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No foreign airline operating in Nigeria can sell tickets in dollars – NANTA President

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By Chinelo Obogo

The president of the National Association of Nigerian Travel Agencies (NANTA), Susan Akporiaye, has said that for no foreign airline operating in Nigeria can sell tickets in dollars.

Reacting to reports in some sections of the media (not Daily Sun), that from April 19, international airlines operating in Nigeria would start selling their tickets in dollars, Susan said that all airlines operating in Nigeria are mandated by Nigeria’s law to sell their tickets in the local currency.

She said even though it is a known fact that many foreign airlines have been unable to repatriate their funds from Nigeria due to forex scarcity, all airlines would sell using the local currency or face sanctions. However, the NANTA president revealed that airlines are suffering because they cannot access forex at the official rates and have resorted to buying from the black market.

She also said that reports that airlines have increased their fares are false, rather, what airlines did in order to cushion the effect of forex scarcity is to stop selling their lower inventories.

‘There are reports that from April 19, airlines in Nigeria will start issuing tickets in dollars and I want to say that it is not correct. If you read the publication that reported the story, NANTA was not quoted because the information didn’t come from us and whoever put that write up together did not consult us if not, we would have properly educated the person on the facts rather than generalising.

‘The report quoted APG which is not an airline, so they cannot speak on behalf of all the international airlines in Nigeria. I am the president of NANTA and I can categorically tell you that airlines in Nigeria did not tell the travel agency community that they would start issuing tickets in dollars because of the issue of repatriating their funds. It is true that the funds of the airlines are stuck, but what airlines have done to be able to cushion that effect so the volume of the amount of money with them does not go higher than it is that they stopped the travel agency community from issuing tickets that do not originate from Nigeria.

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‘This is not too good for us because it is reducing our sales and also reduces the oppourtunity for us to service our clients properly. The airlines didn’t write to us to say that they would start issuing tickets in dollars because our laws do not support it, so no airlines would do that. APG is not an airline, it is just a platform that some airlines that do not represent Nigeria sell from and so they do not have the authority to speak on behalf of all the airlines.

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‘Information reaching me from the management of APG is that they were not even aware of the publication because it was sent without the consent of the top management. The CEO of APG is a seasoned industry person and a member of NANTA and he has been running GSA for so many airlines in Nigeria, so, they know better. I reached out to the owner and he said he was not aware. As we speak, the APG platform has been shut down, that is to tell you that they were not aware. Immediately I reached out to them when I got the news, they shut down because they know the rules and regulations and know that such is not allowed in Nigeria and communication has been sent to CBN is that it was done without their knowledge.

‘My appeal is that in anything that has to do with the aviation industry, especially in the aspect of airlines and tickets, NANTA should be informed so that we can let people know the true position and advise clearly because it is causing a lot of confusion now. Airlines in Nigeria did not come together and agree that they would start issuing tickets in dollars from April 19. I want to emphasise that APG is not an airline, it is a platform that brings together few airlines that is why they cannot speak authoritatively on behalf of airlines. Getting information from one or two travel agents in Nigeria is not enough to come up with a publication and generalise it, without reaching out to the association. Airlines have not ganged up to do any such thing because they know the rules and they also know that IATA would not allow it. The rule in Nigeria is that you must transact business in the local currency and all the airlines are aware and would not go against the rules of the country.

‘The only thing I would say that is affecting the non-repatriation of their funds to their own countries is the fact that lower inventory is not allowed. It is part of the BASA agreement that any country they operate in, should allow them repatriate their funds but they have not been able to do that, meaning that the country has failed them in that aspect. My appeal to CBN is to make their funds available because it is seriously hurting our business.

‘What the airlines have done is to remove the lower inventories from the system because they have to source for funds in the black market which we know varies. If you sell at a lower rate and you are buying at a higher rate, it is going to be massive loss for the airline. For the airlines to be able to break even, they stopped selling their lower inventories. It is not that the fares have gone up. The fares have not doubled. What is happening is that the airlines are not selling their lower inventories. The business class fare of N1.8 million is still there but it is not being sold because they have to go and source for dollars in the black market which is almost N600, while we sell on the system for N444. So, for the airlines not to run at a loss, they are only selling the higher inventory of their fares, so that by the time they go to the black market to buy dollars, they would not be running at a loss.’

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Nigeria Newspapers

Buhari  renews Adigwe’s tenure as NIPRD DG, approves  FMC Yola upgrade to teaching hospital 

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From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja

President Muhammadu Buhari, has approved the renewal of the appointment of the Director-General/ Chief Executive Officer of the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research & Development (NIPRD), Dr. Obi Peter Adigwe, for a second and final term of four (4) years with effect from 10th August, 2022.

In a statement by  Director, Information, Office of the Secretary General of the Federation, Willie Bassey, President Buhari while congratulating  Odigwe on the re-appointment, charged him to position the institute for effective service delivery to the nation.

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In a related development, the President has approved the upgrading of the Federal Medical Centre, Yola, to Modibbo Adama University Teaching Hospital, Yola, Adamawa state.

The approval is sequel to the demand by the people and the Adamawa state Government for the upgrade of the Federal Medical Centre, Yola to Modibbo Adama University Teaching Hospital, Yola, in order to enhance the training of medical students as well as boost health care delivery in the state.

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Kaduna 2023:  I will end banditry, revive textile industries-Shehu Sani

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From Noah Ebije, Kaduna

The Senator who represented Kaduna Central in the 8th National Assembly and governorship Aspirant of People’s Democratic Party, (PDP), Comrade Shehu Sani, has promised to end banditry in Kaduna and revive the moribund textile industries if elected governor of the State in 2023.

Senator Sani said, a situation where bandits decide who dies and lives in Kaduna and where people can only sleep with too eyes close in only two of the 23 local government areas, is unacceptable.

The PDP governorship aspirant who stated this in Kaduna on Tuesday while addressing journalists at the NUJ secretariat ahead of the governorship primary, said he is the only aspirant that can defeat the All Progressive Congress (APC) with their incumbency power.

According to Shehu Sani, himself and all the other six governorship aspirants in the PDP are very qualified to govern Kaduna State, but the only person that can confront Governor El-Rufai effectively is himself.

Sani said, “my aspiration is not a do or die affair. my aspiration is informed by the fact that the state is badly governed by the APC, and I have a list of agenda on ground to solve the problems.

“Am out to unite people of Kaduna State. I am a bridge that can unite people of southern and northern parts of Kaduna who have been divided on so many fronts. I want to correct inequality created by this APC government.

“I will also address the security challenges in the state. Kaduna has become bad example as one of the most insecured state in Nigeria, with government being helpless.

“There are 23 local government areas in Kaduna state and 21 local governments are under security seige. It is only in Kaduna North and Kaduna South that you sleep with your eyes closed.

“It has been 49 days since people have been kidnapped in the Abuja-Kaduna bound train and the victims  are still in captivity.

“If elected  govenor I will ensure that security is manned by experts who are well trained to address insecurity and not  by Journalists.

Kaduna State people today are at the mercy of bandits who now decide who dies and who survives. How come there is no banditry in most part of the North but Kaduna.

“I want to address the security challenges in the state. I will not be a Governor that will say security of my people is in the hands of the FG, I will answer my name as the chief security officer.

“When leaders cannot protect you from bandits and terrorists, they have no business being in government. People of Kaduna are at the mercy of bandits.

“Another major agenda I have is the reactivation of moribound textile industries in Kaduna and provide necessary employment to our people.

“I will also embark on infrastructural development which will not only be about the city. I will spread development across all the local government areas.

“Kaduna is presently under tyranny. Therefore, I will discontinue with bad legacies of the APC but continue with local government election where even the opposition can win election,” Shehu Sani said.

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