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IYC Supports Airport Concessioning, But …

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The Ijaw Youth Congress
(IYC) has declared it support for the concessioning of the airports in Nigeria, especially the four major airports, as allegedly being planned by the Federal Government.
The group said that such concessioning arrangement should be such that the host community or tribe should be the people that the airport should be concessioned to without any bias.
Making this known while speaking to airport correspondents at the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, Tuesday on his way to Abuja, the IYC President Worldwide, Udengs Eradiri, said it will be wrong for airport in Port Harcourt which is in Ikwerre land be concessioned to a business man from the northern part of the country, like wise other airports.
Eradiri, who was visibly unhappy with the way things are going on in the country particularly with the sharing of assets and resources of the nation, explained that some groups of people are benefiting more while some sections of the country are being cheated.
According to him, time has come when things, would be done properly, so as to create a balance in order to avoid suspicion even at this modern age and to avoid agitation.
The IYC President urged the present administration at the centre to always listen to those with creative ideas that will turn the economy of the nation around, irrespective of the political party of affiliation.
Apart from the airports, the IYC boss posited that it will be wrong for the Federal Government to sell its viable assets like the NLNG among others, which he said is being held in trust by the government for the people.
He said that the Federal Government should give back the land to the owners it hold in trust for the people, under the land use act, if government is no longer ready to do business in the land, adding that any individual that buys that assets from the Federal government, will be on his/her own, as the host countries will resist such.
Now that the Federal Government said that they are no longer interested in managing the assets they hold in trust for the people through land use act, it is only natural for them to return the land to the owners.
“It you are selling the asset, the natives and the original land owners should be contacted to buy the asset, otherwise, any other person that brings it is on his or her own.
There are good business men in Ikwerre, Okrika, Eleme, and Bonny among others who can manage the airport, NLNG and the refinery, in case of concessioning of these assets,” Eradiri said.
On the issue of leadership of the IYC, Eradiri explained that there is only one President of the body, which office he is occupying, and pointed out that there is a group that wants to cause disaffection in the body, but that they are not succeeding.
He said that the matter is already in court, where the other group being charged as imposters have refused to appear in court, adding that he is still incharge of IYC.

 

Corlins Walter

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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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