With the desire to turn around the fortune of the nation’s airports, the Federal Government has reiterated its resolve to partner with the private sector.
Already, the airport concessioning steering committee has began sitting, and have promised to ensure that there is transparency in the discharge of its duties.
The chairman, board of directors of the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Ebitimi Banigo, has assured that the concessioning would be pursued with the proper concession of some of the airports and the automation of their facilities to improve on their revenue generation.
He said that this is in accordance with President Umaru Musa Yar’dua’s public private partnership initiative and vision of making Nigeria one of the top 20 industrialised nations by year 20,20.
Banigo, in company of some members of the board, made the position clear at the maiden meeting with representatives of the two industrial unions in the industry, Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, and the National Union of Air Transport Employees, at the weekend.
The former minister, whose board recently inspected facilities at some of the airports, including those in Lagos, Abuja, Kano, and Port Harcourt, lamented the poor state of infrastructure, and therefore enjoined the workers to brace themselves for the challenges of PPP, automation and concession, which are global phenomenon that gives credence to the running of commercial operations by the private sector.
The federal government has already slated the Murtala Mohammed Airport, Lagos, Mallam Aminu Kano Airport, Kano, Port Harcourt Airport Omagwa, and the Margaret Ekpo Airport, Calabar for concessioning.
“That is why we are charting a new direction with renewed vigour. That new direction, we believe, should be embraced by all stakeholders. The direction engenders great opportunities and possibilities; opportunities to invest, train and build for our today and future”, he stated.
Furthermore, he stated “that is why we are open for business and partnership; we remain unflinchingly committed to our vision of being one of the best airport groups in the world in line with president’s vision 2020″.
Meanwhile the steering committee on concessioning of four international airports set up by the aviation minister, Babatunde Omotoba, commenced work over the weekend when it held a closed-door meeting with the management of FAAN at the headquarters in Lagos.
Chairman of the committee, Dele-Ore at the meeting promised to take all stakeholders in the aviation industry, including industrial unions, into confidence in its deliberations, with a view to making recommendations that would be acceptable to as many interest groups as possible.
He also assured staff of FAAN that their interest would be well taken care of in the proposed airport programme and listed the committee’s term of reference as driving the process of four international airport authority as in the Lagos, Kano, Port Harcourt and Calabar, and that consultants have been appointed to facilitate the concessioning.
Redeployed Customs Officers Assume Office At New Posts
Redeployed Zonal coordinators and controllers affected by the recent swapping exercise in the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) have since taken over their new posts.
Assistant Comptroller General and Comptrollers affected by the change of batons have gone into action in the respective Zones and Area Commands respectively.
As at Press time, ACG Bello Jibo, the new Coordinator, Zone A, has begun to hold forth at the Harvey Road Zonal Headquarters in Yaba, Lagos.
Comptroller Dera Nnadi, Jaiyeoba, and Shuaibu have resumed their duties as Customs Area Controllers of Tincan Island Port, Apapa and Idiroko Commands respectively.
Comptroller Timi Bomodi has also begun overseeing customs activities at Seme-Krake Border Command.
In an exclusive chat with The Tide, Chairman, Seme Chapter of the Association of Nigeria Licensed Clearing Agent (ANLCA), Chief Oyekachukwu Ojinma (aka Sule) described the outgoing Controller of the Command, Comptroller Dera Nnadi, as a very hard-working and dedicated man, while welcoming the new Customs Area Controller to the border post.
The ANLCA Chairman expressed his wish for a successful tenure of office for Compt. Timi Bomodi.
By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos
‘Electricity Act Will Transform Power Sector’
Minister of Power, Adebayo Adelabu, has stated that the recently signed Nigerian Electricity Act, 2023, will play a fundamental role in transforming the power sector.
According to him, it will unlock the potential of the energy mix and promote the integration of renewable energy technologies into the grid system.
Speaking at the ongoing Nigeria Energy Conference and exhibition in Lagos, Adelabu said the Act aims to create an environment that supports sustainable growth and investment in the power industry by focusing on accelerated private investment and the promotion of renewable energy sources.
“As a game-changer that reformed the NESI, the Electricity Act will, undoubtedly, engender increased access to electricity and regulatory oversight, clean energy transition, improved service delivery, and infrastructural developments.
“In particular, the act will stimulate economic growth by creating a conducive environment for investment and competition. It will generate job opportunities, encourage entrepreneurship, and attract foreign direct investments”, he said.
The Minister called on operators in the power sector to intensify their efforts towards improving communication with the general public, emphasising that the Nigerian masses have a lot of roles to play in safeguarding power infrastructure.
He said issues such as vandalism, passing of meters, and damage to TCN and DisCo infrastructure must be addressed holistically to make significant gains in the power sector.
Adelabu emphasised that the power sector is a cornerstone for economic growth in the country and that the gains made over the years in the power sector can only be consolidated by unlocking equity investments and funds for power development.
He said: “Of course, a lot of investment is required in the power sector. In three weeks, I’ve seen humongous investments that have come into this sector.
“But what are the steps that are required for those investment opportunities to reap the benefit of those investments, additional investments in the form of equity and capex need to come into this industry.
“The power sector is not an industry for short-term players to invest in less than two to three years and expect to make maximum benefits.
“The industry requires medium to long-term investments. Investors must understand that the moment we can break even, we will start making profits in the power sector.
Adelabu also urged operators in the NESI value chain to improve their service delivery, adding that Nigeria’s energy expansion plan of 60,000 Megawatts by 2060 is an achievable target.
He, therefore, called on gas companies, GenCos, TCN, and DIScO to showcase their success stories in generating and transmitting power to the last mile that pays for all the segments of operators in the value chain.
‘Nigeria Loses $1.5bn Annually To Malnutrition’
Minister for Budget and Economic Planning, Abubakar Bagudu, has said Nigeria loses $1.5 billion of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) annually due to micronutrient deficiencies.
Bagudu therefore called for coordinated efforts to ensure a swift response with expected positive outcomes.
A statement released by the Ministry said the Minister disclosed this, last Tuesday, while speaking at the 53rd Annual General Meeting and Scientific Conference of the Nutrition Society of Nigeria in Abuja.
In the statement, Bagudu noted that the government was determined to tackle malnutrition through the inclusion of nutrition in the National Development Plan, and the Nigeria Agenda 2050.
“It is also a commitment to achieving optimal nutrition status for all Nigerians with particular attention to the vulnerable group as highlighted in the National Multisectoral Plan of Action for Food and Nutrition”, he said.
Bagudu, who urged experts in nutrition in the country to research and develop innovations that will boost nutrition, explained that doing this “would contribute towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), ensuring Universal Health Coverage, and bringing about significant positive changes in the nutrition sector in Nigeria”.
He told members of the Nutrition Society of Nigeria “to prioritise innovation and research in the field of nutrition towards the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals, Universal Health Coverage and transformation of the landscape of nutrition in Nigeria.
“Nigeria currently requires nutrition professionals who have extensive knowledge, good communication skills to address nutrition education, emotional intelligence as well and a good understanding of self-motivation and drive to address nutrition dynamics”.
The Minister urged the NSN to embrace technology, leverage digital solutions, and invest in research and development to find sustainable and scalable solutions to Nigeria’s nutrition challenges.
He assured members of the NSN that his ministry would strengthen coordination and provide the required leadership for the nutrition sector.
The Kwara State Governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRasaq, in his goodwill message, said the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) had identified areas of key commitments for the realisation of a healthier citizen and country, including increasing budgetary spending on nutrition and strengthening the nutrition profile.
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