Travel News

Passenger(s) Beware: If MAX AIR Cancels Your Flight, Kiss Your Refund Goodbye - THISDAY

JANUARY 13, 2024

By Eniola Olakunri

I usually set out early for the airport whenever I travel by air. It doesn’t matter which airport I am travelling from in Nigeria, or which country of the world I find myself in. As a rule of thumb, I must be at the airport at least 2 hours before take-off.

I do this for 2 reasons.

1) I really do not relish the idea of running late and having to cope with that near-audible, kinetic and irritating tug in the chest; denoting accelerating apprehension and obvious implication(s) of missing one’s flight.

2) Since I do not own a private jet yet, I cannot afford not to get to the airport on time. You can wait for many hours post set time before your flight finally takes off. It doesn’t matter. The industry is shaped such that you are the one wired to wait for your flight. The flight cannot wait for you….well, except you are a VVIP.

And so on November 30th, I did my usual stuff and arrived at the airport for my flight with more than 2 hours to spare. I did all my check-in processes, and passed in flying colours. All good, I sauntered into the waiting lounge and soon settled on a seat.

Then the wait started. Two hours and three hours went by, no word from the airline. Then, when it was apparent that the passengers were getting exasperated, we were all huddled into a space and told that some birds did kamikaze onto the Pilots’ windshield on landing, hence, the delay. I guess those birds were also tired of the hullabaloo in Nigeria and decided to end everything in a ‘blaze of glory’!

The official went on to say that there was no word from the head office on what steps to take next, and we were urged to wait for further developments.

The seconds morphed into minutes and the minutes, into hours. No sign of any official anymore. By now, I was deflated, and decided to go downstairs to see what was happening at the check-in counter. I was shocked when I was told that the flight had been cancelled. But why weren’t the passengers informed?

The issue turned to what do we, passengers do? Our contract stipulated that we should be airlifted to Abuja. What do we do?

Eventually, we were asked to go fill a form at another point upstairs, which we did. I gave the following on the form given to me:

My name: I stated that.

Booking Reference: AFVRZH

Date of Travel: 30 November, 2023

Time of Travel: 9.25 am

Ticket Amount: Naira 80,000.00

Bank Details: I wrote that too.

And all the other mundane information they sought, I complied. The official told us we should expect our refunds within 5 working days. I asked him what would be the fate of those without means of raising money for another flight, he studiously ignored me and continued writing whatever, on a piece of paper. Eventually, I bought a fresh ticket from another airline and travelled to Abuja the next day.

Fast forward to today January 10, 2024, the airline is yet to honour its word.

I decided to pay a visit to their kiosk of an office (another disgrace…these folks are not brand sensitive at all), situated on the passage of Murjantu House at 10, Zambezi Crescent, Maitama, Abuja, two and a half weeks ago, to find out why my account hadn’t been credited. The lone figure there, a personable lady (the best thing that ever happened to MAX AIR as far as I was concerned), was empathetic. She made me repeat all the processes I did in Lagos all over again. Still no refund.

I recall a gentleman that was billed to travel that day with his family and caught in the same MAX AIR cancellation-bind with me, spoke about how he had paid over 1.2 Million Naira as fares for himself and family, as they intended to attend a wedding in Abuja. He wore a mournful look throughout, and said he didn’t have anything near that kind of amount again, to procure fresh tickets. Other passengers were crying foul. But the ears of the staff, who wore bored and defiant looks, were deaf to those cries, probably because the art and act of disappointing passengers occur regularly, and therefore, was no big deal any more.

The subtle messages Nigerian Airlines are sending to customers is simple: it behoves on them (passengers) to make sure they have extra money to procure new tickets in case their intended flight did not happen. They don’t care if the intending passenger doesn’t have the means of procuring a new ticket or funding transportation back to where he or she came from.

For most air travellers in Nigeria, they are, at the moment, one with the words of Judith Martin, an American Columnist, Author and Etiquette Coach (September 13, 1938 – Present): “Honesty has come to mean the privilege of insulting you to your face without expecting redress”.

Of course, MAX AIR is striding on and lately got the largest chunk of contracts handed out to specific airlinesto airlift passengers for the next Hajj in Saudi Arabia. The airline believes it can get away with anything and there’s nothing in place to discourage it from continuing such impunity.

It is instructive to note that not only MAX AIR, but a good number of airlines indulge in this underhand practices of treating customers with levity and even contempt.

And so, the beat goes on…!

*Eniola Olakunri, a public sector analyst and media consultant, writes from Abuja Email: [email protected]

Air Peace Expands Regional Network, Opens New Routes - THISDAY

JANUARY 13, 2024

By Chinedu Eze

Nigeria’s leading airline, Air Peace, has announced that it will launch flight connectivity from its Lagos hub to Cotonou in Benin Republic and Abidjan in Ivory Coast on January 22, 2024, bringing to 10 its regional destinations in less than a decade of commencing scheduled flight operations.

A statement by the airline’s Spokesperson, Stanley Olisa, disclosed that the new routes were further confirmation of the airline’s unyielding drive to connect the whole of Africa and facilitate economic prosperity on the continent.

According to Olisa, in addition to these new routes opening soon, Air Peace is also introducing new connections such as Abidjan-Dakar, Cotonou-Dakar and Abidjan-Cotonou.

He stated that the route schedules are now live on the airline’s website- www.flyairpeace.com- and its mobile app, and customers can start booking to take advantage of the unbeatable launch fares.

Air Peace leads Nigeria’s aviation industry with a current network of 21 domestic routes, eight regional and six international destinations, with an increasing modern fleet of over 30 aircraft, including five brand new Embraer 195-E2s and a latest firm order for five brand new Embraer 175s.

Ethiopian Cargo Adds Casablanca as 35th Destination - THISDAY

JANUARY 13, 2024

Ethiopian Cargo and Logistics Services, Africa’s largest air cargo network operator, commenced a freighter service to Casablanca, Morocco, January 09, 2024, marking 35 in its number of freighter destinations served in Africa.

Ethiopian Airlines Group CEO Mr. Mesfin Tasew said: “We are excited to announce the launch of the freighter services to Casablanca, Morocco. The new service opens a new chapter as it is our maiden venture into the Maghreb region as part of our global freighter network. This addition increases our total African freighter destinations to 35 and boosts our commitment to delivering reliable and efficient services.

As the largest cargo network operator in Africa and a key air cargo service provider globally, Ethiopian Airlines said it would continue expanding its services around the world by opening new routes to facilitate global trade and the flow of goods. Our freighter service to Casablanca is operated using the modern Boeing 777-200F cargo aircraft with payload capacity of more than 100 tons.”

Ethiopian Cargo and Logistics Services, one of the major strategic business units within the Ethiopian Airlines Group, currently covers more than 135 international destinations around the world with both belly-hold capacity and 68 dedicated freighter services, deploying more than 145 airplanes, including 17 dedicated freighter aircraft, showcasing its operations connecting five continents, and highlighting its role as a business and investment enabler. It runs a modern warehouse facility that has 1.15 million tons of storage capacity and just completed the construction of an ultramodern e-commerce warehouse with a capacity of 150,000 tons, which is dedicated to mail, couriers, and e-commerce goods.

International Travel Fares Skyrocket Despite FG’s Intervention to Defray Trapped Airline Funds -- THISDAY

JANUARY 13, 2024

BY  Chinedu Eze

Despite the recent payment of  $61 million (N66 billion) to foreign airlines by the federal government as part of their revenue trapped in Nigeria, international carriers still charge Nigerians outrageous fares for international travels, THISDAY can report.   

Before the federal government paid the $61 million, trapped funds in Nigeria had risen to about $800 million.

According to aviation experts, the effort is an indication that the Nigerian government has not taken the payment of the trapped funds as priority.

The experts are of the view that Nigeria could offset the debts within a short period if it really wants to.

Speaking on behalf of travel agencies in the country, the President, National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies (NANTA), Mrs. Susan Akporiaye, said the $61 million paid to airlines would not make any impact because it is less than 10 per cent of the trapped fund.

“Such meager payment will not make the airlines to introduce their lower inventories that would have brought down the cost of international fares,” Akporiaye said.

She explained that even if the airlines introduced their lower inventories, airfares would still be high due to the exchange rate and the low value of the naira, decrying that the Nigerian currency has so depreciated that any expenses involving foreign exchange will obviously be high.

“We have to look at it holistically. Our trapped funds were over $800 million and what they have gotten is $61 million, which is not up to 10 per cent and that is probably why nothing has changed. If they had at least gotten up to 50 per cent of their trapped funds, maybe there would have been a considerable change, but so far, nothing much has changed.

“But then again, there are two things involved when it comes to the issue of the price of tickets: The inventory sales when the tickets are not available for sale and the issue of foreign exchange. Even when all the airlines release their inventory, it is still not going to be cheap. For instance, Turkish airline has released all the classes of their tickets but it is still not cheap because a $500 ticket is over N600, 000, unlike before when a $500 ticket was N250,  $1,000 ticket cost between N500, 000 to N600, 000. But now, the same ticket is about N1.1 million,” she said.

She also decried the fact airlines use the ‘I and E’ window like other organisations that need foreign exchange.

This, she suggested, is a breach of part of the Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA) between Nigeria and airlines’ as host country.

 Under BASA, she said Nigeria is obliged to remit airlines revenue in foreign currency at official exchange rate.

She also insisted that even if the federal government pays 50 per cent of the trapped funds it would not still influence the price of ticket significantly until the naira begins to gain value against international currencies.

She acknowledged that if the trapped funds were paid off, airfares would definitely come down.

“Even if the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) pays the airlines 50 per cent of the trapped funds and all the airlines release their lower inventories, let us not celebrate too much because it will still not be as cheap as people expect it to be because of the exchange rate. Before, Turkish Airline was selling only the highest economy ticket, which was between N2.7 and N3.5 million depending on the destination, but now, because they have released all their inventories, you can now get a ticket at N1.2 million. You can also get at N900, 000 and N850, 000. When people talk about cheap tickets, they are probably looking at last year’s rate when you could get tickets at N500, 000 or N600, 000 but you can’t get any ticket at that amount again, the cheapest you can get is N800, 000,” she further said.

The International Air Transport Association (IATA) is irked that Nigeria is holding the highest amount of the trapped revenues of foreign airlines and at different fora had insisted that Nigeria has not seen the payment of the funds as a priority because the country could robustly summon enough funds to remit all the trapped funds to the airlines.

Foreign students: UK varsities may fall into deficit, says report - PUNCH

JANUARY 13, 2024

By Adekunle Sulaimon

Many universities in the United Kingdom are at risk of falling into financial deficit due to the astronomical decline in international students after Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s ban on bringing dependants into the country.

The PUNCH reports that the Home Office of the United Kingdom announced that it had commenced the implementation of its policy banning Nigerian students and other overseas students from bringing in dependants via the study visa route.

In a post on X (formerly Twitter), the Home Office reiterated that only those on postgraduate research or government-sponsored scholarship students will be exempted from the development.

“We are fully committed to seeing a decisive cut in migration. From today, new overseas students will no longer be able to bring family members to the UK. Postgraduate research or government-funded scholarships students will be exempt,” the Home Office said.

Meanwhile, Financial Times on Friday reported the chief executive of Universities UK, Vivienne Stern, who represents more than 140 universities, said the sector was facing the prospect of a “serious overcorrection” thanks to immigration policies that deterred international students from coming to study in Britain.

“If they want to cool things down, that’s one thing, but it seems to me that through a combination of rhetoric, which is off-putting, and policy changes . . .[they have] really turned a whole bunch of people off that would otherwise have come to the UK,” Stern told the Financial Times.

Stern’s plea came as it emerged that some top universities, including York, which is a member of the elite Russell Group, were being forced to soften their entry requirements in order to maintain numbers of overseas students.

“The government needs to be very careful: we could end up with, from a policy point of view, what I would consider a serious overcorrection,” she added.

With the £9,250 domestic tuition fee effectively frozen for the past decade, UK universities have increasingly relied on non-EU students to make ends meet, with fees from non-EU students now accounting for nearly 20 per cent of sector income.

Universities are warning privately that numbers have softened sharply this year following a series of hostile policy moves by the government, with indications that enrolments may have fallen by more than a third from key countries, including Nigeria and India.

One senior university insider told the FT that the sector as a whole had been “spooked” by data that showed the number of international students taking up places in January 2024 was “way below the bottom end of projections for everyone”.

In January, Sunak highlighted changes in government policy to stop international graduate students from bringing family members to the UK, adding the policy was “delivering for the British people.”

The government also announced in December that it was reviewing the so-called “graduate route” enabling international students to work in the UK for two years after they graduate and announced a crackdown on “low-value courses”, even though only 3 per cent are failing to meet criteria set out by the regulator.

Data from Enroly, a web platform used by one in three international students for managing university enrollment, showed that deposit payments were down 37 per cent compared to last year.

A new analysis for UK by consultants PwC found that the combination of falling international student numbers, frozen tuition fees, rising staff wage bills, and a softening in UK student numbers was leaving the sector facing a perfect storm.

“You take those things together, and you’ve got a big problem,” Stern said, warning that the government needed to wake up to the risk posed to a sector that contributes £71bn to the UK economy every year.

The PwC analysis was based on 2021-22 financial returns for 70 UUK members in England and Northern Ireland and found that about 40 per cent are expected to be in deficit in 2023-24, falling to 19 per cent by 2025-26.

However, Paul Kett, a former senior Department for Education official who now advises PwC on education, said the numbers reflected assumptions about spending and income growth that now looked highly optimistic given the policy environment.

The PwC analysis found that if the growth in international students stagnated in the 2024-25 academic year, the proportion of universities in the financial deficit would rise from 19 per cent to 27 per cent — but if numbers started to fall between 13 and 18 per cent then four-fifths would be in deficit.

On the other side of the ledger, it found that increasing fees by 10 per cent for UK undergraduates in 2024-25 would shrink the share of universities in deficit from 19 per cent to 7 per cent.

The report said the effects of declining international enrolments could be compounded by other negative shocks, such as a rise in spending growth or a fall in domestic student numbers. It warned that mounting financial pressure could force universities to cut provision and delay investment, compromising quality for students.

Stern argued three interventions were necessary to put the sector on a stable footing: uprating tuition fees in line with inflation, increasing government teaching grants and stabilising the international market by dialling down negative rhetoric and ending question marks over the graduate route.

“You can take these individual scenarios that PwC looked at, and think that any one of them could tip a large number of institutions into a very difficult position, but the problem is that lots of those things are happening at once,” she said.

Robert Halfon, higher education minister, said: “We are fully focused on striking the right balance between acting decisively to tackle net migration, which we are clear is far too high, and attracting the brightest students to study at our universities,” he added.

$1.2 Trillion US Travel Industry Is Plummeting, Says New Study - BLOOMBERG

JANUARY 13, 2024

BY  Lily GirmaBloomberg News

Tourists on the Merced River in Yosemite National Park, California, in 2022. The US travel industry is severely lagging its top 17 competitors, according to a study released on Jan. 11 by Euromonitor International.

Tourists on the Merced River in Yosemite National Park, California, in 2022. The US travel industry is severely lagging its top 17 competitors, according to a study released on Jan. 11 by Euromonitor International. , Bloomberg

(Bloomberg) -- Plagued by ongoing staffing shortages, visa delays and even political division, the US travel industry has lagged competitors in reclaiming its share of international visitors since the Covid-19 pandemic. By the end of 2023, the domestic sector reached just 84% of 2019 visitation levels, according to the US Travel Association.

Now, a first-of-its kind study from Euromonitor International, whose findings were first released to the public on Jan. 11, sheds additional light on how much the US is trailing its global competitors. Commissioned by US Travel, the independent market research firm’s study analyzed 18 countries’ travel industry performance—including France, the UK, Italy, Canada, Spain and South Africa. It examined data across four categories: government leadership and its engagement with the travel industry (25% weighting); global perception (20%); identity and security, which includes visa wait times and expedited clearance programs for low-risk travelers (35%); and travel connectivity, which includes international arrivals and flight access (20%).

The result: Across all categories and among 18 countries, the US came in at No. 17. The top performers were the United Kingdom and France.

China’s travel industry ranked last, at No. 18. This comes as less of a surprise given China’s long-delayed tourism restart; air routes heading there still remain thin. Surpassing the US in overall tourism industry performance were countries such as 13th-ranked Saudi Arabia, whose tourism economy remains nascent, and Turkey, which came in third despite political tensions and natural disasters over the past year. The study confirms that the American travel industry is less modern and efficient than its competitors—both established and up-and-coming—said US Travel, a nonprofit organization that advocates on behalf of the country’s travel sector.

Read More: Visa Delays, Divisive Politics Dampen US International Travel Recovery

“This should be a wake up call. To see the US ranked 17 in a list of 18 top travel markets is eye-opening, stunning, disheartening,” said Geoff Freeman, chief executive officer of US Travel, during a press call detailing the results of the study. “It's the type of thing that should force people on Capitol Hill to ask some very important questions.”  

Freeman emphasized that the US share of the global tourism market has declined since 2019, while competitors are managing to increase theirs. 

The grim findings from Euromonitor International, initially completed in fall 2023, were not published until now. They were revealed by US Travel as the motivation for creating a new Commission for Seamless and Secure Travel, which it also announced on Jan. 11. The commission, whose first official meeting will take place on Feb. 1, is chaired by Kevin McAleenan, former acting secretary of Homeland Security. It counts 12 private sector and government experts (with more to come), including former leaders at the Department of Homeland Security, the Transportation Security Administration, and US Customs and Border Protection, along with former US ambassadors. 

The group will be tasked with hearing out tourism stakeholders that represent the various segments of US Travel’s membership, such as major hotel executives, small business owners, and airline and airport operators. Then it will create solutions for policymakers to modernize US travel across the board and to tackle issues that plague the industry. So far, Euromonitor’s study has helped identify several areas to prioritize, US Travel said, including customs, TSA passenger screening and visa processing. A set of recommendations will be submitted by the fall, Freeman tells Bloomberg in an interview.  

At stake is the stability of America’s travel economy, which in 2022 amassed $1.2 trillion in spending from both international and domestic visitors. According to a separate report from market research firm Tourism Economics published in December 2023, failing to improve TSA’s outdated screening process could cause US travelers to forgo as many as 3 million domestic trips annually, resulting in a loss of $7.4 billion in spending this year. Another $150 billion could be lost over the next 10 years due to ongoing excessive wait times for visas, it noted.

When asked on the call where Freeman expects to find the funding to overhaul US travel, he pointed to the revenue that visitors bring—including the taxes they pay on accommodations and shopping. It’s a formula other countries have used to modernize their tourism industries, he noted.

“We are lacking the conviction to deal with these issues, to make travel a priority,” Freeman said, adding that he’s hopeful things will change.

Airlines’ Trapped Funds: Pressure Mounts Despite $61m Release - DAILY TRUST

JANUARY 15, 2024

By Abdullateef Aliyu, Lagos

There’s a mounting pressure on the federal government to make significant releases to clear the foreign airlines’ trapped funds amidst their threat to exit Nigeria.

This is despite the release of $61.4m by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) last week as part of efforts to clear outstanding liabilities and bolster the foreign exchange market.

While there’s no updated data on the foreign airlines’ funds trapped in Nigeria, our correspondent reports that the money was $793m as of December 2023.

According to data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), Nigeria accounted for a substantial part of airlines’ trapped funds globally.

The foreign airlines said the funds keep mounting hence the $61.4m was too infinitesimal to cover anything.

A foreign airline representative who spoke with our correspondent in confidence said the trapped funds hinder the operations of their airlines.

“We all know what the margin is for airlines. If your funds are trapped to that level, how do you fund your operations? From loans or what? You can fund from other locations for how long? If every nation holds back funds, will there be international flights?

Foreign airlines mull cut of Nigerian operations 

Amidst the raging controversy over dollar settlement, airlines are said to be considering the option of reducing or suspending their operations outright.

It was learnt that despite the substantial resolution of diplomatic issues with the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the non-payment of Emirates Airlines’ trapped funds is responsible for the delay in resumption of flights to Nigeria.

“The airline is yet to see sufficient commitment of the Nigerian government to clear Emirates trapped funds which is the major reason for the airline’s suspension of operations in the first place,” the source said.

It would be recalled that Emirates suspended all flights to Nigeria on September 1, 2022 and despite two different visits of President Bola Tinubu to the UAE and follow-up visits by the Minister of Aviation, Festus Keyamo, the airline is yet to agree on resuming flights to Nigeria.

“Yes, the trapped funds issue seems deadlocked,” said a source.

Similarly, other airlines are increasingly restless over their trapped funds, threatening to call it quits in Nigeria as the funds keep increasing.

“It is not a fair competition. My airline flies to Nigeria and our revenue is trapped. A Nigerian airline flies to our base country and they get their monies. Where is the fair competition?,” another foreign airline representative said.

Aviation analyst, Group Capt. John Ojikutu, said aviation agencies would lose 80 per cent of their revenues if foreign airlines should leave in protest.

He said, “80% of our earnings in commercial aviation will be gone if the foreign airlines carry out their threats to withdraw their operations in Nigeria. 

“Whoever knows Keyamo should tell him now. Whoever knows Tinubu should tell him now too to tell Keyamo to find out what happened to the forex earnings ($2.5bn) that the Nigeria Aviation service providers collected from the foreign airlines annually? This is not a joking matter like the palliatives and the subsidies.”

The General Secretary of the Aviation Roundtable and Safety Initiative (ART), Mr Olumide Ohunayo, decried a situation where foreign airlines pay for services in Nigeria in dollars yet they cannot get dollars to repatriate their funds.

According to him, if the foreign airlines should leave as being threatened, Nigerian airlines cannot fill the vacuum.

More so he advised that Nigeria should take advantage of the reciprocity in the Bilateral Air Service Agreement (BASA) to begin to operate some of those routes operated by foreign airlines.

He said, “The truth is that our airlines cannot fill the vacuum, that’s almost impossible, as much as I would not advocate for us to increase their frequencies, I think it’s time for us to start using those frequencies that are ours by virtue of the reciprocity in the bilateral service agreement we have with different counties.

Policemen not permitted to search citizens’ phones – Lagos CP - PUNCH

JANUARY 15, 2024

The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Fayoade Adegoke, has said that no police officer is permitted to search the phones of any Nigerian.

He noted that the Police Force had a cyber section responsible for that, adding that if a police officer suspected anything, they would take the person to the station so the phone could be searched.

A Sunday statement by the management of Melody FM, 107.7FM, signed by Kunle Babarinde, noted the CP said this when he visited the radio station at Iyana-Ipaja on Wednesday.

He commended the radio station for its efforts to provide the public with information.

Kayode reaffirmed that bail was unrestricted while urging the public to expose corrupt police officers.

“If you feel you have been cheated by a policeman or a policeman engaged in corruption, kindly report the policeman to his DPO. If the DPO is not forthcoming, report to the Area Commander. I believe your case will be solved but if you still feel cheated, please report to me directly. My phone number is open to all Lagosians,” the statement quoted the CP as saying.

The CP also said, “No policeman has the right to beat citizens. You, the people, are the government’s employers; your taxes support us. Thus, we have to treat you with the appropriate decency.”

“On the issue of searching phones, no policeman has the right to search your phone. If a policeman suspects anything on your phone, he will take you to the station to search the phone. We have a cyber department that deals with all that,” he added.

Passengers stranded as BRT drivers down tools over pay - PUNCH

JANUARY 15, 2024

BY  Samuel Bolaji

Passengers using the Lagos State Bus Rapid Transit were stranded on Sunday as drivers of one of the companies operating the service, Primero Transport Services Limited, embarked on a strike over alleged non-payment of their December salary.

Our correspondent, who visited the Ikorodu BRT terminal, noticed long queues of passengers at all boarding stops at the terminal, waiting for buses to arrive.

A passenger, who simply gave his name as Sam, said he had been waiting in one of the queues for almost two hours with no bus in sight.

“Many passengers have left the queue to board yellow buses. You know how those ones take advantage of this type of situation. I heard that they’ve increased their fares because they can see passengers stranded here,” he added.

Asked if he was aware of why BRT buses were not coming, Sam said he was not aware “and no one has come to address us. We’re just here waiting endlessly.”

Speaking with The PUNCH in a telephone chat, a staffer of Primero TSL, who did not want his name mentioned because he had no authorisation to speak on the matter, said drivers with the company were on strike.

“The strike started yesterday (Saturday). They are on strike because their December pay has not been given to them,” he said.

Asked how long the strike was likely to last, the Primero employee said, “The matter may be resolved tomorrow (today). I don’t think it will linger for too long.”

Efforts to reach Primero’s Managing Director, Mr Fola Tinubu, were unsuccessful as calls to his telephone were not answered and a text message sent to his phone had not been replied to as of the time of filing this report. Also, an inquiry email sent to Primero’s official email address had yet to be replied to as of press time.

Also, efforts to reach the Managing Director, Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority, Mrs Abimbola Akinajo, were unsuccessful as calls to her telephone line went unanswered and a text message sent to her had yet to be replied to as of the time of filing this report.

Canada to Weigh Caps on Foreign Students Amid Housing Crunch - BLOOMBERG

JANUARY 15, 2024

(Bloomberg) -- Canada will consider measures to cap the number of international students in the coming months as the country wrestles with a housing shortage. 

“That volume is disconcerting,” Immigration Minister Marc Miller said in a pre-taped interview with CTV News on Sunday, referring to the rise of foreign student visas in Canada. “It’s really a system that has gotten out of control.”

Miller said the federal government will have “conversations” with the provinces in the first half of this year “to make sure that the provinces that have not been doing their jobs actually rein in those numbers on a pure volume basis.”

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government has faced criticism for welcoming more immigrants — both permanent and temporary — during an affordability crisis that has caused the cost of housing to spike and curtailed supply. 

The number of foreign students in Canada has nearly tripled in the past decade, reaching more than 800,000 last year. International students pay about five times more tuition as Canadians.

Miller’s comments expand on earlier plans to consider limiting foreign-student visas. 


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