Metro

Nigeria’s airlines record 16,429 delayed flights in 6 months – NCAA

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Domestic airlines operating in Nigeria recorded 16,429 cases of delayed flights between January and June 2019 according to figures released by the Consumer Protection Department of Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).

A document issued by the department and obtained by the Nigeria News Agency on Thursday in Lagos, showed that 30,043 flights were operated by nine airlines during the period under review.

According to the document, 241 flights were cancelled for various reasons by the airlines.

It said the airlines in operation were Aero Contractors, Arik Air, Air Peace, Azman Air, Dana Air, Med-View, Overland, Max Air and Ibom Air.

The document said Air Peace, which operated 11,889 flights, topped the chart of delayed flights with 6,359 and 91 cancelled flights.

It added that Arik Air followed with 2,306 delayed flights and 41 cancellations out of its 5,378 flight operations.

According to the document, Aero operated 3,293 flights with 2,181 delayed and 36 cancelled flights while Azman Air recorded 1,312 delayed and 12 cancellations out of the 2,711 flights operated by the airline.

Also, Dana Air operated 2,278 flights with 1,477 delayed and 25 cancellations while Overland had 1,248 flights with 894 delayed and eight cancellations.

Max Air recorded 2,652 flights with 1,538 delayed and 19 cancellations ; Medview, 374 flights with 219 delayed and eight cancelled flights and new entrant, Ibom Air had 220 flights with 143 delayed and no cancelled flight.

However, the delays according to the airlines, were due to operational reasons, scarcity of aviation fuel as well as adverse weather conditions leading to low visibility at most of the airports.

YO/SH

edited by Sadiya Hamza

Metro

Buhari, 3 Governors depart for Egypt ahead of Aswan Forum

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President Muhammadu Buhari has departed Abuja for Aswan, Egypt to attend the Aswan Forum designed to set “An Agenda for Sustainable Peace and Development in Africa.”

Nigeria News Agency reports that the president accompanied by Governors Ahmadu Fintiri of Adamawa, Godwin Obaseki of Edo and Mai Mala Buni of Yobe departed the Presidential wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, for Egypt at about 2.00p.m.

The Forum which holds between Dec. 11 and Dec. 12, is an initiative to address the interconnections between peace and development in Africa while promoting Africa-led solutions through strengthening policies and practices.

The initiative is being launched by the Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in his capacity as the Chairman of the African Union (AU) and as an advocate of Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development in Africa – a recurring theme of his tenure as the AU Chairman.

It is also grounded in the AU’s Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want, and the search for African solutions to African problems.

The gathering is expected to bring together heads of state and government, leaders from regional and international organisations, financial institutions, private sector and civil societies.

”(Others are) scholars, visionaries and prominent experts for action-oriented discussions on the threats, challenges and opportunities.

It is also expected to end with a Declaration on the theme of the Forum and become an annual event,’’ an earlier statement on Monday by the president’s spokesman, Mr Femi Adesina disclosed.

Others members of the president’s entourage included the Minister of Defence, Gen. Bashir Magashi (Rtd); Minister of State, Foreign Affairs, Amb. Zubairu Dada; National Security Adviser, Maj.-Gen. Babagana Monguno (Rtd); and the Director-General, National Intelligence Agency, Amb. Ahmed Abubakar.

Buhari is expected back in Abuja on Friday.

Edited by: Sadiya Hamza
(NAN)

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NIMASA boss says corruption discourages investment,  growth 

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Dr Dakuku Peterside, Director-General, Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), says corruption discourages investment and growth of the country.

Peterside told newsmen on Tuesday in Abuja that corruption impacted negatively on the society and should not be encouraged.

Now the other dimension of corruption which our people keep ignoring is that it discourages investment in our country and without investment we cannot grow.

It is investments that create jobs, wealth, investment and opportunities for our people. It also enhances the quality of living of the people.

In an atmosphere of corruption, commerce cannot thrive; commerce is another catalyst for growth.

If commerce do not thrive the people suffers, they don’t even have access to goods and services produced in other parts of the world they think they need.

And they lose their sense of dignity because their labour does not give them reward of self-worth. So corruption must be of interest to every well-meaning Nigeria,’’ Peterside said.

The director-general reiterated that Moody, the global rating agency, recently downgraded Nigeria from stable to negative, adding that it called for concern.

He said the rating would impact on the money we can get from multilateral agencies, foreign direct investment, our ability to access loans and other aspects of our national life.

Peterside commended the present administration under which he said the country’s corruption perception index improved.

He, however, said that the position of Nigeria is not where it ought to be, advising that Nigeria should thrive more to ensure complete eradication of the menace in our society.

On the Israeli contract, Peterside said there was no contract for the Israeli to come and man Nigerian waterways.

According to him, there is a deep blue project, a code name for an integrated water ways surveillance and infrastructure project.

He said a firm was hired to provide surveillance and infrastructure as well as necessary assets needed to build our intelligence capability and respond to threats in our maritime environment.

He said: “the second aspect of their work is to help us re-train our forces so that they can fight on sea and man our waterways. Now, I chose my words, Nigerians will man our waterways, Nigerians will man the assets we use in fighting on our waterways.’’

On audit of agencies, Peterside commended the Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, for the initiative while expressing the agencies commitment to support the course.

He said: “we are public institutions. It is not about us being ready to open our books. Our books are permanently open. We have done much to stem corruption and to run a transparent and open system.

That is why we are automating our entire process in NIMASA, so that it becomes easier for anybody to access our books.

We are public institution, the only power we have is because the Nigerian people donated their power through the National Assembly and the National Assembly made an Act to establish NIMASA.

We are not powerful because of whom we are, we are powerful because the Nigerian people gave us the power to act on their behalf.

“To ensure that we minimise risk in the maritime sector, regulate the sector and promote the participation of Nigerians in the sector, that is our mandate.’’

The Minister of State for Transportation, Gbemi Saraki said that corruption was a global phenomenon, adding that the Ministry of Transportation was working to contain it.

“We have deployed the Ports Support Services Portal (PSSP) and the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) which are not only valuable tools in the ease of doing business but will minimise human contact, thereby reducing the prevalence of corruption.

Edited by: Abdullahi Mohammed/Ismail Abdulaziz
(NAN)

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Expand research scope, NEMA DG tells disaster risk centres

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Mr Mustapha Maihaja, Director-General, National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), has urged universities offering disaster risk management and development studies in the country to expand their research scope.

Maihaja spoke on Tuesday in Abuja at a roundtable with directors of the six centres of disaster risk management and development studies.

He said that the meeting was important to review and expand activities of the centres.

According to him, the expansion of the centre’s research scope will help to curb devastating number of disaster threats in the country.

We know the position of the UN on disaster risk reduction which culminated in the 2015 to 2030 Sendai framework of disaster risk reduction and the set goal.

We need to think out of the box, think ahead, plan ahead and think differently as far as disaster management is concerned.

As such, we do not have an instrument or structure to meet these goals than the centres which the agency established,’’ the NEMA boss said.

He said that disaster management was a serious issue because it involved protecting lives and property.

This is because when we reduce the risk to disasters, the cost of response will be reduced drastically.

We need to expand the research scope and review the memorandum of understanding so as to come up with new responsibilities for the centres and the agencies,” he said.

Prof. Jaiye Dukiya, Director, Federal University of Technology (FUT), Minna branch of the centre, commended the agency for its support over the years.

He added that the centres would continue to develop ideas that would reduce disaster risks in the country.

Nigeria News Agency reports that in 2009, NEMA signed an agreement with six universities to establish centres of disaster risk management and development studies.

The universities are Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, University of Portharcourt, FUT Minna, University of Ibadan, University of Maiduguri and the University of Nigeria, Nsukka.

Edited by: Chinyere Bassey/Kayode Olaitan
(NAN)

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Aisha Buhari pledges to champion advocacy against maternal, child deaths

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Advocacy

Abuja, Dec. 9, 2019 The First Lady, Aisha Buhari, has expressed her readiness to champion the advocacy towards improving maternal and child health so as to minimise infant and maternal mortality in Nigeria.

Mrs. Buhari said this on Monday, during a peer review meeting with Governors’ Wives Advocacy Coalition, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The meeting was organised by the first lady to ascertain the progress so far made on their advocacy toward improving reproductive, maternal, adolescent health and nutrition at the various states.

She expressed the need for stakeholders to make a strategic partnership to aggressively tackle the raising cases of maternal and child deaths.

”In 2017, we gathered to discuss the disheartening situation of maternal and child health in the country and realised the need to aggressively address the issue to avoid a situation where more women will have to choose whether to give birth to a child or stay alive.

“I am happy that we have demonstrated a commitment to making life better,” she said.

The first lady commended the wives of Governors for their commitment and the progress made so far on the advocacy towards addressing the menace in their various states.

”It is encouraging to receive the progress report from each state since the establishment of the coalition; I must appreciate the support you all provided.”

She, therefore, reaffirmed her commitment towards championing the course of women and children, especially in improving the maternal and child health in Nigeria.
 
Mrs. Buhari also used the occasion to decorate the wife of th3 Vice President, Mrs. Dolapo Osinbajo, and other wives of Governors as “Tberculosis champions”. 


 
On her part,  the wife of Niger State Governor, Dr Amina Sani Bello, who read the seven-point communique at the end of the meeting, said that there was need for training and retraining of Governors wives on issues-based advocacy.

The communique urged organisations interested in working for the health and wellbeing of women and children in states to involve the state’s first ladies from the planning to implementation stages. .

Edited by: Ephraims Sheyin
(NAN)

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Metro

FG assures local printers, publishers of more patronage

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The Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, on Monday said that the Federal Government would patronise local printers and publishers of educational materials over their foreign counterparts.

The minister, who gave this assurance in Abuja, when a delegation from the Academy Press Plc. paid him a working visit, said that the decision was to promote the industry.

He assured indigenous printers and publishers of the Federal Government’s support.

Our  decision to support the industry was necessitated by the need to support indigenous printers and publishers in line with the present administration’s policy of local content usage.

The government has resolved to make the industry more conducive for practitioners by evolving policies.

Since government is aware of the industry’s huge job creation potentials, it behoves on us to make it more viable,’’ the minister said.

In his remarks, the Chairman, Academy Press Plc., Mr Wahab Dabiri, called on the Federal Government to give to the printing and publishing industry the same support given to manufacturing and agricultural industries.

He said that the Academy Press Plc was an indigenous printer and publisher of educational and examination materials.

It is important that the government reviews some of its policies as regards the sector, especially in its current quest to create employment opportunities in the country.

The industry, which has the potential of creating huge employment opportunities and growing the revenue base of the economy, is currently producing below 50 per cent of its capacity,” Dabiri lamented.

Mr Gbenga Ladipo, Managing Director, West Africa Book Publishers, a subsidiary of Academy Press Plc, noted that the use of foreign printers was inhibiting the growth of local printers.

Ladipo said that if government did not intervene, the printing and publishing industry would go the way of moribund industries in the country.

He urged the government to reduce the tariff on books produced locally, which was as high as 35 per cent, while imported books are at zero tariffs.

Edited by: Oluyinka Fadare and Ephraims Sheyin
(NAN)

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Presidential aide advocates regulation of Social Media to curb lawlessness

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A Presidential media aide, Malam Garba Shehu, said on Monday that the Federal Government is not against free speech.

He however warned that leaving the social media to operate without regulation can result in more lawlessness, violence and deaths.

Shehu was quoted to have said this in a statement issued on Monday by Mr Attah Esa, the Deputy Director, Information, State House.

He was speaking at the Kawararafa Media Award in Abuja.

Shehu, who is the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, was chairman of the award ceremony organised by Kwararafa Reporters, a news magazine.

He said the emerging modern media platform had played a strong role in promoting information sharing, strengthening democracy, and building networks of relationships, but added that without supervision or control, the nation risks more havoc from such platforms.

For instance, the entire Kasuwan Magani saga that resulted in the death of more than 50 people is because someone posted misleading information on Whats App that went viral.

All countries in the world are trying to make laws to check the excesses. Many countries are trying to control the situation. The Europeans have placed a new law that holds the companies responsible.

In United Kingdom, the parliament has received a report on social media. There is a youth addiction to it, just like cigarettes. Without any form of control, it has done harm to women, ethnic minorities, individuals, institutions and countries,’’ he said.

Shehu said the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, had consistently called for a meeting of stakeholders to agree on modalities for regulating the social media, but was rebuffed.

The Federal Government is saying that stakeholders should come together and agree on regulation. We know that no matter how bad the situation it favours someone.

Some have argued that our constitution already has laws in libel, but the laws of the ‘60’s never anticipated social media.

No government has the right to muzzle freedom of speech. We don’t support the taking of lives as punishment. People insult others and share false information on social media.

I hope that hate speech will be tackled so that Nigeria will be a sane place to live in,’’ he added.

The president’s media assistant noted that “in every part of the world journalists go through some form of training, accreditation and licensing before playing their trade, like doctors, but with a phone, a tablet or laptop anyone can reach millions, sometimes for good and other times with ulterior motives’’.

Shehu said hate speech preceded the social media, but it was traceable through the media platform and controlled, explaining that the social media, “while emerging, portends a great force, and needs to be regulated for safety and peaceful co-existence’’.

The Chief Executive Officer of Kwararafa Reporters, Mr Emmanuel Bello, said the publication was non-political, and it rewards politicians, public servants, business executives and individuals with distinguished record of service to the nation.

The Special Adviser to the President, Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, and Shehu were honoured with “Media Excellence of the Year Award’’ at the event.

Edited by: Emmanuel Nwoye/Muhammad Suleiman Tola
(NAN)

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Buhari to participate in peace, dev’t forum in Egypt

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President Muhammadu Buhari will depart Abuja on Tuesday for Aswan, Egypt to attend the Aswan Forum designed to set “An Agenda for Sustainable Peace and Development in Africa.”

The president’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, confirmed this development in a statement in Abuja on Monday.

The Forum which holds between Dec. 11 and Dec. 12, is an initiative to address the interconnections between peace and development in Africa while promoting Africa-led solutions through strengthening policies and practices.

The initiative is being launched by the Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in his capacity as the Chairman of the African Union (AU) and as an advocate of Post-Conflict Reconstruction and Development in Africa – a recurring theme of his tenure as the AU Chairman.

It is also grounded in the AU’s Agenda 2063: The Africa We Want, and the search for African solutions to African problems.

The gathering is expected to bring together heads of state and government, leaders from regional and international organisations, financial institutions, private sector and civil societies.

”(Others are) scholars, visionaries and prominent experts for action-oriented discussions on the threats, challenges and opportunities.

It is also expected to end with a Declaration on the theme of the Forum and become an annual event,’’ he said.

It would be recalled that the Speaker of Egypt’s House of Representatives, Ali Abdel Aal had delivered el-Sisi’s message to Buhari in Abuja on Oct. 28 inviting him to the inaugural Aswan Forum.

According to the presidential aide, the President will be accompanied by Governors Ahmadu Fintiri of Adamawa, Godwin Obaseki of Edo and Mai Mala Buni of Yobe State.

Others are: Bashir td); Minister of State, Foreign Affairs, Amb. Zubairu Dada; National Security Adviser, Maj.-Babagana td); and the Director-General, National Intelligence Agency, Amb. Ahmed Abubakar.

Buhari is expected back in Abuja on Friday.

Edited by: Ismail Abdulaziz
(NAN)

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Agency assures Anambra road users of zero potholes ahead of Christmas celebration

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Roads

Awka, Dec. 9, 2019 The Anambra Road Maintenance Agency has assured road users of government’s commitment to fix the dilapidated portions of the roads in all parts of the state ahead of the Christmas.

Mr Emeka Okoye, the Managing Director of the agency, gave the assurance in an interview with newsmen, while inspecting road rehabilitation in Awka on Monday.

He said the state government also engaged contractors to complement the agency’s efforts to ensure zero potholes across the state.

Okoye, who said that the agency was currently fixing the roads in Awka, said that over 30 roads had been fixed since the end of the rainy season.

He listed Roban Stores Road, Udoka Estate, Prisons Road, Aroma-Ifite Road and Amaku Hospital- Amaenyi Market Road as some of the roads already fixed.

Others are Club Road, Crescent Spring Road, St. Thomas Aquinas Church Road and Best Western Meloch Hotel Road, among others.

He said: “We are doing asphalt patching. We are also patching with the Dura Patcher vehicles acquired by the state governor.

“Three of them are working in three different locations and they have been doing that for the past three weeks.

“The government also engaged contractors, who are aggressively carrying out similar patching in Onitsha North, Onitsha South, Nnewi North, Nnewi South and other local government areas.

“Our aim is to meet up with the set target of filling every pothole in the state before Christmas and the job will continue even after the celebrations.’’

Okoye, who expressed satisfaction at the pace and quality of work done, said that the job was being done with a mixture of stones and bitumen as against concrete used earlier during the rainy season.

He further promised that traffic would be effectively controlled in major towns and cities of the state during the festivities to ensure smooth vehicular flow.

(Edited by: Ifeyinwa Okonkwo/Sam Oditah)
(NAN)

 

 

 

 

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Air Peace to commence flight operation to Ibadan

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Air Peace says it will soon begin flight operations to Ibadan from Kano, Owerri and Abuja.

The Chairman of the airline, Mr Allen Onyeama, made the announcement in a statement issued in Lagos on Monday.

Onyema said: “Very soon, we shall start flying Abuja-Ibadan-Abuja daily, KanoIbadanKano and OwerriIbadanOwerri, three times a week.

This is part of our no-city-left-behind initiative and our plan to interconnect various cities of Nigeria.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the airline in November announced the commencement of KanoOwerriKano flights.

Onyeama explained that the recent Corporate Award of Excellence to the airline by University of Ibadan was in recognition of its unparalleled excellence in the delivery of safe and comfortable flights.

Edited by: Wale Ojetimi
(NAN)

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