Court Orders Sale Of Arik Air’s Aircraft To Offset Debt

Babatunde Solanke

An Abuja High Court has issued a major ruling mandating the sale of aircraft, hangars, and other movable assets owned by Arik Air Limited.

Specifically,the court directed sale of the aircraft with the registration numbers B737-700/5N-MJF, B737-800/5N-MJQ, DASH8-Q400, and 5N-BKX.

This decision comes as a result of the airline’s substantial outstanding debts owed to Atlas Petroleum International Limited and other creditors.

Justice O. A. Adeniyi,gave the ruling within the context of a legal dispute where Atlas Petroleum International Limited and Prince Arthur Eze acted as the applicants.

Arik Air Limited was identified as the debtor in the case.

The court’s directive to sell off Arik Air’s assets aims to recover the funds owed to Atlas Petroleum International Limited and other creditors.

This legal action underscores the severity of the financial troubles facing Arik Air, once a leading airline in Nigeria.

The ex parte motion, which initiated the process, was filed on June 25, 2024.

An ex parte motion is a legal procedure where the case is presented and decided by the judge without requiring all parties to be present in court, often used in urgent situations.

Shareholders Pledge Support For Access Holdings’ Rights Issue

Mohammed Shosanya

Shareholders of Access Holdings Plc have expressed overwhelming confidence in the company’s growth strategy and pledged their support for the ongoing N351 billion rights issue.

They conveyed this at the recent “Facts Behind the Rights Issue” presentation held at the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) office in Lagos.

The shareholders commended Access Holdings for its impressive track record and consistent dividend payments, which have reinforced their trust in the company’s leadership.

“Since Access Bank first started trading on the stock exchange at N0.65, we shareholders have witnessed its incredible growth and accrued immense value, with the stock now trading at N19.35 as of June 9,” remarked Bisi Bakare, National Coordinator, Pragmatic Shareholders Association of Nigeria.

“Be confident that as the consolidation phase of the Group’s expansion fully takes shape and the brand’s profitability continues to increase, those of us who have been on this journey from the beginning are not about to jump off now. We fully back the capitalisation plans, starting with the Rights Issue, and are excited for the future that lies ahead for Access Holdings.”

This position expressed by this group of shareholders, represented by Bakare, was corroborated by four other groups of shareholders.

Speaking at the event, Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede, Chairman, Access Holdings, also expressed confidence in the success of the rights issue, emphasising that it would propel Access Holdings towards its goal of becoming one of the top five financial institutions in Africa by 2027. The rights issue, offering 17,772,612,811 ordinary shares at N19.75 per share, is the first part of a capital raising programme expected to raise up to US$1.5 billion. The funds will be used to strengthen the company’s financial position, support working capital needs, and drive organic growth in its banking and non-banking subsidiaries.

“We are grateful for the solid support of our shareholders,” said Aig-Imoukhuede. “Since Access Bank was recapitalised in 2002, we have consistently kept all promises made to the investing public and actualised all the cyclical milestones we set out to achieve. I have unwavering confidence in the management of the group, led by Bolaji Agbede and Roosevelt Ogbonna, to see through on targets we have for the current five-year strategic cycle. As we progress towards 2027, we are committed to delivering exceptional value to our shareholders and solidifying our position as a leading global financial institution,” he added.

Roosevelt Ogbonna, Chief Executive Officer, Access Bank, highlighted the company’s commitment to becoming a global banking leader. He noted that the bank aims to grow its customer base to 125 million by 2027 and establish itself as one of the top five banks globally.

“Our journey from a handful of branches to a global presence showcases our dedication to sustainable growth,” Ogbonna said. “By 2027, we aim to be one of the top five African banks, powering trade across the continent and providing superior services to our customers.”

The Rights Issue offer opened on July 8 and will close on August 14, 2024. Shareholders and potential investors are encouraged to participate actively by taking up their rights.

NCAA Vows  Sanction On Airlines Over False Departure Times

Babatunde Solanke

The Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA),will sanction any airline found to be involved in deceitful departure time scheduling of flights when they know they would not be flying at that time.

The Director,Consumer Protection and Public Affairs of NCAA, Michael Achimugu said the agency has engaged airlines repeatedly in this aspect.

He further noted that the acting director general of the NCAA, Capt. Chris Najomo has directed that henceforth, the authority will monitor the activities of these airlines and sanction anyone found going against aviation roles.

He said:”Recall that when the current NCAA acting director general assumed office, he made sure that there was ease of doing business. Right now, the time of getting AOC is quite shorter and easier compared to years ago. Therefore, the NCAA expects reciprocity from operators, chief of them been to provide world-class services to passengers.

” If the NCAA is making it easier for operators to work, it is expected that passengers must be satisfied. Lately, it has been observed that there are some infractions. Some airlines are been reported to be advertising deceitful departure times.

By the NCAA regulations, especially part 19 states that “no airline shall display deceitful time on counter or its website.”

“We want to make it very clear that the DG CAA has instructed officers and other inspectors to begin to monitor the activities of airlines in this regard and defaulters are going to face serious sanctions. Let it be clear that Capt. Chris Najomo believes in discipline, safety and economic regulations. This is evident in the recent suspension of ten PFC holders for failure to comply with recertification of their licenses.”.

He also warned that the NCAA will go after airlines who refuses to refund passengers after cancellations of flights.

He explained that the standard role of airline operations is that payments made in cash are refunded over the counter immediately while payments made through transfers or other online transactions are refunded within two weeks and noted that anything outside of these, will not longer be acceptable.

According to him, “Another issue we want to address today is the issue of time frame for refunds and compensations. The regulation states that if a passenger has made payment during securing tickets by cash, the passenger must be refunded by cash immediately at the terminal. We have stated this over time. Some airlines comply, while others don’t.

“The regulations also said that if a passenger has made payment for tickets online or via transfer, the airline has 14 working days to make refund.

There is a lot of default in this regard and the consumer protection department has made a lot of progress in educating the airlines and passengers and even ensure refunds which has attracted the commendation of the minister of aviation and aerospace development, Festus Keyamo. However, we have more work to do here to ensure full compliance by airlines.”

On the suspended private jets licences, the NCAA maintained that the ten airlines were suspended for failing to come for recertification and discussions are ongoing to address their challenges, while urging the public to be patient and wait for outcome of the process.

He also said the NCAA recently scored about 98 per cent in recent presidential enabling business Environment Council (PEBEC) ratings and 71.04 per cent in ICAO security audit report.

“Captain Najomo and the NCAA wishes to restart that ease of doing business is an area we will continue to improve on. ot is evident in our highest score with regard to PBEC.

” Recently, our sister agency scored 96 points and we commend them. however, the NCAA scored higher; 98.5 points. This is building on thr commendable score of 71.04 we scored for the security audit by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).

“So, the numbers are improving and we will continue to do everything we can to make the industry safer and secure the passengers and all stakeholder” he said.

NCAA Explains  Suspension Of 10 Private Jet Operators

The Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has suspended ten pivate jet operators over failure to commence tecertification process.

The Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations 2023 Part 18.3.4 forbids holders of PNCF from using their aircraft for CARRIAGE OF PASSENGERS, CARGO or MAIL for HIRE or REWARD (commercial operation or charter services)

A statement signed by Director, Public Affairs and Consumer Protection, Michael Achimugu on Saturday said: “As a result of flagrant disregard of this rule, the NCAA had earlier directed all holders of PNCF to undergo re-evaluation which should have been concluded by the 19th of April 2024.

” To this end, the NCAA has suspended the PERMIT FOR NON COMMERCIAL FLIGHTS of Azikel Dredging Nigeria Ltd, Bli-Aviation Safety Services, Ferry Aviation Developments Ltd, Matrix Energy Ltd, Marrietta Management Services Ltd, Worldwide Skypaths Services, Mattini Airline Services Ltd, Aero Lead Ltd, Sky Bird Air Ltd and Ezuma Jets Ltd.”

The statement,said NCAA will not hesitate to initiate enforcement actions against any PNCF holder found guilty of illegal operations.

It added:” The public is hereby notified that it is illegal to engage PNCF holders for commercial purposes. The NCAA will not hesitate to initiate enforcement actions against any PNCF holder found guilty of illegal operations.

” Furthermore, NCAA officials have been deployed to General Aviation Terminals (GAT) and private wings of the airports to monitor activities of the PNCF holders.”

NEMA Receives 103 Nigerian Deportees From Turkey

Mohammed Shosanya

One hundred and three Nigerians deported from the Republic of Turkiye to Nigeria were received by the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) and other stakeholders when they arrived at the Nnamdi Arzikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

A Southwind Airlines flight TCGRB that conveyed the deportees from Turkey to Nigeria, touched down in Abuja at about 7pm on Friday and taxied to the pilgrims wing of the airport where they were received by the Federal Government officials led by NEMA.

The Director General NEMA,Mrs Zubaida Umar advised them to accept their experience in good faithnand be law abiding.

Umar,who was represented by the Director North Central Zone Alhaji Bashir Idris Garga said the returnees were received with dignity to assuage their experience and assure the concerns of Federal Government over their plights.

A statement by NEMA on Saturday said the DG informed them that a token of financial support had been provided to assist in their transportation to their various locations.

Other stakeholders who joined to receive the deportees were officials of the Nigerian Immigration Service, National Commission for Refugees Migrant and Internally Displaced Persons, National Agency for Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons, Federal Airport Authority of Nigerian, Nigerian Police, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, and NDLEA. Others were officials of Port Health Authority and National Intelligence Agency.

After being screened by officials of Port Health authority on arrival the deportees were fed and profiled by NEMA and NCFRMI. They were also cleared by the Nigerian Immigration Service before being handed the transportation support provided by NEMA to go home.

Controversial Statement:Stakeholders Kick,Seek Sanction Of NCAA Boss

Stakeholders in the nation’s aviation sector have expressed concern over the recent action of the Acting Director-General of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Agency (NCAA), Chris Ona Najomo,who was caught on video making a controversial statement.

Premium News gathered that Najomo was recorded on June 21st,2024 at the retirement party of one of most senior pilots of Arik Air, where he said that while one of his legs is in the NCAA, his other leg is in Arik, a privately owned airline company.

Experts in the aviation industry described Najomo’s action as a gross violation of ethical standards and a clear conflict of interest.

They maintained that,it’s inappropriate for the DG of the NCAA, a regulatory body in the aviation sector, to have any form of public allegiance to a private entity within the same industry.

They said:”This situation is even more concerning given Capt. Najomo’s history with Arik Air. Before joining the NCAA, Capt. Najomo served as the Chief Pilot at Arik Air from 2021 to 2022. Prior to that, he was a line captain at Arik Air from 2008 to 2017.

“These roles indicate a long-standing relationship with the airline, raising questions about his impartiality as a regulator.Capt. Najomo’s statement about his divided loyalties blatantly violates Section 5 of the Code of Conduct for Public Officers (CCPO).

“This section explicitly states: “A public officer shall not put himself in a position where his personal interests conflict with his duties and responsibilities.” By openly acknowledging his dual loyalties, Capt. Najomo has positioned himself in direct conflict with this mandate, undermining the integrity of the NCAA”.

They implored the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo to consider replacing Capt. Najomo on account of this public display of bias.

According to them,such a step is crucial to restoring confidence among industry players, the general public, and the government in the regulatory body’s ability to operate impartially and effectively.

They maintained that the integrity of regulatory bodies like the NCAA is essential for maintaining fair and safe practices within the aviation industry.

Any perception of bias or conflict of interest,they said,can have far-reaching implications, not just for the credibility of the agency but also for the safety and reliability of the aviation sector as a whole.

The agency’s Public Affairs Director,Mike Achimugu,could not be reached for comment as his phone was switched off. He didn’t reply our text message too,as at press time.

NCAA Says Nigeria’s Airspace Is Safe

Mohammed Shosanya

The Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA),has assured that Nigeria’s Airspace has achieved total radar coverage and as such safe for flight operations.

The agency gave the assurance in a statement signed by its Ag. Director General, Capt. Chris Najomo where he refuted insinuations that the Nigerian airspace is insecure as a result of lack of coverage by Radar.

The statement reads:
“NCAA firmly aligns with the statement from the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) on the Total Radar Coverage Of Nigeria (TRACON).

“In furtherance to this, NCAA investigated two recent cases of violation of the prohibited flights zones – DNP4- in Abuja and established that both violations comprised of controlled flights in a controlled airspace, but strayed into restricted airspace as a result of adverse weather. NCAA can also confirm that NAMA had complete radar footages of the two violations with full details of the identities of the aircraft and operators involved.

“This was only made possible due to functional Primary and Secondary Surveillance Radars in Abuja. Similar installations are in Lagos, Kano and Port-Harcourt.
The Authority in keeping with its regulatory responsibilities issued an All Operators Letter (AOL DGCA/021/24) wherein the term ‘unknown aircraft’was used as reported to NCAA which is the normal security terminology.

“However, as explained above, investigations revealed NAMA had complete footages and details of the aircraft that entered the prohibited flight zone.The writer, obviously, not conversant with the technical operations of radar systems ought to have simply consulted the right professionals to be educated accordingly.”

NCAA clarified that, “the Primary Surveillance Radar alone only identifies aircraft as moving targets without aircraft identity. The Monopulse Secondary Surveillance Radar (MSSR), on the other hand,which forms a major component of the TRACON, is the equipment that allows for identification of any aircraft equipped with ATC Mode ‘S’transponder. 

The requirement for all aircraft flying in controlled airspace to have serviceable ATC transponders in an international standard that Nigeria ensures strict adherence to. This requirement derived from Annex 6 to the Convention on International Aviation is documented in Part 7 of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations.

“This, therefore, makes it a violation of the regulations, and indeed a security breach, for any aircraft to put this system off while flying in controlled airspace, and such action would attract appropriate sanctions in accordance with NCAA’s enforcement procedures, including possible criminal referral” the statement maintained.

According to the statement: “On the issue of welfare of Air Traffic Controllers (ATCOs), NCAA had, only recently, intervened in a face-off between ATCOs and NAMA on the need for improved remuneration and working conditions for ATCOs. Expectedly, in aligning with the Minister’s five-point agenda on capacity development, NCAA is extending this drive to other aviation professionals.

“As regards the improvement of Nigeria’s aviation infrastructure, Nigeria’s Radar coverage is being backed up with five additional MSSR stations at Obubbra, Ilorin, Talata Mafara, Maiduguri and Numan to augment the four existing Radar centers to achieve total coverage of the country.

“This is also in line with the Honourable Minister’s five-point agenda on infrastructure and fully supported by NCAA’s oversight in ensuring installed infrastructure continually deliver the desired output.

“It is worth noting that such upgrade is normal global practice when dealing with any electronics system. These systems must be updated from time to time since technology is not static, and the Authority through its continuous oversight has not found NAMA wanting in this regard.

“Thus,NAMA in coordination with the Federal Ministry of Aviation and Aerospace Development is working on system upgrade of the Communication,Navigation and Surveillance (CNS) infrastructure.
Finally, the NCAA wishes to unequivocally assure the public that there is no cause for alarm as everything necessary is being undertaken to ensure safe and secure air navigation in Nigeria’s airspace, ” the statement clarifed.

British Airways Opens Luxurious Lounge In Lagos Airport

Mohammed Shosanya

British Airways has opened a renovated luxurious lounge in Lagos airport following a six-month refurbishment.

The space has been designed to give customers more room to enjoy an upgraded food and beverage experience,a statement said.

It allows customers to relax, dine or work in a premium space, while also proudly exhibiting local art from Akoje Gallery.

According to the statement,customers will be transported into a new contemporary lounge as soon as they pass through the grand entrance with floor to ceiling glass.

Following significant investment, the airline has created zones throughout the 360 square metres of space to cater for different customers’ needs.

It added:”For those who want to dine ahead of the evening flight to London, there is a self-serve dining area with a wide selection of freshly made dishes. The food and drink menu offers a range of Nigerian classics and British inspired dishes which will change regularly.

“Customers can also pull up a chair at a newly built bar where a bartender will serve drinks including cocktails, wine, and soft drinks. Champagne and canapes will also be offered to customers travelling in First”.

To mark British Airways’ strong association with Nigeria, art from local artists will be displayed across the lounge.

The airline has launched a partnership with Akoje Gallery – founded by Maro Itoje and Khalil Akar – to curate an innovative new in-lounge exhibition featuring and celebrating guest artists. The first showcase of works is themed ‘New Beginnings’ to celebrate the lounge opening. The selected artists will centre their works around the chosen theme.

The first artists are:

o Olawunmi Banjo: Two paintings titled The Wait I and II

o Qozeem Abdul Rahman: A Large painting titled The Guardian

o Steve Ekpenisi: A large metal sculpture titled Ulaga

The newly imagined lounge space features a quiet room with day beds, while the main area features relaxing comfy sofas and clusters of tables and chairs.

Customers needing to work can take advantage of new printing facilities,the statement said.

Calum Laming, British Airways’ Chief Customer Officer, said: “We’re focused on investing in the entire customer journey, not just on board. For many of our customers, lounges are an important part of their experience, and the re-design of our Lagos lounge is a key part of our transformation strategy across our lounges around the world.

“We’re delighted to open our doors to this stunning lounge in Lagos and we’re confident customers will enjoy spending time in this cleverly created space.”

The lounge is open to customers travelling in Club World (business) and first, as well as Silver and Gold Executive Club Members.

Khalil Akar, The Akoje Gallery adds: “We are honoured to partner with British Airways and give local Nigerian artists the chance to showcase their talents in the brand-new Lagos Lounge. We hope British Airways passengers enjoy the immersion in Nigerian culture and the artists’ contribution to their local art community.”

FG Suspends Nigeria Air,Restarts Concession Of Airports

Mohammed Shosanya

The Federal Government has reiterated that Nigeria Air remains suspended indefinitely.

Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development,Festus Keyamo,who disclosed this on Monday at the ongoing Ministerial Sectoral briefings to mark the first anniversary of the President Bola Tinubu’s Administration,also hinted that the current would restart concessioning of airports in Nigeria.

He gave insights into the controversies surrounding the Nigeria Air, which was officially inaugurated in May 2023, by the then Nigerian Aviation Minister, Hadi Sirika,saying there was never any Nigeria Air, but Ethiopian Airline painted in Nigerian colours and flying Nigerian flag.

He said:“It was never Air Nigeria, it was Ethiopian trying to flag our flag. It was not Air Nigeria. That is the truth. It was not Nigeria. It only printed Air Nigeria. It was an Ethiopian airline trying to fly our flag. If it is so, why not allow our local people to fly our flag. Why bring a foreigner to fly our flag?

“So nobody should deceive you that Air Nigeria, Air Nigeria must be indigenous, must be wholly Nigeria or must be for the full benefit of Nigerians, not that 60 per cent of the profit is given to another country. How does that benefit us? It remains suspended. It remains so”

He hinted that the ministry had successfully secured President Ahmed Bola Tinubu’s approval to restart all-over the concession of the nation’s major airports to make it more transparent.

This, he said is necessary because bureaucracy cannot not run public infrastructure.

“Until we do full concession of these airports and they are run professionally like private businesses, we are going to have these problems. That is the truth. So that is what we are doing. And the whole process, the President said we will go for the best in the world, in terms of airport management. And we will make it transparent process that all Nigerians , our compatriots, the National Assembly would not complain like they complained about the last process.

” The unions we will carry them along because the unions are very important in that process to ensure ensure and assure them that their interests are protected. And Nigerians will see us as transparent. So that is one of our way forward on that”.

He also disclosed that there are concerted efforts between the ministry, National Security Adviser (NSA) and the ministry of interior to rid the airports of touts and undesirable elements, stressing that the three agencies will soon issue a joint memo on that.

According to him,efforts are being made to seek backup from relevant security agencies that carry arm to effectively combat touts some of whom also carry arm, adding that the collaborative of efforts would reduce the human contacts at the airports across the country.

He stated that going forward, the Federal Government will undertake the fresh design of the aerotropolis, adding that the ministry had already advertised for the consultants.

“We are calling for the best design consultants. It is in the budget, the money is in the budget, we put it there. The National Assembly agreed with us, the President agreed with us that we need to develop a new master plan for all the airports. So we have a clear roadmap on that. We are starting with the design of the aerotropolis, we are advertising for that, we are calling for entries and we are going to choose the best to do that. So that is our clear part on that”,he added.

He said that is also currently focusing on ensuring that Nigeria is removed from the black book of the international leasing companies to allow local operators get access to leased aircrafts on good conditions the same way Ethiopia, Egypt, and others get.

“It is the key, empower them, make sure they get access to good aircraft the same way Emirates, British Airways get, all of these people, it is not magic, they don’t own those aircrafts, let us not be talking about poor economy, Bank cannot finance, no bank finances aircraft like that all over the world. It is not possible. It is the manufacturers or the leasing companies that do that.

” They give you, you run them. Most of these aircrafts you see owned by aircraft companies they have gone to up to 50 countries. They will operate for one year if cannot pay, they will take it, they will repaint it , they Ethiopia, if they cannot pay, they will repaint it and give it to Qatar, that is what happens. So our people should have access, why are not having access, we are on black book of the international leasing companies.

“Simple.They put Nigeria on the black book, they tell everybody don’t give them aircraft on dry lease, the only thing you get is wet lease, wet lease is ACMI or dark lease, what will happen, don’t put the aircraft in their total control. Wet lease is that the person giving you will be partly in control of that aircraft, that is why you some white men flying your local aircraft.

“And it is three times more expensive than dry lease because you pay in dollars , pay the Pilot, pay the crew, pay everything. And when you park the aircraft on the tarmac you must have a full tank. Full tank because in case they want to fly out they won’t look for JetA1, any day you are parking you must fill the tank. That is the agreement.

“According to relevant stakeholders, including Chief Justice of Nigeria, Chief Judge of the Federal High Court, Attorney General of the Federation, Chief Judge of Supreme Court,and others have agreed on amendment of Nigeria’s practice directions to say ‘no court order to give injunctions to keep aircraft in the country”.

He said the draft of the amendment of the practice directions is ongoing, stressing that it will give investors confidence, adding that the ministry is on the verge of concluding an Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Boeing, and are in talks with France, Airbus and others.

Keyamo also said efforts are underway to attracting , Maintenance, repair and overhaul. Otherwise known called MROs.

“We are focused on attracting international investors to come and establish MRO in Nigeria” he said.

He said there is no MRO for the wide body aircrafts in the whole of West Africa, but Ibom Air is doing the first massive MRO in Nigeria which is 90% ready, adding that he promised the company full government certification as Airbus is already equipping the facility.

According to him, the MRO will allow operators to do their A, B, and C checks in the country, while working on transiting to eco-friendly airports.

He said that the achievements recorded within the nine months under review are divided into three parts including the completions of projects on ground, implemented policies within the period that have yielded results, the third is designing a clear direction for the ministry.

Tinubu,Other VIPs To Start Paying Tollgate Fees At Airports

Mohammed Shosanya

The Minister of Aviation, Festus Kayemo,has mandated all Very Important Personalities VIPs in Nigeria to pay the tollgate fees on their entry to airports in the country.

He explained that the act was to block revenue leakages in the aviation value chain, where millions of naira are lost from public officials traveling through the airports.

It was deliberated upon at the Federal Executive Council meeting on Tuesday, where President Bola Tinubu and the Vice President, Senator Kashim Shettima agreed to be included in the payment plan.

All cabinet members who deliberated on the issue approved that there should be no more exemption granted to users of the airports from paying tollgate fees.

The approval was made following a memorandum presented to the council by the Minister of Aviation, Festus Keyamo, who argued that the government was losing over 82 percent of the revenue it should have earned from the e-tags that provide access to the toll gates.

Keyamo explained that the memoranda had initially prescribed an exemption for only the president and the vice president before Tinubu overruled and directed that both of them should be included among those that must pay.

He regretted that Very Important Persons (VIPs) with money who should pay are those that have not been paying, noting that only poor people had been charged for using the toll gates.

He frowned at the development where uniform officers harass staff of government at the airport, assuring that cameras would be mounted in strategic positions to capture those officers in such habit.

On his alleged interference in the aviation activities especially as it concerns the closure of Dana airline, Keyamo said any airline operator that shows substantial signs of danger, he will continue to interfere to save lives until he leaves office.

Keyamo also told regulators in the aviation sector to get ready for rough rides, adding, “”I will breath down on the regulators. I must direct them to do what the law says diligently. I will ensure that they don’t waterdown the regulatory measures”.

Meanwhile,FEC has approved the establishment of a tripartite committee to streamline visa processes and acquisition for persons interested in investing in Nigeria.

The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, disclosed this while briefing journalists.

He said: “Our visa processes are becoming cumbersome…The ease of doing business is also tied to our visa processes.Going forward, those investors, tourists will find it easy to acquire a visa within the next 48 hours”.