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Minister Advocates Special Fund For Aviation Sector 

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The Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, has called for the establishment of Aviation Development Fund so that the sector can be in consonance with international standards and best practises.

Sirika, who spoke at the public hearing on the six Aviation Executive Bills at the National Assembly on Tuesday, stated that the Aviation Development Fund being proposed with friendly interest rate would help the sector address its enormous financial challenges.

Some of the bills being considered are “A Bill for an Act to repeal the Civil Aviation Act, 2006 and to Enact the Civil Aviation Act for the Regulation of Civil Aviation in Nigeria and for Other Related Matters; “A Bill for an Act to repeal the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology Act and to Enact the Nigerian Aviation Technology Act to provide for its organisation, control and operation and for related Matters.
Also included is a Bill for an Act to repeal the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency Act for the purpose of providing effective Air Navigation.”
The Aviation Minister while responding to concern over inadequate safety equipment at the nation’s airport, passenger comfort and the perceived indifference of the regulatory agency, the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, has however reiterated that the strategic sector was battling with paucity of fund.
Sirika said:” In the wisdom of the Ministry, we saw that we need huge fund to deal with capital intensive projects, including what Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, NAMA, Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria, (FAAN) will require.
“We need huge amount to put them in place. Of course, we need adequate security around the airport to deal with intruders.
“If we are able to find this money and deal with these items, what we will be addressing is the sustainability of the items.
“We need Aviation Development Fund, where these money can be kept, where we are cocksure that these fund with little interest can be tapped. All we would then need is to boost our Internally Generated Revenue, (IGR).
“This Fund will help us with passenger comfort, safety around the airport. This volume of capital can be deployed to ensure that every aviation equipment are available at our airports. ”
The Aviation Minister who re-echoed his concern over the failure of airline operators under the aegis of Airlines Operators of Nigeria, (AON) to remit their service charge, has recommended for an automated payment system that would take care of cold war over default in remittance by members of the AON.
In his presentation, Director General of NAMA, Fola Akinkuotu who expressed delight over the proposed amendment of the Bill establishing NAMA, said that it would boost the much-needed improvement, efficiency to improve safety in our airspace.
Also in his presentation, Aviation Security Consultant and Secretary General of Aviation Security Round-table Initiative, Group Captain John Ojikutu (retd) who called for a review of the sharing formula of the remittance to the NCAA, which he insisted was skewed against other stakeholders in the sector, asked, “What is NCAA doing to be taking 58 per cent?”

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Nigeria Set To Host AIO Confab, As Tope Smart Emerges President

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By Sola Alabadan

All arrangements have been concluded for the forthcoming 47th Conference and Annual General Assembly of the African Insurance Organisation (AIO) holding in Lagos from September 4 to 8.
Chairman, Local Organising Committee Of AIO 2021, Mrs. Ebelechukwu Nwachukwu, who addressed journalists in Lagos on Tuesday, said since the conference could not hold last year due to the covid-19 pandemic, the AIO Secretariat LOC decided to hold it this year as a hybrid event to cater for those who will not be able to attend physically.
She emphasised that in planning the conference at this time, the organisers  have taken full cognizance of all the health protocols and restrictions on public gathering, hence the decision to make it a hybrid event.
To give further impetus to this decision, she pointed out that “we are limiting the number of physical attendees, while others are being encouraged to take advantage of the virtual conference to participate from their different locations. For physical attendees, all covid-19 protocols will be observed and implemented to the letter.”

She also commended the Commissioner for Insurance, Mr. Olorundare Thomas for working assiduously and liaising with the various ministries and agencies to ensure that the organisers get the full support from the government.
She equally informed that of the major highlights of the 47th Conference is that the immediate past chairman of the Nigerian Insurers Association and Group Managing Director of NEM Insurance Plc, Mr. Tope Smart will assume office as the next president of the pan African organisation for the next one year.
As Covid-19 pandemic had left very debilitating effects on many economies and there are efforts at addressing these challenges, participants at the 47th AIO conference would be contributing to discussions around how insurance can contribute to ongoing efforts at rebuilding economies seriously impacted by the pandemic.
The theme of this year’s conference is: Rebuilding Africa’s Economy: An Insurance Perspective.

The four other subtopics to address other contemporary issues affecting the insurance industry are:
The new normal: How leaders can reset for growth beyond covid-19
Regulation, innovation and the future of insurance

Harnessing the potential for growth and development in the Nigerian insurance market

AfCFTA and the African Insurer: Prospects and Opportunities

She added that the AIO Secretariat has assembled a strong faculty to deliver the different papers.
The resource persons are: Mr. Jakkie Cilliers, Institute of Security Studies, South Africa, Mr. Belhassen Tanat of Munich re, Mr. Yinka Sanni of Standard Bank Group, Mr. Tawiah Ben- Ahmed of Metropolitan Life Insurance, Ghana.
The AIO conference will also include the Life Seminar and all related activities.
The LOC chairman further stated that hosting the conference is significant to Nigeria, as it will enable her to showcase hee rich culture and hospitality, as well as provide a great opportunity to correct some of the misconceptions about Nigeria and her people.

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Banks’ CEOs Hold Emergency Meeting Over BDCs’ Forex Ban 

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Bank Chief Executive Officers on Thursday, held an emergency meeting on how to ensure compliance with the new forex directive of the Central Bank of Nigeria.

After the meeting, they spoke during a webinar organised to give an update on the banks’ preparedness to be the main channel of forex distribution, following the recent discontinuity of forex supply to the BDC operators by the CBN.

The executives assured the public that banks would make forex available to customers in accordance with the CBN’s directives.

After the last Monetary Policy Committee meeting, the Central Bank Governor, Godwin Emefiele, had ordered all Deposit Money Banks to set up teller points at designated branches across the country to fulfil legitimate FX request for personal travel allowance, business travel allowance, tuition fees, medical payments and SMEs transactions, among others.

Speaking at the webinar, the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Access Bank Plc, Herbert Wigwe, said, “The banking industry as a whole was willing and ready to carry out this function. The banks have very strict compliance measures, in terms of verification and making sure that people who do apply are eligible.

“All Nigerian banks will be able to meet these requirements. If you look at all the branches nationwide, you will know that the banks have more than enough capacity to do this.”

He said if the banks saw any compliance issues, or people attempting to do things cunning, they would be reported to the CBN because the banks would ensure full compliance with the order.

The Group Chief Executive Officer, Guaranty Trust Holding Company Plc, Mr Segun Agbaje, while speaking on the capacity of the banks to meet the customers demand, said, “It is not only the CBN that has the ability to fund the market; the banks also have the resources to meet the demand, and we have agreed collectively that it will start immediately.”

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NERC: Over 1m Electricity Consumers Have Received Prepaid Meters

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