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Airlines Pay N12bn TSC To NCAA

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Domestic and interna
tional Airlines paid over N12 billion to the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) as Ticket Sales Charge (TSC) that is five per cent  deductions from tickets sold  by the airlines to passengers.
Data collected from the regulatory body  showed  that domestic airlines paid NCAA the sum of N3.666 billion in 2011 and N3.42 billion in 2012, totaling N7.08 billion.
The report says foreign airlines paid the sum of $14.36 million (N2.29 billion) in 2011, while NCAA received from the foreign  carriers  the sum of $16.76 million (N2.68 billion) in 2012, totaling N5.97 billion.
The figures showed that domestic airlines earned more revenue in 2011 than in 2012 and this is attributed to the slump in domestic air travel after the Dana Air tragic crash of flight  0992 on June 3,2012.
The data also refuted the old belief that foreign airlines pay more charges to the aviation agencies that domestic carriers and the allegation that local operations are always indebted to the regulatory body and others.
Although these charges paid by the airlines go a long way in sustaining the agencies, but the international Civil Aviation Association (IATA) has urged African countries, including Nigeria to review downwards the aeronautical  charges leveled against the airlines and devise ways to encourage non aeronautical by building businesses around the airport to attract patronage from passengers and other airport users.
IATA argued that if there are lower charges against airlines they will lower  their fares which will in turn  bring in more people to travel by air, and as more people use the airport, they become bigger markets and the airport  management like the Federal Airport-Authority of Nigeria (FAAN)  will generate high percentage of its revenue from the non-aeronautical sources.
Analysts believe it is the duty of FAAN to devise more creative ways by introducing different offerings of airport terminal and also to encourage patronage of both airport users and non-airport users to the airport terminals but in ways that safety and security will not be compromised.
Chairman of the aviation think tank Aviation Round Table, Mr, Dele Ore, had once canvassed that government should continue to fund  the aviation agencies, arguing that it was  premature for government to withdraw its funding of these agencies because  if they lean on the charges from the airlines  for sustenance the charges would be too high for the airlines.
Such high charges, he said drive down the airlines and deny them the chance of making profits in their operations, and as Ore noted, if the agencies review down their charges, the fares which are relatively exorbitant would crash.
It would be recalled that Airline operators complain of harsh operating environment including non-availability of maintenance facility locally, high charges by the agencies, high cost of aviation fuel and inimical policies introduced by government and all these ensure that airlines have very short lifespan in Nigeria.

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COVID-19: Arik Airline Sacks 300 Staff

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At least 300 staff of Arik Air have been relieved of their appointments by the airline’s management.

This was announced in a statement by the airline on Friday.
It blamed the sacking on the impact of COVID-19 pandemic.
The press statement was titled, “Arik Air management declares 300 staff redundant”.
The company explained that a redundancy package would be provided for the affected workers with the help of the aviation unions.
The statement read in part, “Arising from the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, leading to the constrained ability of the airline to complete heavy maintenance activities and return its planes to operations, stunted revenues against increasing operational costs, the management of Arik Air (In Receivership) has declared 300 staff members redundant to its current level of operations.
“The leadership of the impacted unions has been contacted to negotiate a redundancy package for the affected staff.”
The airline added that over 50 per cent of its workforce of over 1,600 staff have been on furlough in the past six months.
In a separate statement also forwarded to our correspondent by its Public Relations and Communications Manager, Banji Ola, the airline apologised to passengers whose travel plans were disrupted by the protest carried out by the National Union of Air Transport Employees on December 3, 2020.
The picketing disrupted operations in Lagos and prevented the airline from processing passengers at the Murtala Muhammed Airport Domestic Terminal 1 and 2.

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S’East Leaders Laud FG Over EndSARS

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South-East leaders on Saturday, lauded the Federal Government on the matured and responsive manner it handled all issues relating to the EndSARS protest and agitation.
The leaders of the zone, which included Governors, Senators, House of Representatives members as well as traditional, religious and youth leaders, gave the commendation in a communiqué issued after their meeting with a Presidential delegation in Enugu.
The presidential delegation was led by Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, who is the Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari.
“We thank President Buhari for the speed and restraint with which he handled the EndSARS protest, which has engendered peace throughout the country, especially the South-East.
“We, therefore, request the President to look into demands of various groups and youths with a view to resolving them,’’ the statement, which was read by the Chairman of South-East Governors’ Forum, Governor Dave Umehi, said.
It also called for joint operation by security agencies and local vigilant groups into all forests in the zone to flush out criminals and killer herdsmen with AK47 rifles.
“But we pledge our commitment to continuous coexistence with peaceful herdsmen who have been living peacefully with us.
“We stand for an indivisible and united Nigeria, built on love, fairness, equity and justice. We believe that under this platform – NIGERIA; we are bigger and stronger,’’ it said.
It also called on the Federal Government to continue its support and diplomatic push for the former Coordinating Minister of the Economy, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, to be elected as the Director-General of the World Trade Organisation (WTO).
The statement thanked the Federal Government for the timely interventions in Akanu Ibiam International Airport rehabilitation as well as intervention in road infrastructures in the zone.
“We are grateful for the attention given to the second Niger Bridge and completion and inauguration of the Zik’s mausoleum.
“However, we urge the Federal Government to give attention to the completion of the current road projects within the zone,’’ it said.
The statement said that the states in the zone will provide money for the compensation for those affected by the EndSARS protest, help to rebuild police stations and their logistics; while engaging the youths constantly to forestall any violent development in the zone.
“We have plans to set up various empowerment programmes to gainfully engage the youths. The governors also plan to mainstream the youths in their governance to give them a sense of belonging.

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Minister Hails Meeting With S’East Leaders

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The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, has described as “extremely fruitful” the meeting which a presidential team had with leaders and stakeholders of the South-East.
“The meeting of the presidential delegation with South-East leaders was very useful,’’ Mohammed told journalists on Sunday in Enugu.
The delegation, led by Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, Chief of Staff to President Muhammadu Buhari, met for more than eight hours in Enugu with selected South-East leaders.
Mohammed said that it was quite instructive that all the groups which took part in the meeting believed in the unity and oneness of the country, pointing out that they clearly spelt out this in their presentations.
“We listened clearly and carefully to all the positions and demands and we are going back to report directly to President Buhari,’’ the minister said.
He noted that the Federal Government had been spreading development and infrastructure to all parts of the country, simultaneously and equitably.
“We want the South-East people to be confident that the Federal Government is spreading development and infrastructure to all parts of the country equitably and will never marginalise any zone in the ongoing development and infrastructure agenda.
“This is what I want to assure Nigerians living in the South-East,’’ Mohammed noted.
According to the minister, when the team gets back to Abuja it will see what can be done immediately concerning some of the positions and demands made by the South-East leaders.
The presidential delegation met with South-East governors, statesmen, elders, religious and traditional leaders, as well as market women and youth leaders.

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