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MAX Air resumes fights after hours of delay

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Max Air, one of the local operators, resumed its regular flights on Friday while attributing its Thursday flight delays at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja to scarcity of aviation fuel.

A top official of the airline told the Nigeria News Agency on Friday in Abuja that the airline had put in place logistics to take care of the affected air travellers that were disappointed on Thursday.

“We are now taking fuel from our other stations, but we ensure our aircraft from Port Harcourt, Lagos and Kano, among others, carry enough fuel to fly them from Abuja to further destinations.

“We get our aviation fuel from directly from Conoil, Total, Sahara and Oando, among others. However, supply is not just enough at Abuja station to take care of our present needs.

“The passengers, who were meant to be on the 12: 45 p.m., were delayed and protested the protracted delay of their flights on Thursday and the delay really affected our other flight schedules on Thursday.

The official told NAN that the situation was now normal as three of their aircraft had left to their various destinations as at 12 noon on Friday.

He apologised to their customers for the delay and promised that they would be proactive henceforth.

Mr Caleb Adeoye, one of the Max Air passengers on the Thursday’s scheduled flight, told NAN that he returned to catch the airline re-scheduled flight on Friday.

“As at yesterday, there was nothing much I could do although that was my first experience of flight cancellation by the airline, but today everything is alright as you can see.

“However, airlines should endevour to inform their customers of changes earlier.”

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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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Metro

NiMet predicts sunny, dry conditions for Sunday

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The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) has predicted sunny and dry conditions over the nation on Sunday.

NiMet’s weather outlook pedicted sunny and dry condition over Northern region with partly cloudy to sunny conditions over the Central region.

It further predicted few chances of thunderstorms and rains over the Southern region.

According to NiMet, sunny and dry conditions shall prevail over Northern region with day and night temperatures of 32 to 37 degree Celsius and 14 to 24 degree Celsius respectively.

“For Central states, partly cloudy to sunny conditions are anticipated over the region with chances of thunderstorms over Mambilla plateau during the afternoon/evening period.

“Day and night temperatures are expected to be 28 to 37 degree Celsius and 13 to 23 degree Celsius respectively, ” it said.

NiMet forecast partly cloudy to cloudy conditions over Southern states with few chances of thunderstorms over Ijebu-Ode, Calabar and Port Harcourt in the morning hours.

It envisaged partly cloudy to cloudy skies with prospects of thunderstorms and rains over some parts of the region during the afternoon/evening hours.

It predicted that the region is expected to have day and night temperatures of 30 to 34 degree Celsius and 20 to 25 degree Celsius respectively.

Edited by Jane-Frances Oraka/Ali Baba-Inuwa

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Dana Air flew 5.4m passengers in 11 years – official

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Dana Air said it flew 5.4 million passengers in its 11 years of operation in Nigeria.

The airline’s Media and Communications Manager, Mr Kingsley Ezenwa, said this in a statement issued in Lagos on Saturday.

Ezenwa said the airline expected to double the figure by sustaining its operational efficiency, increasing its fleet size, maintaining its record on-time performance and raising the bar of its excellent service delivery in the coming years.

“Having completed a commercial analysis of our loads in the last 11 years and confirmed it to stand at 5.4 million, we have set the ball rolling for the next 9 years.

“We have commenced reviewing plans and we intend to raise the bar of our operational efficiency, increase our fleet and improve on our excellent service delivery to remain on top and keep the commitment and loyalty of our staff and guests.

“With the addition of two of our recently acquired B737 aircraft, we are looking at creating more flights and providing massive capacity at underserved destinations within our route network this yuletide.

“This is to ensure seamless travel experience for our guests to avoid the uncertainty of last year.”

“On our product and services delivery, we have the Dana miles club which offers benefits such as miles plus cash, miles in exchange for ticket, excess baggage allowance, discount at partner outlets and upgrade from economy to business class.

“Our Dana Miles guests should expect more in terms of innovation and rewards.

“Our business class service is amazing and the service is second to none, tailored for customers who love to travel in style, luxury and comfort.

“We would like to keep the travel experience as topnotch as always.

“We have dedicated each day to serving our customers even better and we have upped our enlightenment for passengers to use their correct details so we can interact with them directly via our multiple channels.”

The Dana Air spokesman said that airline was one of Nigeria’s leading airlines with a fleet size of nine aircraft and daily flights to major destinations in Nigeria.

He said that the airline was reputed for its innovative online products and services, world-class in-flight services and unrivaled on-time performance.

Edited by Tajudeen Atitebi

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Restructuring: Fashola fears `Brexit experience’ for Nigeria

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The Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, has expressed fears that Nigeria may experience the Brexit experience, unless youths in the country are given political education to make them understand the issue of restructuring.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that a cross-section of Nigerians has been clamouring consistently for Nigeria’s restructuring as basis for national cohesion, progress and peaceful co-existence.

Fashola was speaking as guest speaker at the 76th anniversary of the Island Club in Lagos at the weekend.

According to him, Nigerian youths need to be given the right political education to help them understand the issue of restructuring, to avert the Brexit experience.

Brexit refers to the decision by some people in Britain for the country to leave the European Union (EU), a choice that has thrown the country into confusion.

Fashola argued that the quest for better life had resulted in relentless agitations by some Nigerian groups pushing diverse ideologies in their demands for restructuring.

He said that Britain was currently grappling with the problem of whether to stay in the EU or not because the youth segment of the population did not fully understand the implications of the referendum they participated in.

The minister stressed the need for adequate education of the younger segment of the Nigerian population to ensure that right choices were made in repositioning the nation’s diversity to avoid the Brexit experience.

Fashola noted, however, that he was speaking in his capacity as a member of the Island Club and not as a member of the Federal Executive Council or the ruling All Progressives Congress.

Speaking on “Restructuring: Lessons from Brexit,” Fashola gave a detailed history of the evolution of the United Kingdom, which he said, was similar to Nigeria’s 1914 amalgamation that merged the Northern and Southern Protectorates.

He explained that the insatiable quest for better life was the root of the clamor for restructuring in Nigeria, noting that measures to create new identities had compounded problems throughout human history.

The senior advocate of Nigeria argued that young people, who were not aware of the history of the emergence and evolution of Britain voted in favor of leaving the EU without understanding or weighing its implications, resulting to the current logjam.

He pointed out that ignorance of voters had left Britain in a difficult position of taking a decision whether to leave or not, which had led to the exit of three prime ministers with no headway in sight.

The senior lawyer warned proponents of restructuring in Nigeria to make their definitions clear and to also educate youths on the implications of their choices to avoid retrogression in Nigeria.

Fashola noted that there had been confusion in the restructuring agitation with people clamouring variously for confederation, secession, constitutional amendment and state police, among others, adding that restructuring in whatever guise must be made clear to youths.

“Let us decompose that word and let everybody be specific. There is so much confusion. Don’t hide restructuring under one word. Bring it out, so that we know what to choose.

“Some people are calling for parliamentary system of government. The new generation must be told that it was the parliamentary system that caused crisis which was difficult to resolve and which led us into civil war.

“Where people are diverse, a federation is better. There is a great deal of work to be done by the protagonists.’’

Fashola listed countries that broke up without being able to resolve the issues of separation to include Yugoslavia, Sudan, the Soviet Union, North and South Korea, warning against agitations to split Nigeria.

The minister said there were currently 86 unresolved boundary disputes as a result of state creations in the country, explaining that the Federal Government was still building secretariats for some new states.

Fashola said that sometimes the fears of over concentration of powers in the central government was not real, citing various processes, including budgeting that depended on other arms of government for approval.

He said that the Federal Government was being blamed for all problems, ranging from education to other sectors dominated by states or the private sector.

“One of the items on restructuring is that we want quality education.

“The default argument for poor quality education is government but I say, it is true to the extent that government is the regulator.

“It licenses. It approves, sets and enforces standards but today the records indicate that there are about 165 universities in Nigeria.

Forty three belong to the Federal Government, 47 belong to State Governments and 75 are private.’’

Fashola said there were constitutional provisions already for distribution of equal opportunities, citing the 13 per cent revenue allocation for mineral producing areas as an example.

The minister said that the constitution could show direction but that Nigerians must imbibe the right attitude for it to work.

“A good document not backed by the right attitude does not take a people far. If anything really needs restructuring, it must start with us as a people, with our attitude and with our mindset.

“Better life does not necessarily exist in a new document without a right political education; a change of attitude and an inflexible commitment to the public rule.’’

Fashola, however, supported calls for state police but stated that Nigeria missed the opportunity to have it because people did not follow up with it at various levels of government.

Also speaking, a former Minister of State for Defence, Sen. Musiliu Obanikoro, said that experience had shown that “where you have injustice, humans will resist and opt for their independence”.

He called for equal opportunities to remove increasing inequalities and endless agitations for session in the country.

The Chairman of the Island Club, Mr Philip Abumere, lauded Fashola for his commitment to nation building, citing the minister’s strides when he was governor of Lagos State.

Edited by Silas Nwoha

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