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CCB seeks partnership with NAN on anti-corruption crusade

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The Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB) says it will collaborate with the Nigeria News Agency to fight corruption in the country through adequate reportage.

Prof. Mohammed Isah, the Chairman of the bureau, stated this during a courtesy visit to NAN on Thursday in Abuja.

Isah said that the partnership would help inform the public of the activities of the organisation and to ensure public office holders are aware of what to do to ensure accountability in their various positions.

He stated that the collaboration with media houses would provide adequate public enlightenment on the mandate of the bureau.

Code of Conduct Bureau is only known when investigation arises on a public figure, instead we are meant to be in the news all the time.

“We have the largest mandate in the corruption fight and we know we cannot achieve this on our own.

“That is why public enlightenment is important because public office holders are not aware of this mandate.

“They are only aware of asset declaration but we have 14 Code of conducts for public office holders which they are not aware of.

“That is why we are here because we know that NAN is at the naval centre of all media organisations and we believe you can coordinate us with these media organisations,” he added.

Responding, the Acting Managing Director and Editor-In-Chief of NAN, Mr Ibrahim Mammaga, appreciated the CCB and pledged the agency’s readiness to partner with the bureau in providing adequate coverage.

Mammaga said that NAN had the mandate to inform and educate the public with first hand facts and balanced reports for the progress of the country.

He said that the agency had more than 500 correspondents, ready to provide adequate reports to clients and Nigerians at large.

“Just like our slogan which says talk to NAN, talk to all, we will work with you to publicise your activities to the benefit of all Nigerians,” he said. (NAN)

MRO/MST

Edited by Muhammad Suleiman Tola

Metro

Emirates gets awards for best wi-fi,food & beverage in the Middle East Award

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Emirates’ inflight comfort has clinched awards for best wi-fi and best food & beverage in the Middle East at the APEX 2020 Regional Passenger Choice Awards held in Singapore.

Its spokesperson, in a statement on Wednesday, said the best food & beverage award recognised Emirates’ regionally inspired cuisine and extensive drinks menu.

“Each year, more than 110 million meals are served on board Emirates’ restaurant in the sky with the same attention to detail in first, business and economy class.

“Emirates runs a round-the-clock kitchen with 1,800 chefs based in Dubai whipping up 12,450 recipes. The airline’s chefs focus on simple, well cooked dishes that emphasise fresh ingredients of the highest quality.

“Emirates brings the finest products on board through long standing partnerships worldwide, and supporting local suppliers and artisans,” he said.

He said to complement the dining experience onboard, Emirates pays special attention to its drinks menu boasting world class champagne, wines and spirits.

“The beverages on each route are carefully selected to complement the menu and include exclusives found only on Emirates.

“A long term buying strategy also means that the airline has 7 million bottles of wines currently stored in its cellar in France to be served by 2035,” he said.

According to him, Emirates was also awarded the airline with the best wi-fi in the Middle East.

“Its entire fleet is wi-fi enabled and Emirates provides free wi-fi across all classes – a choice of 20MB complimentary data to use on any app or 2 hours of unlimited text messaging on popular messaging apps.

“More than 1 million passengers log on to wi-fi each month and 40 per cent of travellers choose the unlimited free text messaging option to keep in touch with family and friends.

“Emirates skywards members enjoy special benefits depending on their membership tier and class of travel, including free unlimited wi-fi for all members travelling in first class or business class and for gold and platinum members in economy.

He said Emirates had started an upgrade programme to retrofit faster wi-fi onto its older A380 aircraft as part of its continued investment in product to enhance the onboard experience.

“55 aircraft will be fitted with faster broadband in the next 2 years,” he said.

YO/TÁ

Edited by Tajudeen Atitebi (NAN)

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NAHCO secures approval to build export processing area in Lagos airport

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The Nigeria Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO) says it has secured approval from the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) to build an Export Processing Area at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.

The Group Managing Director, NAHCO Aviance, Mrs Olatokunbo Fagbemi, said the move would boost agro-export in the country when fully operational.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that Fagbemi spoke at the Gateway Forum of the League of Airports and Aviation Correspondent in Lagos on Wednesday.

She also disclosed that NAHCO had spent over N2 billion to procure equipment for passenger facilitation and other aspects of its business within the last one year.

Fagbemi said: “We have a cold room dedicated for export. We are planning on establishing an export processing area at the Lagos airport and we got an approval only two months ago from FAAN.

“The project will be in our 2020 budget and it will boost agro-export when it is fully operational. ”

She said NAHCO was partnering with different stakeholders and state governments to encourage agro-export which has a lot of untapped potential.

According to her, there is need for proper processing, packaging and preservation of agricultural produce to make them more acceptable at the international market.

Fagbemi said NAHCO, under her leadership, had embarked on a five-year transformational plan to boost growth in the aviation industry.

She said the firm had been investing on modern ground handling equipment and facilities to sustain high-level service delivery across domestic and international airports in the country.

The GMD noted that the investment was yielding the desired result with the firm recently posting a N900 million Profit-After-Tax compared to the N700 million it realised in 2018.

Edited by Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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Air Peace begins Kano-Owerri-Kano flights

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Air Peace says it will commence KanoOwerriKano flights from next Tuesday.

The airline’s Corporate Communications Executive, Mr Stanley Olisa, said in a statement that the airline would operate direct flights between the two destinations on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

According to the Air Peace spokesman, passengers will no longer have to travel from Kano to Lagos or Abuja to connect a flight to Owerri.

“It is our promise to interconnect every parts of this country. This is our gift to the unity of our nation.

“Be assured we are coming with more destinations.

‘It is part of our vision to create more seamless connections and network options for our esteemed customers across Nigeria, and we cannot fail in this regard,’’ the airline spokesman said.

He reiterated the commitment of the airline to giving its passengers best-in-class flight experience and improving its delivery of safe and comfortable flights.

Olisa urged the flying public to continue to fly Air Peace, a truly Nigerian airline that has significantly impacted the growth of the country’s economy in a number of ways.

Edited by Tayo Ikujuni/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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FCTA to demolish 140 illegal structures in Guzape communities

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The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA)will demolish no fewer than 140 illegal structures built on service corridors in Kuruduma II and Kpaduma II communities in Guzape District.

Mr Thompson Hope, Chief Town Planning Officer, FCT Department of Development Control, made the disclosure while briefing newsmen shortly after inspecting the illegal structures, on Wednesday in Abuja.

Hope said that the department had earlier issued seven days ultimatum to the inhabitants of the affected illegal structures in the area, adding that as soon as the ultimatum expire om Monday Nov. 25, demolition would begin immediately.

He said that the development control had marked some of the illegal structures for demolition as far back as two three years ago.

He also said that the department had carried out several sensitise campaign to the indigenous communities for many years but they refused to abide by the FCTA regulations on land allocation.

According to him, the indigenous communities and villages has expanded beyond the indigenous settlement and most of this expansion and illegal structures, the areas are been sold by the indigenous communities themselves.

He said that the department held several meetings with the leaders of the indigenous on the need for them to stop selling plots of land to the people.

” We have severally warn the indigeous communities including the local chiefs that all the lands in FCT is vested within the confine of the FCT Minister and that they should desist from selling land.

” But because some people are so desperate and desirous to build thinking that before government takes action they will either make one or two profits out of it.

” This illegal structures are already build on service corridors where plot allottees are desirous to develop their properties but because of this illegal development along the corridor they cannot take position of their plots.

” Recently the FCTA has send signals to plot allottees to take position of their plots else they stand a chance of been revoke and that has put us under enormous pressure as a department.

” we have about 140 illegal structures on this corridors. We have given them 7 days ultimatum and hopeful by the expiration of the ultimatum we are coming to demolish the all illegal structures.

” The notice was given to them on Monday Nov. 18 and it will expire by Monday Nov. 2.

”Hopefully on Tuesday we will come with our machines to demolish them,” he said.

On the issue of compensation to the owners of the illegal structures, Hope said compensation was a policy issue that can only be handled by the Minister.

edited by Sadiya Hamza

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Suspended Lagos train operations: “We’re waiting for CCECC” – NRC

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The Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) says it is awaiting official communication from the contractor handling LagosIbadan standard rail line to resume suspended LagosOgun rail mass transit operations.

The Nigeria News Agency recalled that the NRC, had on Sept. 30, stopped daily train services on the existing narrow gauge from Ijoko in Ogun to Ebute Meta-Apapa in Lagos.

The suspension was to fast track the completion of the new LagosIbadan standard gauge line which required shifting the existing narrow gauge and relaying it to accommodate the standard gauge rail line.

The project is being handled by China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC).

The corporation had informed its customers that the suspended train services would resume on Nov. 15, but there seem to be no end to the waiting game by commuters.

Mr Jerry Oche, the Lagos District Manager of NRC, said that the work was still ongoing, but said that the corporation was not unconcerned about the suffering many commuters were going through since the suspension of the service.

Oche urged commuters to be patient, explaining that the persistent rainfall experienced in the last few weeks had hindered the contractor from delivering the project as projected.

The NRC boss said: “we have not resumed; we were supposed to have resumed on Nov. 15, but the work is still ongoing.

“We are awaiting an official response from the CCECC on the exact date of resumption or the reason why we have not resumed. Officially they have not communicated to us.

“But we all know why. We are aware that in October there were 23 days of rain out of 31. The contractors could not move as much as they should.

“We shut down because of the standard gauge rail line. If work in the standard gauge is not progressing, there is no way we can resume our operations because they are relocating the narrow gauge.

“Our teeming customers have to be patient; there is nothing we can do. We know what our customers are going through, we see it, but there is nothing we can do. What has to be done, has to be done.’’

Oche, however, said that the corporation had been mounting pressure on the contractor to expedite work on the project so as not to further prolong the plights of the masses that depended on rail to move around.

“The only thing we are doing is putting pressure on the Chinese to make sure that they do what they need to do timely.

“Nobody is going to compromise safety and standards, but we can be time conscious because of the sufferings – that is what we are doing and telling the contractor.

Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, had on Sept. 23, announced November as deadline for the trial services on the about-to-be- completed LagosIbadan standard gauge rail line.

Meanwhile, the contractor is still battling with removal of narrow gauge and relaying them, construction of drains and bridges, among others, at the Lagos axis of the project.

//TA

Edited by Cecilia Odey/Tajudeen Atitebi (NAN)

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NSE tasks MDAs on enforcement of Procurement law

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The Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) on Wednesday urged Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of governments to enforce Procurement law and sanction violators for national growth and development.

Mr Emmanuel Akinwole, the immediate past National Chairman of the Nigerian Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (NIEEE) gave the advice while delivering a public lecture at the General Meeting of the NSE, Lagos Branch.

The lecture was titled, `Procurement in Nigeria: Law and Practice’.

Akinwole, a member of the branch said: “The message we have for the government is to ensure that all arms of government and MDAs are encouraged to obey and follow the law of the land as regards procurement.

“Also, engineers and other professionals in procurement should be properly educated as we are doing for our members today. We must teach them the rules, regulations, the processes and the procedures in Procurement Act.

“The laws are there; the sanctions are there; they should just be applied and enforced. Sanctions for disobedience and non-compliance must be enforced to bring sanity and progress to our nation,”

According to him, proper procurement guarantees competitive, quality and cost effective project which every citizen and government needs.

The engineer, who noted that there were lacunas in the procurement law, commended the National Assembly for steps being taken to amend the law for the greater benefits of the people and the nation.

“A law that has been in existence from 2007, about 13 years ago, needs to be reviewed and currently there is an amendment before the National Assembly on all the loopholes based on use over the years.

“We believe this will better the lot of professionals and practitioners in procurement,” Akinwole said.

He urged the National Assembly to ensure adequate consultation with relevant professionals in carrying out the amendment to obtain their full experience and expertise for a good law to emerge.

On increase in abandoned government projects, the expert said that most projects were started without warehousing the funds.

Akinwole said: “The basic rule of procurement is that before you start a project, you must make sure the money is warehoused and ready.

“Most times, the money is not there and the project is started. Most MDAs are caught up in this.

“Until this is changed, there will be abandoned projects.

“That is why most MDAs normally have problems compared to private organisations, which normally obey the rules more.”

The engineer urged young engineers to get trained on procurement.

Akinwole noted that the Nigerian Institute of Procurement Engineers is an arm of the NSE where interested engineers got trained on procurement.

In his remark, Dr Musliudeen Agoro, the Chairman of NSE, Lagos Branch, suggested that engineers should be involved in procurement, hence the need to be alive to their responsibilities.

On cases of building collapse, Agoro commended the Lagos State Government for efforts in stemming the tide.

He attributed the cause to the use of unqualified engineers, lack of supervision, substandard materials, inadequate funding, among others.

The meeting was held at Oyebolu Engineering Resource Centre, Works and Physical Planning Department, University of Lagos. Akoka.

Edited by Adeleye Ajayi (NAN)

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