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Nigeria Airways’ resurrects as ‘Nigeria Air.’ What lessons 15 years after?

Emerging reports say that the Nigerian government on Wednesday in London unveiled a new national airline to be known as Nigeria Air

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Emerging reports say that the Nigerian government on Wednesday in London unveiled a new national airline to be known as Nigeria Air.

The ceremony comes 15 years after the former Nigeria Airways went moribund and literally got buried. The official unveiling of name and logo of the country’s new flag carrier, came in the absence of any fleet for the airline.

Named Nigeria Air, Presidency officials say that the new enterprise “will bring Nigeria closer to the world.”

The Wednesday ceremony held at the Farnborough International Public Airshow in London. Speaking at the event, Nigeria’s Minister of State for Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, said the federal government would not interfere in the management of the business.

“It is a business, not a social service. Government will not be involved in running it or deciding who runs it. The investors will have full responsibility for this,” he said.

Sirika, in a tweet via his official Twitter handle, Tuesday, said he had negotiated Aircraft orders with Airbus of Farnborough and planned to meet with Boeing and other suppliers.

“We intend to get a 30 aircraft market in five years. But we will begin with five aircraft on the day of launch,” he said.

Read Also: All you need to know about sack of Mozambique airline board

The Nigerian government appears eager to learn from the mistakes of the past. Alluding to government plans to stay away from directly managing the business, the Director General of Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), Chidi Izuwah, said:

“Though, you need that initial government financial to make it take off, but what is important is that the national carrier will be entirely private sector controlled.

“There will be zero government interference. But if that happens, it invalidates the certificate (Outline Business Case Certificate of Compliance for the establishment of the airline) and the entire process.”

Attempts to resuscitate Nigeria Airways led to a joint venture between Nigerian investors and Richard Branson’s Virgin Group but this crashed in 2012 due largely to what was considered undue government interference and refusal to stay within the letters and spirit of the contract.

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IMF Chief, Ceyla Pazarbasioglu, to visit China over Africa’s growing debt profile

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As the debt profile of many African countries continues to rise, the International Monetary Fund strategy chief, Ceyla Pazarbasioglu will travel to China next week for another high-level meeting.

Her travel is part of efforts to press the world’s largest sovereign creditor for quicker progress on debt restructurings for countries in need.

The IMF chief had called for debt restructuring arrangements for Zambia and Chad to be completed shortly.

Pazarbasioglu said it was critical to move forward and that “outreach to China next week is very important, at the highest levels.”

“It’s moving – very slowly, but it’s moving,” Pazarbasioglu said, noting that the participation of mining company Glencore Plc in the Chad treatment was also “a very good sign” that “even the most difficult private sector participants” were participating.

She said the Paris Club of official bilateral creditors had taken years to hammer out their debt relief processes, and China was learning, although she noted that the debt issues facing borrowing countries now were acute.

“The problem we have is that we don’t have that time right now because these countries are very fragile and dealing with debt vulnerabilities,” she said. “What we need is speed.”

Pazarbasioglu said the IMF would continue to press for changes to the Common Framework, including a freeze in debt payments when countries apply for a debt treatment, as well as clearer procedures and timelines for action, and ensuring comparable treatment for private creditors.

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Botswana central bank predicts fall of inflation rates, maintains monetary policy

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Botswana’s central bank has predicted that the country’s inflation rate will gradually fall back within its target range by 2024.

The bank is predicting that inflation will fall back within the 3%-6% range in the third quarter of 2024. The prediction has made it keep its monetary policy rate unchanged at 2.65% on Thursday.

The bank’s governor, Moses Pelaelo while speaking at a news conference said “the domestic economy will continue to perform below capacity in the medium term and therefore not pose any inflationary pressures.”

The inflation rate in the Southern African country dipped to 13.1% year on year in October from 13.8% in September but is still far above the central bank’s 3%-6% preferred band.

“The drop in inflation in the past months is due to the dissipating effects of previous increases in administered prices,” Pelaelo said.

According to the World Bank, Botswana’s reliance on diamonds and a public sector-driven model makes the economy vulnerable to external shocks, as diamonds contribute over 80% of total exports and are a major source of fiscal revenues.

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