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African airlines passenger traffic rise by 4.1 per cent in August — IATA

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The International Air Transport Association (IATA) on Thursday said African airlines recorded a 4.1 per cent increase in passenger traffic in August compared to the same period in 2018.

IATA’s Director-General, Mr Alexandre de Juniac, said the traffic climbed from 3.2 per cent recorded by the airlines in July.

“This solid performance comes after South Africa – the region’s second largest economy – returned to positive economic growth in Q2 2019.

“Capacity rose 6.1 per cent, however, and load factor dipped by 1.4 percentage points to 75.6 per cent,” he said in a statement.

According to him, global passenger traffic data for August 2019 showed that demand climbed 3.8 per cent compared to the year-ago period.

He said this was above the 3.5 per cent annual increase for July, adding that August capacity also increased by 3.5 per cent.

de Juniac said load factor climbed 0.3 per cent percentage point to 85.7 per cent, which was a new monthly record, as airlines continue to maximise asset use.

He said: “While we saw a pick-up in passenger demand in August compared to July, growth remains below the long-term trend and well-down on the roughly 8.5 per cent annual growth seen over the 2016 to Q1 2018 period.

“This reflects the impact of economic slowdowns in some key markets, uncertainty over Brexit and the trade war between the U.S. and China.

“Nonetheless, airlines are doing a great job of matching capacity to demand. With passenger load factors reaching a new high of 85.7 per cent, this is good for overall efficiency and passengers’ individual carbon footprint.” (NAN)


YO/PDE

(Editing by Peter Ejiofor)

Metro

Sex-for-Grade: 1,700 signs online petition to NASS

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An NGO, Exam Ethics Marshals International (EEMI), says it has received 1,700 signed online petitions to fast track the passage of the Sexual Harassment Bill before the National Assembly.

Mr Ike Onyechere, the Founder of the organisation, made the disclosure in a statement issued in Abuja on Monday.

According to Onyechere, 56 per cent of the petitioners are women, while 44 per cent are men.

“This indicates that men and women are equally concerned about the sex-for-grade pandemic in the tertiary institutions,” he said.

He said that the objective of the NO-TO-SEX-FOR-GRADE Campaign was to get one million people to sign the petition to the National Assembly.

He noted that the first effort to pass the Sexual Harassment in Education Institutions Prohibition Bill started in 2016, but it died with the termination of the 8th Assembly.

“1,700 change agents have signed the online petition to Nigeria’s National Assembly to fast track action on the passage of the sexual harassment in educational institutions prohibition bill as at Monday, Nov. 18, 2019.

“The petition to fast track the sex-for-grade prohibition legislation, activated on Nov. 1; EEMI is in continuation of the Exam Ethics Campaign launched in 1996 to promote exam ethics and combat exam malpractice in education in Africa.

“Sex-for-Grade is one of the 33 types of exam malpractices that have been the focus of the campaign,” he said.

According to him, Sex-for-Grade is the practice of male lecturers blackmailing, forcing, intimidating and demanding sex from their female students as condition for awarding them pass marks in their courses.

He explained that the petition had inspired other petitions for the passage of similar sexual harassment prohibition laws in educational institutions in seven other African countries.

According to him, these countries include: Ghana, Liberia, Tanzania, South-Africa, Benin Republic, Egypt and Rwanda.

“In addition to signing the petition, some petitioners are also sharing their experiences.

“Ex-female students have narrated stories of their traumatic experiences in the hands of some of their male lecturers.

“Some female students narrated what they are currently going through. Parents also shared the experiences of their children.

“The story paints the picture of invasion of tertiary institutions by sexual predators masquerading as lecturers,” he said.

Edited by Moses Solanke/Maureen Atuonwu

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Metro

Buhari congratulates Gov. Bello on re-election

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Congratulations

Abuja, Nov. 18, 2019 President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated Gov. Yahaya Bello of Kogi State on his re-election in the Nov. 16 gubernatorial poll.

The President, in a statement by his spokesman, Mr Femi Adesina, in Abuja on Monday, described the election and emergence of the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate as “a race well run and a victory well won.”

He commended APC supporters for remaining steadfast and resolute even in the “face of isolated incidents of violence”.

President Buhari condoled with families and loved ones of those who lost their lives as a result of regrettable acts of violence by thugs doing the bidding of their political sponsors.

“All political actors and stakeholders must take deliberate steps to eschew electoral violence as a peaceful and orderly process is vital to our quest for enduring democracy,’’ he said.

He saluted officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies for creditably discharging their responsibilities under difficult conditions.

President Buhari urged Bello to see his renewed mandate as another opportunity to build on the foundations already laid towards improving the lives of the people of Kogi.

He also enjoined the governor to imbibe the spirit of magnanimity in victory by extending a hand of partnership to opposition candidates.

The president urged those dissatisfied with the outcome of the election to approach the courts.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the Returning Officer of the Nov. 16 Kogi governorship election, Prof. Ibrahim Garba, had on Monday declared Yahaya Bello as winner of the election after polling 406,222 votes to beat 24 other contestants, including Mr Musa Wada of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who polled 189,704 votes.

Edited by Ekemini Ladejobi/Sadiya Hamza

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Buhari congratulates Bayelsa Gov-elect Lyon on election victory

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President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated the All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate in the Nov. 16 election in Bayelsa, David Lyon, on his victory.

Buhari’s congratulatory message was contained in a statement by his Special Adviser, Mr Femi Adesina, in Abuja on Monday.

The President also commended APC supporters in particular and Nigerians in general in the State who exercised their civic rights in a peaceful manner, notwithstanding the pockets of unrest recorded in some locations.

While condemning the loss of lives in Bayelsa, particularly prior to the election, the President commiserated with the families of the victims.

‘‘Violence during elections vitiates our commitment to demonstrate to the world and upcoming generation that we are a people capable of electing leaders in a peaceful and orderly manner,’’ he added.

He noted that officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and security agencies did their best within the ambit of the law to ensure free, fair and credible elections.

He, however, described as unfortunate that pockets of unrest, ”mostly sponsored by desperate politicians, were recorded during the poll.”

The President looked forward to working with the incoming government to improve the lives of the people in Bayelsa, while ensuring the security of lives and property of all citizens.

Buhari urged Governor-elect Lyon to carry other divergent interests along in the next phase of governance, imploring those not satisfied with the outcome of the poll to seek redress through the constitutionally established channels.

INEC had on Monday morning declared Mr David Lyon of the APC winner of the governorship election in Bayelsa after polling 352,552 votes.

Lyon defeated his closest rival, Duoye Diri of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who scored 143,172 votes.

Edited by Ismail Abdulaziz

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Ex-lawmaker urges Sanwo-Olu to prioritise rail development

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A former Lagos lawmaker, Mr Dipo Olorunrinu, on Sunday called on Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu to invest in rail infrastructure in the state.

Olorunrinu, who represented Amuwo-Odofin Constituency I in the 8th Lagos State House of Assembly, told the Nigeria News Agency that over dependence on roads was not sustainable for the commercial city.

He spoke against the backdrop of the deplorable condition of roads as well as gridlocks and urged the governor to prioritise rail infrastructure in the state.

Olorunrinu, a lone Peoples Democratic. Party (PDP) lawmaker, who later defected to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) barely a month to the end of the 8th Assembly, however, applauded Sanwo-Olu’s efforts at road maintenance.

“The issue of railway should be truly considered now, looking at huge funds that is annually voted for road construction and maintenance each budget year, yet no end to traffic problem in the state.

“Many of these roads don’t last again because of Lagos peculiarity and issue of water and flooding.

Lagos State, being a metropolitan state, should invest in rail and water transport as solution to transport problems in the state.

“I align with the advice of the Lagos Speaker, Rt.-Hon Mudashiru Obasa, to the governor during the Y2020 budget presentation on Nov. 8 that Lagos needs rail infrastructure to move forward.

“That is the way to go in Lagos as we see in London, New York, Amsterdam and other cities with huge population like ours in Lagos,” Olorunrinu said.

According to the lawmaker, the state must move forward to developing rail having discovered that roads infrastructure had been overstretched and maintenance usually gulp huge amount every year.

“With rail, commuting from end of the state to another won’t be a difficulty again. It will be safe and cheaper for the mass majority of residents.

“We sincerely need to change our tactics in addressing Lagos road traffic. The speaker is right when he advised the governor to start somewhere in developing rail transport.

“We will get there someday. We must refocus and lay emphasis on rail,” he added.

Olorunrinu, who noted that people must get value for their funds, urged the governor to move fast in road maintenance now that rainfall had subsided.

NAN recalls that Obasa had urged Sanwo-Olu to give priority to rail infrastructure to develop the state at the budget presentation entitled “The Budget of Awakening to a Greater Lagos” by the governor.

The speaker had said that to indeed move the state forward, there was the need to focus more attention on rail to connect the entire Lagos.

Edited by Wale Ojetimi

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Metro

Air Peace signs firm order for 3 additional E195-E2 jets, worth $212.6m

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Air Peace Airline says it has signed a contract with Embraer for three additional E195-E2 aircraft, worth $212.6 million.

The company said in a statement on Sunday in Lagos that the contract confirmed the purchase rights from the original contract signed in April.

It said the new E195-E2s would be included in Embraer’s 2019 fourth-quarter backlog and the $212.6 million was based on Embraer’s current list prices.

The Nigeria News Agency (NAN ) reports that the E195-E2 is the largest aircraft in the E-Jet E2 family.

It has been designed to maximize returns and efficiency on high-density routes with its high-aspect ratio wings and swept tips, combined with other aerodynamic improvements.

The E195-E2 achieves double digit lower fuel consumption compared to current-generation E-Jets.

According to Air Peace, the airline will be the first E-Jets E2 operator in Africa.

Air Peace’s firm order, announced in April this year, is now for 13 E195-E2s with 17 purchase rights for the same model.

It also said the first delivery had been scheduled for the second quarter of 2020.

Speaking on the purchase of the aircraft, Chairman of Air Peace Airline, Mr Allen Onyema, said the E195-E2 was the perfect aircraft to expand the company’s operations in Africa.

Onyema noted that the new order was a further confirmation of the airline’s ‘no-city-left-behind initiative’ which the company shall continue to execute.

Onyema, also the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Air Peace Airline, said: “We are receiving impressive data about the aircraft’s economics.

“We look forward to receiving our first aircraft, which will enhance connectivity in Nigeria and the African region, while feeding long-haul flights from our Lagos hub.

Raul Villaron, Vice President Sales, Africa and Middle East, Embraer Commercial Aviation, said Air Peace would love the aircraft’s efficiency and the passenger would also experience an unparalleled level of comfort, especially in First Class.

According to him, Air Peace is the launch customer for Embraer’s new premium staggered seating option.

“We look forward to supporting Air Peace’s growing E2s fleet and to deepening our fruitful partnership.

“That experience with Embraer’s products and services, including the pool programme, and the undeniable economic benefits of right-sizing aircraft for the mission, was a key factor in selecting the E2.

“Air Peace’s E195-E2s will be configured in a comfortable dual class arrangement with 124 seats,” Villaron said.

NAN also reports that Air Peace subsidiary, Air Peace Hopper, started operating six ERJ145 jets last year on short thin routes.

Air Peace operates more than 20 local, regional, and international routes and has strategic plans to expand those routes.

Embraer is the world’s leading manufacturer of commercial jets up to 150 seats.

The company has 100 customers from all over the world operating the ERJ and E-Jet families of aircraft.

For the E-Jets programme alone, Embraer has logged more than 1,800 orders and 1,500 deliveries, redefining the traditional concept of regional aircraft.

Edited by Wale Ojetimi

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Metro

10th Chieftaincy Anniversary: Chidoka urges reconciliation with Obosi monarch

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Chief Osita Chidoka, a Chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has said he was willing to reconcile with Igwe Chidubem Iweka, the traditional ruler of Obosi Community, Idemili North Council of Anambra and work for peace in the community.

Chidoka made the declaration during the 10th anniversary thanksgiving of his conferment of the traditional title of Ike-Obosi by the community at St. Andrews Anglican Church, Obosi on Sunday.

It will be recalled that the Chidoka and two other persons were suspended from the Obosi traditional council of chiefs for alleged sacrilegious act of ordering that dead bodies be taken to the Igwe’s palace.

The bodies were those of Obosi youths who died during the March 9 rerun election for Idemili North and Idemili South Federal Constituency.

Chidoka said he was solely responsible for the act and appealed that Chief Linus Mgbakaogu (Atta-Obosi) and Chief Hyman Udemba (Akamposi Obosi) who were suspended alongside him be excused.

He said he was moved to seek reconciliation with the monarch and peace in Obosi by the sermon of the day, adding that he had also forgiven all those who wronged him in the process.

The former minister of aviation who offered to go and mend fences with Igwe Iweka made true his word by going to the palace in company of the priest and Obosi prime minister and dignitaries.

The monarch was, however, not in the palace when he visited according to the guards on duty.

“What we are doing today is thanksgiving to God for all he has done for us, all we have achieved is not by our making but because God is faithful.

“We are grateful because in March this year, my younger brother, Obinna was running for House of Representatives, unfortunately there was crisis, people were maimed and killed in Obosi.

“God saw the purity of our hearts and restored our mandate at the Court of Appeal, so in line with the message of the priest, I want to apologise to the Igwe that he should forgive any wrong I have done him.

“I was alone in this and I take full responsibility, so Atta-Obosi and Akamposi Obosi should be left out of it.

“I am sorry and I have forgiven those who offended me, we need peace in Obosi,” he said.

Chidoka thanked his father who consented that he should be given the title 10 years ago, saying being Ike-Obosi came with so much blessing and also a burden to be a blessing to Obosi.

“My father supported me and agreed that I be made Ike-Obosi, that title made me to be the head of the family but 10 years after he is here with me in the church and my mother too,” he said.

Ven. Ikechukwu Ihemtuge, Arch-Deacon/Vicar of St. Andrews Anglican Church, who delivered a sermon entitled “Oh God Our Help in Ages Past”, said only fools say in their heart that there was no God.

Ihemtuge thanked God for giving Chidoka the grace to come on his volition to come and thank Him.

He urged parents to train their their children so that they could be people they would be proud of in the future.

“We thank God for what he has done in your live, not everybody has the attitude of gratitude, most people see themselves as self-made, only fools say there is no God.

“As a young man of 38 years, Osita was recognised as a Chief in Obosi Kingdom, not everybody get such rare honour, people carry money about looking for where to buy it.

“As a young man you were the biggest officer in Road Safety, as a young man you retired from active service when people are changing their names over and over, you also became a minister as young man.

“The joy of all these is that the good things are happening to him before the eyes of his father and mother, parents are encouraged to train their children so that they can witness the success of their children.

“This is just the beginning, you have done half of what God has destined for you to do, but please don’t take the grace of God for granted.

“I call on you to embrace unity so that there can be peace which brings progress, Chidoka you are a great man in this community, God can use you as instrument of peace, how that is going to be, I do not know,” he said.

(Editing by Peter Ejiofor)

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