The Nigerian Government said the 21 June set for the restart of domestic flights in the country is no longer feasible. According to the director-general of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Musa Nuhu, the agency will not approve the resumption of flight operations until it gets confirmation that operations can be carried out in a safe and organised manner. He added that the FG did not say the aviation os going to start definitely on the 21 June, rather, the authorities were supposed to put a report back based on what we have and we have some work to do. In the same vein, the NACAA said six airlines have passed the airworthiness requirements in readiness for the resumption of commercial flight operations. Ita Awak, NCAA director for airworthiness standards, disclosed this during a webinar that was held on Tuesday night till the early hours of Wednesday. NCAA general manager for airline operators certificate and surveillance, Godwin Balang, said the agency has received restart plans from 20 aviation operators, including the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria. The DG, Nuhu explained that there is a ton of work to be done before operations can resume in the aviation sector. He added that the agency and all stakeholders in the sector had a statutory duty to make sure that operations are safe and secure as the agency will not be pressured to approve resumption adding that resumption without the appropriate checks would be disastrous.
Data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration on Thursday showed that the volume of crude oil the United States imported from Nigeria plummeted by 61.7 percent in the first quarter of 2020 relative to the last quarter of 2019. The U.S. imported 5.872 million barrels of crude oil from Nigeria in Q1 2020, down from the 15.345 million barrels reported in Q4 2019. The U.S substantially reduced the quantity of its oil import from Nigeria in the past few years because the oil produced in the U.S. shale operations is close to the light sweet Nigerian crude. An expansion in shale oil production has hurt Nigeria’s oil exportation to the U.S., which once accounted for the purchase of between 40 to 50 percent of Nigeria’s cargoes. Nigeria has been striving hard to find buyers for its crude after the coronavirus pandemic triggered an oil price crash and fall in demand. Its oil exportation to the U.S. reached 358.92 million barrels in 2010 but crashed to 280.08 million barrels in 2011. The U.S. importation of Nigerian crude plunged from 148.48 million barrels in 2012 to 87.40 million a year after. The West African country witnessed a further fall of 21.24 million barrels in its oil export to the U.S. in 2014. Meanwhile, a panel meeting convened by the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to review the oil market this week will advise the wider OPEC+ group cooperating on a record supply cut, Reuters reports as OPEC and its Russia-led allies consented on Saturday to sustain supply cuts of 9.7 million barrels per day or one-tenth of the pre-coronavirus global demand till the end of July.
The three tiers of government in Nigeria shared ₦547.309 billion received from the federation accounts allocation committee for the month of May. This is the lowest federal allocation since the beginning of this year, a clear effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the country’s economy. Crude oil prices have crashed and economic activities ground to a halt after the imposition of a global lockdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus. The breakdown of the allocations so far for the year 2020 showed that in January, FAAC allocation was at ₦716 billion, while the three tiers of government shared N581.566 billion in February. The allocation rose to ₦780.926 billion in March but dropped to ₦606.196 billion in April. According to Hassan Dodo, director of information in the ministry of finance, budget and national planning, out the ₦547.309 billion for the month of May, the FG received ₦219.799 billion, state governments got ₦152.436 billion and local government councils received ₦114.095 billion. The oil-producing states also got ₦37.021 billion as 13 percent derivation. The gross revenue from value-added tax for May rose by ₦9.377 billion, Dodo said. The Gross Revenue available from the VAT for May was ₦103.873 billion against ₦94.498 billion distributed in the preceding month of April resulting in an increase of ₦9.377 billion. Going by the distribution is FG got ₦14.490 billion, the States received ₦48.301 billion, Local Government Councils had ₦33.811 billion, while derivation got nothing and Cost of Collection and FIRS Refund/Allocation to NEDC got ₦7.271 billion. The distributed Statutory Revenue of ₦413.953 billion received for the month was higher than the ₦370.411 billion received for the previous month by ₦43.542 billion, which the Federal Government got ₦191.580 billion, States received ₦97.172 billion and Local Governments got ₦74.915 billion. Derivation got ₦33.599 billion and Cost of Collection was ₦16.687 billion. The petroleum profit tax, import duty, and VAT recorded increases, while companies’ income tax, oil royalty, and excise duty recorded decreases, the report said.
Evariste Ndayishimiye was sworn in as President of Burundi Thursday following the sudden death of his predecessor Pierre Nkurunziza, a live broadcast on state-run television showed. Ndayishimiye, 52, a retired army general, won last month’s presidential election for the ruling party, defeating the opposition’s Agathon Rwasa and five others. Before Nkurunziza died earlier this month, he had been due to be sworn into office in August. Ndayimishiye, who was among the top generals of the country since Nkurunziza took power in 2005, was originally supposed to take over in August but the Constitutional Court ruled that the investiture be brought forward following the death of outgoing Nkurunziza. The event took place at the state Ingoma in Gitega, the political capital of the country. The venue was packed amidst the spread of COVID-19 pandemic, as the president took his oath and went through the motions of accepting his official instruments of office. Burundi has recorded 104 cases of coronavirus pandemic with one death and 75 recovered. Politically, Ndayimishiye has served as secretary-general of the ruling party until January 2020 when he was appointed flag bearer of the party.