The Minister of Aviation, Mr Hadi Sirika on Thursday said the Enugu International airport will require N10 billion to be operational again.
Sirika made this known while addressing the House of Representatives Committee on Aviation in Abuja.
“Given the money, we have a time frame of delivering the airport before Christmas; the choice is because we understand that people travel back home during the period and we want them to find a new airport on arrival.
“We have put before government a request of N10 billion and we believe government is doing everything possible to provide the funds,” he said.
The minister said that airport was closed down because of the state of the runway and other safety concerns.
He said that there are some limitations in the Enugu airport which had been brought to the attention of the Governor of the state.
Sirika said that efforts were made to address the issues and inadequacies which includes the presence of a market close to the runway.
He said that because grains were being sold in the market, it attracts birds which could be ingested into the engine of the plane and cause safety concerns.
The minister said that the market had to be removed and a radio mast in the airport had been removed after along battle.
He said that another issue was the encroachment of the airport by indigenes, converting part of the airport residential area.
He said that those were the major reasons for the closure of the airport to avert air accidents in the airport.
The minister, however said that the design for a new runway had been done and that procurement plan was ongoing awaiting approval.
According to him, Enugu International Airport is extremely important for us at the ministry as it is International and it is considered when Nigeria is being scored for security and safety.
Earlier, the Chairman of the Commitee, Rep. Nnoli Nnaji, asked the minister what was delaying the completion of the airport.
He said that the airport was important to the people of the South East, South South and part of the North Central.
International airport Abuja revived during its respires should be given to the Enugu airport.
The lawmaker said that the Abuja international airport requires a second runways given its importance to economic activities in the country.
The chairman recommended that the 25 per cent of generated revenue being remitted to the federal account by Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) should be used to develop infrastructure at the airport by the agency.
According to him, the airport being the first point of call should have hotels and other basic infrastructure to aid business transactions. (NAN).
edited by Sadiya Hamza
Akinyele contributed immensely to Nigeria’s development – Tinubu
Tinubu, in a statement signed by Mr Tunde Rahman, his media aide, described Akinyele as an elder statesman who contributed immensely to Nigeria’s development.
Akinyele died on Thursday at the age of 81.
“The late minister would be deeply missed by the country he served to the best of his abilities.
“Chief Alex Akinyele was an elder statesman. He served the country to the best of his abilities.
“He did his best as minister of Information and later Chairman of the Nigerian Sports Commission.
“He was also one leader who was very proud of his Yoruba, indeed Ondo heritage, and demonstrated this often in his appearance and conduct.”
The former Lagos State governor said that Akinyele radiated warmth and tenderness.
“To meet him is to like him. He was full of life and was unmistakable with his sartorial elegance.
“The country he did his best for will sorely miss him.
“I commiserate with his family, friends and relations at this moment.
“I mourn with his professional colleagues, the Public Relations practitioners and members of the Nigeria Institute of Public Relations.
“My condolences also go to Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu and the government and people of Ondo State.
“May they find the strength to live through his passing and may the soul of Chief Akinyele find eternal rest in the bosom of the Lord,” Tinubu said.
Edited by Saidu Adamu/Oluwole Sogunle
Sen. Olujimi lauds judiciary for upholding justice
Olujimi gave the commendation on Friday during a visit by a delegation from Ekiti State to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Olujimi replaced the former Senate spokesperson, Adedayo Adeyeye.
She said that winning her appeal had further strengthened her confidence in the Nigerian judiciary.
The senator called on her opponent to join hands with her in working for the good of their contitutuents.
“I went to it (Judiciary) without the necessary confidence, being a female, two; without a governor, three; without the ruling government at the centre behind me and yet, justice was done.
“I doff my hat to the judiciary.
“I also want to use this opportunity to call on my brother, my friend, who was my opponent in the race and at the tribunal, Sen. Adeyeye, to please let us put all hands on deck and ensure that the senatorial district is promoted because it is by doing this that the future will be bright for us and for the people.
“What has happened is just the travails of democracy, which we all subscribed unto it,” she said.
Olujimi, who thanked her constituents for their support, pledged to do more for them and ensure that there was development in the Ekiti South Senatorial District.
Earlier in his remarks, the traditional ruler of Omuo-Ekiti, Oba Noah Okinbaloye, said that they were in the Presidential Villa to intimate the vice president on some of their needs such as roads, electricity and having a tertiary institution in Omuo kingdom.
The monarch said Osinbajo promised to look into their plight and do his best to address them.
Edited by Ismail Abdulaziz
Plateau crisis: Sango formally resigns as PDP Chairman
The Nigeria News Agency , reports that Sango’s resignation was announced by retired Lt.-Gen. Jeremiah Useni, the leader of the party in the state.
“Sango is no more our state chairman as directed by the National Secretariat but now a member of PDP Board of Trustees (BOT).
“Mr Amos Gombi, his deputy, is now the acting chairman of PDP in the state. This was done to settle whatever crisis we were having.
“The allegation that Sango collected money from the headquarters for 2019 general elections was not true because three of us signed for whatever stipends given to us by the National Secretariat.
“So, the insinuations raised against him (Sango) were but false and a disservice to him,” he stated.
Useni, who was flanked by his running mate, Mr James Dalok, described PDP as a big family devoid of any form of division and ready to reclaim its stolen mandate at the Court of Appeal.
“Our appeal is coming up on Nov. 22, with great and strong belief that we shall emerge victorious.
“But no matter the outcome of the appeal, we shall end up at the Supreme Court because I will never give up the fight.
“I am a dogged fighter, and never give up. That’s why I attended all the sittings at the Election Petition Tribunal to the end.
“What I want from you people is your continuous prayers for God to help us reclaim our stolen mandate,” Useni said.
Edited by Ali Baba-Inuwa
Appeal Court’s verdict: Okowa restates call on Ogboru to join him in building Delta
He thanked God for the Appeal Court’s verdict of Friday in Abuja, upholding his victory as duly elected governor of the state.
The governor was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr Chiedu Ebie.
“This is a reaffirmation of the events of the March 9th when more than 900,000 Deltans voted for the re-election of my administration.
“On the Sept. 20, the Tribunal ruled that I (Okowa) was validly elected and today, Nov. 15 is further reaffirmation of that by the Appeal Court.
“We asked the opposition to join us in building a stronger Delta,” he said..
Edited by Shittu Obassa
Kogi Election: CDD cautions electorate against vote selling
The Centre for Democracy and Development (CDD) on Friday cautioned Kogi electorate not to sell their votes in Saturday’s governorship election.
CDD Director, Ms Idayat Hassan disclosed this in a statement by the Election Analysis Centre (EAC) of the organisation.
She said concerns were mounting as vote buying raised its ugly head in the Kogi election.
Hassan said less than 24 hours to the opening of poll for the election, CDD accredited and trained observers had been keeping close watch on the electoral process.
“The good people of Kogi should be aware that if they sell their votes, they are mortgaging their future and compromising the possibility of good governance for their own benefits.
“This is because there are indications that a lot of money has been set aside for vote buying on Saturday.
“Already, our observers have noted the distribution of gift items such as Ankara textile materials and rice in Lokoja and Koton Karfe Local Government Areas (LGAs) of the state.
“In addition, the latest report we are receiving from our observers indicate massive inducement of INEC Supervising Presiding Officers (SPOs) across the 21 LGAs of the state.
“The report indicate that one of the parties has made overtures, and has been inducing the SPOs with bribes in foreign currency to buy them over, and get them (the SPOs) to do its bidding on Election Day,’’ he said.
Hassan said that the report was further confirmed by Bureau de Change (BDC) operators in the state who were interviewed and they attested that there were upsurge in the number of customers calling to change foreign currencies to naira.
She said that the use of financial inducement to subvert the credibility of the electoral process was antithetical to the democratic ethos.
“CDD condemns in the strongest possible terms all forms of inducement of poll officials, the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended) expressly frowns at bribery and all forms of inducement of poll officials.
“Specifically, Section 124(4) of the Electoral Act 2010 as amended states: “Any person who commits the offence of bribery is liable on conviction to a maximum fine of N500, 000 or imprisonment for 12 months or both,” he said.
Hassan called on anti-corruption agencies, particularly the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and Independent Corrupt Practices and other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) to thoroughly investigate the report.
She urged the anti-graft agencies to do the investigation in order to hold to account perpetrators of the electoral crimes.
She also advised EFCC, ICPC and the police to closely monitor financial transactions with a view to arresting all suspects inducing voters and electoral officials.
She urged INEC to fine tune its monitoring mechanisms to ensure that all compromised electoral officials were removed from the process immediately.
Edited by Abiemwense Moru/Ali Baba-Inuwa
Kogi, Bayelsa Polls: CYMS cautions youths against violence, vote-buying
The Director-General, CYMS, Mr Obinna Nwaka, made the call in statement on Friday in Lokoja, saying that the youths of both states should desist from any activities detrimental to their future.
Nwaka also advised politicians to shun vote buying, saying that CYMS will not hesitate to report individuals or political parties that violate the rules to law enforcement agencies for immediate prosecution through its reports.
He noted that the utterances and actions coming out of these states in relation to the governorship elections following the pre-election assessment was capable of causing problem in the states.
He said that in a bid to promote good governance and ensure youth participation in electoral process the organisation had trained and deployed young people as election observers in line with the INEC’s pre-election activities.
He also called on the security personnel to take all necessary steps to mobilise strategically to counter political violence, paying particular attention to prevent or checkmate fake officials that could be used to disrupt electoral process.
“The security should secure the environment from inflow of external forces with intention to rig or destroy the election and ensure effective non-partisan response that will prevent further erosion of confidence in our electoral process.
“INEC should be firm and have a consistent stance on the use of the card readers and uphold our electoral standards with quick respond where election materials are hijacked and diverted,” he said.
Nwaka, therefore, encouraged all the electorate in the two states to turn out en masse and cast their votes for any candidates of their choice and support the INEC in ensuring free, fair and conclusive election.
Edited by Felix Ajide
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