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FG’s technology, facility upgrade helps improve air travel safety in Nigeria — Expert



The Federal Government’s technology and facility upgrade has helped to improve air travel safety in Nigeria to global standards, a fellow of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), has said.

Mrs Therese Iheanacho, who is the General Manager, Workshop Planning and Logistics, Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, stated this in Lagos on Wednesday said this at a public lecture and induction of new members of NSE, Apapa branch.

Iheanacho, who was guest speaker at the lecture, said that safety was a “watch word” in the aviation industry.

She likened being in an aircraft to being locked in a refrigerator and flown from take off to landing, hence, the need for efficiency of the Communication Navigational Surveillance (CNS) equipment needed to achieve precision.

Speaking on the topic, “Safety in Aviation Industry-Dealing with Engineering Challenges, Human Errors and Environmental Factors”, she  listed stress, inadequate training, poor renumeration, flooded runways, weather, wind shear, and dust in equipment, among others as factors responsible for the human and environmental challenges in the industry.

The aviation expert said that the industry required the expertise of engineers, who should use the navigational aids to ensure safety and efficiency.

Iheanacho explained that the present government had replaced obsolete equipment, increased welfare of aviation workers, and embarked on continuous training for efficiency, saying: “this has improved safety in the aviation industry.

“The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) says Nigerian airspace is safe.

“so, it is safe.”

She said that the CNS was being powered by solar energy to ensure uninterruptible power supply and assured travelers that the Nigerian airspace was safe and offered the safest and fastest transportation services.

She explained that although standards were being upheld, ensuring safety was the responsibility of everyone in the industry from the passengers, to workers on the ground, cabin crew, and engineers.

Iheanacho said that available statistics showed that aviation accidents from 2012 to 2016 had been on the decline because of the use of navigational aids which made flight operations safer and better.

She said that engineering was the bedrock of the aviation industry as everything – from plane design to various flight stages – was controlled by engineers and engineering.

Iheanacho, “If the airspace is not safe, how do you carry the people and goods.”

President of the NSE, Mr Adekunle Mokuolu, represented by Mr Akintayo Akintola, immediate past chairman of the Ikeja branch of the society, while delivering his speech, said that safe transportation was a priority of the association.

“The essence of the NSE is to make our society a better place to live and hence the need for this lecture,” Mokuolu said.

Mokuolu congratulated the 10 new inductees who he said were going to make a difference by their contributions to national growth.

In his welcome address, Mr Sunny Ejeje, Chairman, Apapa branch of NSE,  had said that the choice of the topic was to cover another major aspect as transportation having dealt with other modes in previous programmes.

“Aviation industry is something that has been disturbing us in our branch and we felt there is need to deal with the human errors and environmental challenges to technology in the industry,” he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that some deserving engineers were given various awards in recognition of their contributions to the growth of the society and the country.


Olowo assures Nigerian Army of more support



Oba Ajibade Gbadegesin Ogunoye III, the Olowo of Owo kingdom, has assured the Nigerian Army of its support in the fight against terrorism, kidnapping, banditry among other security challenges in the country.

The monarch gave this assurance on Tuesday in his palace at Owo when the Brigade Commander, 32 Artillery Brigade,  Brig. Gen. Zakari Abubakar paid a courtesy visit to the palace in Ondo state.

Ogunoye, who lauded the Nigerian army for the success recorded in the ongoing fight against insecurity and other criminal activities in the nation particularly in Ondo state and Owo environs, said it was highly commendable.

The performance of the Nigerian Army in curtailing security challenges in the country under the leadership  of the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai is highly commendable.

“We will continue to support the military in order to further the course of peace and stability in the nation and Ondo State in  general,” he said.

The monarch, therefore, appreciated the COAS  for his doggedness and leadership quality,  particularly in tackling security challenges across the nation.

Earlier, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, who presented the letter of appreciation for projecting the Nigerian Army in good light to the monarch, said Ogunoye had helped security agency to tackle criminality in the state.

Buratai, who was represented by Brig. Gen. Zakari Abubakar, Commander of 32 Artillery Brigade in Ondo State, promised that the Nigerian Army would not relent in carrying out their constitutional role of protecting  lives and property of citizens.

Oba Ajibade Gbadegesin has been a lead advocate in projecting the Nigerian army in good light, considering his high profile and high esteem.

“And for also providing credible information to the security agencies in the state to tackle crime in Owo community,” he said.

The top army officer, who said that troops had been deployed to some strategic areas in the state as Arimogija, Owo and Oba Akoko area, said that 24 suspects had been arrested so far within two weeks of operation in the area.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Yemi Idris-Aduloju (NAN)


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Nigerian celebrities mourn late Majek Fashek



Nigerian celebrities have taken to their social media platforms to mourn the death of Music Legend, Majekodunmi  Fasheke, a.k.a Majek Fashek.

Fashek’s a.k.a rain maker’s death  was  announced by his manager, Omenka Uzoma, through a short video on his instagram page.

Some of the celebrities include  Chibuzor Azubuike a.k.a phyno ,  Olanrewaju Fasasi, a.k.a Sound Sultan displayed the reggae artist pictures on their Instagram pages

Other  include Yomi Black, Bimbo Esho, actress Toyin Adegbola and Jude Okoye were not equally left out.

Phyno wrote: “Rest in peace, Legend.”

Sound Sultan had this on his page: “Rest in peace, power Majek.”

Yomi Black wrote:” Rest in peace, Majek Fashek.”

Also, Bimbo Esho, Chief Executive Officer, Evergreen Musical Company, mourned the late reggae maestro as she wrote ” Adieu Majek Fashek. May you journey well. The Rainmaker takes a final bow to the cold hands of death.

Actress Toyin Adegbola said “Rest in peace, Majek.”

Jude Okoye, Chief Executive Officer of Northside Music, also wrote: “Rest peacefully, my Legend.”

Fashek died June 1, at the age of 57, in a hospital in New York.

Fashek was a Nigerian singer, songwriter and guitarist, who was best known for his 1988 album ” Prisoner of Conscience”, which included the multiple award-winning single, “Send Down the Rain”.

Fashek, worked with various artists worldwide, including Tracy Chapman, Jimmy Cliff, Michael Jackson, Snoop Dogg and Beyonce.


Edited By: Muftau Adediran/Ekemini Ladejobi (NAN)



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Nigeria to resume film production under coronavirus guidelines




Nigeria’s movie industry is set to resume film production which has been banned during lockdown amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to a producers association.

The Theater Arts and Motion Pictures Producers Association of Nigeria (TAMPAN) announced relaxed restriction on movie production, saying it was in line with the Lagos state government’s relaxation order which took effect from June 1.

In a statement reaching Xinhua in Lagos on Tuesday, Bolaji Amusan, TAMPAN‘s national president, thanked members for abiding by the earlier proclamations of the association to stop shooting of films and other related productions during the pandemic.

He however urged the artists to take the necessary precautionary measures that would protect them from contacting the virus in the course of their work, as the pandemic had not been completely defeated.

He said part of the measures to put in place subsequently on movie locations was that producers must provide soap and running water for constant washing of hands by both the cast and crew members.

“Avoid close contact with anyone showing symptoms of respiratory illness, coughing or sneezing repeatedly, and quickly report such cases to the production managers for necessary actions,” Amusan said.

Nigeria’s movie industry, also known as Nollywood, is one of the largest film industries in the world in terms of quantity of films produced every year. Nigeria’s films and TV series have enjoyed popularity in Africa and even made a hit on international theaters, such as “Lionheart”, “Up North”, and “Chief Daddy“.


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Nigeria yet to reach peak of contagion as COVID-19 cases cross 10,000: official




The Nigerian government has expressed concern over the rising number of COVID-19 infections in the country, saying the west African nation is yet to reach peak of the pandemic.

The Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) on Monday night recorded 416 new cases of COVID-19 in the country, bringing the total number of infections in Nigeria to 10,578, with 299 deaths and 3,122 discharged from hospitals.

Most of the fatalities recorded from COVID-19 were cases with other underlying illnesses known as co-morbidities, the NCDC added.

Boss Mustapha, chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, told media on Monday it was necessary to restate to the citizenry, that Nigeria had not reached the peak of confirmed cases, adding that the battle against COVID-19 was a long term battle.

According to him, the majority of the confirmed cases are in a handful of local government areas in the country as 20 out of the 774 local government areas nationwide accounts for 60 percent of the cases.

Mustapha said the PTF has recommended to Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari to allow states to decide on easing lockdown measures, such as reopening of schools, businesses and worship centers shut since March as part of the efforts to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Joe Okei-Odumakin, a local observer, told Xinhua the government should step up capacity to test citizens for the virus so as to isolate and treat the infected. “Testing kits and reagents as well as protective equipment and materials are reportedly to be in short supply, in addition to their prices hitting the roof,” she said.

Okei-Odumakin also expressed concern that citizens with other ailments requiring visits to hospitals had been crowded out of the health facilities.

Mustapha, who is also the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, said there would be an application of science and data to guide the targeting of areas of high transmission of COVID-19 in the country.

He said the mobilization of resources at state and local government area levels will create public awareness on COVID-19 and improve compliance with non-pharmaceutical interventions within communities.


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Nigerian newspaper decries African American glass ceiling




Blacks in the United States are unable to reach their full potential because of a glass ceiling created by whites, according to an article in a Nigerian national newspaper.

The article in This Day, under the title “The Mindless Murder of George Floyd,” asked, “Why are many blacks targeted in needless killings by the white cops? What crime have they committed? Is it a crime to be black? What happened to diversity and inclusiveness?”

African American George Floyd was killed after a white police kneeled on Floyd’s neck for about eight minutes until he stopped breathing.

In a video, the victim was heard saying “I can’t breathe” while three other police officers stood by.

The incident has triggered protests against racism in the United States, forcing curfews to be declared in several parts of the country.

Chairperson of the African Union Commission Moussa Faki Mahamat called on authorities in the United States to intensify their efforts to “ensure the total elimination of all forms of discrimination based on race or ethnic origin.”


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Nigerian Army Medical Corps gets new Acting Corps Commander



The Nigerian Army Medical Corps gets a new Acting Corps Commander, the News Agency of Nigeria reports.

The handing and taking over ceremony was held on Monday at the Headquarters, Nigerian Army Medical Corps, Bonny Camp cantonment, Lagos.

The ceremony witnessed by Col. S. J. Adama, the outgoing Acting Corps Commander, who handed over to Col. I.B. Solebo.

The new Acting Corps Commander said that his vision was to have a highly regimented, professional and accountable Corps in the delivery of its services.

“You will agree with me that the amount of financial resources devoted to and already expended by the Chief of Army Staff (COAS) on healthcare infrastructure in our medical establishment is enormous.

“The Corps is unparalleled in the recent history of the Nigerian Army. As such, there is no gainsaying that to whom, much is given much is expected.

“By extension, performance, excellence and efficiency in the delivery of prompt and enviable healthcare to our officers, soldiers and their families is therefore not an exception, but the norm henceforth,” he said.

He said that regimentation was the bedrock of military indoctrination and panacea for victory at warfare and success in peacetime administration.

Solebo implored all personnel to reflect on the ethics, customs and tradition of the military and abide strictly by the rules therein, if we are to foster an enviable Corps for the future.

He urged all corps commanders to ensure that all military personnel in their various units engaged in physical activities as stipulated by the Nigerian Army to improve the performance at work.

According to him, to improve the performance at work, a physically fit body and mentally alert mind are essential.

“As such, all commanders are to ensure all military personnel of the Corps in their respective units actively participate in physical activities by way of morning physical training.

“And also evening games as stipulated by the NA except while on duty as the current COVID-19 pandemic settles.

“Participation in this activities are to be reflected in the PER’s of all personnel by their respective directors and commanders.

“All officers and soldiers of the Corps will also work to maintain their body mass index prescribed by the ASA.

“There would be special focus on health care deliver in the North East including the Reference hospital in the AOR.

“With the goal of reinforcing and bringing clinical, and surgical expertise closer to the location of injured amongst troops.

“Such that intervention is faster with the expected effect of further reduction in morbidity and mortality,” he said.

Solebo also said that all medical units would benefit from declaring their average drug usage on a monthly or quarterly basis.

According to him, drug availability on the NHIS in our hospitals and the scourge of fake drugs had become a topical issue.

“All medical units would benefit from declaring their average drug usage on a monthly or quarterly basis. This would aid budgeting and efficient use of primary funds including capitation and fee for service.

“A drive towards centralisation of drug procurement from a few validated sources would be urgently explored, whilst our drug manufacturing unit continue to explore capacity building and expansion to meet the drug consumption need of the NA,” he said.

Solebo, however, thanked the COAS for counting him worthy of steering the affairs of the Corps, saying that all his efforts would be channelled toward swiftly achieving the vision of the COAS.

He also thanked the outgoing Acting Corps Commander on the effort made to reposition the Corps thus far.

Present at the event include all Headquarters Directors, Commandants Nigerian Army School of Medical Science, Chief Medical Director 68 Nigerian Army Reference Hospital Yaba.

The MD, Nigerian Army Drug Manufacturing Company Limited, the Ag Chief Medical Director Military Hospital Port Harcourt, Heads of Departments and Principal staff officers.

Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu/Felix Ajide (NAN)



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Nigeria yet to reach ‘peak’ of COVID-19 cases – PTF



The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19,  says Nigeria is yet to reach the “peak” of COVID-19 infections.

The chairmen of PTF and Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) Mr Boss Mustapha , disclosed this at the COVID-19 daily news conference on Monday in Abuja.

He said it was necessary to restate to the citizenry,  that Nigeria had not reached the peak of confirmed cases, adding that the battle against COVID-19 was a long term battle.

He urged Nigerian to pursue a strategy that would aid the sustainable control of the spread of the disease, stressing that risk communications and community engagement should remain  top priority.

He added that precision approached to containment and management should be adopted based on the overall assessment, including available data on the public health considerations and resultant economic impacts.

According to him, the PTF is of the opinion that Nigeria is ready to allow science and data determine her cautious advancement into the second phase of the eased lockdown for a period of four weeks.

“It is the consideration of the PTF that while Nigeria’s confirmed cases have increased in the period under review, the following factors should inspire confidence in the response

“Majority of the confirmed cases are in a handful of local government areas  in the country as 20 out of the 774 LGAs nationwide account for 60 per cent of the cases,” he said.

He said there was an opportunity to concentrate efforts in the high-burden areas, adding that the federal agencies and state governments were working together on the promotion and utilisation of guidelines on case management.

According to him, there is increased capacity to detect, test and trace those infected with the virus as 29 testing laboratories have been activated, with Bauchi being the latest addition.

He added that the test count nationwide had exceeded 60,000, stating that a shift in focus to community engagement and enhanced risk communication was imperative.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Sadiya Hamza (NAN)

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Nigeria’s bourse resumes trading in June with 0.19% growth



The nation’s bourse resumed trading in June on a positive note, with the All- Share Index appreciating by 0.19 per cent.

Specifically, the index rose by 48.33 points or 0.19 per cent to close at 25,316.15 compared with 25,267.82 posted on Friday.

Also, the market capitalisation which opened the month at N13.168 trillion inched higher by N25 billion or 0.19 per cent to close at N13.193 trillion.

The uptrend was impacted by gains recorded in large and medium capitalised stocks, amongst which are: Dangote Sugar, Nigerian Breweries, Guaranty Trust Bank, Vitafoam Nigeria and BUA Cement.

Analysts at Imperial Asset Managers Limited stated that, “This week, we expect to see a measure of profit taking as some active traders may likely cash on profit.”

They reiterated that investors with long-term investment goals should continue to build their portfolios given the current attractive valuation of most fundamentally viable stocks.

The market closed positively with 28 gainers against 10 losers.

Japaul Oil & Maritime Services and Nigerian Aviation Handling Company led the gainers’ chart in percentage terms, improving by 10 per cent each, to close at 22k and N2.75, respectively,

Dangote Sugar Refinery followed with 9.69 per cent to close at N14.15, per share.

Cornerstone Insurance grew by 9.09 per cent to close at 60k, while Champion Breweries appreciated by 8.79 per cent to close at 99k per share.

On the other hand, Fidson Healthcare led the losers’ chart in percentage terms with a loss of 9.71 per cent, to close at N3.07, per share.

Stanbic IBTC Holdings followed with 9.22 per cent to close at N32.50, while AXA Mansard declined by 8.87 per cent to close at N1.85, per share.

Afromedia dipped 7.69 per cent to close at 24k, while Flour Mills Nigeria and Honeywell Flour Mill shed 4.76 per cent each to close at N20 and N1 per share, respectively.

However, the total volume of shares traded dropped by 22.21 per cent with an exchange of 253.31 million shares worth N2.65 billion in 4,775 deals.

This was against a total of 325.61 million shares valued N4.48 billion, achieved in 5,647 deals on Friday.

Transactions in the shares of FBN Holdings topped the activity chart with 41.01 million shares valued N221.78 million.

Guaranty Trust Bank followed with 36.17 million shares worth N887.46 million, while Japaul Oil & Maritime Services sold 25.44 million shares valued N5.54 million.

Zenith Bank accounted for 21.58 million shares worth N369.89 million, while Regency Alliance Insurance transacted 20.47 million shares worth N4.11 million.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Salif Atojoko (NAN)



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Senate raises concern over high cost of crude oil production in Nigeria



The Senate on Monday expressed concern over the high cost of crude oil production by the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

It said despite the high cost of producing crude oil, Nigeria was not getting much in return on its investment in crude oil production.

Solomon Adeola, Chairman, Senate Committee on Finance, made the observation at an interactive session on Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and Fiscal Strategy Papers (FSP) with officers of Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning.

Other agencies of government in attendance at the meeting inlcuded revenue generating agencies such as, NNPC, Nigeria Customs Service and Federal Inland Revenue Services (FIRS) among others.

Adeola said: “I want you to take us through why  Nigeria’s cost of production per barrel of crude oil is  the most expensive in the world.

“Give us the breakdown of what constitutes those costs into variables and the technical cost.

“We want to know what you are doing as an agency of government to bring down this cost,” he said.

He said the committee was interested in ascertaining other costs of crude production in terms of administrative cost.

“Who determines this cost, with the benchmark of 25 dollars as proposed, Nigeria is just going to have just three dollars as its own return on investment.

“The oil revenue and the mineral revenue as proposed in the MTEF has dropped from almost N8.86 trillion to N3.33 trillion, are you saying that it is worthwhile investment for us as a nation.

“How do you ensure that Nigeria is being charged the right cost on each barrel of oil.

In Saudi Arabia, it is four dollars per barrel cost of production, in Russia it is about three dollars per barrel, Nigeria is 21 dollars.

“We are beginning to be afraid as to why we are channeling all our efforts to this oil and gas if the return on investment is nothing to write home about,” he said.

Sen. James Manager (PDP Delta) said the reason adduced by NNPC for the cost of production was not tenable.

“Because wherever oil is produced, they have their own security challenge even Saudi Arabia, Iran Russia, they have their own unique security issues.

“How is our own so peculiar that our cost of production is up to 21dollars per barrel.

“You also mentioned administrative issue, which are those administrative issues, why are we different from the rest of the world.

“These are issues that the national assembly is supposed to take up,” he said.

Sen. Jibril Isah (APC Kogi) said:”I am disturbed because, I expected the NNPC to dwell more on fixed costs but surprisingly, you are talking about administrative cost, security, these are variables.

“Even the fixed cost on the long run are also variables which you can also work on,” he said.

The Group Managing Director of NNPC, Mr Mele Kyari said the NNPC was working hard to bring down the fixed cost of crude oil production.

Kyari, represented by the Chief Operating Officer of NNPC, Upstream,Mr Yemi Adetunji said further:

“We know that these costs are high that is why we have decided to go from even the initial approved 25 dollars to 21 dollars per barrel.

“We believe that once we have the new framework in place going forward, we shall even see lower cost of production from T1 and T2.

“There are things we are targeting; security challenges are peculiar to Nigeria.

“In other climes,  pipelines are on the surface you hardly see them being  tampered with,  but in Nigeria even when they are buried two meters to three meters deep they are still being vandalised.

” In some cases, we are trying to take them to deeper levels but those ones will add to cost of production like going 10 meters to 15 meters deep.

“This adds to the cost about three or four times the cost of production as against putting the pipelines on the surface,” he said.

He said NNPC was working with security agencies to ensure that security hitches responsible for high cost were brought down to the minimum.

Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Ekemini Ladejobi (NAN)

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