Delegates at the just concluded, first ever, Nigerian Business Aviation Conference hosted by Evergreen Apple Nigeria (EAN) have called for more entrenched expertise in aviation industry, especially in aircraft management.
Achuzie Ezenagu, managing director, Toucan Aviation, a local operator that serves the oil sector stressed the need for aircraft management expertise in such a young market. “Don’t learn the hard way,” he said.
Leading a panel discussion at the event, Ezenagu, he suggested that very few of the aircraft based in Nigeria are using aircraft management companies which can leave owners exposed to not extracting maximum value from their asset.
“Management begins three or four months before the aircraft is purchased,” suggested Ezenagu and advised potential owners to recognise that experience in regulations, crewing, paperwork and safety amongst others will support the aircraft operations in a young business aviation sector.
The conference proved to be a resounding success for the organisers, delegates and speakers. The conference was designed to provide a platform for raising awareness of the growing business aviation industry in Nigeria and hosted by dynamic chair Alasdair Whyte provided attendees with a lively debate discussing a range of topics.
Segun Demuren, managing director and chief executive of hosts, EAN, opened the meeting outlining the need for a better understanding of the value of business aviation in Nigeria as an economic driver for the country and surrounding regions, and its significance in developing international business.
The finance session was led by Segun Agbaje, managing director, GT Bank Plc; he discussed the requirements of the bank when considering financing aircraft. Character and integrity of the customer is said to be as important as collateral and assets. Agbaje also noted that Nigeria had experienced “high octane growth” in the last few years making it the largest market for business jet purchase in Africa, even topping South Africa. “We are more used to financing rice and fish so aviation is a good way for us to expand business,” he commented.
The delegates also heard from the major OEMs in a panel featuring sales directors from sponsors Gulfstream, Embraer and Dassault alongside representatives of Bombardier and Cessna in the region. All remain optimistic about the future growth of sales in the region giving at least an eight out of ten when asked where on the scale of sales growth they positioned Nigeria. However the enthusiasm was tempered by the reality that in order to sell aircraft, service centre and maintenance were major considerations.
The expense of flying an aircraft to Europe or South Africa is a major factor for buyers when purchasing an aircraft. Colin Steven of Embraer underlined the need for support to train and identify local engineering specialists to support the expanding sector. The panel also suggested that there was a strong market for smaller aircraft in the region with over 50 small airfields available that can be used by the turbo prop and light jet community.
The issue of landing permits was covered by the Trip Planners panel which noted that currently permits can take between 48 – 72 hours to be granted.
Nwankwo Ifeanyi representing the Nigerian Airspace Management Authority (NAMA) said that a transformation agenda was in process and recognised that automation of this important issue would better serve the industry. Plans are in place to implement automation sooner rather than later he continued.
Segun Demuren wound up the day-long event thanking delegates for participating in this first-of-its-kind conference.
“Undoubtedly Nigeria is a significant player in the business aviation sector for Africa and will play an important part in the development of the sector in the region. This conference has demonstrated that whilst we have a lot of opportunity we are still very much in our infancy and must aim to build the infrastructure to support business aviation and the associated framework necessary to create a solid base.”
Demuren confirmed that the event had been more successful than he could have hoped for, and will be the first in a series of annual meetings. “Plans are already in motion for the 2014 NBAC event which we anticipate will be bigger and even better,” he said in conclusion. The event finished with a farewell networking dinner sponsored by Gulfstream.
CBN Pulls Rate Cut Trigger, King Dollar Returns
By Lukman Otunuga, Senior Research Analyst at FXTM,
In a move that caught investors off-guard this week, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) slashed interest rates by 100 basis points bringing the MPR to 11.5%. Given how inflation has been above target since 2015, rates were expected to remain unchanged for the rest of 2020 and possibly early 2021.
The question on the mind of many is whether the rate cut will achieve the desired effect by stimulating consumption and economic growth? Ongoing border closures and disruptions created by COVID-19 have pushed inflation to levels not seen since March 2018 above 13.20% while a drop in the production and price of Oil continues to rub salt into the wound. While looser monetary policy could support growth, it may come at the cost of rising inflation and weaker Naira.
Over the past few months, central banks across the globe have deployed unprecedented measures to defend their respective economies against the coronavirus menace. However, fiscal policy has been identified as the sharper tool with governments across the world providing a critical lifeline to keep the wheels of their respective economies rolling.
Outside of Nigeria, King Dollar made a return by appreciating against every single G10 currency. In times of uncertainty, everyone wants a juicy piece of the world’s most liquid currency. As coronavirus cases rise in Europe and other parts of the world, the flight to safety is likely to boost appetite for the Dollar. This is bad news for many emerging markets currencies, especially those with high Dollar-denominated debt.
On the commodity side, Oil prices remain heavily influenced by demand-side factors and the state of the global economy. Prices are likely to remain stuck around the $40 regions in the near term, especially If another round of possible lockdowns hit Oil demand. Looking at the technicals, WTI Crude is under pressure on the daily charts. If prices are unable to break away from the sticky $40 regions, the next key point of interest remains around $38. A weekly close above $41.50 could pave a path towards $43.
NCC Arrests Man for Hacking into DSTV System
Nigeria Copyright Commission (NCC), has arrested one Mr Aliu Olalekan, for allegedly hacking into DSTV system and watching the channels free without subscription.
Mr Matthew Ojo, NCC Director in the Lagos Directorate Office said this while speaking with newsmen in Lagos, on Tuesday.
He said that the suspect used to watch DSTV channels free without subscription on his Android phone via an app which he downloaded on google play store.
“This suspect distributed the know-how to his telegram followers and on his blog with the aim of gaining more followers and viewership on his blog and makes more money through google ad-sense.
“The operation was based on surveillance which had earlier been carried out by the Multi-choice team and verified by a copyright inspector, ” he said.
He added that the arrest was made in collaboration with a team of copyright inspectors led by the Head of Enforcement Department, Mr Charles Amudipe.
Others included; a team from Multichoice Nigeria led by Mr Umar Ibrahim and policemen from Lagos Command Headquarters, Ikeja.
Ojo said that the joint team conducted an anti-piracy operation at the premises of the culprit in Amukoko, Lagos.
According to him, the suspect was contacted on phone by a member of the operation team on the disguise of patronising him. “The suspect came out to meet the caller and in the process of discussion, he was apprehended.
“The suspect took the team to his resident. The squad paraded his one-room apartment and recovered his laptop and phones used in perpetrating the ungodly act. “He was arrested and brought to the copyright commission office for further investigation, ” he said.
Ojo said that, on getting to the commission’s office, the statement of the suspect was taken and the inventory of items seized from him taken. He said that investigation on the matter was still ongoing and if found guilty the suspect will be charged to court.
NCC, Digital Encode Support NITRA Innovative Tech Forum On Post-COVID-19 Strategies
The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), Nigeria’s telecommunications regulator and Digital Encode, Cybersecurity and Compliance advisory company, have indicated interest to partner with the Nigeria Information Technology Reporters Association (NITRA), the national umbrella body of ICT reporters, as it organizes a forum that will x-ray the industry’s future plans for ICT growth post pandemic era.
The event, slated to hold on October 15, 2020, will seek to discuss the needs for a fortified ICT sector after the COVID-19 era, and the level of preparedness of ICT stakeholders to embrace the challenge of being pivotal to the stability and growth of all other sectors.
A statement from NITRA National Secretariat in Lagos indicates that due to the pandemic and need to observe the COVID-19 protocol on social distancing, the event will be held via a Webinar.
This year’s theme, “Multi-stakeholder Approach To National Recovery Post-Pandemic”, is in line with the annual event’s generic theme, ‘NITRA Innovative Tech Forum’, a contribution by NITRA to the development of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) innovations and policies in Nigeria.
Prof. Umar Danbatta, executive vice chairman, NCC is expected to deliver the keynote speech at the event and will throw more light on Federal Government’s plans, programmes and policies on post-pandemic strategies using ICT.
Dr. Adewale Obadare and Dr. Seyi Akindeinde, founders of Digital Encode, while accepting to support the event expressed their readiness to offer their expertise in Cybersecurity for organisations to prepare against cyber- attacks with the new normal.
They will also highlight areas that are high risks that need fortification in terms of cybersecurity.
Speaking on the event, Mr. Chike Onwuegbuchi, national chairman, NITRA, noted that as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to leave its negative trails across the globe, economic reboot for countries will not only depend on how well they readapt to the new normal, but also more on their recovery plans.
According to him: “While the federal government has consistently expressed its willingness to set all policies in place to engender growth, and accelerated implementation of these policies, private sector firms have also shown great hunger for the task ahead in post-COVID-19 era.
However, the question that needs to be answered is whether all stakeholders are ready for the required task ahead.”
The event will also offer participating companies opportunities to publicize some of their individual efforts at contributing to reacting a soft landing or lifeline for SMEs and other ancillary companies as the pandemic threatens their survival.
Digital Encode is a multi-award winning and leading consulting and integration firm that specializes in the design, management, and security of business-critical networks, telecommunications environments and other Information Technology (IT) infrastructures.
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