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Poor governance, funding crippling primary education in Nigeria – NUT

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The Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), says poor governance, mismanagement and insufficient funds are the major challenges facing primary education in the country.

Mr Emmanuel Hwande, Press and Public Relation Officer of the body, told the Nigeria News Agency , on Wednesday in Abuja that the situation needed urgent attention in view of the importance of primary education.

Hwande described primary education as the “foundation of education” which, if faulty, would lead to the collapse of the entire structure.

“Primary education needs great attention; it requires finance, trained teachers, equipment, good administration, better environment and among others, to be solid.

“Once a foundation is not solid, there is always a lurking danger. That is the danger we are facing,” he said.

According to him, the quality of education in any country is one of the major keys to national development.

“Unfortunately, the quality of education in Nigeria is suffering a steady decline. The situation is alarming and scary,” he said.

The official decried government’s attitude towards crucial problems of education, especially its quality, saying that primary education was suffering because it was not solely in the hands of any tier of government.

He said that poor funding and neglect had remained the lot of primary education, adding that good funding would make massive on the sub-sector.

“Poor teachers welfare is another consequence of poor funding. Poor salaries and bonuses, as well as irregular payments of salaries in some states, are among the practices that force teachers into industrial actions,” he said.

He said that the first step towards reviving the primary education was to restructure it so as to save it from collapsing.

“Governments at all level must commit to the delivery of a competitive standard of education across the country.

“The right investments must be done to get the desired results. Adequate funding with good management will provide high quality education in Nigeria.

“Funds for renovation of schools, acquiring quality training facilities, decent teachers salary and welfare, among others, must be increased, released and spent appropriately,’’ he said.

He advised the Federal Government to give due attention to the inspectorate division to ensure adequate supervision of activities in the schools.

“Supervisions can only be done by inspectors. Government must revive this division and give it the environment to work because, without supervision, you will not know what is happening in school.

“For you to know what is actually happening in the school, there must be supervision. So, inspectors must be encouraged to do their work effectively,” he said.

Edited by Celine-Damilola Oyewole and Ephraims Sheyin

Metro

Ethiopian Airlines to launch 3 weekly flights to Houston Monday

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The management of Ethiopian Airlines says it will begin three weekly flights to Houston, Texas, by Dec. 16.

Ethiopian Airlines’ Group Chief Executive Officer, Mr Tewolde GebreMariam, made this known on Saturday in Lagos.

GebreMariam said that the routes would allow passengers to fly nonstop on Ethiopian Airlines from Houston to Africa.

According to him, Ethiopian’s service to Houston will operate from Addis Ababa via Lome in Togo with Boeing 787-8 aircraft.

“Ethiopian Airlines will be launching new flights to Houston onboard Boeing 787-8 aircraft.

“Early in 2019, we announced that we were changing our services to the United States.

“Service to Los Angeles will terminate in favour of a new thrice-weekly service from Addis Ababa to Houston via Lome, Togo,” he said in a statement.

The Ethiopian Airlines chief said that the U.S was among Ethiopian Airlines’ most important markets, owing to the presence of a large African community and growing business and tourism ties with Africa.

“Our new route structure with additional frequencies to multiple gateways and the opening of new route to Houston are aimed at responding to the market demand and availing best possible connectivity to over 60 African destinations.

“The service will depart Addis Ababa on Sundays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. Houston departures are on Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays.

“The flight will depart Addis Ababa at 21:30. After a stop in Lome and a long transatlantic flight, the aircraft will touch down in Houston at 8:40a.m the next day.

“Ethiopian’s aircraft will depart Houston at 11:00a.m and finally arrive in Addis Ababa the next day at 14:30,” he said.

GebreMariam said Houston was chosen because Ethiopian Airlines does not face much competition from Houston to Africa.

”In fact, the airline will be the only carrier to offer flights from Houston to Africa.

“Economically speaking, Houston is an oil and business hub. Thus, there is a significant potential for business connectivity that Ethiopian Airlines is trying to gain access to.

“Business and leisure travellers alike will have only one nonstop option to Africa from Houston.

“Addis Ababa is at a high altitude. Thus, the aerodynamics concerning take off is not favourable for launching nonstop service to the United States.

”In fact, Ethiopian Airlines flies several one-stops from Addis Ababa to the United States and other destinations in part due to this problem.

“However, instead of operating nonstop in the eastbound, Ethiopian Airlines can route via Lome and offer additional connections there through ASKY airlines- with whom Ethiopian Airlines partners,” he said.

GebreMariam said Ethiopian Airlines keeps on growing, adding that with this new flight, Africa’s largest carrier would offer new connections both to and from the U.S.

He described Africa as a unique and growing aviation market with incredible potential.

Edited /Olagoke Olatoye

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NIMASA chief urges regular exercise to stay healthy, enhance productivity 

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The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has reiterated the importance of exercise for Nigerians to stay healthy and boost productivity in the work place.

Mrs Moji Jimoh, the Coordinator, Abuja Liaison office of NIMASA, said this during the monthly exercise of staff members of the agency on Saturday in Abuja.

Jimoh said: “this is a good development. We had one few months ago and the management has deemed it fit to make it a monthly exercise for staff members to keep fit.

“And for today, it is not only for staff but their family members as well, so they can all be up and doing in their various place of work.

“Health is wealth and that is the background to what we are doing today.”

According to Jimoh, majority of the health challenges people face today can be prevented or managed better with exercise.

She, therefore, urged the workers and Nigerians to make exercise a daily affair to stay healthy and live longer.

Mrs Rakiya Laman, an Assistant Director of the agency, also restated the need for Nigerians to exercise.

Laman said: “A healthy mind is a very productive mind, so when you exercise, you become healthier and more productive.”

The Public Relations Officer (PRO) of NIMASA,  Mr Chika Chukwudi,  commended the management of the agency, especially it’s Director-General,  Dr Dakuku Peterside,  for having the interest of its workers at heart.

Chukwudi said the monthly exercise had also created an avenue for members of staff to come together and have fun in the spirit of the yuletide.

“The management of NIMASA is doing everything possible to make sure its staff members are fit to carry out the affairs of the agency.

“It is not only the staff members that are involved this time but their family members and loved ones and everyone is having much fun.

“The exercise has also provided an opportunity for members of staff and their families to bond in the spirit of the yuletide.

Dr Edidiong Udom, one if the participants, urged the workers and the Nigerian public to cultivate the habit of exercising daily to maintain a healthy life.

According to Udom, when we exercise, it makes our heart to beat more, we burn a lot of sugar stored in our body and the cells get more energy to make the body function better.

While commending the management of NIMASA, he urged Nigerians to exercise to ensure their cells and organs functioned properly and that the body did not shut down suddenly.

Nigeria News Agency reports that some of the children were very excited for the opportunity to exercise in company of friends and family members.

Miss Kelechi Chukwudi, one of the children said: “I wasn’t keen on it initially but when we started, everybody was feeling it and I felt excited.

“There is something about exercises that makes you happy. Everybody was happy and I look forward to the next exercise.

Another child, Miss Luisa, said: “I met new friends, I enjoyed myself and it was so much fun.’’

Edited by: Donald Ugwu

(NAN)

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Gospel singer charges youths to start small, be humble

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Gospel singer Johnson Obiabo on Saturday charged the Nigerian youth to be humble and to learn and start small.

Obiabo gave the charge in Abuja, at the launch of his album entitled: “Ubagidi’’ meaning “The Almightyness of God”.

He said that the album launch was a way to Praise God who inspired him and has remained faithful towards him.

“We must all strive to make positive impact in our generation.

“The nation needs people that will bring change, bring in new things and it will be done with love and peace.

”When Nigerians embrace love, peace and harmony, the country will develop and witness a great turn around economically in this political dispensation.

“As a country, we have to be united, forgo divisions; where we come from should not be an issue and we should see ourselves as brothers and sisters.

“We also need prayers to do all these things for progress to come in,’’ he said.

Obiabo also said that with the songs, many people would be encouraged to achieve whatever they set out to achieve and be inspired spiritually.

He, however, urged Nigerian youth to engage in vocations that would enable them to become self-employed and employers of labour.

Edited by: Donald Ugwu

(NAN)

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Metro

Turkish airline pledges compliance with NCAA on transporting passengers with baggage

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Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) on Saturday said the Turkish airline would operate with the right size of aircraft to ensure passengers were transported with their baggage.

Capt. Abdullah Sidi, the Acting Director-General, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), said this after a meeting with the management of Turkish Airline in Abuja.

Sidi said in a statement issued by Mr Sam Adurogboye, NCAA’s General Manager, Public Relations, that the airline would upgrade from Boeing 737-800 to Airbus A 330 and Boeing 737-900.

“Consequent upon the suspension of Turkish airline’s operations into Nigeria and the meeting between its Management and NCAA Acting Director-General, the airline’s executives has agreed to start immediate freight of all left over passengers’ baggage in Turkey.

“This will be achieved by instantly upgrading from Boeing 737-800 being used and found inadequate to a larger Airbus A 330 and Boeing 737-900.

”The programme of clearance will be carried out from Dec. 13 to Dec. 17.

”NCAA expects strict compliance with the remedial programme,” he said.

Sidi warned all operators to ensure Nigerians were not taken for granted, adding that they should always provide safe, secure and efficient service.

Nigeria News Agency reports that NCAA in a letter dated Dec.11, with reference number,/12/16/60, had threatened to suspend Turkish Airline’s operations into Nigeria with effect from Dec 16.

It stated that the suspension would come if the airline failed to deploy the right size of aircraft to the service of Nigerians at all airports in the country.

The threat letter was issued by regulatory authority to show displeasure over cases of not bringing passengers into Nigeria along with their checked-in-baggage by Turkish airline.

Edited by: Chidinma Agu/Donald Ugwu

(NAN)

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No foreign airline operator will be allowed to treat Nigerian travellers with disdain — Sirika

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No foreign airline operator will be allowed to treat Nigerian travellers with disdain — Sirika

Airlines

Abuja, De. 14, 2014 The Minister of Aviation, Mr Hadi Sirika, has said that no foreign airline operator will henceforth be allowed to treat Nigerian travellers with disdain.

Sirika made the declaration on Saturday in Abuja in a statement signed by Mr James Odaudu, the Director of Public Affairs in the ministry.

The minister further warned other airline operators to take a cue from the recent Turkish airlines experience.

“Following the threat by the nation’s aviation regulators to ban its operations in Nigeria, Turkish Airlines last night flew into Abuja with a bigger aircraft A330 as against the usual smaller B737.

“Officials of the airline, alarmed by the prospect of losing their Nigerian market, had rushed into a meeting with the Nigerian authorities to pledge total commitment“ he said.

The minister also noted that the organisation had tried to comply with the conditions given to it in order to continue its operations in Nigeria,

According to him, Turkish airlines has been notorious for the shabby treatment of Nigerian travellers over time, especially when they have to arrive their destinations without their checked-in luggage.

He added that such behaviours by the airline had always given rise to security issues at the airports with protests by affected passengers.

The minister, however, said the airline had now shown commitment to improve its treatment of Nigerian travellers by operating into the Nation’s capital with a bigger and more comfortable aircraft.

He noted that the situation did not need to arise in the first place with the Airline waiting for the strong-arm handling before doing the right thing.

Sirika promised Nigerians better flying experiences as the nation’s aviation industry was set to undergo major developments in the coming years with the implementation of the stakeholder-developed roadmap.

Edited by: Donald Ugwu

(NAN)

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