Category archives for: Transportation

Nigeria:Airlines Sold N505 Billion Tickets in 2017, Says NCAA

By Chinedu Eze

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) Thursday said domestic and international airlines operating in Nigeria sold tickets worth N505.2 billion in 2017.

The regulatory body said it arrived at the figures after reconciliation with the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA).

This is a record rise in sales to N82.7 billion (14.2 per cent), compared to 2016 when the value of tickets sold was N411,564,564,692.80.

The Director-General of NCAA, Captain Muhtar Usman, made the disclosure at the quarterly business breakfast meeting of the Aviation Round Table (ART) in Lagos.

Usman, who was represented by the Director, Consumer Protection Directorate, NCAA, Adamu Abdullahi, said eight domestic airlines sold N93.6 billion worth of tickets, while the 32 airlines on the international routes sold tickets worth N411.6 billion, during the period under review.

According to NCAA records, in 2016, domestic airlines realised N79,482,958,601.60 from ticket sales, while international airlines realised N342,923,645,298.71 from ticket sales.

He said there were 90 sanctions or penalties on airlines, including 15 pilots, five cabin crew, engineers, a private security firm, four Aircraft Maintenance Organisations (AMO) and five airlines.

He noted, however, that sanctioning was not an achievement but a deterrent made to ensure that violators do not repeat violations.

Speaking on some of the NCAA’s Key Performance Indexes (KPI), Usman stated that the NCAA in the past four years has had steady improvements in certain areas, especially as regards professional advancement.

He stated that for the third year running, the country’s aviation industry has recorded zero accidents and this was due to airlines’ adherence to standard operating procedures (SOPs), which are brought about by well-trained safety instructors.

The key performance index also showed advancement in licensing, which indicated that from January to December 2017 licensed pilots increased by 130 from 2016, as the number rose to 2,356 from 2,226.

The NCAA boss further stated that under the period of evaluation, passenger traffic for 21 airports in the country stood at a total of 25,528 as average daily departure was 12,761, while departure stood at 12,767 with 305 aircraft movement.

He said the amount realised from the sale of tickets would have been higher if not for the closure of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, for six weeks to enable the government rehabilitate its runway.

“A stable forex regime, effective implementation of the Executive Order on Ease of Doing Business as well as the resumption of flight activities to the Maiduguri Airport, earlier closed due to insecurity, contributed to the increase,” he said.

Also, the Managing Director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Mr. Saleh Dunoma, said the NCAA, in accordance with the regulations of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), had certified Lagos and Abuja airports worthy for maximum flight operations.

Dunoma, who was represented by the General Manager, Safety Services, FAAN, Mr. Elifue Agbi, said the agency was collaborating with Airport Council International (ACI) to certify the Kano and Port Harcourt airports.

“We have started the process of certifying these airports, following the successes we recorded in Lagos and Abuja. Enugu and Kaduna airports will follow subsequently,” he said.

Earlier, the President of ART, Mr. Gbenga Olowo, said there was need for aviation agencies to set up KPI to measure their achievements from time to time.

Olowo said the group would continue to ensure the advancement of the industry by consistently promoting safety and professionalism through effective working relationship with government and other stakeholders.

Kenya:Is Nairobi’s Container Depot Main Cause of Import Cargo Pile-Up?

opinionBy Njiraini Muchira

Unprecedented operational hitches at the Nairobi inland container depot have been blamed for the pileup of cargo along the transportation chain, threatening Kenya’s position as a regional transportation hub.

The chaos at the port of Mombasa has culminated in the reorganisation of the Kenya Ports Authority (KPA) top management, with the managing director Catherine Mturi-Wairi being sent on compulsory leave. But she got a reprieve after the High Court revoked her suspension.

Shippers, logistics firms and clearing agents say improving operations at the port will not succeed if the issues at the ICD are not sorted out.

While in the past Mombasa was the only focal point of inefficiencies in cargo handling, the ICD has now become a congestion hub as the government pushes cargo owners to use the standard gauge railway for cargo destined upcountry.

The government issued a directive that 40 per cent of cargo arriving at the port of Mombasa be transported by the SGR to the ICD has turned the once quiet Nairobi-based facility into a den of bureaucratic ineptness and disorder.

Such is the disorder that the KPA has been forced to put up notices in Kenyan newspapers telling importers to clear cargo at the facility to decongest it.

On Thursday, the KPA, in a paid advertisement, said there were 2,000 cleared containers at the depot that have not been collected despite exhausting their free storage period.

It warned that uncollected cargo will be transferred to nominated warehouses outside the ICD for storage at the cost of the respective importers.

Infrastructure improvements

The pileup at the facility has put KPA on the spot over slow evacuation of cargo and the rising number of empty containers, which are affecting operations at the port of Mombasa.

This comes at a time when hinterland shippers are increasingly turning to the port in the face of infrastructure improvements and acquisition of new equipment, which are expected to facilitate even more trade within the region, in terms of cargo throughput and port efficiency.

Mombasa’s container terminal boasts 13 ship-to-shore gantry cranes, 50 rubber-tyred gantry cranes and 78 tractors.

At a stakeholders meeting in Kampala on June 5, Uganda’s Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Works and Transport Bageya Waiswa said traders have realised increased business growth following initiatives implemented by KPA, including the Single Customs Territory, which has reduced time taken by cargo from Mombasa to Kampala.

Mr Waiswa noted that due to the port expansion, KPA now handles ships of up to 6,000 twenty-foot container equivalent capacity, which has significantly increased economies of scale and consequently lowered the cost of doing business in the region.

In 2017, some 6.59 million tonnes of cargo were imported into Uganda via Mombasa, and KPA officials say that the new improvements at the port and Uganda’s quest to improve infrastructural bottlenecks are timely trade catalysts.

Port’s efficiency

Mombasa port remains the most connected in the region, with at least 33 shipping lines calling and providing direct connectivity to more than 80 ports.

With this magnitude of cargo, the government is concerned about the port’s efficiency and has effected personnel changes to fix the problem.

In March, 14 senior managers were reshuffled amid accusations of sabotaging the SGR’s operations.

A senior KPA manager who requested anonymity traces the chaos to the government’s run-in with container freight station (CFS) operators, who previously used to provide storage facilities to help ease congestion at the port, a development that has made it impossible to smoothen operations both in Mombasa and at the Nairobi ICD.

Transport Cabinet Secretary James Macharia has said that the government will not allow any cargo destined for Nairobi to be stored in CFSs in Mombasa.

KPA is loading all cargo designed for upcountry and export onto the SGR without verification, something that importers say has seen the ICD become a dumping ground for cargo.

“CFSs used to ease the pressure at the port by providing storage facilities. The government wants them out of the way by insisting that cargo should be transported to the ICD and so there is a huge crisis,” said the manager.

He added that in an ironic turn of events and in desperate measures to ease the congestion at the port, KPA is now nominating all undocumented import containers to some CFSs in Mombasa.

Apart from the ICD, there are only two privately owned holding depots in Nairobi, one of which is owned by logistics company Bollore. The two are also said to be full to capacity.

“The ICD in Embakasi is a mess and instead of government agencies trying to improve services, they have resorted to engaging in an unproductive blame game,” William Ojonyo, Kenya International Warehousing Association chairman said.

“There is need to shorten the turnaround time at the ICD to reduce congestion,” said Wanja Getambu-Kiragu, Transport operations director at the East African Online Transport Agency.

The mounting problems at the ICD have resulted in accusations and counter-accusations among the various stakeholders, with KPA and Kenya Revenue Authority bearing most of the blame for failure to put up seamless processes at the facility and co-ordinate effectively the evacuation of cargo.

Clearing agents have also come under criticism over allegations that some are deliberately slowing cargo clearance after they were forced to open offices in Nairobi. Previously, the majority of the agents operated from Mombasa.

Additional reporting by Julius Barigaba

Namibia:City Promises to Repair All Potholes

By Jeremiah Ndjoze

Windhoek — The City of Windhoek yesterday, rubbished claims that its inability to fix its potholed road surface is due to budgetary constraints and fingered the implementation of the new Procurement Act as the cause of the delay.

Ordinarily, the City of Windhoek would have embarked on the repair of the roads by the end of the rainy season, around March – April. This year however, work on the road surface embarked somewhat later due to an unintended delay in the procurement process and thus could not appoint the Unit Rate Contractors.

Also, materials, such as prefix which is said to be durable were not readily available, revealed the City’s External Communications Officer, Lydia Amutenya.

“The tendered rate to repair a pothole is N$294.63. To repair an estimated 3000 potholes, will cost the City around N$883, 890. The budget for surface repairs for the 2017/18 financial year is

N$26,350,000 of which

N$11, 152, 470 was used. Thus, no shortage of funds exist to repair potholes,” she said.

According to Amutenya, it is the aforementioned delay, which caused the City’s roads and storm water maintenance teams to fall behind in pothole repairs, as only two teams were used to repair potholes for both the Southern and Northern suburbs.

She further revealed that potholes were temporarily repaired with soilcrete – which is a combination of cement and other natural material – when prefix is not available.

“The potholes repaired in the past one and a half months were 942 in the Southern suburbs, with an average of 23 potholes repaired per day and 753 potholes in the Northern suburbs, with an average of 21.5 potholes repaired per day,” Amutenya revealed.

In an apparent attempt to rectify the matter, the City carried out an investigation from the 8th to the 10 of this month to determine the number of potholes on the roads, and established that there are approximately 2823 potholes in the northern suburbs of Windhoek. “The unit rate contractors that expired during October 2017 were reinstated as an emergency measure on the June 11, 2017. The contractors are; Otjomuise Construction, which is responsible for the southern part and Indigenous Construction for the northern part,” she said, adding this will enable the city’s roads and storm water maintenance to add four teams for pothole repairs in the northern suburbs.

“If an average of 20 potholes can be repaired per day, per team, 100 potholes can be repaired per week per team. With 5 teams repairing potholes, all potholes can be repaired in 6 weeks, thus we expect all potholes to be fixed by end of July 2018,” Amutenya maintained.

Namibia

Private Chinese Meeting Haunts Geingob

President Hage Geingob has said he met the head of the Chinese company that had an aborted partnership with the Roads… Read more »

Uganda:Standard Gauge Railway Should Have Been Completed Yesterday

opinionBy Naggaga G William

At the beginning of the 20th Century the British constructed the Uganda Railway to open up the East African hinterland for Britain’s exploitation of its resources. It was called the Uganda Railways because it was to link up with the ancient kingdoms in the Great Lakes region, especially Buganda Kingdom, which had welcomed the British ‘with open arms’.

With hinterland secured and the coast clearly under their control, the British were now poised to exploit the wealth of the land, under the guise of “civilising the natives and spreading the word of God”. (Apologies to the true missionaries).

The construction of this railway, through a land infested with wild animals and hostile natives, was done by Indian labourers from another of Britain’s dominions, the Indian sub -continent.

These hardworking Indians stayed on and were joined by their kinsmen, creating the most prosperous community in the region, especially in the areas of commerce and industry.

The railway they built created the much needed link with the outside world; ferrying raw materials to the coast for export to UK industries and for import of British goods into Kenya and Uganda.

Tanganyika was still under Germany. The British took a gamble and it paid off as much needed exports of coffee, cotton, copper, tea and other agricultural products were sent to Britain at prices dictated by the British.

It has been long overdue for this dilapidated narrow gauge railway whose locomotives are no longer in production, to be expired and replaced with the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR). SGR was not a choice, but a must if East Africa has to truly move to the 21st Century and prepare itself for the much hyped middle income status. SGR is modern, faster, sleeker ad cheaper.

Those who are still nostalgic about the old ‘iron snake line’ as it was nicknamed by our grandparents, we are sorry times have changed.

We actually needed the SGR many years ago when the old railway gave way to road truckers, which have destroyed our fragile road system while hiking the cost of transportation of goods from the coast.

I read recently in the East African that Tanzania has already started construction of the SGR in two phases from Dar es Salaam to Morogoro, covering 330kms and from Morogoro to Dodoma covering 426km, using locally sourced funds to the tune of $3 billion. This is a phenomenal achievement for President John Magufuri, the “new kid on the bloc” in the region and goes to prove that you don’t have to be around for a long time before getting things done.

Kenya using Chinese funding, has also done the Mombasa to Nairobi leg of the SGR and it is up and running. It is set to start on the Nairobi to the Uganda border in Malaba as soon as it gets confirmation of the readiness of Uganda to continue the journey to Kampala. Uganda is ‘committed’ and will soon borrow money from China to undertake the task.

Without the link up to Kampala and later Kigali, the Nairobi- Malaba leg would be uneconomic and will also impact on Mombasa to Nairobi since transit traffic to Uganda, Rwanda and DRC are essential for the entire Northern corridor project.

With Rwanda already in the process of co-financing with Tanzania the funding of a portion on the Dar es Salaam-Kigali SGR, there may be a delay in linking up Kigali on the Northern Corridor line, although Rwanda and DRC need both routes.

There is so much economic potential in the region if all countries could get their act together and both the Northern and Southern Corridors will, in the long-run, be economically viable.

Unfortunately, Uganda so far has not moved at a pace one expected of a country whose leaders have been the vanguard of the rhetoric on “need of East African economic and political integration.” Sourcing for funds for the SGR should have been done at least two years ago for the country to be in tandem with other partner states.

Mr Naggaga is an economist, administrator and retired ambassador.

Nigeria:Nigerian Airlines Sold Tickets Worth N505.2bn in 2017 – NCAA

By Lawani Mikairu

Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, said, Thursday, that domestic and international airlines operating in Nigeria sold tickets worth N505.2 billion in 2017.

The regulatory agency also said it applied 90 sanctions on pilots, cabin crew, aircraft engineers, and four approved maintenance organisations for violations of civil aviation safety regulations between October 2014 and December 2017.

Director-General of NCAA, Capt. Muhtar Usman, made the disclosure at the Quarterly Business Breakfast meeting of the Aviation Round Table, ART, in Lagos.

Usman, who was represented by Capt. Adamu Abdullahi, Director, Consumer Complaints Directorate, NCAA, said the ticket sales increased by 14.2 per cent (N82.7 billion) compared to the N422.4 billion sold in 2016.

According to him, the eight domestic airlines sold N93.6 billion worth of tickets, while the 32 airlines on the international routes sold tickets worth N411.6 billion during the period under review.

He said the amount realised from the sale of tickets could have been higher if not for the closure of Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja for six weeks to enable the government rehabilitate its runway.

He said: “A stable forex regime, effective implementation of Executive Order on Ease of Doing Business as well as the resumption of flight activities to the Maiduguri Airport, earlier closed due to insecurity, contributed to the increase.”

The director-general said that an average of 25,528 passengers presently pass through the 21 airports in the country daily in 305 flights.

On sanctions, he said that NCAA had enforced 90 from 2014, till date, adding that the regulatory agency would continue to ensure the safety of the Nigerian airspace which had recorded its third consecutive year of zero accident.

Also, the Managing Director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Mr Saleh Dunoma, said the Airports Council International had certified Lagos and Abuja airports worthy for maximum operations.

Dunoma, who was represented by Mr Elikwe Agbi, the General Manager, Safety Services, FAAN, said the agency was already working with the Council to certify the Kano and Port Harcourt airports.

“We have started the process of certifying these airports following the success we recorded in Lagos and Abuja. Enugu and Kaduna airports will follow subsequently.”

Earlier, the President of ART, Mr Gbenga Olowo, said there was the need for aviation agencies to set up Key Performance Index (KPI) to measure their achievements from time to time.

Olowo said that the group would continue to ensure the advancement of the industry by consistently promoting safety and professionalism through effective working relationship with government and other stakeholders.

Meanwhile, Captain Muktar Usman said 15 pilots, five cabin crew, four aircraft engineers, five airlines, and a private security outfit were sanctioned between 2014 and 2017., adding that anything that would undermine the safety and security of the industry would not be tolerated by the regulatory authority.

According to him, with robust regulation, regime of sanctions, proper scrutiny of application of the Air Operators certificates, AOC, well trained aviation inspectors the industry has recorded a decline in accidents and incidents.

There is no going back in the enforcement of the regulation to consolidate on the safety record so far achieved in the past four years,” he said.

Usman further said the accident free years had been due to development of global strategies for safety in air transportation, maintenance of standards and recommended practices, SARPS, monitoring of safety trends and indicators, implementation of targeted safety programmes, safety information sharing etc.

On the state of the industry, he said: “There have also been lower insurance premium, more applications for air operators certificate, renewed confidence in air travel and opening up of new routes by Nigerian airlines in the region and outside the continent. In the area of professionalism, there had been an increase in the number of pilots licensed, air traffic controllers, cabin crew and a reduction in the number of expatriate pilots.”

Nigeria:Airlines Denounce Human Trafficking, Set New Control Measures

By Wole Oyebade

The recent rise in cases of human trafficking via air travel has jolted airlines to denounce the nefarious activity and set new control measures.

The airlines, under the aegis of International Air Transport Association (IATA), unanimously committed to a number of actions related to anti-trafficking initiatives and rallied stakeholders to effective cooperation.

At least two foiled cases of alleged trafficking in persons were reported in Nigeria in the last one week.

The first was a three-month-old baby allegedly trafficked to Accra, Ghana, aboard Air Peace airlines, until crew of the airline suspected and alerted the authorities.

The second was the foiled attempt to traffic nine under-aged children to Russia from the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos. Both cases are still under investigation in Ghana and Nigeria, in that order.

IATA disclosed that an estimated 24.9 million people are illegally trafficked and live in conditions of modern slavery.

The extensive reach of the global air transport network means that unfortunately, airlines are used by traffickers to facilitate their activities.

IATA’s Director General and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Alexandre de Juniac, reiterated that aviation is the business of freedom, flying four billion people to every corner of the earth last year alone.

“Some, however, try to use our networks nefariously. Trafficking in people creates misery for millions, and funds criminal gangs and terrorism.

As a responsible industry, our members are determined to help authorities stamp out human trafficking,” de Juniac said.

The resolution of the airlines highlights several areas key to fighting human trafficking. It includes observance of best practices, training and control agencies promptly alerting the airlines of suspects.

Specifically, the resolution calls for sharing of best practices among airlines.

Many airlines are already active in the fight against human trafficking.

Many of the best practices they have developed now appear in the IATA Human Trafficking Guidelines, designed to assist airlines to take the right response to this challenge.

The resolution also commits airlines to train relevant operational staff with the objective of identifying potential trafficking situations and taking appropriate action that does not compromise the safety of the victim.

The resolution also calls on government authorities to establish clear, practical and discreet mechanisms for the reporting of potential trafficking activity in the air transport system.

Human traffickers operate in plain sight and can only be stopped with the full cooperation of all parts of the value chain, especially airport operators, ground handling agents and other air transport system stakeholders.

An Academy Award-winning actress and Goodwill Ambassador for the UN Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Mira Sorvino, commended IATA for working with UNODC to raise awareness and provide tools and guidance to help airlines get involved in anti-trafficking initiatives.

Sorvino added: “Your ‘eyes open’ campaign has really helped to bring this issue up the agenda. And many congratulations to all of those individual airlines that are already working on this issue.

No one is expecting the aviation industry to take over the role of law enforcement.

But you and your staff can become additional boots on the ground to support them in the fight against this horrific crime,” she said.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Police has denied that one of its officers, Inspector Matthew Esan, was complicit in the foiled child trafficking attempt at MMIA.

The MMIA Police Command, confirmed that Esan, who was among five suspects arrested on Sunday, has been vindicated and freed.

Officials of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) on Sunday rescued nine young girls and a boy, who were being trafficked to Russia.

Spokesperson for the police command, DSP Joseph Alabi, however, denied the involvement of the arrested officer.

Alabi told reporters that Esan’s arrest was carried out in error by operatives of the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons.

Alabi said investigations by the command showed that the officer was arrested by overzealous NAPTIP operatives, while carrying out his legitimate duties at the airport terminal.

Nigeria:Eid – Passengers Struggle for Tickets At Abuja Airport

Many passengers on Thursday struggled for flight tickets at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, to travel for the Eid el-Fitr celebration as few domestic airlines were currently operating optimally.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that there was traffic upsurge at the domestic terminal of the airport on Thursday morning, especially at Terminal D, where Air Peace operates from.

Some of passengers were seen struggling to secure seats to Lagos, Kano and Port Harcourt, which according to them, were not available.

William Audu told NAN that he could not get available seat through online booking; so he decided to go to the airport to see if he could secure any available seat on any flight.

Mr Audu, a Lagos bound passenger, told NAN that First Nation and Medview airlines were not operating.

He said that some airline officials promised to help him secure a seat at a high cost but he declined to disclose the amount.

An airport official who pleaded anonymity, told NAN that only Air Peace currently had full flight schedule with the highest number of flights as well as aircraft.

According to him, First Nation has not scheduled any flight for close to two months while Medview’s last flight operation was on June 8.

The official further said that other domestic airlines such as Azman, Aero, Arik and Dana were also operating with fewer aircraft, adding that some of their aircraft were on maintenance check.

Azman, he said, was currently operating with only two of its four-fleet two aircraft on Abuja, Lagos and Kano routes as one was deployed for Hajj operation while the fourth is on routine maintenance check.

He said it was difficult for Lagos-bound passengers to get seats since Medview and First Nation were not operating.

Christian Iwarah, Communications Manager for Air Peace, said that the airline was currently operating with 24 aircraft.

Mr Iwarah said that no airline could operate with all its aircraft at the same time since it was standard procedure to always carry out maintenance check on them.

“There is no airline that will have all its aircraft flying at the same time because you have a time for maintenance and when an aircraft is on maintenance, it cannot be in operation.

“Aircraft are scheduled for maintenance and when the time comes, you have to take them.

“All our aircraft are not flying but we have 24 aircraft that we are flying at the moment and we are operating optimally,” he said.

Nigeria

New Think Tank Appointment for Johnson Sirleaf

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Ghana:Railways Discusses Future of the Sector With Investors

The future of Ghana Railway Company Limited under the Ministry of Railway Development is on a positive move with the coming on board of a South African Company, Transnet International Holdings to invest in the sector.

Over the period, many discussions and meetings, aimed at restoring the almost defunct railway sector, under the Akufo-Addo led administration, may bear fruit as the government is committed to the development of the sector.

President Akufo-Addo has described the Railway sector as one of the post-colonial tragedy to ever befall the nation and has vouched to improve on the current narrow gauges to standard ones as well as add to the 947 kilometers left by the colonial masters.

The reciprocal visit by Transnet International holdings, managers of over 30,000 km rail lines and tracks in South Africa to Ghana follows an earlier visit by a delegation led by Ghana’s Minister of Railway, Joe Ghartey to South Africa to sign a memorandum of understanding with the company to come on board and help develop the sector.

During an interaction with the team from South Africa, led by Mr Wilson Moaoba, Mr Joe Ghartey said it was the resilience of the railway workers that kept the sector active, despite the numerous challenges, “We are yet to add more lines to the already existing ones and once this is done, the beginning of our economic liberation also starts”.

Mr Ghartey said government would rehabilitate existing lines, build new ones and expand the scope of operations of Ghana Railways, adding that, “With your coming, our dream of building some 300 km lines to Kumasi by 2020 is possible”.

He said the visit to South Africa revealed how the rail sector was making significant impact in the daily affairs of the people, adding that, the sector would be fully revitalized with the best of equipment to deliver a world railway service as a measure to restore the past glory of Ghana Railway.

Mr Wilson Moaoba said their visit was to seek a better understanding of how Ghana’s Railway sector was working and what support services to be provided for its recovery.

He said his company was well structured and had the funds as well as the technical capacities to resuscitate the railway sector, create employment and improve economic livelihoods of Ghanaians.

Transnet International Holdings would be entering into this partnership through its local partners, Adasa Keteke Company Limited to operate, and manage the railway sector in Ghana.

GNA

Ghana

Ghana Appoints Abedi Pele to Help Run Football After Bribery Scandal

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Nigeria:Turning Trains to Moving Billboards

With the gradual revamp of the rail transportation system in Nigeria, advertisers are beginning to see the platform as another viable way to reach their target audience. Raheem Akingbolu reports

Though with humble beginning traced to 1928, when UAC established what is today known as Lintas, to provide marketing services to the activities of the colonial masters, advertising in Nigeria has since evolved and given birth to various platforms. In the early years, the only viable platform was the outdoor, followed by print and television commercials. Few years ago, bus branding crept in and got instant acceptability. With the revolution of the digital media, the out-of-home sub sector blossomed with many agencies introducing digital platforms and LCD, which has today become a major innovative platform for brands that want to remain relevant.

However, between 2011 and 2015, the regime of former President Goodluck Jonathan began to invest in rail system as a solution to perennial transportation challenges facing the country.

Also, on assumption of office, President Muhammadu Buhari, started from where his predecessor ended it and completed the first phase of the project.

Today, Abuja-Kaduna and Lagos-Ibadan have been opened up for services, while the rail system within Lagos metropolis and Lagos -Abuja-Kano routes have been rejuvenated.

Opportunities for Nigeria advertisers

With this development, Nigerian out-of-home advertising community has woken up to the need to key into the new regime and create a credible alternative to brand owners and businesses. At the moment, a Digital & Transit Media company – TranXeon, based in Lagos is in the forefront of the new advertising revolution. The agency is not only exploring the opportunities in Train Branding Advertising Services, it is also making a clarion call to business owners to embrace the platform.

In an interview with THISDAY, the Chief Operations Officer at TranXeon, Ayo Egunjobi, called on advertisers to take a cue from what is obtainable in India, Britain and other advanced countries where Metro Train Advertising Service has become a platform to beat. Among other services, he said his company offers exterior branding services, mobile vans advertisement services, metro Train Advertising service and much more.

“Train station advertising opportunities exist across many stations across the world. Due to the incredibly high dwell time, rail advertising delivers high engagement, and high impact advertising to a more receptive a captive commuter audience.

“From complete station domination, through to the rail platform advertising, train internals and train externals, whether is it static or digital billboard advertising rail offers excellent advertising Return on Investment,” he said.

Speaking further, he explained that complete train wraps are a brand-new offering that would soon be introduced by the company as it allows advertisers to connect with a huge audience of work, school and recreational commuters.

“Exterior advertising formats help brands break through the bustling platform crowds. For instance, train is the most important transport in India and the world.

“In Nigeria, we position our company to be instrumental in offering Railway Advertising that are high communicating and engulfs a large audience. We provide creative ideas and concepts, which communicates different sections of people in the society.”

The offering

According to Egunjobi, the company has begun Train and Coach domination on the Nigeria Railway Corporation Lines on Lagos and Abuja route.

He said: “In Lagos, train moves from Ijoko-Itoki-AgbadoIju-Agege-Ikeja-Shogunle-Oshodi-MushinYaba-Ebute Metta-Iddo-Apapa.

“Within the hours that the train functioned, not less than 300,000 commuters viewed the adverts as the train route is just beside the Oshodi- Abeokuta expressway and some parts of Ikorodu road.”

Speaking further, he pointed out that rail lines in Lagos is used by 22,000 commuters daily; and the intension is to park the train at either Oshodi or Ikeja stations at least once a week, adding that Oshodi boasts of one million commuters passing through daily, while Ikeja boasts of not less than 500,000 commuters daily.

Point of Sale Activation

He also stated that where the trains are parked on the stations, there is the opportunity to do a product activation, engagement, familiarisation and interaction with commuters.

In his opinion, such a campaign can be backed with a free BP checkup which can be covered by the print and audio visual press to give more credence to the Neimeth brand.

In addition to the domination of the train, he explained that product jingles will be played through the journey on the trains thereby endearing the commuters to the brands.

Egunjobi also stated that the external display area carrying the adverts is 55m2 (22m X 2.5m) on each side; which brings it to a total of 110m2.

“The size of the display area can be compared to that of a standard 120m2 Unipole. The bold nature of the full branding will not go unnoticed and this in its self is a lot of value for the brand. “It will interest Nigerians to learn that commuters, who are avoiding the Abuja-Kaduna road and have now opted for the trains due to the increased insecurity (kidnapping & robbery) along the road.

“As I speak, ministers, senators, and the general public now prefer to use the trains. There are now 2 Trains (with a total of 11 Coaches) that make 4 trips each, daily from Abuja-Kaduna.

Eye on Advert

Meanwhile, the advertising practitioner has claimed that on daily basis, not less than 7,744 commuters use the rails and a total of about 50,000 commuters use the lines weekly. He further disclosed that as the train traverses through Abuja, some parts of Niger State and Kaduna, it is estimated that not less than another 100, 00 onlookers view the trains daily.

“It is also worthy of note that the number of commuters using the trains have tripled between November 2017 and February 2018. This is one of the fastest growing transport mediums in the country today.”

Point of Sale Engagement

Another opportunity he identified was that the intercity trip takes approximately 2.5hrs and as such the seating arrangement is like that of an air plane.

During the trip, he added that commuters have the opportunity to be well educated and engaged about the brands they will want to expose to and immediate feedback can be collated to improve on the brands where necessary.

“On these trains, in addition to the walls and partitioning being branded, the seat covers are also to be branded thereby increasing brands’ exposure. In addition to the domination of the train, product jingles will be played through the journey on the trains endearing the commuters to the brands. The external display area carrying the adverts is 55m2 (22m X 2.5m) on each side; which brings it to a total of 110m2. The size of the display area by all means can be compared to that of a standard 120m2 Unipole. The bold nature of the full branding will not go unnoticed and this in its self is a lot of Value for the brand,” he added.

With this development, Egunjobi believes that Nigerian business community will find the platform endearing and enable them to further position their businesses.

Tanzania:TCAA Boss Appointed Africa Aviation Chairperson

DIRECTOR General of Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority (TCAA), Mr Hamza Johari has been confirmed as Chairman of the Civil Air Navigation Services Organisation (CANSO) – Africa Region for a period of three years.

The confirmation of Mr Johari comes after he was appointed to that position in March, this year, at a meeting of the organisation held in Madrid, Spain.

CANSO is the global organisation responsible for Air Traffic Management and it came to the decision to confirm Mr Johari during its 22nd Annual General Meeting held in Bangkok, Thailand on June 12. As the CANSO Chairman for Africa, he automatically becomes a member of the CANSO Executive Committee (EXCOM), the governing organ of the international organisation.

Mr Teri Bristol, Chief Operating Officer of the United States Federal Aviation Administration continues to be the CANSO global Chairperson.

The Vice-Chairman is Rudy Keller from Canada. Other members are Martin Rolfe -England, Klaus Dieter Scheurle – Germany, Mark Cooper- England and Augustin Rodrigues Grellet – Agentina.

The list also includes Jan Klas – Czech Republic, Don Thoma – USA, Dr Saleh Al Ghamdi – Saudi Arabia, Kevin Shum – Singapore and Captain Gilbert Kibe – Kenya.

The executive committee meets four times a year to spearhead the strategic direction of air traffic management and other policy issues to ensure safe and efficient global air transport.

The management of CANSO is headed by its Director General, Mr Jeff Poole, who works with other staff of the Secretariat to ensure EXCOM directives and strategies are implemented. CANSO has five regions namely: Africa, Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America and Caribbean in addition to the Middle East.

It has offices in Johannesburg, Singapore, Brussels, Mexico City and Amman. Each region has a CANSO Region Director. In addition, the CANSO Director ICAO Affairs is based in Montreal.

The Africa Region was established in 2012. Its vision is to achieve safe, seamless and harmonised airspace across the continent.

Its goal in Africa is to help air navigation service providers (ANSPs) provide services that are universally safe; technically interoperable; procedurally harmonised; efficient; and affordable.

“Africa poses many challenges for air traffic management (ATM) industry and there is wide variation among CANSO Members with regard to levels of traffic density; traffic complexity; and ATM infrastructure,” the organisation notes on its website.

CANSO helps its members by providing a platform of collaboration across Africa and by sharing information, best practice and standards of excellence.

Tanzania

It’s a ‘Tanzania First’ Budget

Finance and Planning minister Phillip Mpango yesterday proposed a raft of reforms aimed at the boosting industrial… Read more »

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