Emirates puts customers first in COVID-19 waiver policies

•Simplifies waivers and refunds policy with one unified approach worldwide
 •   Eases concerns about pre-booked summer travel by extending waiver policy to tickets issued before 31 May 2020, for travel before 31 August 2020 

•  Offers three options: Keep your ticket for 760 days; exchange ticket for travel vouchers valid for up to 2 years; full refunds on unused vouchers or ticket Putting customers first, Emirates has updated its COVID-19 travel waiver policies into one simplified approach for rebooking and refunds on tickets issued in all its global markets.

Adnan Kazim, Emirates’ Chief Commercial Officer said: “The travel and airline industry have complicated rulebooks for how fares, re-bookings or refunds are applied, which also differ depending on market regulation. We understand that explaining and unravelling all of that is confusing and frustrating for customers. The COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented for everyone, and we’d like to thank our customers and trade partners for their patience, understanding and support as we worked through this period to ensure our policies are not only customer-friendly but also in line with regulatory requirements.

“We sincerely hope that our customers will choose to rebook and fly with us again at a later time, and that is why we’re offering up to two years validity on their current tickets, or travel vouchers which can be redeemed for any Emirates product or service. Any fees for making a change to the tickets will be waived for tickets issued till 31 May 2020 for travel up to 31 August 2020. However, if they would still like to opt for a refund, we will process that. We would just like to seek our customers’ understanding that refunds will take time as we have a significant backlog to manage.”

Emirates is offering three options to its customers affected by flight cancellations and travel restrictions: 1 – Keep your ticket: all Emirates tickets booked before 31 May for travel up to 31 August will be automatically extended for 760 days. Customers holding such tickets can be assured their tickets will be honoured, and they can rebook when they decide to travel. 
Whenever they are ready to travel again, within two years from the day their ticket was originally issued, they simply need to contact Emirates or their travel agents to reschedule their flight. Their ticket will be accepted for any flight to the same Emirates destination or to another city within the same Emirates region with no fees for changes. Those who wish to rebook their ticket to travel to another region can also do so – Emirates will not charge reissuance fees, only any applicable fare difference.

2 – Request a travel voucher: Travel vouchers are valid for one year from date the voucher was issued, and can be extended for a second year. The voucher can be used for any Emirates product or service, which means customers can use it to offset charges for flights to any destination in any cabin class, or other services. No change fees apply to this voucher, so customers will have more flexibility to reschedule when they are ready to travel again. 

3 – Refunds: Customers who have opted to keep their ticket or opted for a travel voucher can still apply for a refund, if they are unable to travel. There will be no refund penalties. Emirates has also made it easy for customers to request these options online through a simple form. 

For more information, or to apply for any of the above options, customers can visit emirates.com. Customers who have booked through their travel agents should contact their agents for assistance – the same waiver policies will apply. 

Best Regards

 Ijeoma .C.Oseji

Deputy Media Manager,Jsp Communications26 Oroleye Crescent / Abel OreniyiOff Salvation Road, OpebiIkeja, Lagos C  +2348179623817 Whttp://jspcommunications.com

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It’s Sustainable When There Is a Buy-In

I am one of those people who is very sentimental about the beginning and end of every year. Therefore, I started off the year 2020, with a lot of excitement, and as usual, not minding those around me who never see anything to be excited about at the beginning of the year.
However, just like that, my exciting start to this year was dampened as soon as I realized that I was right smack in the year Nigeria was meant to have become one of the 20 largest economies in the world and establish itself as a significant player in the global economic landscape as well as in the political arena, and though we had a very good chance of achieving this very laudable vision, we failed to.
Nigeria’s Vision 2020, which was eventually launched in 2009 during the administration of late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, had its foundation laid during the administration of the former President Olusegun Obasanjo, so there was ample time for proper planning and execution but just as we had done with a lot of other great developmental initiatives, we bungled the rare opportunity of achieving vision 2020.
Like it is the case with most governments in Africa, apart from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), that is being driven by the United Nations, it is said that the incumbent government of Nigeria under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari, has already started plans for vision 2030. I know there is popular saying that those who do not plan are planning to fail, thus we should always plan, but in my opinion, Africa’s problem or failure as regards development is not in the lack of planning, but it is essentially in the lack of getting the proper ‘buy-in’ from all and sundry. Over the years most African governments have developed very great developmental initiatives and plans, but these plans keep failing because in my opinion adequate consideration is not given to getting proper ‘buy-in’, from all the key stakeholders.
A good example can be seen in Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs), in Nigeria that was supposed to have been the key stakeholders in the implementation of the Vision 2020, and were expected to run with the vision just because they are organs of government. However, going by the way things eventually panned out, it was obvious that the MDAs didn’t really buy into and owned the vision. Private Organizations in Africa seem to understand how this works better than the Public Organizations in Africa, which is why they often go out of their way to ensure that all members of staff buy into the vision and mission of the organization. They sometimes even go on what they call team bonding retreats to ensure that everyone buys-in, support and own the vision and mission of the organization.
Growing up, in my local dialect “Yoruba”, in the western part of Nigeria, there was a joke peddled around the official title – ‘foreman’; essentially, it was humorously said that the foreman was just being humored, that no one man can really do the job of ‘four-men’. The essence of this joke, in my opinion, was to encourage leaders to be good team players as they will always need their followers or subordinates to successfully carry out the task laid before them.
The year 2020, has undoubtedly started on a very exasperating note for most people the world over as the Corona Virus or COVID – 19 as it is also called, is currently ravaging the world and has dealt a major blow on both the social and economic essence of the world. My take on the pandemic is that it has come like several other ones before it, which came and left, the Corona Virus pandemic will soon go, but it should serve as a reality check for the world, it would significantly help most people to start appreciating how fragile and insubstantial the world’s system and structures are, at the end of the day. The Corona Virus has shown us that there are really no superpowers and that nothing on earth is foolproof.
This is our first edition for the year 2020, so I wish you a ‘Happy New Year’! As you know, Women are celebrated annually the world over in March, thus as it has become our custom, we are celebrating, yet another African Woman of great repute on the cover page of this edition of IWA, which is the March to May 2020 edition. Please join us to celebrate Amina Jane Mohammed, Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations, a strong promoter of a sustainable world. There are several other very interesting articles for your reading pleasure in the edition. Enjoy!

THE ACTIVITIES OF THE APAPA AREA COMMAND IN THE FIRST QUARTER OF 2020.

Gentlemen and ladies of the press,

  1. The year 2020 is surrounded with lots of challenges globally. Nigeria is not isolated from these challenges as critical sectors of the economy are adversely affected.
  2. However, for us in the Nigeria Customs Service, and in particular, the Apapa Area Command we remain resolute at ensuring that we collect the much needed revenue for the Federal Government and also ensure the safety and well being of the citizenry through curtailing smuggling to its barest minimum while facilitating legitimate import and export trades.
  3. Revenue: – At the height of these challenges, the Apapa Area Command was able to beat its records of the past two years i.e. 2018 and 2019 respectively by a huge margin. The break down of revenues collected is presented in the table As follows;

4. While the Command collected 81.748 billion naira in the first quarter of 2018, in the corresponding period of 2019 the Command recorded an appreciable increase in revenue to 94.717 billion naira. Interestingly, in the first quarter of 2020 the Command collected a huge sum of 110.204 billion naira indicating an appreciable increase of over 15.4 billion naira when compared to the corresponding period of 2019. This huge increase in revenue collection was a product of so many factors including strict application of import guidelines, increased level of compliance by stakeholders and our openness to address all complaints from the part of importers promptly amongst other measures

5. Accordingly, the CAC wish to use this medium to remind our esteemed stakeholders that in line with the Presidential directives, the Apapa Port remains open and our officers are on ground discharging their functions of collecting revenue and securing the nation sea ports against influx of prohibited goods. He further calls on importers to use this opportunity and evacuate their consignments before normal activities resumes.

6. Anti-Smuggling: – Similarly, the Command has recorded an appreciable increase in its anti-smuggling drive leading to the seizure of 80 containers and 4 vehicles. All the seized items contravened some of the provisions of extant laws as enshrined in the Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA) CAP C45 LFN, 2004 as amended. The number of first quarter seizures in the Command almost equal the entire seizures of 2019 in terms of Duty Paid Value which stood at 12.5 billion naira.

7. Items seized in the first quarter includes; Rice, Used Clothes, Unregistered Drugs and Vegetable oil. Other seized items include one exotic Rolls Royce car that was valued at over one hundred million naira. The Combined Duty Paid Value (DPV) of these items stood at about 12 billion naira.

8. Export: – The Export Unit recorded another boost in the Command. From a total of 51,601 metric tonnes of export in first quarter of 2019, it increased to 183,578 metric tonnes in corresponding period of 2020. Furthermore, the Free on Board (FOB) value for the export in first quarter 2019 was five million, two hundred and two thousand five hundred and sixty-seven ($ 5,202,567.00) US Dollars which was equivalent to one billion, five hundred and ninety-one million, nine hundred and eighty-five thousand five hundred and two naira (#1,591,986,502.00), the value grew to seventy two million four hundred and forty two thousand, three hundred and ninety four ($72,442,394.00) US Dollars which is equivalent to twenty two billion, one hundred and sixty seven million, three hundred and seventy two thousand five hundred and sixty- four (# 22,167,372,564.00) naira only. This boost in exports was notable in Agriculture, Mineral Resources and Steel Bars among others.

9. To this end, the CAC Comptroller Mohammed Abba-Kura wishes to once more reiterate the resolve of the Service and the Apapa Area Command in particular to serving our esteemed stakeholders by way of discharging our duties with utmost diligence while calling on other stakeholders in the clearance chain to play their respective roles to move this nation forward especially at this trying times. He prays that the world overcomes the problem of COVID-19 soonest.
Thank you all and God Bless!


NKEIRUKA NWALA
Deputy Superintendent of Customs Public Relations Officer
For; CAC Apapa Command

PRESS STATEMENT

Q1: Onne Customs Collects ₦22.9B Revenue …makes ₦215M Seizures in 7 Containers

The Nigeria Customs Service, Area II Command OnnePort, has made a total revenue collection of ₦22,950,780,163.43K between January and March 2020 with seizures of seven containers worth total Duty Paid Value (DPV) of ₦215,387,201.18

On export, the Command recorded 1,053,531 metric tonnes with Free on Board(FOB) value of $87,136,233.66 (USD) and total Nigeria Export Supervision Scheme (NESS) value of ₦132,399,525.56respectively, in the first quarter of 2020.

Customs Area Controller of the Command, Aliyu Galadima Saidu who gave a breakdown of the revenue figures, seizures and export statistics, revealed that thesum of ₦7,651,099,364.62K was generated in January; ₦7,589,349,555.61K in February and ₦7,701,331,243.20K in March 2020.

In the same vein, the 7 seizures of containers comprised 1,225 bales of used clothing, 35 sacks of used shoes, 86bales of used hand bags and other the miscellaneous goods such as foreign detergent, lightings, foreign parboiled rice, perfume, body spray and others, all valued at ₦215,387,201.18

The above seized items, according to Saidu, were brought into the country in contravention of the Customs and Excise Management Act and extant import prohibition list.

For the NESS Fee which is a statutory payment to the Federal Government on all legitimate goods exported from the country, 377,985 metric tonnes were processed through the port in January; 455,987 metric tonnes in February and 219,559 metric tonnes in March.

The Area Controller thanked officers and men of the command for their resilience, commitment and diligence to work in the face of Corona virus pandemic, while urging them to keep safe and continually be uncompromising.

“I want to commend our officers and port users for keeping the tempo of activities going in Onne port without compromising basic rules of hand washing, usage of sanitizers and strict maintenance of the social distancing rules.

“Let us continue to be health and safety conscious this period and beyond, while shunning any attempts at making us compromise on our duties of revenue collection, trade facilitation and suppression of smuggling

“Our stakeholders are advised to utilise all Customs modernisation options available to them to reduce human contacts as much as possible while conducting businesses in the ports.

“The Controller General of Customs is not unaware of our efforts to serve the country and maintain full presence at our duty posts, as directed, this period. I urge you all to keep it up.

“Like I have always said, compliance is very vital to trade facilitation. All importers and agents are once again enjoined to be compliant by making sincere and accurate declarations, avoid concealment, under value and smuggling under any guise.

“Violations will be met with seizures and arrests as we will not hesitate to invoke relevant sections of CEMA Cap C45 of LFN 2004 as amended to apply lawful sanctions against defaulters, Saidu said.

### The End ###

Ifeoma Onuigbo
Customs Public Relations Officer 
Area II Command, Onne Port