Connect with us

Business

Senate Warns Of Looming Danger In Aviation Sector ……Demands N50bn Bailout For Airlines

Published

on

The Senate has urged the Federal Government to take steps to avert what it described as looming danger in the aviation sector as a result of scarcity of maintenance parts for commercial airlines in the country.
Chairman, Senate Committee on Aviation, Senator Smart Adeyemi gave the advice at a press conference in Abuja, on Monday.
Adeyemi said his position was premised on the information his Committee gathered from aviation stakeholders during its recently concluded public hearing on six aviation bills sponsored by the executive.
He lamented that the clearance of aircraft maintenance parts imported by airlines were being unduly delayed at the nation’s ports due to prohibitive import duties being demanded by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS).
He warned the Federal Government not to wait for any emergency to occur in the aviation sector before prevailing on the NCS to allow airlines to clear their spare parts which are critical to smooth flying and safer skies in the country.
He said it would be disastrous for airline operators to be allowed to cut corners by attempting to manage their aircraft now lacking essential spare parts.
He also urged President Muhammadu Buhari to consider an upward review of the N4billion bailout already earmarked by the Federal Government for aviation sector to N50billion.
Adeyemi said: “I want to put it on record that there is danger in flying in Nigeria today. There are instances of some planes skidding off the runway. We must support the airline operators pending when we have our own national carrier.
“But if we want to continue with the operators like most nations are doing today, we cannot afford to leave them on their own, because they will want to be in business and struggle to make profit, and by extension, there will be cutting of corners.
“In most nations, there are special considerations for airline operators because they must not cut corners.
“If the part is needed in three weeks time and it is not available and the operators decide to be managing, well you know what will happen.
“Let me explain what they are doing in some African countries so that you can understand what we are saying, because when you are convinced with your facts we would say these are the facts that we have gathered. It is left for those who are in the industry to dispute our position but these are the information we have gathered.”
He said: “You would recall that the Federal Government, having considered the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the aviation industry, with a view to maintaining smooth operations, made the sum of N4 billion available as a bailout to these airline operators.
“With further and more critical intervention with airline operators in Nigeria, we gathered that approximately N50billion will be required to meet the requirements of airline operators.
“This increase in bailout fund is imperative if we are to keep our economy running, guarantee job security and mitigate retrenchment.
“A critical look at the aviation industry in Africa, Senegal for instance which is no comparison with the Nigerian aviation industry, in terms of number of airline operators etc, released $74 million as bailout funds for their airline operators. Rwanda also released $150 million for its airline operators.
“Taking the scope out of Africa, America for instance, released $58 billion as bailout funds for its airline operators. This is to mention a few.
“If comparative analysis is anything to go by, it is clear that the N4billion  announced by the Federal Government as bailout funds for airline operators will not be sufficient to sustain three of the needs of the 15 scheduled flight operators, save the non-scheduled operators.
“Our further enquiry has also shown that airline operators are already discouraged and have resorted to cutting corners in carrying out maintenance requirements on their aircrafts.
“This is, of course, as a result of their poor financial situation. If this is not immediately checked, the effect is best not imagined. Something more definite has to be done to help the airlines respond to the impact of COVID-19 pandemic.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Continue Reading

Business

Buhari Seeks UK, EU Countries’ Partnership On Green Energy Policy 

Published

on

President, Muhammadu Buhari, has stressed the need for a long-term partnership between Nigeria, the United Kingdom, and the European Union (EU) on green energy policy.
Buhari, who made the call in an interview with Bloomberg News, said the UK and EU countries should invest in the planned 4000 km pipeline meant to bring Nigerian gas, regarded as the largest reserves in Africa, through Morocco, to Europe.
According to the President, when completed, the gas pipeline project would help to address gas supply crisis in Europe.
“We need long-term partnership, not inconsistency and contradiction on green energy policy from the UK and European Union.
“Investment is hampered by their broad-brush moratorium on overseas gas projects, while at home the same projects are classified as green.
“It does not help their energy security, it does not help Nigeria’s economy, and it does not help the environment. It is hypocrisy that must end.
“To change, the UK and EU countries should invest in our planned 4000 km pipeline to bring Nigerian gas, the largest reserves in Africa, via Morocco, then onto Europe”, he said.
The President explained that the gas pipeline project, connecting Nigeria to Europe, which was conceived four years ago, had since been unveiled.
Recalling that on June 2 the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) entered into an agreement with the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) for its construction, he said, “concurrently on July 1, the NNPC will become a Limited Liability Company and be subject to more robust auditing and commercial disclosure obligations.
“It will help stimulate investment and boost transparency, where corruption has deterred the former and stymied the latter.
“My administration is the first to pass this landmark reform in our oil and gas sector, after two decades of predecessors’ failure to do so, no doubt due to vested interests,” he stated.
Buhari, however, noted that criminality and terrorism in Nigeria’s oil-producing regions had continued to hamper oil production.
Consequently, called on the Western allies to sanction all terrorist groups operating in the Niger Delta region and other oil-producing states in the South-East and South-South zones.
“It would help if our western allies designated IPOB as a terrorist group, given their complicity in damage to pipelines and infrastructure,” he said.
Buhari also revealed that the country had invested in the security forces, including the one billion dollar military deal with the U.S. for the acquisition of A-29 Super Tucano aircraft.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Continue Reading

Business

Nigerians Collect 3m Passports From 2019-2022 – Aregbesola

Published

on

Minister of Interior Affairs, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, says a total of three million passports were issued to Nigerians between 2019 to 2022.
He used the opportunity to warn officers and men of the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) against extortions and hoarding of passport booklets to create an undue scarcity in the system.
The minister, who disclosed this at the official launching of the Enhanced e-Passport in Benin, Asaba and Warri passport offices, and the commissioning of the passport production centre at the Benin Passport office, Edo State Command, lauded the achievement of the NIS.
“It will interest you to know that between 2019 and now, as difficult as that era was, the Nigerian Immigration Service has issued over three million passports to Nigerians. It is unprecedented in the history of Nigeria.
“Last year alone, 1.3 million passports were issued. Also, last time I checked, over 250,000 passports remained uncollected by applicants”, he said.
He assured that the exploitation of Nigerians seeking to get their passports will no longer be tolerated by him, saying that erring officers will be seriously dealt with.
“Whoever disregard any Nigerian,  whoever exploit any Nigerian in their quest to get this document will be dealt with personally by me. This is the last time I am going to warn”, he said.
Aregbesola said President Muhammadu Buhari expressed regrets on hearing that Nigerians are always denied passports, stressing that with the enhanced e-Passport, denial of passports will no longer be experienced.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Continue Reading

Business

NDLEA, NAGAFF Collaborate Against Illicit Drug Importation

Published

on

National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has called for a working relationship with 100 percent Compliance Team of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF) in order to curb the Illicit importation of drugs through the seaports.
Speaking at a courtesy visit to the secretariat of the 100 percent Compliance Team in Lagos, Commander, Tin Can Island Port NDLEA, Mr. Aminu Abubakar warned freight forwarders and their importers to desist from Illicit drug clearance from the ports stressing the need for proper sensitisation of importation.
While calling for the support and cooperation of the NAGAFF Compliance Team, Abubakar urged freight forwarders to desist from the spread of hard drugs through the seaports by sticking to their legitimate duties.
He noted that since the NDLEA launched the War Against Drug Abuse (WADA) in Abuja, several seizures have been made during cargo examination at the ports, with freight forwarders arrested and jailed for their  involvem in the importation of hard drugs.
The NDLEA boss stated that from January 2022 till date, the agency has intercepted 1500 Kilograms of Tapendatol with a value of over N6million amongst others at the seaports.
According to him, Tapendatol is another type of Tramadol drug which is more potent and dangerous than the usual Tramadol.
“The agency has different units and strategies through which we fight the menace and monster of drug abuse, and trafficking into our country.
“This is the suppression of the supply of drugs, which we do at the seaports. We profile some containers at the seaports, and based on the profile, we target such consignment and ensure we conduct proper examination.
“Sometimes we work with intelligence information or on the basis of profile which informs what we do.
“The agency has some strategies, which include counselling drug abusers and public enlightenment on the effects and prevention of drug abuse. There are also rehabilitation centers”, he said.
It will be recalled that the Chairman of the NDLEA recently launched call centers which would soon be operational, where one can report issues or seek for help.
“We have gotten 1500 kilograms of Tapendatol drug worth over N6million from Apapa and Tin Can ports.
We can only imagine what it will do if it gets to places where it is intended. Nigeria is already in crisis. We have the problem of banditry, kidnappings and youth restiveness and the root cause of these acts emanate from abuse of drugs”, he stated.
On his part, the National Coordinator of the 100 Percent Compliance Team, NAGAFF, Alhaji Ibrahim Tanko, explained that most freight forwarders become liable to the crime of hard drugs importation because 60 percent of freight agents at the ports use their company names to import consignments on behalf of the importers.
While assuring NDLEA of the group’s support, the NAGAFF Compliance boss noted that about eleven members of NAGAFF have been innocently detained in prison due to such acts.
Tanko, however, stressed that freight forwarders should desist from using their company’s name to ship in consignments in favour of the importers to avoid being liable when there are infractions.

By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Continue Reading

Trending