Mutual prosperity at the heart of the UK’s partnership with Africa

The United Kingdom continues to promote the merits of Nigeria and the broader African continent as an economic partner of choice ahead of the UK’s upcoming Africa Investment Summit taking place in London in January 2020. These comments were made by the UK High Commissioner for Nigeria, Catriona Lang at the 18th edition of the Nigeria Oil & Gas Conference in Abuja (NOG) on July 2nd, 2019.

The three-day conference themed “Promoting Investment & Collaboration in Nigeria’s Oil & Gas Industry” is one the most well-attended industry events in the country and was meeting place for senior decision makers from government and energy industry organisations in Nigeria.

The guest of honour, UK High Commissioner to Nigeria, Catriona Lang, in her goodwill speech at the opening ceremony of the conference, acknowledged that a key focus of discussions at the conference centred  around increasing foreign direct invest into Nigeria. The Commissioner added that Nigeria’s FDI strategy was very much in line with the UK government’s trade and investment strategy of increasing investment opportunities into Nigeria and across the broader African continent to meet the ambition of making the UK the number one G7 investor on the African continent by 2022.

High Commissioner Lang said: “The City of London has unparalleled expertise in the services that enable companies to access capital, along with a range of specialist legal and professional services. The London Stock Exchange is home to 7 of the largest 10 listed oil & gas companies globally, and proud to say, home to quite a few Nigerians ones as well like Seplat and Vivo Energy.”

A spokesperson of the UK Department for International Trade, Nigeria noted that bilateral trade and investment between the UK and Nigeria had increased by nearly 40% from 2017, and was on course to double by 2030. “The UK already benefits from our strong connections – between families, governments and businesses – with African nations”, he said, “ and the Africa Investment Summit is intended to celebrate and build on these common links and forge new bonds.”

On 20th January 2020, the UK government would be hosting the Africa Investment Summit in London with the aim of bringing together businesses, governments and international institutionsto showcase and promote the breadth and quality of investment opportunities across Africa.

Delta, Air France and KLM mark tenth anniversary of their trans-Atlantic partnership

Delta Air Lines, Air France and KLM are celebrating 10 years of their successful trans-Atlantic cooperation, a partnership that has continued to lead the industry and set a trend for others to follow.

Over the past decade, together the airlines have soared to new heights as they opened up new routes between Europe and North America and improved customer service. Built around a network of seven hubs – five in the United States and two in Europe – the partnership covers routes between Canada, United States, Mexico and Europe.

“In 10 years, our North-Atlantic JV has become the most advanced example of what an airline partnership can be and what it can bring to the customers,” said Patrick Alexandre, Air France-KLM Group Executive Vice President Commercial, Sales & Alliances. “The success of our JV with Delta comes from our combined and multiple offer which is adapted to all customers, from B2C to trade and corporate. Together with our integrated commercial teams, we aim at delivering the best service to our clients all along their journey. We are very proud of our achievements and look forward to further expanding our JV.”

Some highlights include:

  • Customers have benefited as the partnership has 38 more peak day North America to Europe flights today than 10 years ago bringing the number to more than 270 daily trans-Atlantic flights. 
  • It’s now easier to connect to destinations across North America and Europe thanks to more hub-to-hub flying, such as Detroit-Paris and Atlanta-Amsterdam that offer a wealth of onward flights. The partnership has also opened up new U.S.-Europe city pairs that would not be possible for them to do alone, including service from non-hub cities, including Indianapolis, Raleigh/Durham and Dallas-Fort-Worth, to Paris and Tampa-Amsterdam.
  • Eligible customers can use the largest airport lounge network across North America and Europe.
  • There are opportunities to earn miles and redeem them on a number of benefits, including flight upgrades through each airlines’ frequent flyer programmes.
  • The partners carry 20% more customers today compared to 10 years ago.

“We have a lot to be proud of from the past 10 years. The key to our success has been continuing to innovate and a commitment to constantly improve our customer experience,” said Steve Sear, Delta’s President & Executive Vice President Global Sales. “Customers have benefitted from our award-winning service, and close integration of our systems and teams in the airport, sales, call centres and back office. Most recently, we have expanded our cooperation to include Africa, improving the travel options for new and existing customers.”

The Delta, Air France and KLM partnership has its foundations in a previous agreement between KLM and Northwest Airlines. Following the U.S. and European Union Open Skies agreement in 2007and the merger between Delta and Northwest, the Air France-KLM Group and Delta announced their long-term joint venture on May 20, 2009. Just over one year later, Alitalia joined the partnership, offering new flying opportunities between North America and Italy. Last year, Delta invested €375 million to acquire 10 percent equity in the Air France-KLM Group.

SOP Initiative NGO offers Amuwo Odofin residents free WiFi

Symphony of Praise Initiative (SOP) through her Christian humanitarian movement, ‘Connect Charity ‘ have, offered 24 hours Wi-Fi to Amuwo residents.

The Wi-Fi was presented to the Amuwo -Odofin Public Library recently in Lagos in commemoration of the ‘World Internet Day’.

According to President of the foundation, Seun Ayeni, the idea was initially conceived at their end of the year community carol programme of 2018.

“For us, it was about academics .We thought about the fact that children don’t read again, you know the popular saying: ‘Readers become leaders’.

  

“We thought that may be people don’t like to read books that much. So we concluded that people like to read via the internet and the only way to do it will be to make young people in Amuwo- Odofin have access to the internet for free.     “That was why we offered a free internet Wi-Fi. We thought that the best place to locate the Wi-Fi would be at the public library. Now, we have a library that is filled with books and also has internet access”

On how they were able to get the support of the residents, Ayeni noted that they have built trust with them over the years.

“We have built trust over the years, people know us now. We have embarked on a lot of community projects and have delivered. We called for funds, people donated money and we were able to raise a little around #100,000. What we had was #250,000 so we had to put in our own funds to make sure it’s a success”

Ayeni also gave clear details on how the project will be sustained.

“The Wi-Fi is opened to anybody that comes close to 50metres circumference around the library.

We thought about sustainability from the scratch, it was part of the project. That was why we made it powered by Solar. Solar as you know is sustainable on its own. So without light or with light, it works. Our internet is powered by solar. Swift has partnered with us by giving us internet free of charge. There is no recurrent payment on this , which is sustainable for us. No recurrent problem of electricity, it is powered by Solar.

I will advise Amuwo Odofin residents not just to use it as a play tool. This is just giving it to you for free so that you are not incapacitated. Explore the possibilities of what you can do with it”.

One of the members of the SOP Initiative’s Board of Trustees and a resident, Peter Adewumi who spoke to the press, said he was filled with joy because of the installation of the free Wi-Fi which will go a long way in empowering the youths in Amuwo Odofin.

The public presentation had in attendance representative of the Amuwo Odofin Local Government, Director, Lagos State Library Board – Mr. A. A. Oyadipe, amongst others.

 

 

 

Bristow Nigeria increases fleet size

Bristow Helicopters (Nigeria) Limited (“Bristow”), the leading provider of industrial aviation services in Nigeria has recently increased its Nigerian fleet size with the introduction of at least six additional aircraft in the past six months. These state-of-the-art aircraft which include the Sikorsky S76D & S92, the Leonardo AW139 & AW189 helicopters, and also the Embraer ERJ 145 Jet aircraft serve to provide much more optionality and resilience to its operations in Nigeria, and further strengthen the company’s continuing support and commitment to its varied client base and particularly, to the Nigerian Oil and Gas Industry as a whole.

Bristow is the first and currently the only operator of both the Sikorsky S76D and Leonardo AW189 helicopter in the offshore Oil & Gas Market in Africa and currently the only operator of the Sikorsky S92 aircraft type in Nigeria with well over 32,000 flight hours flown on this aircraft type in Nigeria since its introduction to the country in 2008.

The Sikorsky S76D helicopter represents the latest variant of tried and tested S76 Series. A proven aircraft type that has flown well over 7 million flight hours since its first variant came into operation in 1977. This medium sized aircraft type and its variants is the workhorse of the industry. With its two Pratt & Whitney engines, composite blades, low noise signature, smaller D-Value, modern avionics suite and 400nm range, the S76D (as with the S76C++ type) is ideally suited to support the daily shuttles to the Oil & Gas accommodation platforms and unmanned offshore installations in the Niger Delta.

The Sikorsky S92 on the other hand, is the largest helicopter type supporting the Oil & Gas industry in Nigeria today and arguably the only ‘heavy’ type aircraft currently supporting the Oil & Gas industry globally. With its robust gear box design, 540nm range and 19-Seat capacity, this aircraft is ideally suited to long range, crew change flights to offshore Rigs, FPSOs and also for Search & Rescue.  Besides providing an ideal opportunity for client sharing, the aircraft’s internal seat configuration and large cabin space and cabin windows essentially provide such room and comfort as to qualify it as an ‘airliner’.

The Leonardo AW189 is a new 8-tonne helicopter that sits ‘midway’ between the S76D and the S92 in terms of its seat capacity, size and range. It has also been designed to comply fully with the latest international regulatory safety requirements EASA/FAA Part 29 and JAR OPS 3/EU-OPS. A unique feature of particular importance to the AW189’s use for offshore and SAR operations is the fact that it’s main Gear Box has been designed to provide for a 50-minute run-dry capacity, well in excess of regulatory requirements. Bristow currently operates two of this aircraft types in Nigeria and has recently received the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authorities (NCAA) approval to include the type on its Operations Specifications after a very thorough certification and approval process.

According to Captain ‘Dapo Oyeleke, Managing Director of Bristow, these additions to the Bristow Nigeria fleet signify the importance, growth potential and confidence the company has in the Nigerian market.

“Nigeria continues to be a very important market for Bristow. Besides an unwavering commitment to safety and exceptional service delivery, our business strategy revolves around our understanding of individual client’s future requirements and ability to accurately forecast the needs of the Oil & Gas market; and then proactively delivering safe, best in class, and cost effective solutions tailored to fully meet those requirements. The twin-engined, air-conditioned Helicopters with 12, 16 and 19 passenger seat configurations in the medium, light heavy and heavy type categories offer our clients choice, flexibility and the ability to ‘breathe in, and breathe out’, in such a way that drives down their operating costs per seat, per mile, mitigates exposure to one ‘Original Aircraft Manufacturer’ OEM type and optimizes payload”.

Captain Oyeleke also commented that “we will continue to invest heavily in new innovative technology, our processes and above all our people. These additional aircraft will provide an excellent opportunity for us to continue to attract and retain the industry’s best; provide employment, train and ‘throughput’ our Nigerian National pilots, engineers and support personnel, in line with the market opportunities”.

Nigeria’s Yogurt Company, Sweetkiwi Launches In The United States

2018 was a monumental year in the frozen yogurt industry as revolutionary Nigeria’s yogurt brand, Sweetkiwi, launched at Union Kitchen, a healthy-driven retail outlet in the United States of America. The frozen yogurt industry in Nigeria has not been one to boast of contributing to the health of the consumers due to the high content of added sugar. The industry has also not seen any brand pioneer a distinct business move until Sweetkiwi’s launch 7 years ago which drove a new perception and re-wrote the narrative.


The yogurt company was founded by Ehime Eigbe-Akindele in 2011. Born out of her love for desserts, and a personal inclination to be healthy. Ehime noticed a gap in the industry – one void of frozen yogurts that were as natural and healthy as they were sweet. She worked on a clean label recipe making frozen yogurt from fresh milk and culturing it into real yogurt. To aid her, Ehime Eigbe-Akindele went on to take a course in Dessert Production, and a certification course in Entrepreneur Management from the Enterprise Development Centre of Pan Atlantic University, Lagos.

Prior to launching Sweetkiwi, Ehime graduated with a BA Honors from London Metropolitan University in Business Information Technology & International Relations. She began her career in Amnesty International before moving to Citigroup in Dallas, Texas where she handled corporate loan restructuring, default banking, and bankruptcy. Ehime Eigbe-Akindele is, also, a Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women Scholar, and has been named one of Nigeria’s most inspiring women in 2016.

In a span of 7 years, Sweetkiwi has dominated the Nigerian frozen yogurt scene and was named one of the 100 most innovative businesses in Nigeria. The negotiation to scale beyond Nigeria started in June 2018 with Union Kitchen, a food and beverage business accelerator, with franchises all over the world. Sweetkiwi currently stocks at eight stores in the Washington D.C area. She said “the plan is to go regional than national in the US along with creating experience locations in major cities. We are working to scale Sweetkiwi to a global level.

We have received so much support from the DC food scene and government. ‘I wish the governments in Nigeria can support entrepreneurs in the same way, instead of the current way they treat small businesses. Imagine what we could achieve, we had a better environment to facilitate growth.’ Ehime said on her biggest struggles as an entrepreneur.

 

About Sweetkiwi Frozen Yogurt

Sweetkiwi makes the best tasting, clean labor frozen yogurt using real fat-free yogurt made from milk sourced from grass-fed cows and real ingredients. Founded in 2011, with a plan to help grow milk production and create more dairy and non-dairy products for grocery and retail.

To gain more information on the brand:
www.sweetkiwiyogurt.com

South African Airways launches direct service to Guangzhou, China

Introduction of Guangzhou, first new route since SAA implements turnaround strategy

South African Airways (SAA), one of the leading carriers on the African continent, will launch direct flights between Johannesburg and Guangzhou, China, on 18 September 2019, giving customers access to the heart of China’s export led manufacturing industries.

This is yet another strategy implementation initiative aimed at enhancing SAA’s route network.

“The decision to launch this direct service between Johannesburg and Guangzhou means we remain on track in executing our strategy to transform SAA into a fit for the future airline that will operate both efficiently and competitively,” said SAA CEO, Vuyani Jarana.

The Guangzhou route will cater for a spectrum of travellers between Johannesburg and China including business and corporate travellers and will be of special interest to traders. Cargo operations will complement the viability of this route considering that high value cargo is sourced from Guangzhou.

SAA will be the only carrier operating a direct service between Johannesburg and Guangzhou, with flight time of approximately 13 hours and 40 minutes, providing the shortest travel time on a nonstop basis between the two points.

There will be three new flights per week to Guangzhou, in South China, and these will complement SAA’s current operations to Hong Kong. This means, SAA will fly four times a week to Hong Kong.  Airbus A340-300 aircraft will operate both the Guangzhou and Hong Kong routes.

Guangzhou is the largest city in the Guangdong province in South China and the third largest Chinese city after Beijing and Shanghai. It is an important transportation hub and trading port, located on the Pearl River about 120km Northwest of Hong Kong.

“Adding a direct service to mainland China, combined with our current popular flights to Hong Kong provides SAA with immense growth opportunities to and from mainland China. It also gives our traders access to the centre of Chinese manufacturing,” said Jarana.

The province of Guangdong is the centre of China’s export led manufacturing industries and described as “the world’s manufacturing hub”. Formal and informal traders source the majority of goods purchased in Sub-Saharan Africa from the province, due to Africa’s poor manufacturing capacity.

For more travel options for SAA customers flying to and from Guangzhou, the airline has interline agreements with China Southern Airlines, China Eastern, Air China and Hainan Airlines. To complement this initiative Guangzhou city has an extensive fast train network connecting the hub with important cities in China within 1-3 hours of SAA’s arrival and departure time. The newly opened 45 minutes’ fast train line between Guangzhou and Hong Kong provides alternatives to our customers to use both SAA’s Hong Kong and Guangzhou services.

SAA is also negotiating a code share agreement with Hong Kong Airlines, anticipated to be in place this financial year, for further travel options for customers travelling beyond Hong Kong. Hong Kong airlines will codeshare on SAA’s Hong Kong-Johannesburg sector and provide feeder traffic from Japan, Korea, Philippines and China.

The planned schedule, which will be published on Monday, 06 May, aims to offer morning arrivals in Johannesburg, seamless connection with SAA’s regional network with less than three hours lay-over in Johannesburg. The afternoon arrival flight in Guangzhou will connect to more than twenty cities in China and these include SHANGHAI, BEIJING, FUZHOU, XIAMEN, NANNING, KUNMING, HAIKOU, QINGDAO, NANCHANG, WUHAO, and CHENGDU to mention the top ten within one to three hours of arrival time in Guangzhou. The inbound flights from Guangzhou will allow for connections with arriving flights from Japan and Korea that are an important market on days SAA will not be operating from Hong Kong.

“We are confident that the introduction of this route is based on sound commercial considerations and will not only benefit SAA but South Africa as a whole as China is the largest source market in Asia. It is also South Africa’s largest trading partner in the world,” concluded Jarana.

Customers based in China may contact SAA at any of the following offices:

·         Guangzhou:     +86-10-65026789

·         Shanghai:         +86-21-6362-1461

·         Beijing:              +86-10-65026789

·         Chengdu:          +86-28-85550998

 

These offices cover the most important geographic locations of Southern, Eastern, Northern and Western China.

Guangzhou Schedule

SA288 Days 3,5,7 JNB 1925 CAN 1505+1

SA289 Days 1,4,6 CAN 2215 JNB 0530+1

 

Hong Kong Schedule

SA286 Days 1,2,4,6 JNB 1645 HKG 1240

SA287 Days 2,3,5,7 HKG 2355 JNB 0705

Foreign secretary meets with Nigerian and British soldiers who are part of a training and support programme by British military

Foreign Secretary: UK Backs Nigeria In Fight Against Extremism

The Foreign Secretary today visited the North East of Nigeria to show that the UK remains committed to supporting Nigeria and its neighbours in the fight against Boko Haram and Islamic State in West Africa. The UK has repeatedly called for the release of all those abducted by Boko Haram and Islamic State in West Africa and the protection of all civilians.

Jeremy Hunt visited the WFP (World Food Programme) warehouse in Maiduguri on the third day of his week-long trip to Africa, where he spoke to people providing life-saving support to millions who have fled their homes following attacks by terrorist groups. He also met with the UK Military Liaison and Support Team which is working with the Nigerian military.

Speaking in Maiduguri, Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said:

People are being forced from their homes by the evils of extremism and terrorism. Boko Haram and Islamic State are the antithesis of the values we all hold dear, and we will continue to support Nigeria in the fight to give people secure, prosperous and happy lives.

The UK is providing a substantial and increasing package of security, humanitarian and development support. This includes training and capacity building for Nigerian armed forces deploying in the North East. The UK has trained over 30,000 Nigerian troops in recent years.

As the second largest humanitarian donor, the UK government was one of the first to respond to the crisis, investing £300 million in live-saving aid over five years to reach over 1.5 million of the most vulnerable people. UK support is also addressing root causes of the conflict, helping the Nigerian Government to deliver for its citizens in the longer term, including in health and education.

The UK-Nigeria Security and Defence Partnership, signed during the Prime Minister’s visit to the country in 2018, will increase the UK’s co-operation in the fight against terrorist groups and other security challenges.

Nigeria needs to plan for civilian-led stabilisation and development in areas where the military has ousted the terrorist groups. Together with international partners, the UK will continue supporting Nigeria and its neighbours to tackle threats to regional stability.

SAA Voyager launches new mobile application

South African Airways (SAA) Voyager has launched its own SAA Voyager Mobile Application.  This means that the transactional experience for Voyager members is now in the palm of members’ hand with easy navigation whilst on the go.

The current SAA Mobile App only displays a customer’s status and balance of miles, whereas the first release of the SAA Voyager App includes additional transactional functions beneficial to the customers namely; update of personal details, PIN reset, award requests, claiming of missing miles, converting miles and, being able to donate miles.

The SAA Voyager App is an intervention aimed at enhancing Voyager members’ transactional experience with Voyager in the short term.  It is envisaged that once SAA relaunches its Mobile App in the latter part of this year, there will be integration between the SAA and SAA Voyager Mobile Apps, whereby customers will be able to transact seamlessly with SAA, be it for check-in, printing of boarding passes, making and/or changing reservations or transacting on their Voyager accounts.

SAA Executive for Customer Loyalty, Suretha Cruse explains that one of SAA’s key strategies is to enhance the customer experience.  “Customer insights were a key driver in the design and development of the SAA Voyager App with our Africa-based members in mind, where 80% access the internet via their mobile phones,” she says.

SAA Voyager was Africa’s first value-based airline loyalty programme, offering members miles based on the ticket price purchased, rather than the distance travelled.  The earning velocity of miles in the SAA Voyager programme remains the best in class on the African continent whereby members receive one SAA Voyager Mile per ZAR 1.60 spent, which counts towards the status of members. The programme also allows members to spend miles on any available ticket price for flights operated by SAA. With more than 67 partnerships globally, including the Star Alliance global network, the programme gives members access to more than 1 300 destinations in 190 countries.

Not a SAA Voyager member yet, but want to register? Simply download the SAA Voyager mobile app onto your phone from the Apple App store or Google Play store, alternatively, contact the SAA Voyager Call Centre on 011 978 1234.  You can also send an e-mail to voyager@flysaa.com.

Programme specific terms and conditions can be found on www.flysaa.com
SAA Voyager – Forever part of your journey. 

Sheraton Abuja Celebrates Women in March

Offers specials for international womens month

Abuja, March 4, 2019 – The Month of March ushers in yet more unique opportunities to celebrate women all over the world. Sheraton Abuja Hotel is proud to join the rest of the world to make this women’s month extra special.

This is the reason the Hotel teams have organized a line-up of exciting activities and unbeatable offers to make this Month in March truly special for all especially Female Patrons.

The General Manager for Sheraton Abuja Hotel , Nouman Irshad explains “We have themed our women’s month in march “Celebrating Women”, in line with Mother’s Day and International Women’s day. We will take the liberty to commemorate all mothers, friends, sisters, wives and daughters by giving them something unforgettable during the period.

To commence our Celebration of all women in the month of March, we will mark INTERNATIONAL WOMEN’S DAY on the 8th of March with our “Sheraton Paired’’ event at the Lobby Bar with music and entertainment.

From the 1st-31st of March 2019 from 6pm-8pm we will offer a complimentary glass of sparkling wine to all female diners who arrive at our Pool Bar and Restaurant as well as our Lobby Bar. *Offer valid while stock lasts* So we encourage you to stop by with your friends and loved ones to connect and unwind within our alfresco Pool area or find solace at our soothing lobby bar for a calmer evening.

At our Papillon Restaurant on MOTHERS DAY day 31st of March 2019, All Mothers will enjoy a 10% discount, a delicious box of Swiss rolls and a glass of sparkling wine.

“Our Sheraton Abuja Hotel teams are geared to ensure that March is indeed a special one for all our clients, especially women in general. We appreciate and celebrate all women in all works of life and we acknowledge them for their exemplary roles in our societies.

“At Sheraton Abuja Hotel  it is all about the Guests and it delights us to go beyond when it comes to delivering elevated and enriching customer experiences.

For more information on our International Womens month please follow us on Facebook and twitter @sheratonabuja and on Instagram @sheraton_abuja for the latest updates.