18 May

Daily Watch – Labour to defy courts, Four airports go private

  • The National Industrial Court has asked the NLC to suspend the strike which was called to protest the petrol price increase. Ruling on an application filed by Abubakar Malami, attorney-general of the federation, Babatunde Adejumo ordered parties to maintain the status quo until the hearing and determination of the motion. He also ordered the government to dialogue with the NLC towards an amicable resolution of their dispute. The case was adjourned to May 24. However, in a swift reaction, the NLC said that it will go ahead with its planned strike. Benson Upah, the union’s head of information, said, “‎NLC’s position has not shifted. The strike will go on tomorrow.” The NLC asked its members to mobilise ahead of the industrial action.
  • The FG has announced plans to concession four major airports as part of efforts to develop and secure the aviation sector and diversify the nation’s economy. Minister of State for Aviation, Captain Hadi Sirika, announced that the airports in Lagos, Abuja, Kano and Port Harcourt will be managed by private sector operators. He also announced plans by the FG to establish an aviation development bank and an aviation university to provide funding and quality technical manpower for the industry.
  • The Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, says that the FG has fully paid N48.2 billion in outstanding subsidy arrears owed oil marketers in 2015. Adeosun said the payment was made recently to enable the oil marketers to import petroleum products and meet up their other financial needs. The minister asked the DMO to pay the claims less tax liability of N5.2 billion, which was computed by the FIRS. She said that oil marketers without tax liabilities were paid in full, while oil marketers with net subsidy claims and FIRS liabilities were paid net claim after deduction of tax liabilities.
  • Zenith Bank and the Agence Francaise de Development, operator of France’s bilateral development finance mechanism, have signed a $100 million power sector credit facility to boost new investments in the capital expenditures of distribution companies. The facility will be a reprieve for the DISCOs that are currently weighed down by huge debt burdens. Under the loan arrangement, a maximum of $50 million can be on-lent to any single borrower at single digit interest rate for a tenor of between seven and 12 years, with a moratorium of 2 – 3 and half years, depending on the project’s cash flow.