said this move would effectively dissolve its on-ground presence in the country.
Almona noted that over the last few months, there had been a consistent increase in exit plans or a reduction in involvement in the Nigerian market by multinationals, saying the trend was worrisome.
She stated that the country’s lingering foreign exchange scarcity, poor power supply, port congestion, multiple taxation, insecurity, and poor infrastructure, among others, had taken a toll on many businesses in the country.
She recommended that the government should implement measures to stabilise and ensure the availability of foreign exchange for businesses, particularly those operating in dollar-denominated environments.
“Further, the chamber urges the government to engage multinational corporations and the business community to understand their challenges and gather input and feedback on policy decisions to collaboratively develop solutions that would forestall the exodus of businesses from Nigeria.
”The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) should prioritise the stability of the country’s currency and adopt the right policy mix to ensure price stability,” she said.
Tinubu appoints Omatsola Ogbe as new ES of NCDMB
President Bola Tinubu has approved the appointment of Engr. Felix Omatsola Ogbe as Executive Secretary of Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB).
The President in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale appointed new board members for the NCDMB.
According to the Spokesperson to the President, the President in conformity with Sections 71(1), 72, and 73 of the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry Content Development Act (2010) approved the appointment of qualified Nigerians to serve on the Governing Council and Management team of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB).
The newly appointed board members include:Sen. Heineken Lokpobiri — Chairman / HMS, Petroleum Resources, Engr. Felix Omatsola Ogbe — Executive Secretary, Oritsemyiwa Eyesan — Member / EVP Upstream, NNPC Ltd, Gbenga Komolafe — Member / CEO, NUPRC, Bekearedebo Augusta Warrens — Member, Nicolas Odinuwe — Member, Rapheal Samuel — Member, Sadiq Abubakar — Member, Olorundare Sunday Thomas — Member.
Ajuri noted that the President expects the new appointees to discharge their duties with his patriotic resolve to significantly enhance indigenous industry participation in the energy sector as part of the Renewed Hope Agenda’s mandate to achieve the goal of 70 percent indigenous content and participation in the nation’s energy industry during the lifespan of this administration.
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