According to the government, the strategic partners are expected to run the airline as a private sector initiative to avoid suffering the fate of defunct Nigeria Airways.
The previous national carrier, the Nigeria Airways, founded in 1958, was wholly owned and managed by the Federal Government before it went under in 2003.
Hadi Sirika, the Minister of State for Aviation, said on Wednesday that the government would not own more than five per cent of the new carrier. He made the comments while giving details of the airline at the Farnborough air show in England.
The government plans to launch the airline in December, making good on President Muhammadu Buhari’s election campaign promise.
Decades of neglect and lack of investment have left Nigeria with low-quality infrastructure seen as a hurdle to prosperity. The government has said that upgrading it would require private investment. “The initial capital is likely to be in the range of $US 150 to $300 million, in- vested in tranches over time from start up through the first five years of operation,” a government document stated.
It said the government would provide initial capital but did not state the sum or give further details.
The government will “facilitate the process for opening up the capital of the airline to private sector financial investors”, the document stated.
A private operator, sought through a Public Private Partnership (PPP) process, will manage the airline without interference, it said.
Nigeria Air would serve domestic and international markets and expect to have a fleet of 30 aircraft in five years with hubs in Lagos and Abuja, Nigeria’s two main cities.
British billionaire Richard Branson set up domestic and international carrier Virgin Nigeria in 2000, but pulled out in 2010 over what he said was interference by politicians and regulators.
The airline he created, which was later rebranded Air Nigeria, closed in 2012 after collapsing under N35 billion of debt which left it unable to pay staff, a former finance director of the company said at the time.
Nigeria is overhauling its aviation infrastructure and handing over its airports to private managers in order to improve the business environment for the industry and to attract investment, the document said. It said current air traffic in Nigeria is around 15 million passengers which is expected to grow at five percent per annum through to 2036.
Source: Sunday Sun.
Nigeria’s government has taken it upon themselves to repatriate a large number of its citizens who were tricked into buying football World Cup passes to travel to Russia for the world cup 2018. This was declared by the president’s spokesperson on Monday.
Few of them spent days sleeping at Moscow’s Vnukovo airport while others were subjected to staying the country’s embassy in the Russian capital. They had purchased Fan IDs for $700(250,000), which served as visas for the duration of the tournament, with the hope of securing work or even professional football contracts. Others claimed they came to watch the tournament but they said the bogus travel agencies cancelled their return flights and kept the cash to themselves.
The director-general of Nigeria’s National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, Julie Okah-Donli, said they were aware of the situation and were investigating. Garba Shehu, President Muhammadu Buhari’s spokesperson revealed in a statement that the foreign and aviation ministries had taken the necessary actions to bring the Nigerians back.
Economic uncertainties and slowdown of market activities have continued to weaken investors’ appetite for equities on the floor of the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) as the All-Share Index and market capitalisation depreciated further by 0.6%. Specifically, at the close of transactions last week, the market capitalistaion, which stood at N13.637 trillion when the market reopened for transactions on July 9, lost N94 billion or 0.6 per cent, to close at N13.545 trillion at the weekend. Also, the ASI depreciated by 255.16 points from 37,647.93 to 37,392.77.
Furthermore, turnover of 1.219 billion shares worth N17.333 billion were recorded in in 17,362 deals by investors on the floor of the Exchange lower than 1.842 billion shares valued at N16.594 billion that changed hands in 18,941 deals during the preceding week.
Similarly, all other indices finished lower with the exception of the NSE oil/gas and the NSE Lotus II Indices that appreciated by 0.71 per cent and 0.37 per cent respectively.
Analysts attributed the downturn to the impact of 2019 elections and ongoing security challenges that have bedeviled the nation’s political space.
For instance, the Chief Reseatch Officer of Investdata Consulting Limited, Ambrose Omodion, said: “The unfolding events regarding weekend’s Ekiti State governorship election confirm the fears among investors and analyst.
“For many, happenings around the July 14, 2018, election continue to feed the polity with unnecessary wrong signals that none of the regulators or government is doing much to play down, ahead of general election in 2019. “We expect a slowdown in the decline that leads to reversal soon as Q2 earnings season kicks off any moment from now, since equities remain undervalued with higher yields. Investors should review their position in line with their investment goals and act as events unfolds in the global and domestic environment.
“However, we would like to reiterate our advice that investors should go for equities with intrinsic value, especially during this season were Q2 interim dividend payment are expected in the market arena very soon.” Analyst at Codros Capital Limited said the continued selloffs and the absence of a near term one-off positive catalyst dampen the outlook for equities in the short-to-medium term, adding that strengthened macroeconomic fundamentals remain supportive of gains in the long term.
Vetiva Research Limited said: ”With market sentiments staying negative after a week of bearish trading, we expect the tepid sentiments to filter into the market at week’s opening.” Further breakdown of last week’s trading showed that the financial services Industry led the activity chart with 842.823 million shares valued at N9.587 billion, traded in 9,231 deals; thus contributing 69.15 per cent to the total equity turnover volume. The consumer goods industry followed with 113.667 million shares worth N4.657 billion in 3,120 deals, while the services industry ranked third with a turnover of 105.623 million shares worth N519.813 million in 593 deals. Trading in the top three equities- Access Bank Plc, Zenith International Bank Plc and Nigerian Aviation Handling Company Plc accounted for 497.482 million shares worth N6.619 billion in 2,251 deals, contributing 40.82 per cent to the total equity turnover volume.
Also traded during the week were 79,304 units of Exchange Traded Products (ETPs) valued at N1.491 million and executed in 18 deals, compared with 25,220 units valued at N454,438.90 that were transacted last week in four deals. A total of 13,517 units of Federal Government valued at N14.899 million was traded this week in 30 deals, compared with a total of 2,359 units valued at N2.188 million transacted last week in 24 deals.
Credit: The Guardian