ICRC Lauds NPA Management On Success Of PPP Initiatives

The Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala Usman (right); receiving a souvenir from the Leader of the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), The Presidency, Director, Civil Service Transformation Department – Office of the Head of Service of the Federation, Gabriel .T. Aduda, when the Commission visited the Management of the NPA at the Organization’s Corporate Headquarters in Marina, Lagos.
  • As EU bars Med-View airlines from its airspace over safety concerns
  • Fines Facebook €110m over misleading info in WhatsApp takeover 

The Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) has commended the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) Managing Director, Hadiza Bala Usman and her team for the soaring success being recorded in the areas of Public Private Partnerships (PPP) across board.

The ICRC Executive led by the Director, Civil Service Transformation Department, Gabriel .T. Aduda, gave the commendation, during the ICRC visit to Marina, Lagos, noting that the Management’s efforts was observably fueling best practices particularly, the vision for developmental projects.

Aduda highlighted that his Committee was a Federal Government entity set up to assist the growth of Public Private Partnerships (PPP’s); Ministry Departments and Agencies (MDA’s), and reduce the cost of corporate  governance and administration most especially, on the execution of ongoing projects across the nation, as captured in the 2017 budget.

The Government therefore expects it to relate in seamless fashion with its agencies and parastatals so as to come up with strategies capable of enabling perform better, through boosting revenue base at a most relatively cost effective profile.

The MD of the NPA, Hadiza Bala Usman and a cross section of Executives when the ICRC team visited the NPA Management today at the Organization’s Headquarters in Lagos.
2nd from the MD’s left, leader of ICRC team Gabriel .T. Aduda, 2nd from the MD’s right, General Manager, Business Development and Joint Ventures of the NPA, Engr. Tolulope Talabi and 2nd to the last on the MD’s right, Principal Manager, Public Affairs representing the General Manager, Public Affairs, Ibrahim Nasiru.

He commended Hadiza for making a public document of the Authority’s budget through its synergy agreement with Messrs BudgIT, even as he noted the progress on the Ikorodu Lighter Terminal; Kirikiri Lighter Terminal and the success from the Single Window initiatives amongst other projects.

Welcoming her guests, the NPA Boss said her organization was always prepared for such visits, with open arms ready for any emerging collaboration which could culminate in enhanced service delivery and boost to revenue generation.

She solicited the support of the Commission in her quest for a regime of greater infrastructural sufficiency and customer satisfactory operations in the sector and in relations to activities in the sub-region, stressing the need for visitors constructive advice and guidance, in so far as it would enable the Authority perform more creditably.

Members of Management who received the ICRC team on the occasion included the General Manager, Business Development and Joint Venture, Engr. Tolulope Talabi.

In the meantime, the European Commission has barred Nigerian airline, Med-View Airlines, from operating within its airspace over safety reasons.

The airline was one of those under the EU Air Safety List Annex A, which includes all airlines banned from operating in Europe.

A total of 181 airlines were barred from flying into Europe, with 174 airlines barred due to safety oversight by aviation authorities in their home countries.

The EU Air Safety List is a list of non-European airlines that do not meet international safety standards, and are therefore subject to an operating ban or operational restrictions within the European Union.

In the updated version, all air carriers from Benin Republic and Mozambique were removed from the list, while four individual airlines, one each from Nigeria, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Ukraine, and Zimbabwe, were added.

Although Med-View is yet to make an official statement on the development, sources said they are working to resolve the issue and that the United Kingdom authorities would soon visit Nigeria to carry out safety audit on the airline.

In addition, the European Commission on Thursday fined US social media giant Facebook 110 million euros ($120 million) for providing incorrect and misleading information on its takeover of WhatsApp, imposing its biggest penalty linked to a merger.

“Today’s decision sends a clear signal to companies that they must comply with all aspects of EU merger rules, including the obligation to provide correct information,” EU Competition Commissioner Margre the Vestager said in a statement.

“The Commission must be able to take decisions about mergers’ effects on competition in full knowledge of accurate facts,” Vestager said.

Facebook said in response that it cooperated with the Commission.

“We’ve acted in good faith since our very first interactions with the Commission and we’ve sought to provide accurate information at every turn,” a Facebook spokesperson said.

“The errors we made in our 2014 filings were not intentional and the Commission has confirmed that they did not impact the outcome of the merger review. Today’s announcement brings this matter to a close.”

EU regulators cleared the then $19 billion Facebook acquisition of WhatsApp in late 2014, finding no reason to believe it would dampen competition in the burgeoning social media sector.

In its statement Thursday, the Commission recalled that the merger rules require companies to provide regulators with the accurate information essential to any review.

It noted that when Facebook notified the Commission of the acquisition in 2014, the company had said it would “be unable to establish reliable automated matching between Facebook users’ accounts and WhatsApp users’ accounts”.

“However, in August 2016, WhatsApp announced updates to its terms of service and privacy policy, including the possibility of linking WhatsApp users’ phone numbers with Facebook users’ identities,” it said.

After launching a probe last year, the Commission “found that, contrary to Facebook’s statements in the 2014 merger review process, the technical possibility of automatically matching Facebook and WhatsApp users’ identities already existed in 2014, and that Facebook staff were aware of such a possibility.”

The Commission said Thursday’s decision and the fine would have no impact on its October 2014 clearance of the deal.

Commission spokesman Ricardo Cardoso said the fine was less than it would have been because Facebook cooperated.

Cardoso added it was nonetheless the “highest fine ever” imposed by the commission for breaches linked to a merger and would serve as a deterrent to others.

Additional report from Punch