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Vanguard,wENESDAY, JANUARYZ6; 2011 ....... 19

Business Airline operators insists on increase in air fare FAVOUR NNABUGWU irline operators of Nigeria (AON) have said that there is no A going back on airfare increase unless

Mr Godwin Emefiele ,Group Managing Director. Zenith Bank PIc, in handshake with Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola (SAN) durimg a donation to Lagos Government in support of the State's security fund

.... _ --Cocoa soars on Ivorian ..

export ban, Cargill complies coa prices surged to near its highest price in 30 years as U.S. trader Cargill complied with demands for an export ban from top producer Ivory Coast by Alassane Ouattara, who aims to stop cash reaching his presidential rival. In a signal the market was taking Ouattara's calf sejiously, agribusiness giant Cargill, which1ypicalfy buys about 15 per cent of Ivory Coast's cocoa crop, has told its unit there to suspend purchases, a senior company official in Abidjan said on Monday. Dealers said the international market was confused

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over the potential impact of Sunday's internationalfy call by Ouattara recognised as the victor of a November 28 election - given that incumbent Laurent Gbagbo controls the supply routes to ports. Ouattara, who is in a hotel guarded by U.N. troops, said anyone contravening the ban would be subject to sanctions. But his power to enforce them was in question as Gbagbo, who has appointed an administration and rejected pressure to step down, was likely to do everything possible to facilitate exports to generate cash to pay the military and state workers. Buyers swooped on the commodity as a precaution. "The larger players are taking . measures to secure themselves. People have bought cocoa and cocoa products to mitigate their risks," a big European cocoa trader said. "Everybody is in J.be dark," the trader added. ICE May cocil1l jumped 3.1 percent or $97 to $3,270 per tonne by 1340 GMT, having earlier touched a one-year peak of $3,340 per tonne. ICE second-month cocoa was within sight of its December 16, 2009, peak of $3,514, the highest level in more than 30 years. lif!e

May cocoa was up 41 pOtmds or 1.9 percent to 2,155 pounds per tonne, having earlier touched a six-month high of 2,269 pounds per tonne. AEuropean Union embargo on Ivory Coast cocoa trade is unlikely for now because of the potential cost to the country's population, a spokeswoman for the EU's foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton said on Monday. "A trade embargo is an option, but unlikely because of the potential impact. It's not an immediate option," Maja Kodjancic told a regular news briefing. Dealers said that if exporters respect Oualtara's call for an export ban. there will be less availability of cocoa on the international market, which could send cocoa prices rocketing. "If it's enforced prices of cocoa will go through the rooL" Gary Mead, analyst with the VM Group in london, said of Duattara's call. "If he's serious, if they can enforce such a trade embargo, the disruption would be huge." A European commodity hedge fund manager argued that cocoa was so crucial to victory in the struggle over the presidency that stopping the exports would be a priority.

NRC Mass Transit Train moved 1.4 mn pa.......,. In 2010 The Nigerian Railway Corporation .1 (NRC) Mass Transit Train Service moved more than 1.4 million passengers in 2010 as against 1.09 million in 2009 and 1.8 million in 2008. The Lagos District Superintendent of the NRC (OS), Mr Samuel Elumole, gave the figures in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday. Elumole

attributed the increase in 2008 to the nationwide fuel crisis and the rehabilitation of the 3,d Mainland Bridge in Lagos which forced many people to use the train service. He said 609 passengers were also moved by the Lagos-Kano express train between June and November 2008, before the service was stopped due to a washout at Akere.

the authorities concerned and oil markets are ready to maintain stability in the prices of aviation fuel Captain Mohammed Joji, AON Secretary-General at a meetiqg with Consumer Protection Council (CPC) over the recent increase in air fare at the council's office in Abuja submitted that the statues quo could only be maintained if aviation fuel goes back to normalcy. Joji said it would take the mtervention of the Federal Government, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC); Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), Pipeline and Petroleum Marketing Company (PPMC) and other stakeholders including the oil marketers to bring the price down to what it was before the increase. A litre of aviation fuel, also known as Jet A1, sells for N 115 in some states before the increase, which jerked it up to N130. There was an increase made in September 2010 when the price was increased by three percent and this month by another 10 per cent while the airlines increase flight fee by 20 per cent. The increase will make an hour flight to now cost a minimum of N 25,000. Joji told the CPC that the council should first address the aviation fuel increase and invite all the stakeholders concerned else they will not reverse the increase. "We are calfing on the Federal Government and Nigerians to intervene before the aviation industry collapses because of this development otherwise there is little or nothing the airline operators can do about the increment" Mrs Ify Umenyin, CPC DirectorGeneral said that the council had to invite airline operators, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and other airport stakeholders for a meeting on the flight fee increase and the unsatisfactory service consumers get from the operators. Umenyin said, "No matter what the situation may be, we do not want air fare to go beyond N 18,0(>0. Already consumers are complaining about the services of the airliners and we do not want to push their endurance any further".

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Vanguard, Wednesday, January 26,2011