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EDS Express Thrives on Transparency –Udoh

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Udoh Felix, the managing director/chief executive officer of EDS Express Limited, a courier, haulage and logistics company, has harped on the need for courier companies in Nigeria to exhibit transparency in their dealings with their clients to restore the confidence of clients on the courier industry. This according to him, will be able to take the industry to the next level .He said the confidence of clients in the industry has been smeared as a result of a number of sharp practices perpetrated by some bad eggs amongst them in the past.
Udoh emphasized that the Courier Regulatory Department is now trying to do everything possible to correct some of those wrong doings to ensure that the courier industry is properly shaped. Furthermore, he said there is need to redeem the confidence that has been lost over the years so that people can walk up to courier offices and entrust them with their mails and consignments without being scared that such mails may be tampered with, dumped, misrouted, or get lost in transit even as he urged entrepreneurs and investors in the industry to invest more money saying that courier business is capital intensive. 
On the importance of Information and Communications Technology on the sector, Udoh said the gains of ICT on any industry or economy even to an individual cannot be overemphasized.  He said with one of the tools called track and trace, customers of the company can sit in the comfort of their homes and offices and track the movement of their mails all over the world once you send such document or parcel. He said the company gives the client an airway bill number with which he can log on the company’s website to monitor the movement of his parcel until such a parcel gets to its destination.  According to him, such a facility can also allow one to know who assigned for the letter on arrival and at what time.
Udoh also informed that to exploit the ICT further that the company is working to ensure that all its operations are computerized at least in the zonal districts to link up with the head office to be able to sit down in Lagos and know what is happening in Abuja for instance and in other locations.
Customer satisfaction remains a core passion and strong selling point of the young company that has within barely one year of its operation, having been licensed in July last year by the CRD, opened 15 branch networks in the country.
“We would rather run at a loss, deliver customer consignment at a loss than delay it one minute longer than necessary. We believe in doing things the right and proper way. When it comes to bulk mail, if for any reason we cannot deliver anyone, we would rather send it back to the owner even if he decides not to pay us. We would rather feel satisfied that we have done a good job than dump the mails and come forward to say that we have delivered,” he said.
The kind of conscience we operate he explained will not allow us to do that for we believe in transparency, speedy delivery and reliability. “We believe that if a man walks into our office and gives us a piece of paper  which you may not know the value of, we believe  that the man who owns that piece of paper and is paying for its delivery  has high regard for that piece of paper.”
On what informed the setting up of the company? Udoh said the directors of EDS had thought over the past years some of the things not properly done in the courier service delivery including misrouting of mails, pilfering, delay in delivery and service failures among other things and decided to play a leading role in transforming the sector by providing first class service to clients.
He noted that some of the courier companies would claim to be able to deliver within 24 hours or return sender’s money and at the end of the day you have a document that is urgent taking two to three days before reaching its destination. “For us at EDS that is not supposed to be the face of courier,” Udoh said.
“When you talk about courier service, it has to do with speed, reliability, transparency. If you are a courier service operator and I walk up to send my document through you , I want to believe that document shouldn’t be tampered with  and I also expect that it should be delivered on time too because I paid for it”
To further underscore the importance of speedy mails delivery, Udoh said looking back, courier service all over the world started with the airline from the aviation industry and that in those days when the aviation industry came on stream, first area of service as a matter of priority was mail delivery and passenger service was secondary.
On how to regulate the sector adequately, EDS CEO said the issue has come up a number of times at CRD organized workshops and trainings for courier operators but he believes anything that will shape the future of the courier industry will be a worthwhile development.
“I don’t see anything wrong in CRD being given an autonomous title to fully regulate the industry. For now there is a limit to which it can regulate the industry. Except a person that is fully empowered to regulate the industry, there are certain things he may not be able to do and even to achieve. CRD is doing marvelously well. The man at the helm of affairs, Dr Simon Emeje is the kind of man we need there. He is the kind of man we believe will take the courier industry to the shore. He has a passion for the job, he is focused, he is open and transparent, he leaves his doors open at any time irrespective of who you are,” Udoh disclosed.
On the company’s expansion plans, Udoh said in the next few years the target of EDS is to have outstations in all the 36 state capitals in Nigeria. According to him, the company has at present outstations in about 15 cities and network agents in all the cities of the federation as he said even now that the company has consignments going to almost all the cities of the federation.  He emphasized that for a courier company and service delivery  that there is great  need effective network system without which one  cannot break even. “So part of the focus we have for the next five years is to ensure that we have superlative network coverage,” he said.

 


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E-Financial

FG Makes u-Turn on Bank Account Re-Registration

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Federal government on Friday apologised for asking all account holders in financial institutions in the country to re-register their personal details.

FG makes u-Turn on Bank Account Re-Registration

Recall that the federal government had on Thursday ‎ordered that all persons holding accounts across financial institutions and insurance firms should complete and submit self-certification forms to their respective financial institutions.

The notice issued by the government to that effect read, ‎“This is to notify the general public that all account holders in Financial Institutions (Banks, Insurance Companies, etc.) are required to obtain, complete, and submit Self – Certification Forms to their respective Financial Institutions.

“Persons holding accounts in different financial institutions are required to complete and submit the form to each one of the institutions. The forms are required by the relevant financial institutions to carry out due diligence procedures, in line with the Income Tax Regulations 2019.‎”

The directive raised eyebrows, as account holders already possessed Bank Verification Numbers.

Following widespread condemnation that trailed the directive, the Federal Government backtracked on Friday, saying the fresh guidelin‎e was not for all Nigerians.

The government attributed the development to misinformation.

The clarification issued by the government on Friday read, ‎“We apologise for the misleading tweets (now deleted) that went up yesterday, regarding the completion of self-certification forms by Reportable Persons. The message contained in the notice does not apply to everybody. ‎FIRS will clarify Nigerians on the objectives of the directive.”

Also on Friday, FIRS, in a statement posted on Twitter, explained that the guidelines were only for non-residents, as well as people paying tax in more than one country.

Parts of the FIRS statement read, “The Self Certification Form is basically to be administered on Reportable Persons, holding accounts in Financial institutions, that are regarded as “Reportable Financial Institutions” under the CRS.

“Reportable persons are often non-residents and other persons, who have residence for tax purposes in more than one jurisdiction or country.”

“The information that indicates an account holder is a resident for tax purposes in more than one jurisdiction, is expected to be available to Financial Institutions during account opening processes, for the KYC and AML purpose.”


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FG Bans Emirates Airlines from Operating in Nigeria

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Federal Government has included Emirates Airlines in the list of airlines not allowed to operate in Nigeria.

FG Bans Emirates Airlines from Operating in Nigeria

This is part of measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

Hadi Sirika, minister of Aviation, confirmed this via his Twitter handle on Friday.

According to Sirika, the decision was taken following a meeting between the Presidential Task Force (PTF) and European Unions (EU).

The ban would take effect from Monday, September 21, 2020.

“The PTF sub-committee met today 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 the 21st September 2020,” Sirika tweeted.


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Satellite Operators Push New Signal across Africa, Indian Ocean Regions

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The Agency for Air Navigation Safety in Africa and Madagascar (ASECNA), has started to broadcast a Satellite-Based Augmentation System (SBAS) signal over Africa and Indian Ocean (AFI), providing its first open service in the region via NIGCOMSAT-1R Satellite managed and operated the by Nigerian Communications Satellite Ltd., under the Federal Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy.

Satellite Operators Push New Signal across Africa, Indian Ocean Regions

This early open service is provided as part of the programme, which pursues the autonomous provision SBAS services in Africa, to augment the performances of the satellite navigation constellations GPS and Galileo.

With improved accuracy to within a meter, and boosted integrity, availability, and continuity of safety-related applications, these SBAS services will improve flight safety and efficiency in Africa, and also benefit the economy in many areas as land, sea, and rail transport, as well as mass-market applications, supporting user safety, cost-effectiveness, and sustainable development.

The launched open service essentially aims to carry-out technical trials, and to undertake partner airlines field demonstrations for aircraft and rotorcraft, to demonstrate the benefits of the future operational safety-of-life SBAS services, expected from 2024. It will also include early Precise Point Positioning (PPP), and emergency warning service to populations, which performance will be proven through other demonstrations.

The signal-in-space is generated by a dedicated system tested, developed as part of the “SBAS for Africa and Indian Ocean” preliminary design phase, financed by the European Union, and awarded to Thales Alenia Space, Joint Venture between Thales (67 per cent), and Leonardo (33 per cent).

The “SBAS for Africa and Indian Ocean” is based on the European EGNOS (1) developed by the European Space Agency (ESA), acting under the delegation of the European Commission and operated by the European GNSS Agency GSA.

The system prototype uses as reference stations the SAGAIE network deployed by CNES and ASECNA with the support of Thales Alenia Space.

The signal is broadcasted via the SBAS payload on NigComSat 1R GEO satellite of the Nigerian Communications Satellite, and an uplink station deployed in Abuja, Nigeria.

It is compliant to the standards and recommended practices of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), and the minimum operational performance standard developed by the Radio Technical Commission for Aeronautics (RTCA) organisation.

It will be visible in the whole of Africa and the Indian Ocean, up to the West Australian coast, and also in Europe.

Dr. Abimbola Alale, managing director/chief executive officer of NIGCOMSAT, said: “we are proud to be part of this ambitious program to provide satellite navigation services in the Africa and Indian Ocean region. The use of our geostationary communication satellite NIGCOMSAT-1R navigation payload to broadcast the first signal will be Africa’s premier contribution to SBAS as a regional satellite-based augmentation system for the continent.”

On his part, Benoit Broudy, vice president, Navigation Business at Thales Alenia Space in France, said the longstanding expertise acquired with the development of EGNOS1 SBAS in Europe, and KASS SBAS in Korea, combined with the new leading-edge satellite positioning technologies make Thales Alenia the ideal partner to best support countries to implement their own SBAS efficiently.

“The equatorial region represents also a key engineering challenge for such a system due to difficult ionosphere conditions, for which Thales Alenia Space has developed a proven solution,” he stated.

Mohamed Moussa, director-general of ASECNA, said the provision of the first African SBAS early service is a crucial major step forward in the development of satellite navigation in the AFI region, and in the deployment of the “SBAS for Africa and Indian Ocean” system, the navigation solution for Africa by Africa.

He said: “It demonstrates the ambition and commitment of ASECNA to enhance air navigation safety for the benefit of the whole continent, in line with my vision for the unification of the African Sky.”


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