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AMCON Says Some Local Airlines May Collapse Over Debt

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Some Nigerian airlines are facing the risk of collapse under the weight of huge debts, according to the country’s Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria, set up to rescue banks from bad loans.

“The industry remains in the throes of airlines burdened with debts, under administration or on the borderline of collapse,” Amcon chief executive Ahmed Kuru said at the 2018 Colloquium of the Nigeria Travels Mart (NTM) in Lagos.

The colloquium had the theme: “Corporate Governance and Airline Industry Development in Nigeria”.

Amcon acquired the country’s biggest airline Arik last year because of difficulties arising from huge debts and poor corporate governance, it said.

Nigeria’s more than 10 domestic airlines are struggling with difficulties arising from the country’s first economic contraction in a quarter century in 2016, and have seen reduced access to capital and limited leasing opportunities.

The AMCON boss said that lack of regulations and good corporate governance were the main factors responsible for the failure of Nigerian airlines, including the defunct national carrier, Nigeria Airways.

According to him, there are two major problems with the airlines in Nigeria; one being lack of an effective Board of Directors, thereby affecting internal policies and discipline, the other problem has to do with regulation.

“Given the ownership structure of most airlines in Nigeria, the board’s veritable check on management and excesses of airline owners who show very little patience for orderly and planned conduct of business, is practically absent.

“A functional board is necessary for the effective operations of airlines with long term survival and profitability objectives.

“Individuals with independence, experience and expertise from relevant sectors of the economy are not identified and engaged,” Kuru said.

He said on the other hand, regulations were either weak and lack the courage to enforce compliance based on current standards, or need more fine-tuning to ensure effectiveness of the airline.

Kuru said: “The aviation industry is as important as the health industry because it deals with the lives of travellers. It requires more regulations than even the banking industry.

“It is only in Nigeria that an airline can abandon you at the airport for more than five hours without any recourse.

“Indeed, there are consequences for frequent cancellations, however, I cannot recall any airline punished in the recent past.

“That is why I want to use this opportunity to appeal to the NCAA and other regulatory agencies in the aviation industry to show courage and ensure that sound corporate governance systems are enforced.

“A starting point can be the domestication and adoption of the draft Nigerian Code of Corporate Governance 2018.”

Also, Mr. Chris Amenechi, Vice-President, Pricing and Revenue Management, Copa Airlines, Panama, said Nigeria could become an aviation hub if the country addresses the infrastructure deficit in the sector.

He added that the NCAA should not be an economic regulator of airlines but should rather stick to the technical and safety aspects of the business.

On his part, Mr Simon Tumba, Chief Executive Officer of NTM, said the government should focus on airports concession following its decision to jettison the establishment of a new national carrier.

“I believe the government should give more priority to the issue of airports concession. This will give Nigeria an edge and hopefully catapult us to the needed growth in this sector.

“It is very important that this is executed in a transparent manner with full support of the workers,” he said


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Lagos Bus Services Rewards 10millionth Passenger of Its 10 months of Operation

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The Lagos Bus Services Limited (LBSL), the leading bus transport company in Lagos State has successfully transported 10 million Nigerians in 10 months of its operations. This disclosure was made in Lagos on Thursday 19, March 2020 by Mr. Idowu Oguntona, the company’s Managing Director/Chief Executive, after a commemorative bus ride with the 10-millionth passenger of the company from the Ojodu-Berger Terminus to Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos Island.

The 10-millionth commuter, Uwuadileke Chinedu, was identified before the trip commenced and was given a one-month free bus pass at a short commemorative ceremony at the bus terminus.

Oguntona, who was accompanied by senior management staff of LBSL, some commuters and guests during the trip, gave company’s scorecard and assured stakeholders that its best was yet to come.

He further assured commuters who use the Lagos Bus Services of its commitment to excellence as the gold bar of its operations by moving them to their destinations timely, conveniently, comfortably and at affordable fares.

Oguntona assured Nigerians that the company’s long term goal is to help in making Lagos a livable city where most car owners do not see the need to put their cars on the road during business hours as they can count on Lagos Bus Services to transport them to their desired destinations within the City of Lagos.

Oguntona said, “As part of our efforts to facilitate intermodal transportation in Lagos State, we collaborate with LAGFERRY to ensure seamless movement of people, and we are ready to work with other sister organisations to ensure that the Sanwo-Olu administration’s blueprint for the transport sector is realised.

The Greater Lagos we envisage with Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu is a smart city where a resident can get of home, ride on our bus, get on a ferry link a train and still return home in a bus, all in a day’s journey. It is no longer a dream without a date. It is now a realisable goal in our life time.”

Oguntona further disclosed that the company has been growing organically, tripling its fleet from 50 buses in May 2019 to 150 high capacity buses by December 2019 as part of efforts to improve public transportation in Lagos State. Additional 65 high capacity buses were deployed and seven new major routes opened in February for the use of commuters affected by the restriction order placed on motorcycles and tricycles in some parts of Lagos.

Oguntona also stated that LBSL transports 80, 000 passengers daily on its 15 routes and has such has been able to achieve the significant feat of effectively transporting 10 million passengers in 10 months since 2019 while creating jobs for hundreds of people. He also disclosed that plans were afoot to introduce more high capacity and mini-buses into the company’s fleet to serve more commuters across the state.

“LBSL is a key player in the Traffic Management & Transportation; Health and Environment component of the THEMES agenda of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu. We have created jobs for over 700 Lagosians, with about 87 per cent of the staff being bus captains, operations staff and technical staff. We have also empowered Lagosians for employment through our driving school that successfully produced 1,969 certified high capacity bus drivers in 2019,” he said.

The MD further thanked Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu for government’s support and expressed LBSL’s readiness to collaborate with more public agencies to address public transport needs of Lagosians.

Speaking against the backdrop of the recent confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the State and the need for relevant organizations to embrace precautionary measures, Oguntona disclosed that the company is putting in place, necessary measures to minimize exposure to the virus in our buses.

In his words, ” As we speak now, the use of sanitizers in all our stations is now compulsory. This is in addition to provision of Thermometer already deployed across our stations to check passenger’s Temperature before they board our buses, to contain the spread of this virus and ensure that users of LBSL are safe and protected.

“Apart from this, we have educated our staff and we’re extending the same information and sensitization to our users on how to be safe in our buses. We ensure our buses are cleaned properly and disinfected regularly and we advocate a general personal and environmental hygiene for everyone”

The lucky 10-millionth commuter, Uwuadileke Chinedu, thanked the LBSL for its kind gesture, disclosing that it was a pleasant surprise as he never knew the company intended to reward anyone on a day like this.

“Lagos Bus Service has been a blessing since I started patronizing them. Comfortable, convenient and reliable all the time. And with this special milestone and recognition, I go dey follow you…” Chinedu concluded singing and dancing.


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MTN Leads Growth in Internet Users in Nigeria

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MTN Nigeria is the biggest gainer of new Internet users in one year, according to the latest monthly subscribers’ data from the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).

MTN Leads Growth in Internet Users in Nigeria

The figure from January 2019 to January 2020, showed that MTN gained 9.6 million new Internet subscribers, followed by Airtel with 5.04 million new Internet.

Globacom, during the period under review, added 1.84 million new Internet customers to its network.

The NCC mobile Internet subscriber’s data showed that in one year, 9mobile lost 1.89 million Internet users.

Further analysis of the data indicated that the country gained a total of 16.73 million new Internet users during the period under review.

MTN had 45,931,171 Internet subscribers in January 2019 but recorded 55,527,289users by the end of January 2020.

On the Visafone spectrum, now owned by MTN, there were 90,196 mobile Internet users as of January 2020.

Airtel, which had 30,460,528 Internet subscribers in January 2019, gained 5,042,126 more to record 35,502,654 in January this year while Globacom’s mobile Internet subscriber base increased to 29,205,304 in January this year from 27,600,539 in January last year.

On the contrary, the data showed that 9mobile’s Internet subscribers declined from 9,882,966 in January 2019 to 8,040,261 in January 2020, losing 1,842,705 mobile Internet users.

 


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MTN Nigeria and Project Tour take “Turn it Up” campaign to Jos 

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MTN Nigeria took its ‘Turn it up’ campaign to the maiden edition of the ‘I Believe Summit 2020’. The summit is an annual forum where young and enterprising minds engage in enlightened debates on issues hampering national development with a view to providing possible solutions.

 

Speaking at the Summit which held in Jos, Olugbenga Hammed, Manager, Go-to-Market, MTN Nigeria said “Amazing opportunities abound in the country for us to take advantage.

 

“We understand the importance of having these conversations to inspire Nigerians. That is why we are part of this summit.

 

“We will continue to encourage Nigerians to look within and seek better ways to provide solutions to the country’s challenges and turn it up for themselves.”

 

The ‘I Believe Summit’ is powered by Project Tour Nigeria, a non-governmental vehicle for national reconciliation meant to showcase the wealth of Nigeria’s social, economic, cultural and traditional heritage as well as the enormous tourism investment potential in the country.

 

The Summit will hold in all states of the federation before proceeding for a finale in Abuja.

 

 

 


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