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FG Pledges Support To Foreign Airlines

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The Minister of State for
Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, says the Federal Government will improve the economic and operational viability of the nation’s international airports to encourage the international airlines.
This is contained in a statement by Mr James Odaudu, Deputy Director, Press and Public Affairs, Office of the Minister of State, Aviation, Ministry of Transportation, in Abuja recently.
Sirika made the promises while receiving the Turkish Ambassador to Nigeria, Hakan Cakil in his office.
He promised that government would give consideration to requests by serious foreign airlines for increased flight frequencies as long as the nation’s interests were not compromised.
According to him, the nation’s relationship with foreign airlines will be based strictly on the Bilateral Air Services Agreements with the Airline’s home governments.
He informed the ambassador of government’s determination to revamp the aviation sector through the concessioning of its airports, beginning with “the big four” in Lagos, Abuja, Kano and Port Harcourt.
“The concession, he said, was to address issues of infrastructure, and ensure world class maintenance.
He commended the cordial relationship that exists between Nigeria and Turkey, and condemned the recent coup attempt in Turkey, describing it as undesirable and anti-development.
The Turkish Ambassador told the minister that he was in the ministry to express his country’s gratitude for the excellent relationship between the two countries in aviation sector.
Cakil on behalf Turkish Airlines requested for more frequencies in airline’s operations in Nigeria considering its population and air traffic volume.
He also commended the Nigerian government for the show of support for his country during its trying periods, especially the recent attempt by subversive elements to derail the course of democratic governance.
In another development, the has promised to do whatever it takes to make domestic airlines more competitive with their foreign counterparts in the airlift of Nigerian Christian pilgrims.
Sirika made the promise when he reacted to a request by the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Christian Pilgrims Commission, Dr Tor Uja, during a courtesy visit.
He said “the primary purpose of the ministry is to promote the development of the sector and supporting local airlines to operate in the best possible environment.”
He also promised to objectively look into the request for reduction of charges at the airport with a view to seeing how those charges could be adjusted to assist pilgrimage operations.

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Stakeholders Meet To Assess Nigeria’s Preparedness For AFCFTA

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Stakeholders are expected to converge in Lagos today to take a look at the Nigeria’s preparedness to maximize the gains of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). 
The Tide learnt that stakeholders will be converging at the instance of a popular online newspaper, Primetime Reporters, to assess the progress made so far by the Federal Government through the National Action Committee on AfCFTA agreement.
The event which is the Third Annual Lecture and Awards of the online medium has as its theme: “Assessing Nigeria’s Preparedness to Maximize the Gains of AfCFTA.” 
The event will also witness conferment of awards on eight eminent Nigerians who have distinguished themselves in various fields of human endeavours.
The Managing Director/Editor-In-Chief of Primetime Reporters, Mr. Saint Augustine Nwadinamuo, made this known in a statement made available to The Tide in Lagos on Monday.
According to him, the event will hold at the National Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Kofo Abayomi Street, Victoria Island, Lagos beginning from 10.00am.
Nwadinamuo said that the event would be chaired by a renowned legal practitioner, Barr. Osuala Emmanuel Nwagbara of the Maritime and Commercial Law Partners, Lagos, while the Director General, Lagos Chambers of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Dr. Muda Yusuf, would be the lead paper presenter.

By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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EFCC Nabs 419 Kingpin Over N250m Fraud

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has arrested a leader of a deadly 419 syndicate, Abayomi Kamaldeen Alaka (a.k.a Awise) over an alleged attempt to swindle an innocent Nigerian of N250 million. 
The Tide learnt that the syndicate operates from a shrine at Ashipa Town, near Abeokuta, Ogun State.
According to a statement made available to The Tide in Lagos on Sunday, by the EFCC, Awise’s arrest followed a petition by his victim, Juliet Bright who lost N250m to the fraudster after she was tricked to provide money for sacrifices and invocations to heal her of an ailment.
The statement said Bright was introduced to Alaka by one Akinola Bukola Augustina (a.ka. Iya Osun) whom she met on Facebook in the course of her search for solutions to her health challenge. 
What drew her to Augustina was the latter’s post under the name, Osunbukola Olamitutu Spriritual Healing Centre.
 Once Bright contacted Augustina, the latter promised to heal her if she could pay N16 million. 
The victim paid the money through an Access Bank account belonging to one Mohammed Sani, who later turned out to be a Bureau De Change Operator.
After paying the money without receiving healing, Augustina transferred the victim to other members of the syndicate, notably Awise. 
Bright revealed that she met Awise at his shrine in Ashipa Town and was hypnotized and subsequently transferred various sum through bank accounts and in cash to the suspect and his syndicate members, until she lost N250 million to them.
Despite all the monies collected from her, her health conditions has never improved.

By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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Expert Wants Farmers To Grow Plant Produce For Export

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An expert in Quarantine Agriculture, Dr Vincent Ozuru, has advised Nigerian farmers to give more attention to growing plants produce that could be exported.
He said that plant like the hibiscus, popularly known as Zobo is on high demand in some countries around the world, today.
Ozuru who gave the advice while speaking to aviation correspondents at Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, noted that some plants produce, particularly hibiscus, had yielded huge revenue to the Federal Government through export.
According to him, Nigeria exported about 1,983 containers of hibiscus to Mexico alone in 2017 and earned $35 million within nine months of that year.
The agricultural quarantine expert explained that the export of the plant had a setback as a result of storage pest discovered by the Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service in some consignments.
“The issue has now been taken care of and the export is resuming again, and all matters have been resolved with the stakeholders across the value chain.
“Mexico is the largest importer of Nigerian hibiscus, and our farmers should brace up to the challenge.
“The good news is that Nigeria has a vast growing belt in hibiscus, and the harvest is available all year round.
“We need to take advantage of this opportunity to earn foreign exchange for ourselves and for the country at large, even with the commitment of the present administration to diversify the economy”, he said.
Ozuru called on Nigerian farmers to show more commitment to the growing of export produce and also endeavor to get ready information on it in order to increase their income.

By: Corlins Walter

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