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Domestic Airlines Lose N20bn To Poor Lighting

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Nigerian domestic carriers
lose over N20billion annually to poor, inadequate or non-existent air field lighting at some Nigerian airports
The losses are incurred by the inability of the airlines to operate to some airports in the country beyond 6.00pm, so they lose revenue estimated to be over 10 billion annually as airlines like Arik Air and Aero could operate to all the airports till 10pm and beyond every day.
Aircraft which is meant to operate at least 16 hours a day is forced to operate for only eight hours, which means they are grossly under ultilised and such under ultilisation is neither good for the equipment nor to the coffers of these airlines.
In addition to the economic losses is the break of safety standards as non-lighting of the run way could endanger aircraft operation under sudden poor visibility and this is what has contributed to the refusal of the Intenational Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) from certifying any of the nation’s airports.
But the Nigerian Airspace  Management Agency (NAMA), which has the responsibility of providing runway lighting to the airports, said it has started installing  airfield lighting at some of the airports.
In late 2012, the agency installed mobile lighting at the Murtala Muhammed Interantional Airport, Lagos,  known as Runway 18L and last month it installed passive reflector lighting at the taxiways of the domestic runway, thus completing the lighting systems at the runway.
The General Manager, Public Affairs of NAMA, Supo Atobatele, said that the agency engineers have finished rehabilitation and installation of runway in some airports which include Enugu, Abuja, Ilorin, Calabar, Port Harcourt and  Yola.
“Right now they are maintaining approach and centre lines of the international runway at Lagos, airport known as Runway 18K.”
An official of Arik Air once told newsmen that the airline would rarely cancel flights if there is airfield lighting in all the airports in the country.
The official said Arik would have been flying late to Benin, Enugu, Calabar and other airports in the country where there is high demand of travelers especially on weekends.
Industry security expert, Group Capt John Ojikutu (Rtd) had observed that technically any airport runway that does not  have airfield lighting is useless during emergency as aircraft under distress cannot land there after 6.00pm.
NAMA said that it plans to provide airfield lighting at the airports that do not have it now and all others where existing lighting has become obsolete will be rehabilitated.

President Goodluck Jonathan in a hand shake with  some Delta State Commissioners  on his arrival at the Asaba International Airport enroute Anambra  State for the ground  breaking for the second Niger Bridge in Onitsha,  recently.

President Goodluck Jonathan in a hand shake with some Delta State Commissioners on his arrival at the Asaba International Airport enroute Anambra State for the ground breaking for the second Niger Bridge in Onitsha, recently.

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Aviation

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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