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Nigeria: ‘No fuel, no flight’ as airline operators threaten strike from Monday

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Following the continued increase in price and availability of aviation fuel in Nigeria, major Airline operators have once again threatened to shut down operations from Monday, 9 May 2022.

The Airlines, which include Air Peace, Ibom Air, Max Air, Arik Air, United Nigeria Airlines Aero Contractors, Azman Air, Overland Airways, and Dana Air are embarking on an indefinite strike from next week.

The effect of recent fuel scarcity in Nigeria hit harder on citizens of the West African country. Recall that airline operators at some point in February warned that they had just three more days to fly due to the high cost of aviation fuel.

The strike announcement was made in a statement by the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) via a statement issued on Friday which was signed by the President of AON, Abdulmunaf Yunusa.

According to the statement, airline operators claimed to have been running a subsidized system which is not favourable for business.

“It is with a great sense of responsibility and patriotism that the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) have carried on deploying and subsidising their services to our highly esteemed Nigerian flying public in the last four months despite the astronomical hike in the price of JetA1 and other operating costs.

“Overtime, aviation fuel price (JetA1) has risen from N190 per litre to N700 currently. In the face of this, airlines have engaged the Federal Government, the National Assembly, NNPC and oil marketers with the view to bringing the cost of JetA1 down which has currently made the unit cost per seat for a one hour flight in Nigeria today to an average of N120,000. The latter cannot be fully passed to passengers who are already experiencing a lot of difficulties.

“To this end therefore, the AON wishes to regrettably inform the general public that member airlines will discontinue operations nationwide with effect from Monday May 9, 2022 until further notice. The statement concludes.

Although Nigeria is one of the largest oil producers in the world, it does not refine its crude locally. Thus, the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine has affected the availability of refined crude for oil demand in the country. In the last two months, there has been scarcity and a hike in the price of other crude products like diesel, and petrol in Nigeria.

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Zimbabwe continues battle to save currency, introduces gold coins as legal tender. Will that work?

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South African country, Zimbabwe has continued its battle at fighting inflation as its central bank will start issuing gold coins as legal tender in late July.

Soaring inflation has weakened the local currency and the central hopes the gold coin, named ‘Mosi-oa-Tunya’, after Victoria Falls, can be converted into cash in the bid to strengthen its legal tender.

Last month, Zimbabwe raised its key rate to 200 percent after it was raised from raised to 80% in April from 60%. The decision made the country’s rate the highest in the world as it battles with soaring inflation persist. The rate was last

The central bank governor, John Mangudya in a statement on Monday, said that the gold coins will be available for sale to the public in both local currency and US dollars and other foreign currencies at a price based on the prevailing international price of gold and the cost production”.

The coins are expected to act as a ‘store of value and to reduce the demand for US dollars’ – something that has been blamed for the weakening value of the local currency.

In another move 2 months ago, the Zimbabwean government has ordered commercial banks in the country to stop lending money to government at all levels, businesses and individuals with immediate effect.

Will the introduction of the coins be the final answer to Zimbabwe currency crises the possibility is low as its current inflation situation is a product of many factors which cannot be turned over night but hopefully the coins will be the flip that leads a new path.

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Somalia gives foreign banks licence to operate in decades

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The Somali government has announced the licensing of foreign banks for the first time in over two decades six weeks after President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud was sworn into office following an elections that took years to conduct following a lingering political crisis.

The announcement which was made on Monday by the governor of the Central Bank of Somalia (CBS) Abdirahman Mohamed Abdullahi, said the war-ravaged country has granted banking licenses to two foreign institutions to operate in the country after President Mohamoud had promised to open the country to international investment during his campaigns for the elections.

The first foreign banking institutions to benefit from the decision are Egyptian bank, Banque Misr, and Turkish bank, Ziraat Katilim, who have been allowed to operate in Somalia.

“The review of the applications of these two banks has been the subject of a lengthy process of several months.

“These are two strong banks that will add value to the development of Somalia’s financial sector and contribute to the growth of our economy,” the CBS governor said

Ranked one of the poorest countries in the world by the World Bank, the average Somalian lives on less than $1.90 a day as the country struggles to recover from decades civil war and and opening its doors to foreign investments is seen as President Mohamoud fulfilment of his pledge to improve the economic situation and provide basic banking services to the population.

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