Airline operators kick against extra flight allocations to Emirates

The Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) have kicked against the recent commencement of an additional flight daily into Nigeria by Emirates Airline.They said this came few weeks after Nigerian carrier, Air Peace, began flight on the lucrative United Arab Emirates route.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) Capt. Nogie Meggisson,the AON chairman in a statement issued on Sunday in Lagos, said the extra allocation has increased Emirates flights to four daily into Nigeria through Lagos and Abuja.
He said: “It is very unfair for Emirates to be allowed such increase barely two weeks after the inauguration of flights on July 5 to Sharjah, United Arab Emirates by Air Peace, our very own Nigerian airline.
“The move effectively places our indigenous carriers at a massive disadvantage, the Nigerian economy and the jobs of our youths and huge capital flight.
“You will recall that AON had appealed that government must stand tall to play the role of aeropolitics to support Air Peace, otherwise it will end up the same way as others that went before it as they were unable to play in the wild and aggressive field of international aeropolitics.
“Emirates as of today, operates two daily flights out of Lagos and two daily flights out of Abuja. Etihad, from the same country, also operates daily flights out of Lagos as well.
“This translates to five flights daily and a total of 150 flights per month from UAE; as against a Nigerian carrier that only just started operating three flights weekly (12 flights monthly into UAE).”
He also said that this amounts to plundering of the Nigerian economy through capital flight and a huge loss of Nigerian jobs.
Meggisson said the AON was even more saddened that Air Peace, which was operating with almost 100 per cent Nigerian Pilots, Cabin Crew, Engineers and Dispatchers, was still waiting to be allocated a dedicated lounge or departure wing at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport.
According to him,other foreign airlines such as Emirates, British Airways, Lufthansa, Air France and others had heavily branded dedicated lounges in their respective countries as a way of support by their governments.
The AON Chairman recalled that the three major carriers in the United States (United, American and Delta) had cried out against the same open skies and anti-competitive behaviour of the gulf airlines.
Meggisson said following the complaint, the President Donald Trump administration came up with a policy that ensured that the airlines from Emirati reduce their flights into the US by 30 per cent.
He said: “It is the role of government therefore to protect our very own Nigerian carriers and preserve the Nigerian economy and the jobs of our unemployed youths.
“The additional double daily flights given to Emirates, a highly subsidised airline, is not necessary at this time as statistics show that half of the flights out of Abuja are half empty.
“The Emirati airlines already have an unfair trade advantage of 150 flights monthly out of Nigeria; as against 12 monthly flights for Nigerian airlines.
“We will therefore like to use this medium to call on the government to review all existing Bilateral Air Services Agreements to readdress the unfair trade advantage given to foreign airlines against Nigerian airlines.”
Meggisson said this would go a long way to safeguard the Nigerian economy, preserve the livelihood of workers in the aviation sector, and create jobs for many unemployed youths.
He said it would also promote technology transfer and significantly reduce capital flight in line with the vision of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

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Airline operators kick against extra flight allocations to Emirates – Annie Nwosu – 2019-08-04 13:53:40

Obaseki sacks eight commissioners – The Nation Newspaper

Edo State Governor Godwin Obaseki has sacked eight commissioners. Obaseki reshuffled his executive after he returned from Abuja.
Immediate past Speaker of the House of Assembly, Kabiru Adjoto, was appointed a Special Adviser.
Those sacked were Joseph Ugheoke (Energy and Water Resources); Magdalene Ohenhen (Women Affairs and Social Development) and Osahon Amiolemen (Commissioner for Infrastructure).
Others were Dr. David Osifo (Health); Mika Amanokha (Youths and Special Duties); Mariam Abubakar (Budget); Emmanuel Usoh (Wealth Creation, Cooperatives and Employment); Dr. Christopher Adesotu (Science and Technology).
Read Also: Breaking: Edo monarchs seek Buhari’s intervention in Obaseki, Oshiomhole feud
A statement by Secretary to the State Government, Osarodion Ogie, reads: “The following persons have been nominated for appointment as commissioners – Damian Lawani; Joe Ikpea; Felix Akhabue; Moses Agbakor; Momoh Oise Omorogbe and Marie Edeko.
“The government offers its gratitude to the outgoing commissioners for their service and assures of continued cordial relations in the years ahead, while congratulating the newly appointed commissioners and special advisers, urging them to serve the people with integrity.”
The statement advised the outgoing commissioners to hand over all government property in their possession to the Permanent Secretaries in their ministries, and wished them well in their future endeavors.
Others appointed Special Advisers are Magdalene Ohenhen; Osaigbovo Iyoha; Andrew Momodu and Ojo Asien.

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Obaseki sacks eight commissioners – The Nation Newspaper – Osagie Otabor, Benin – 2019-07-04 07:25:12

Deputy Speaker, Wase appoints Chief of Staff, Special Advisers, others

By Levinus Nwabughiogu
ABUJA- Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Ahmed Idris Wase Thursday night approved the appointment of Hon. Dr. Aminu Ibrahim Malle as his Chief of Staff.

Idris Wase
The Deputy Speaker also made other key appointments among which are special advisers.
According to a release from the Deputy Speaker’s office, Dr. Malle, hails from Taraba State.
He holds a Ph.D in Animal Production and Management from the Federal University of Technology Yola.
Jibrin: Undisputed kingmaker of House of Representatives(Opens in a new browser tab)
He was a Lecturer in Taraba State College of Agriculture in 1998 until his appointment as Sole Administrator, Jalingo Local Government Area in 2004.
Group passes vote of confidence on Obaseki, Oshiomhole(Opens in a new browser tab)
In 2005, He was appointed Hon. Commissioner, Ministry of Transport and Aviation, by the Taraba State Government.He was later appointed Special Assistant to the Executive Governor of Taraba State on Local Government Affairs in September of 2007.
Dr Malle was later elected Member of the House of Representatives in 2011 representing Jalingo/Yorro/Zing Federal Constituency, a position he held until 19th June 2019.
Similarly, other appointments made by the Deputy Speaker included those of the Special Advisers and Assistants.They included Nanven Nimfel as Special Adviser (Political Affairs); Hon. (Dr.) Muhammad Sani Abdullahi as Special Adviser (Budget & Financial Matters); Hon. Lumumba Adeh as Special Assistant (Former Member Liaison); Sama’ila Abdullahi Mohammed as Special Assistant (Economic Matters); Suleiman Tanimu Abubakar as Special Assistant (Investment) and Hon. Godfrey Gaiya as Special Assistant (International Affairs & Diplomacy).
Others were Muhammed Umar Puma as Press Secretary; Alancha Dominic Ichukwu as Special Assistant Youth Mobilization & CSOs; Ibrahim Tijjani Ibrahim as Personal Photographer & Special Assistant (New Media) and Hon. (Dr.) Adebukola Ajaja as Special Assistant (Women in Parliament).
The statement added that all the appointments take immediate effect.


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Deputy Speaker, Wase appoints Chief of Staff, Special Advisers, others – adekunle – 2019-06-27 22:37:47

How To Be A Successful Single Mother: Guide Surviving Financially As A Single MomNaijaGistsBlog Nigeria, Nollywood, Celebrity ,News, Entertainment, Gist, Gossip, Inspiration, Africa

218.6Kshares 0 218.6K 1 0 0Guide To Surviving Financially As A Single MumLife is tough as a parent with all the responsibilities, worries and cares for the children, bills to pay and a whole lot of other issues. But being a single mum? This is challenging (spelt in capitals).Being a single mum is not easy but that does not mean you should live your life in penury or have your kids confined to the welfare lines. You must have to find an alternative means of income to sustain you and the kid(s). The reason most people suffer as single mum is because they literally had the responsibility flung at them with little or no preparation.Alright so you are a single mum now what? Instead of being laid back and bitter, pick yourself up and begin to device ways to earn an income or to earn more (if you are earning already). It is true that being a single mum is very tough but not giving your finances proper attention is a thousand times worse.For your sake and that of your children, the following steps should be taken:Accept Your Status and Independence: By status I mean you accepting the fact that you are a single mum and that may not change anytime soon. Yes it is true you may be receiving child support and or alimony but note this: that money may not always come. What if he stops giving it to you or leaves town or even dies? The responsibility will still fall back on you. All these are things you have no control of but surely you can control your earnings.Which is where you must also accept your independence (financially and otherwise). The moment you have this mindset, you will not need to wait hands and foot for anybody.Get A Hold Of Your Budget and Debts: It is very important to know how much you are earning, spending and your debts (if any). Nothing drains the pocket more than impulsive spending. A lot of women suffer from this and end up spending all their income on things not budgeted for.You cannot afford to do this as a single mum. You have the kids and their needs to worry about plus yours and any other. To plan this, start by writing down what you earn every month, then list your needs in order of importance. After you are done solving the major ones, whatever is left should then be kept for unforeseen circumstances. This way, you can keep track of your earnings and spendings.Another thing is to pay off your debts. Write them all down-then starting from the smallest, work your way up to the top. This will ensure you do not go broke completely while still having little at hand to see you through till the next pay.Spend Money to Make Money: Single mums are usually statistically poor, but who says you have to be. Instead of waiting till your next pay check, how about investing your money in profitable ventures from which you can plough back into your resources.You can pay for a skill acquisition or get a degree which you know will help you earn more once you have completed it. Do this as conscientiously as possible so that it will not be too strenuous on you.Be Frugal: Yes I know many of us are not and no matter how much I preach about frugality , some will remain down right extravagant.Let it always ring in your ears that you are a mum (a responsible one at that) therefore, you will never do anything that will put your children’s future in jeopardy. What does this mean for you? You can call it a “shopping diet” or what you may , just strap your belt and realise that:No more trips to Shoprite, Ventura, Robans (even online stores are included)- assume that you are broke already and shopping is a hobby you cannot afford.Draw up a plan and do not buy every fancy make up item or accessory you see on the shelf. Be disciplined and put first things first. Do not keep up with the Joneses. Appreciate the basic things of life that you have and keep working for even better.Let Your Children In On The Current Situation: As little as they may be, never forget that kids are very sensitive and can relate well with literally any situation as long as you clearly explain it to them. So be open about the financial standing. Do not over indulge them otherwise, they will get used to it and become spoilt.Calmly explain to them why they cannot have another toy train, a new pair of shoes, two dance classes or a vacation more than once a year.They are sure to complain and cry but with time as they mature, they will begin to understand and adjust. This will help shape them into very responsible adults, capable of handling money.They should also be made to know that happiness is equally possible within their budget. Just treat them whenever you can.Be Grateful: A grateful heart is a sure path to success. Things may not be as great as when you were with your partner. You may also be tempted to compare yourself to all the social media couples you see on your Facebook and Instagram feeds and their fancy lives.But here is what you should know: most of them are not happy in their marriages (they are only trying to keep up appearances), ditch the plastered smiles, most of them will divorce while some are already on the brink of it, others yet are embroiled in huge debts while trying to maintain their expensive lifestyle. So when next you want to complain, focus on the realities of your own life- all that you have lost and gained and so much more that you can do.Get An Extra Source of Income: You do not have to sit back and wait to get paid twelve times every year when you can earn much more. Turn your hobby into a side hustle. For instance, if you like writing, how about writing for a blog, or copy writing for start-ups? Or you could consider starting up a little business.The aim is to have an extra source of income to take care of little stuffs and run the day to day activities while waiting for the lump sum of cash monthly.Plan Ahead: By planning, I mean taking care of your family in the future. You can start taking such steps by getting a life insurance which is affordable and easy to get.Just get the one that is within your budget. This is the best investment you can make for your loved ones especially as a single mum. No one sets out exactly to plan for disaster but not planning for them is plain stupid. Think of your children’s future and the legacy you want to leave for them.Do not Let Your “Single hood” Constrain You: Do you know why single mums are usually poor? It is because they already have that status conferred on them and feel they should live within its confines.While it is good to think of and put your kids first, you have to ace your game for them to truly have that life you desire for them. Learn to make decisions as a professional and not as a single mum. Here is an instance:Assume you were offered a promotion but you do not want to take it because it will require you traveling and you do not want to leave the kids. Great, but remember, these kids will still leave you one day to get a life for themselves. So what to do? Hire the services of a baby sitter or house keeper. You are doing this to give them the bright future you want and you owe no one any explanation.Take a Break: You need to refuel and rejuvenate so every once in a while, take a break or permission from work and the kids to actually focus on your health and personal well-being. You should not overwork yourself. Get enough rest and sleep, exercise, treat yourself to a spa and a massage and you will definitely be better for it. You are doing a two man job and you should be proud of yourself.

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How To Be A Successful Single Mother: Guide Surviving Financially As A Single MomNaijaGistsBlog Nigeria, Nollywood, Celebrity ,News, Entertainment, Gist, Gossip, Inspiration, Africa – Naija – 2018-11-20 00:06:18

Corporate Actions on the NSE week to date November 23, 2018

Corporate actions are decisions taken by companies’ boards of directors or management teams, that could have impacts on the firms themselves or shareholders.
Examples of corporate actions include the payment of dividends, closing of shareholders’ registers, announcing qualification dates and Annual General Meeting (AGM) dates.

Here is a review of corporate actions that took place last week, and those expected this week.
Seplat Petroleum Development Company
Seplat Petroleum Development Company announced that it had obtained presidential approval for the renewal of its core OMLs 4, 38 and 41 till 2038.

The move is a key one, as the OMLs accounted for 92% of Seplat’s total oil production and 100% of its gas production.
The firm also disclosed that it had paid in full a renewal bonus of US$25.9 million, thus ensuring that all conditions for license renewal have been met.
The stock was also marked down, following the payment of a N15.31 interim dividend. Ex-dividend price was N652.69.
 Stanbic IBTC Holdings makes key appointments
Tier two lender, Stanbic IBTC Holdings, last week announced several key appointments.
Mr. Wole Adeniyi, who until recently was the Executive Director, Operations, Stanbic IBTC Bank, has been appointed Executive Director, Personal and Business Banking, Stanbic IBTC Bank, following the appointment of Mr. Babatunde Macaulay, the erstwhile Executive Director, as Regional Head, Personal and Business Banking for Standard Bank West Africa, based in Johannesburg, South Africa.
The Chief Executive Officer, Stanbic IBTC Asset Management Limited, Mrs Bunmi Dayo-Olagunju, assumes a new role as Deputy Head, Operations, Stanbic IBTC Bank.
Mrs Binta Max-Gbinije has been named Head, Commercial Banking and Public Sector Group, Stanbic IBTC Bank. Prior to this, she was the Chief Executive Officer, Stanbic IBTC Trustees.
Mr Babatunde Akindele is Zonal Head, Lagos Island, Stanbic IBTC Bank. Mrs Nike Bajomo was appointed as Executive Director, Business Development, Stanbic IBTC Pension Managers Limited, while Ms Olusola Carrena and Mrs Oyinda Akinyemi were appointed Executive Directors of Stanbic IBTC Capital.
Regulatory approvals have been secured for all appointments.
Sunu Assurances Plc 
Sunu Assurances Plc (formerly Equity Assurance Plc) has released its results for the third quarter ended September 30, 2018. The underwriter remains mired in losses.
Two denials 
Tier two lender, Diamond Bank Plc, and one of the FUGAZ Banks, Access Bank Plc, denied media reports published last week that the latter was interested in acquiring the former.
Diamond had been dogged by several media reports last week, ranging from alleged poor liquidity to reports of investors interested in injecting fresh capital, with condition being the bank’s GMD stepping down.
Diamond has, however, issued a robust denial.
41 for 100
It’s not a new mathematical formula, nor alcohol. Prestige Assurance Plc has declared a bonus issue of 41 new shares for every 100 held. Qualification date is November 27, 2018, while closure of the shareholders’ register will take place from November 28, 2018 to December 5, 2018.
History made
Last week witnessed the opening of a Initial Public Offer for the year.
Skyway Aviation Handling Company Plc’s Initial Public Offering by way of an offer for sale of 406,074,000 ordinary shares of 50 kobo each at N4.65 per share was opened for subscription as shown below: offer opened on Monday, November 12, 2018, and closes on Wednesday, December 19, 2018.
Goldlink Insurance Plc
Goldlink Insurance Plc held an emergency board meeting to approve the company’s audited results for the 2017 financial year. The results will then be sent to the industry regulator, NAICOM for approval.
The company has been under NAICOM’s supervision in the last few years.
Offices unsealed
In a notice sent to the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE) this week, Nigerian Breweries Plc announced that its offices in Abuja and Lagos were briefly sealed by the National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC).
The commission had demanded from the company, fees pertaining to consumer promotions it had held. The company had resisted, due to a pending suit filed against the NLRC by NECA challenging the commission’s right to regulate consumer promotions in the country.
DAAR gives an update
In a notice issued last week, the company announced that it would hold its 2017 and 2018 Annual General Meetings in the second quarter of 2019.
The firm also stated that it was restructuring its business and had concluded a staff audit and restructuring exercise.
Courteville Business Solutions
Last week, the company announced the appointment of Oladimeji Sanni as an independent Non-Executive Director, and the resignation of Ms Helen Emore from its board. Emore was appointed in December 2016.
Corporate Actions taking place this week
UPDC may hold AGM 
UAC Property Development Company is scheduled to hold its Annual General Meeting on Tuesday, November 20, 2018. However, the AGM may be rescheduled in view of the public holiday declared by the Federal Government.

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Corporate Actions on the NSE week to date November 23, 2018 – Onome Ohwovoriole – 2018-11-18 07:26:40

Aviation unions back proposed increase in passenger service charge

Some unions in the aviation sector have backed the proposed increment in the Passenger Service Charge (PSC) by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).
The unions – Association of Nigerian Aviation Professionals (ANAP) and the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) – made their position known to journalists on Sunday in Lagos.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the PSC is collected by the airlines upon purchase of tickets and paid to FAAN after completion of the flight.
The charges are used to cover the cost of maintaining common areas in the passenger terminals, providing passenger information, maintaining security and ensuring that customers use the airport in comfort.
NAN reports that the PSC was last increased in 2011 when the local currency was more than twice the current value and cost of operation was far lesser than what obtains currently.
The National Secretary of ANAP, Abdulrasaq Saidu, said that the increment would enable FAAN to meet up with its responsibility of providing qualitative services to passengers.
Mr Saidu said the increment was justified after eight years since the last review, stressing that factors such as inflation and naira devaluation had made it a necessity.
He said, “Airlines and other airport users have reviewed their charges severally within this period.
“We have four new terminals built to international standards; the PSC tariff fixed eight years ago will not be suitable for these new terminals owing to new technology, maintenance and other related costs.’’
According to him, passenger traffic has also grown by more than 65 per cent between 2011 and 2018.
Mr Saidu said the effect of this increased traffic on the airport facilities needed to be taken into consideration.
He, however, cautioned that the increase should be moderate in order not to inflict more burden on passengers as some airlines might be forced to also increase their air fares.
Similarly, Ben Nnabue, National President, NUATE, said that the cost of maintaining safety and efficiency was high, hence FAAN needed to adjust its charges to meet the current realities.
“Safety and efficiency are expensive. For FAAN to maintain airport facilities to world class standard, there is need to increase their charges.
“Since the last increment eight years ago, the value of foreign currencies has increased while the costs of electricity generation and diesel have also risen,’’ he said. (NAN)

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Aviation unions back proposed increase in passenger service charge – Agency Report – 2018-11-18 18:23:43

Amnesty Office: Not exclusive preserve for a few…

By Barr. Mary Oyibocha Agbajoh
The Niger Delta Amnesty programme was established in  June 25, 2009   by late    President Umaru Yar’Adua  aimed    at reducing unrest in the oil-rich    Region of Niger Delta by appeasing  certain Youths of the Niger Delta populace that have resorted to   agitation for the development of the region through act of  militancy thereby threatening peace, security, order and good governance and jeopardising the economy of the nation.

Edo Govt shuts illegal sawmills encroaching on Benin Technical College premises
Its  establishment  is in pursuant of  Section 175 of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria whereby  the Government  acknowledged    the challenges of the Niger Delta region which  arose mainly from the inadequacies of previous attempts at meeting the yearnings and aspiration of the people, and have set in motion machinery for the sustainable development of the Niger Delta States.
Charles DokuboThe programme is divided into three phases of Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration otherwise known as DDR. The first phase which is Disarmament involves disarming the combatants. The second phase is Demobilisation which has to do with camping and training, while the third phase is Reintegration of the trained agitators    into the society.
For now, the  Amnesty Programme is in the third phase which is Reintegration hence both the first and second  phases have been achieved.
The Amnesty Programme  was not established as an exclusive preservation of  few personalities in the region, rather it was created to build capacity for the youths in the nine states of the Niger Delta region to participate effectively in urban poverty reduction through training, education empowerment and by offering employment opportunities and self employment in    formal and informal sectors.
It is important to note that Niger Delta youths have  so far benefitted from the programme  as  PhD   graduates, pilots, engineers, welders, lawyers and the likes.
On the issue of peace in the Niger Delta region, one will equally agree that peace has largely been restored and the Nigerian economy is the better for it hence  oil production level has improved remarkably from what it was before the programme was set up and what it is now.
Of great importance however is that since the emergence of Prof Charles Dokubo as Special Adviser to  President Muhammadu on Niger Delta and Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme,   the Agency had not only been re-positioned for optimum achievements of its objectives and goals, it has equally brought life, succor, peace and economic development to Niger Delta Region and Nigeria.
The beginning of his success story was observed in the upliftment of Amnesty educational programme. Besides deploring 1,807 delegates to 145 institutions across the globe for various educational programmes by the offshore education unit of the Amnesty Office, 207 students spread across 66 institutions in 20 countries are currently studying various courses.
AMNESTY: Dokubo transformation strides:The bearing so far
Under Dokubo tutelage, the onshore education unit of the Amnesty Office attended promptly to the welfare of students pursuing degree programmes in Nigerian institutions. As at this moment, no fewer than 500 Niger Delta Students are studying various courses both in private and government universities across the country under the sponsorship of Presidential Amnesty programme. Beside, 339 Niger Delta students in various universities in the country are expected to graduate in the 2017/2018 academic session. This is an improvement on the 300 recorded last year.
Ex-militants condemn search on Atiku at Abuja Airport
Aware of his core mandate of the Reintegration through training re-training and empowerment of the youths so as to impact positively in their community in particular and Nigeria in general,    Prof Dokubo set out   to put finishing touches to five vocational training centres across the Niger Delta Region. They include the Maritime Vocational Training Centre at Oboloma, Rivers State, Basic Skills Vocational Training Centre in Boro Town, Kaiama, Bayelsa State, Power and Energy Vocational Training Centre in Bomadi, Delta State, Oil and Gas Vocational Training Centre, Agadagba-Obon, Ondo State and the Agricultural Vocational Training Centre in Gelegele, Edo State.
The vocational centres at Agadagba and Kaiama are expected to be operational by next month. The objective is  to empower ex-agitators with viable skills to become economically independent and relevant to themselves, families, communities and the nation.
Under Dokubo, Reintegration has taking a new turn. Beneficiaries are made to make judicious use of their starter packs. Unlike in the past when the items were sold out, the monitoring measures put in place made them to make good use of the opportunity to become entrepreneurs and employers of labour thereby contributing to the development of the economy of the Nation.
He has facilitated job placement for beneficiaries of the Amnesty Programme through a Job Placement and International Development Partners Engagement Unit (JPIDPEU), which he created on assumption of office. So far, the unit has profiled twenty eight delegates for underwater welding jobs, one hundred delegates for civil service jobs and ten    delegates for aviation crop spray pilot jobs. It has also concluded profiling of twenty delegates for catering services, hotel and fast food jobs and seventy delegates for other job opportunities.
He was able to achieve the  aforementioned feats and others because on resumption of office, Prof. Dokubo who is very well grounded with the Struggle and Pains of the people of the Niger Region opted for an “Open Door” policy whereby he took his time to listen to every stakeholder especially the youths  and ex-agitators, unlike in the past where the Niger Delta youths were inaccessible to former boss of the Amnesty Programme.
The fear of the Niger-Delta people right now is that the achievements so far achieved by the programme could be a wasted effort because of some self  acclaimed  leaders in the region have been causing huge distraction by  trying to make the amnesty office their personal preserves in attempt to force their siblings on the management.  These  People who go about dropping names of men in high authorities at the expense of stipulated guidelines of the Programe.
This inappropriate behaviour may not augur well for the smooth execution and success of the programme.   Those involve in this act should understand that no single individual or group of persons or ethnic nationality  have exclusive right to the amnesty programme.    The Amnesty Programme belongs to all Niger Delta indigenes.
They should understand that their actions are  causing huge distraction for the Coordinator  and Management of the Amnesty Programme. If this action is allowed to continue it will prevent them from working effectively to deliver on their set goals and objectives of repositioning the   programme for the optimum good and development of the Niger Delta region.
At   this stage, it is advisable that those involve in this act should henceforth  desist from it and follow due process.   If due process is followed, the programme which is a continuous one will spread to all and sundry.
The successes of the Amnesty Programme and genuine developmental strides by the Amnesty boss should not be sabotaged by any single individual or group of people.
Barr Mary Agbajoh, a Social Commentator and Political Strategist writes from Abuja


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Amnesty Office: Not exclusive preserve for a few… – Nwafor Polycarp – 2018-11-18 08:03:12

INVESTIGATION: At Nigerian airports, touts, hawkers have free reign amid poor facilities (3)

“Brother, buy my groundnut,” a young girl in her teens said as this reporter left the arrivals of the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja, in search of taxi. The girl, who later identified herself simply as Fatimah, had a tray containing groundnut on her head. Together with other teenagers who hawk different items, she sells at the parking space in front of the arrivals section of the Abuja airport.
After much pleas, this reporter soon bought a cup of groundnut and Fatimah moved away, mumbling some words of appreciation. She soon joined others as they struggled to court the attention of passengers looking out for taxis upon arriving Abuja airport.
Apart from Fatimah, visibly present at the departure and arrival entrances are numerous traders, from those selling ‘Kilishi’ (dried meat) to others hawking keys, padlocks and related items.
When then Acting President Yemi Osinbajo signed the executive order on ease of doing business in 2017, the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, in its reaction vowed to end touting at all the ports of entry into Nigeria. It promised to clear the airport environment to ensure the safety and comfort of travellers and officials.
But more than a year after the order was signed, touting and other illicit activities still thrive at the airports. They are part of the rots at Nigerian airports, captured by a series of reports by PREMIUM TIMES. Read the first and second parts of the report.
Touts, unregistered commercial drivers in Abuja, Lagos Airports
As part of its enforcement of the executive order, FAAN ensured that commercial drivers plying the Abuja airports into the city are registered with the agency, with their details recorded. They also have ID cards which they display upon being asked. But PREMIUM TIMES’ findings show that apart from the registered commercial drivers, many others operate in the airport without ID cards or any record of registration. These commercial operators, this reporter gathered, work hand in hand with touts who help them scout for passengers.
Twice, between July and August, this reporter met an ‘agent’ – a tout – at the airport who helped unregistered commercial drivers get passengers. For a journey of N5, 000 or less from the airport to Jabi part of the city, the tout collects a tip of between N200 and N500.
“That’s how we survive in Abuja too,” one agent named Aliyu, said. “Business has been difficult lately but we still try put body together,” he added.
Investigations also revealed that unlike the registered commercial drivers, those who go about without registration charge less for same distance.
For instance, PREMIUM TIMES’ findings showed that while most registered drivers charge N5,000 for most destinations in the city, the unregistered drivers could still agree for N3,500 or less.
The drivers explained that it was ‘more lucrative’ to operate without registering with the help of touts than having their cars registered at the airport.
“Most of us have menial jobs we do in town but use this to augment on a part time basis,” a driver named Theophilus said as he drove into the city from the airport.
“You know, because, of the economic situation in the country, we have to hustle. But you’d need more money to register at the airport. Registration is only good for full time commercial drivers.
“So that’s why we settle those touts so they can bring more people. That guy (referring to the tout) is one of those guys in the airport and they really try for us. Many people don’t like to patronize us because of ID card issue but they help bring passengers.”
While there is a considerable distance between the airport arrivals and the open parking space where commercial drivers, traders, touts and others operate in Abuja, the reverse is the case in Lagos –– in particular, at the General Aviation Terminal. While many of them go with ID cards, some still operate as touts despite the presence of security officials.
“Business has been difficult lately but we still find means around it,” Tirimisiyu Adio, a commercial driver, told PREMIUM TIMES. There are more security people and things are not the same for touts and drivers, he said.
FAAN spokesperson, Henrietta Yakubu, told PREMIUM TIMES there were measures put in place to stop touting and other illegal activities at the airports. She explained that the agency, in collaboration with security operatives, also ensure that those who do business in the airport are duly registered for safety and security of passengers. Facilities at the airport are also being improved upon, she noted.
Safety concerns
What obtains at the airports are markedly different, though. In addition to the illicit activities that have continued, there have also bee increased concerns about safety.
“My heart was literally in my mouth,” said Okey, a passenger on an Owerri-bound Air Peace flight which had to take a detour shortly after take-off from Lagos in October. “It was scary and some of us were really not in the know.”
Okey, who identified himself as a trader, explained that the incident threw many other passengers on board off balance as they tried to know what the problem was. The incident happened when an aircraft belonging to Air Peace returned to base shortly after takeoff at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos. Air Peace in its reaction attributed the concern to change in cabin pressure.
“We wish to assure members of the public that the incident had nothing whatsoever to do with the engines of the aircraft nor was it a life-threatening situation,” Chris Iwarah, Air Peace spokesperson, said.
But Okey told this reporter that he and others on the flight did not find it funny in the intervening minutes the flight returned to base.
The Nigerian aviation industry has in the last few years been free of incidents. Experts say it is largely as a result of regulations on the part of the agencies in charge. In January 2018, however, Nigerians were worried as news of near-mishaps dominated the industry. In less than one month — between January 25 and February 21 — there were about four incidents that raised concerns around safety of the aviation space.
On January 25 at the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja, a Gulfstream G200 private jet with registration number 5N-BTF operated by Nest Oil skidded off the runway on landing at the airport. On February 9, passengers aboard a Dana Air plane were terrified when one of its emergency exit doors fell off as it landed in Abuja airport.
On February 17, days after the Dana Air incident, a herd of cows took over the runway at Akure Airport, preventing an Air Peace flight from landing. On February 20, a Dana aircraft with registration number 5N-SRI flying from Lagos to Port Harcourt overshot the runway and ended up in the bush.
While the incidents generated debates in the media and among Nigerians, regulatory agencies and airlines assured that measures were being put in place to ensure safety of passengers. Between February and October, there has been a bit of stability as such experiences have reduced. But passengers still battle incidences of delayed or cancelled flights, with its attendant loss of manpower and huge revenue––for both airlines and passengers.
‘Worst Airports’
Last November, two Nigerian Airports were ranked top among the world’s worst 20 airports by the aviation organisation, Sleep in Airport. The nation’s airports in the ranking were the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa and Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos.
According to the survey, the criteria used included comfort (gate seating and availability of rest zones), services, facilities and things to do, food options, immigration/security, customer service, cleanliness, navigation and ease of transit and sleep-ability. The website explained that the airports that appeared on the list of worst airports in the world are those that have the capacity to truly offend travelers.
INFOGRAPH – INVESTIGATION – Inside Nigerian Airports of extortionists sharp businesses decrepit facilities (3). [By GEORGE KADUNA] In the rating of the Lagos airport, corruption was also a major factor considered, with details that airport officials demand bribe to get things done.
The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) rejected the survey, saying the report failed to reflect that Port Harcourt Airport terminal was under construction while the recently implemented executive order had revved up passenger experience at the MMA Lagos. A section of the Port Harcourt airport was recently refurbished.
But some Nigerians who have had not too palatable experiences at the airports disagreed with the federal agency, citing instances of regulatory failures and other concerns at the airport, including epileptic services from airlines.
Delayed, cancelled flights; lost revenues
In January, the Consumer Protection Department of Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) said domestic airlines operating in Nigeria recorded 30,214 cases of delayed flights between January and December 2017. The report added that 48,319 flights were operated by eight airlines during the period. For the same period, the NCAA said 872 flights were cancelled for various reasons by the airlines. The airlines in operation were Aero Contractors, Arik Air, Air Peace, Azman Air, Dana Air, First Nation, Med-View and Overland.
Earlier in 2016, Nogie Meggison, executive chairman of the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), said domestic airlines in Nigeria may be losing as much as N20 billion annually to flight cancellations. But the airlines are not alone in the loss of manpower and revenue occasioned by cancelled and delayed flights as passengers too share in the problem with ripple effects on the economy.
Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos. Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos. Departure at the Airport.
“Last year, I nearly lost a major contract due to delayed flight from Lagos to Abuja,” Kazeem Yakub, who heads a logistics company in Lagos, told PREMIUM TIMES. “Many of my colleagues have lost jobs and valuable opportunities to delayed flights; it is bad and condemnable.”
For Faderera Johnson, a make-up artiste, most airlines do not even handle cases of delays and cancellation with courtesy. Speaking to PREMIUM TIMES at the Lagos airport, she explained that on a number of occasions, most airlines don’t care about the welfare of passengers. Ms Faderera spoke immediately she was informed that her flight to Abuja from Lagos would be delayed for two hours.
According to the NCAA’s regulation on passengers rights, air passengers have among others, the right to the full value for your money; to compensation for flight cancellation, delays, damaged/loss baggage and denied boarding for reasons other than technical, weather conditions, air traffic control restrictions, security risks and industrial disputes that affect the operation of the flight.
They also have right to the provision of a conducive airport environment before, during, and after flights and right to seek redress for all irregularities during your flight.
Multiple checks by PREMIUM TIMES however revealed that the rules are not adhered to as stipulated. An airport staff attributed it to absence of strict monitoring. “It is even better in Lagos and Abuja; it is worse in places outside these two major cities where regulatory officials are not visible,” Ms Johnson told PREMIUM TIMES.
While passengers grope in the middle of epileptic services, airline operators also complain of poor facilities at the airports. Last year, the operators said most of the cases of delayed and cancelled flights were caused by lack of landing aids required for night landing and landing in bad weather. They also attributed the poor ‎performance of domestic airlines to multiple taxation by various agencies in the aviation sector.
Failed facilities
The Nigerian aviation industry contributed $685 million to the country’s Gross Domestic Product, GDP, in 2015, an aviation expert said. Speaking at the Nigerian Business Aviation Conference in 2016, Managing Director of EAN Aviation, Olusegun Demuren, added that $50 billion would be needed over the next 28 years to grow the sector and ensure that it positively affect the nation’s economy.
MM2 after a downpour Toilets at the wing The path leading to the General Park
Experts agree that one major area of focus in the sector is in the provision and maintenance of airport facilities.
In August 2017, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) said Nigeria’s air transport sector contributed $8.2 billion to the economy of the country and supported over 650, 800 jobs. IATA’s Regional Vice President for the Middle East and Africa, Muhammad Albakri, said however that “Despite significant investment in Nigeria’s aviation sector, the country’s air transport infrastructure still ranks low among African states.” He added that having emerged from recession, aviation can unlock the enormous economic potential that exists within Nigeria.
But PREMIUM TIMES investigations revealed that while government’s regulatory agencies claim that facilities in the airport are being upgraded to meet international standard, a number of structures are still in decrepit state in the airports.
In the course of the investigation in October, our reporter observed that the roof outside of the departure section of GAT at the Lagos airport was leaking, forcing passengers to find cover at the side of the entrance as it rained.
At the Abuja airport, the sound system malfunctioned, making announcements of flight details inaudible, according to passengers who spoke to this newspaper.
Similarly, at the international wing of the Lagos airport, checks at the departure lounge revealed that buckets were placed somewhere close to the check-in counters of airlines, because of a leaky roof.
General Park at the International Wing General Park at International wing 2 General Motor Park at International Wing
But the most appalling was the state of the parking space for commercial cab drivers at the international airport. PREMIUM TIMES findings showed that because the space was largely untarred, dirty water stained passengers clothes whenever it rained as the entire space is littered with mud. Many of the commercial drivers who spoke to PREMIUM TIMES complained about the state of the park, saying it is an eye sore.
“This is an international airport; can you imagine having this kind of motor park here?” wondered Baba Oyo, an airport commercial taxi driver.
“Despite the levies and everything and this is where you must pass into and out of airport if you don’t have a car,” he added, as the cab moved swiftly on the asphalted layer of the airport road, away from the international wing.
Experts Fume
John Ojikutu, aviation expert and former military commandant at the Lagos airport, attributed the poor state of facilities to the problematic nature of the concession agreements signed on management of airports. Mr Ojikutu opined that if the airport would be in good state, the Nigerian government must be committed to providing funding for periodic maintenance.
“If you have an airport like Murtala Muhammed that is making roughly, about N5 billion––N3 billion to N5 billion, say–– every month and it cannot get N100 million every month for maintenance then we have a problem,” he told PREMIUM TIMES. “If we have a system that cannot release N100 million which is probably about 2 to 3 percent for the management of that airport then there is a problem.”
“It is part of what’s leading us to this concession issues. FAAN was supposed to have been commercialized long ago… unfortunately we found ourselves where we are today… and it is because there is no plan for genuine periodic maintenance of the airports.”
Lanre Suraj, activist and head of Human and Environmental Development Agenda (HEDA), told PREMIUM TIMES the poor state of affairs in the aviation sector has far-reaching consequences on Nigeria’s drive to attract investment and boost the economy.
A cab driver calling on passengers
Mr Suraj argued that the state of the airport, being the first point of call for foreigners, could affect how investors perceive the country and their investment decisions.
“It has a major setback; there is no other thing about that,” he said. “If Nigerians are groaning under this level of misrule, what do you expect of foreigners? You think foreigners will feel confident that they experience things they have never seen before?
“There is the system of seeing people without any iota of business at the airport, running around the airport. You get to other airports and see a measure of sanity; once you get to Nigerian airport, it’s outright insanity. They (airport officials) extort money from innocent travelers, embarrass the country and it happens only in Nigeria,” he said.
“We have a major conference coming up on International Criminal Court and cross-border corruption. The speaker invited from South Africa applied for visa on arrival and for almost two weeks the approval didn’t get to him. It eventually got to him some days before event and it was also the wrong one that got to him. It was too late for him to put up with the flight so he is not going to come. So imagine the investment on the programme, on logistics and on his own side from South Africa and the whole thing has just been truncated. There should be monitoring and serious sanction.”

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INVESTIGATION: At Nigerian airports, touts, hawkers have free reign amid poor facilities (3) – Oladeinde Olawoyin – 2018-11-17 12:02:41

FAAN takes position on corruption allegation among Aviation security officers

The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has told passengers and airport users to report any of its security officers demanding bribe to the appropriate authorities.
Mrs Herientta Yakubu, General Manager, Corporate Affairs, FAAN, gave the advice in a statement on Friday, in Lagos.
Yakubu said the advice was necessitated by the allegations that some FAAN aviation security personnel were demanding bribe before allowing airport users into the terminal.
According to her, the airport was a public facility and no charge was required from any genuine user to access the facility.
She, however, noted that access might be restricted or controlled sometimes in order to safeguard civil aviation against acts of unlawful interference at the airports.
“All passengers and airport users who might want to transact some business at the airports are advised not to give money to anyone to gain access into the airport and report related cases to appropriate authorities.
“FAAN remains committed to her core values of safety, security and comfort,” she added.

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FAAN takes position on corruption allegation among Aviation security officers – Fikayo Olowolagba – 2018-11-16 12:03:22

Atiku vs Buhari: OPC speaks on preferred presidential candidate

Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) has said it has no preferred candidate among those jostling for political offices in the 2019 presidential elections.
The group, however, said it would support candidates that truly believed in its ideal of restructuring.
Publicity Secretary of the group, Mr Yinka Oguntimehin, said this in a statement issued to NAN in Lagos.
Oguntimehim reaffirming the OPC’s belief in restructuring said that Nigeria could only get it right when all the federating states developed at their own pace.
He urged Nigerians to vote for political parties or candidates with something reasonable to offer the nation.
“Nigeria can only get it right with restructuring.
“The coming election will definitely come with various challenges and opportunities and some of the opportunities will be for us to align with those ready to bring to the table, a policy direction that can impact our lives positively.
“ Not only that, it is our duty as a group to promote the ideals of restructuring,” he said.
“The beauty of restructuring was encompassing, stressing that the best could only come to Nigeria through restructuring.
“We need to promote ideals that have human face and that is what restructuring is all about.
“It is sad that we are still borrowing money to finance the budget, particularly, at a time when election is about three months away.
“It is sad that majority of Nigerians are suffering with the abundant human and material resources that are abound in the country.
“OPC has no preferred candidates among the various political parties that are jostling for political offices, especially, the position of the Nigerian president.
“We are very much on top of the current situation in the political milieu. We are watching the political developments as they unfold in the country.
“We believe in the struggle to liberate the Yoruba nation as it is being promoted consistently by our amiable leader, Aare Gani Adams, therefore, we will never compromise our values as a self determination group,” he said.

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Atiku vs Buhari: OPC speaks on preferred presidential candidate – Fikayo Olowolagba – 2018-11-15 18:33:45