Stella Oduah, Aviation Minister

FG to provide air surveillance in all states

Credits; Chinedu Eze and Yemi Akinsuyi from Thisday

The Acting Director General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Dr. Joyce Nkemakolam, has said airlines and private aircraft owners have invested about $4.5 billion (about N779, 100,000, 000) in the acquisition of aircraft in the last six years.

Nkemakolam made this disclosure yesterday in her  keynote address at the Nigeria Institute of Advanced Legal Studies’ 2013 Training Workshop on Aviation and Space Law at the University of Lagos.
He said within this period, Nigerian airlines have introduced modern aircraft and equipment as the old DC 9 series, Boeing 737-200 series, Boeing 727 and BAC 1-11 that hitherto populated Nigeria’s airspace had given way to the New Generation (NG) aircraft, the Boeing 737-700 NG, New Bombardier CRJ 900series, Dash-8, Q400 and others.

Speaking on the topic, “Safety and the Nigerian Aviation Industry,” Nkemakolam, who was represented by NCAA company secretary and legal adviser, Pollie Okonkwo, said notwithstanding the spate of accidents that Nigeria has had in the past, especially the June 3, 2013 crash of flight J9 992 owned by Dana Airlines, tremendous progress has been in the sector in terms of safety.

“The safety reform agenda of the federal government which was anchored on the recertification of the industry, infrastructural rehabilitation, fleet renewal and manpower development have successfully changed the course of aviation in Nigeria.”

He remarked that it was the same reform process which is aimed at improving safety that gave rise to the on-going recertification exercise for airlines and which has reduced Air Operator Certificate (AOC) holders from about 50 to 17.

“It is also important to mention that between 2003 to date, some of the airlines on their own folded up their operation largely due to economic recession that had affected the industry globally and inability to comply with the heightened regulatory standards introduced by the Authority.”
The Acting Director General said in addition to the aircraft already acquired, Nigerian operators have ordered for more NG aircraft, “For instance, Arik has ordered for Dreamliner, Boeing 787, 747-400 series and the Airbus A380.”

Nkemakolam noted that this milestone was achieved due to the domestication and implementation of the Cape Town Convention by Nigeria.

“The Federal Government has encouraged the industry by the removal of Customs duty on aircraft and equipment. The revolving grant which airlines can access is also a step in the right direction.”
He said in spite of the progress being made in the sector, there are still a lot of challenges, including inadequate funding, adding that the industry is capital intensive so huge amount of money is required for infrastructural development.
Comparing the budgets made in the last four years, the Acting Director General compared the funds expended in the sector to that of other developing countries like Trinidad and Tobago, which spent $5 billion on infrastructural development in the last four years; Pakistan which spent $ 10 billion on aviation infrastructural development in the same period.

There are also Turkey that spent $40 billion on the same infrastructural development from 2009 till date and other countries like China, India, Singapore, South Africa, Senegal and Ethiopia that have spent hugely in their aviation sector during this period.

Meanwhile, all the police command in the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja will soon get helicopters to upscale air surveillance operations aimed at curbing dangerous crimes like armed robbery and facilitate prompt response in case of emergency.

President Goodluck Jonathan made the disclosure yesterday while speaking at the 2013 Police week and inauguration of some police equipment at the Eagles Square, Abuja.
The equipment inaugurated  yesterday include seven helicopters, 13  Amoured Personnel Carriers, 275 patrol vehicles and  20 Toyota Hilux armored pickup vans and other gadgets.

The president urged the Police to ensure proper maintenance of the equipment at their disposal and embark on constant training of its rank and file to put them in good shape to combat current security challenges.
Calling on the policemen to respect the citizens’ rights  in the discharge of their duties, he said: “I expect that these facilities will enhance police capability in prevention of crimes, and improving response time in emergency situation. It shall be instruments of justice and protection of all men of goodwill given as it will be deployed and utilised strategically to achieve and accelerate utmost result.

“For us to continue to use these equipment, one thing I urge the police to do is the issue of maintenance. As a nation, we are not too good in maintaining what we have. Presently, that aspect is improving because my reaction to the armed force, the navy, and the air force, we have gotten a very formidable team that are now maintaining their equipment.

“The police should do the same so that these equipment will last the time they expected to last. Also, we must emphasis the need to train. For you to remain galant, for you to remain functional in whatever you do, and especially in security tactics, training is vital.
“You must train on the job, you must train with the equipment so that our men and women in police force will have confidence in themselves so that they will continue to operate as gallant men and women.
“The police must be well equipped and kitted to protect us while on land, while in water and also in the air. Of course you see the helicopter we commission and I believe my commitment is that every state command must have a helicopter.

“You have seen the commitment of government, that’s why we set up the special fund. A situation where armed robbers could take over a place and operating for hours and no challenge must be a thing of the past. And that is why we want to invest in air power for the Nigerian police.”

He said, “This is quite trying moment for this country in terms security. For various reasons a number of our police officers have lost their lives while serving their father land. In this unique moment, I crave your indulgence for all of us to stand up for one minute of silence for these police officers that have lost their lives.

“We have challenges from the south to the north, from the east to the west, but the police stay awake as security personnel. Accept our condolences and let me assure you that government will continue to remember you loved ones who had worked and served us. I want us also to continue to remember you members of their family.

“The  Police have the constitutional role of enforcing the law, keeping the peace and protecting lives and property which as exceedingly vital for societal fitness , well being and development.
“For police to be effective, of course, government must also provide the police with what it require to work with. The tools must be provided. That is one of the reasons we are here today and also to commission some of the items and we will continue to do more.”

Also while speaking, the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Abubakar noted that the Police week which was last celebrated in 1976 is providing opportunity for the Nigerian Police Force to reappraise itself.
“Above all, the long term objective of the police week celebrations is to bridge the increasing widening gap between the public and the police and give positive connotation to popular saying that “Police is your friend .”

Abubakar assured the public of the police commitment to the protection of lives and property of the citizens as well as remaining accountable to them.

In his brief remarks, the Minister of Police Affairs, Navy Capt. Caleb Olubolade expressed appreciation to President Jonathan and urged the public to support the police to do their job by providing useful information to them


Governor Rotimi Amaechi

  • Says politics has no role in      decision
  • Rivers: We’ve not been notified      of reason for grounding

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has defended the grounding of the Bombardier – BD 700-1A11 (Global Express) aircraft, with registration number N565RS, operated by the Rivers State Government, saying the action was taken in accordance with safety procedures and the law that governs Nigeria’s civil aviation regulations.

NCAA Director of Airworthiness Standards, Benedict Adeyileka, who spoke to THISDAY in a telephone interview yesterday, explained that as a foreign registered aircraft, the clearance certification that allowed it to operate in Nigeria had expired.

Adeyileka, who likened the clearance certification to a visa, said an individual with an expired visa to a country is deemed an illegal immigrant if he is still in the country after the expiration of his visa.

He also dismissed speculations that the decision was politically motivated, adding that the agency was not concerned with who owned the aircraft when the decision was being taken as its focus was on the documentation.

But the state government said yesterday that NCAA had not formally notified it of the grounding of the aircraft, 24 hours after the decision was taken.

Adeyileka said the reason the law allows the aircraft 48 hours of grace after the expiration of the clearance certificate is for the airplane to be moved out of the country “because it is deemed illegal if it continues to stay in the country and will be grounded.”
He added that it was the person that registered the aircraft that should decide the time the plane stayed in the country.

“The aircraft is owned by an operator in the US. The owner said this is the period of time we want to spend in Nigeria. It is like when you are travelling overseas and you obtained a visa.

“Once that visa expires, you are an illegal immigrant. That aircraft is an illegal immigrant so it had to be grounded,” he said.

He explained that the Rivers State Government has another aircraft, which is registered in Nigeria, noting that a foreign registered aircraft could be allowed to operate in the country if the procedure to allow it to fly in the Nigerian airspace was followed.

Refuting allegations of political persecution over the grounding of the aircraft in which the state governor, Mr. Chibuike Amaechi, who is perceived to be at loggerheads with President Goodluck Jonathan, was travelling when the plane was barred, Adeyileka said in taking the decision, NCAA was not looking at the owner of the aircraft but the regulation and documentation.

“To ensure that operational safety is maintained, people should obey the law. We did not know that the aircraft was his. We don’t look for the owner of aircraft; we look at regulations.

“If he (the governor) wanted to travel overseas, he would need special clearance. We allow foreign registered aircraft that is leased and operates under AOC (Air Operator Certificate) but the documentation must be clear; it must not operate illegally.
“The governor is not the operator or the owner of that aircraft. I am the director of Airworthiness Standards, not director of politics,” he said.

However, industry players have called on the regulatory agency to wake up to its duties, noting that it was the controversy over the grounding of the Rivers’ plane in Akure, the Ondo State capital, that prompted NCAA to examine the documentation of the aircraft following which it was discovered that it had expired.

They warned that Nigeria might lose its Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Category 1 Safety Status and the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) certification if the present laxity continued.
An industry operator called on the NCAA to examine other aircraft operating in the Nigerian airspace and expressed worry that the Rivers State Government was able to maintain a foreign registration aircraft that was supposed to be owned by the state government.

He said if NCAA examined other aircraft, it would discover that many of them have expired documents.

But the state government claimed it was unaware of the decision by the NCAA, saying the agency was yet to formally notify it of its decision.

Commissioner for Information and Communications, Mrs. Ibim Semenitari, told reporters in Port Harcourt yesterday that government was awaiting formal communication from the regulatory agency before it could speak further on the matter.

“As we speak, all I have is information that I have gleaned from the media. All we have as a government is that information. No formal communication has reached us in Rivers State Government.

“We believe that it will be best that we await formal communication from the regulatory agency. Just to say that all our documentation is in place. And to also say that as a responsible sub-national, we have complied with the norms that regulate aviation business in Nigeria,” she said.

Semenitari explained that the state formally applied to the Minister of Aviation, Ms. Stella Oduah, for the delivery of the aircraft from overseas and the minister received that application on September 12, 2012.

“We have applied formally to the Honourable Minister of Aviation for the import licence. That application was received in her office on September 2012.

“So we believe that all of the procedures have been complied with as best as we know. However, we do understand that the regulatory agencies are best equipped to tell us if they think there is any lapse and we will expect that the communication will come to us formally and not through the mass media.

“We believe that we are obliged to comply with all the regulations that govern the aviation business in Nigeria. We are a responsible sub-national and we will not defy the regulatory agencies,” she said.


The floor of the Nigeria Stock Exchange
In the Nigerian Stock Exchange’s quest to further deepen the capital market and its focus on product diversity, the management of The Exchange has concluded plans to introduce Market Making Initiative for the fixed income securities on The Exchange as a follow up to the successful introduction of market making on equities.

According to press statement signed and released by The Nigerian Stock Exchange, Head, Media Relations, Wole Tokede said as part of activities heralding the kick-off of the Fixed Income Market Making (FIMM) programme on The Exchange, a market-wide workshop has been slated for January 29, 2013 to intimate market stakeholders with the rules and operational guidelines of FIMM.

The Head, Product Management of the NSE, Mr Dipo Omotoso, said the workshop will bring together experts in Fixed Income Market Making with other key capital market participants such as broker/dealers, settlement banks, Pension Fund Administrators, Insurance companies and regulatory authorities. About 400 participants are expected to take part in the workshop.

Offering an insight on the initiatives, Omotoso said that The NSE FIMM programme will operate a ‘hybrid’ market which will allow Fixed Income Market Makers to provide two way quotes and licensed broker/dealers of The Exchange to submit orders as it is currently done. “These quotes and orders interact on the order book to “discover’ the best price for a security”.

He explained further that The Exchange is introducing FIMM programme to enable flexibility and ease of trading; transparency; diversification; additional income stream as well as improved liquidity in retail side of bond market.

In preparation for the forthcoming launch of Retail Bonds trading in the Nigerian Capital Market, the Nigerian Bourse announced the names of the selected Fixed Income Market Makers (FIMMs) on the trading floor of The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).

According to the press statement signed and released by The Nigerian Stock Exchange, Head, Media Relations, Wole Tokede, say the six Dealing Members selected were: Capital Bancorp; Cordros Capital; ESS/Dunn Loren Merrifield; FSDH Securities; Greenwich Securities and GTB Securities.

The unveiling of the six companies selected was described by the Executive Director, Business Development of The Exchange, Mr Haruna Jalo-Waziri, as a major step towards making fixed income securities accessible to the investing public.

Jalo-Waziri, say “This is a great milestone and a major step in turning the market around as this will make the market more liquid in the retail side as well as promote portfolio diversification”.

The Executive Director said further that the companies selected went through a very rigorous process and met the additional net capital requirement of N500 million. “We also examined their compliance history and looked into their operational capabilities, technology and processes”.

“The selected firms were taken through exercises, debated the appropriate market structure to be used and The Exchange further went through the approval of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in the selection process”, Jalo-Waziri added.

The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) once again made history as it became the first Capital Market Operator in Africa to launch The NSE Market Quality Report (X-Qual). The NSE Market Quality Report was introduced to key stakeholders at the Nigerian Capital Market Committee Retreat and Conference in Warri, Delta State on Tuesday November 27, 2012.

The Chief Executive Officer of The Nigerian Stock Exchange, Mr Oscar Onyema, disclosed to all present at the Annual Conference that The NSE Market Quality Report is designed to disclose the extent to which equities traded at the Exchange provide executions at prices better than the prevailing price quotes before an investor places an order. “The information will no doubt enable analytical investors or broker-dealers gain a better understanding of how best to execute orders in the market and the quality of execution they can expect for the different stocks being traded”, he said.

He added that the report include information about the Exchange’s quality of executions on a stock-by-stock basis, including how orders of various sizes are executed relative to the available price quotes. The report also discloses information about effective spreads (the spreads actually paid by investors when their orders are executed), realised spreads (shows whether the liquidity providers for a trade subsequently have the price move in their favour after the trade), fill rates (the likelihood of executions to occur), and execution speed (time taken to execute orders).

He explained that Nigeria has no rules governing the disclosure of order execution and routing practices but in developed markets, there are rules that require and govern such disclosures. For instance, the US SEC adopted two rules to improve public disclosure of order execution and routing practices. These are Rule 605 and Rule 606; the former makes a requirement for electronic reports from Market Centres which include uniform statistical measures of execution quality to be made available to the public on a monthly basis while the latter requires all broker-dealers routing orders in equity and option securities make available quarterly reports that present a general overview of their routing practices. The new initiative is based on the US Sec Rule 605 market execution disclosure requirements.

According to the press released, The Nigerian Stock Exchange, Head, Corporate Communications, Dante Ibidapo Martins, The NSE boss further stressed that liquidity and transparency are the two most important criteria for a company looking to list on an exchange while disclosure is paramount to transparency and to attracting participation in any market. The new initiative would improve on the quality of all three in the Nigerian bourse.

The Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) announced an error in the NSE 30 Index and Sectorial Indices. This problem has been attributed to a wrong Index Divisor used earlier which gave rise to a wrong index values.

The head of Market Operations at The NSE, Mr. Ikponmwosa Obaseki said the development has been corrected with new processes and checks already put in place to avoid a recurrence.

Obaseki also made it clear that the error has no effect on the All Share Index of the Nigerian Stock Exchange which mirrors the aggregate change in value of all stocks listed on The Exchange.

According to the press statement from Wole Tokede, the Head, Media Relations of The Nigerian Stock Exchange said that the Nigerian bourse began publishing The NSE 30 Index in February 2009 with index values available from January 1, 2007. On July 1, 2008, the NSE developed four sectorial indices with a base value of 1,000 points, designed to provide investable benchmarks to capture the performance of specific sectors.

While the corrected Index Values have been uploaded on the NSE website, the annual rebalancing of the Indices, an exercise which The Exchange undertakes in collaboration with global financial data giant, Bloomberg Inc., is set to take place in December 2012.