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National Carrier Gets N400m Allocation Despite Failure To Begin Operations

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In spite of its failure to begin operations since 2015, the Federal Government is planning to spend N400 million as working capital on its proposed national carrier.
President Muhammadu Buhari disclosed this in the 2022 Appropriation Bill he presented to the joint session of the National Assembly, last Thursday. 
In the bill, the Federal Ministry of Aviation provided a budget of N400 million as working capital for the national carrier, describing it as an ongoing project.
The Tide recalls that since 2018 when the Federal Government unveiled the branding and livery for the proposed airline, named Nigeria Air, the project has remained a subject of continuous debate.
In July 2018, the Federal Government had unveiled the branding and livery for the new airline, Nigeria Air.
Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, while unveiling the carrier at a press conference during the Farnborough Air Show in London in 2018, had said that the national carrier would be inaugurated at the end of that year.  
“I am very pleased to tell you that we are finally on track to launching a new national flag carrier for our country, Nigeria Air.
“We are all fully committed to fulfilling the campaign promise made by our President, Muhammadu Buhari in 2015. We are aiming to launch Nigeria Air by the end of this year,” the minister had stated.
He also stated that the government had obtained the Certificate of Compliance from the Nigerian Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission and would go into investor search.
“I am confident that we will have a well-run national flag carrier that is a global player, compliant with international safety standards and one which has the customer at its heart,” the minister had said.
But for more than three years down the line, no national carrier has been inaugurated, as against the initial plan to inaugurate the airline before the end of 2018.
Rather, the government through the aviation ministry has been saying that discussions were still ongoing for the proposed airline.
However, following the public condemnation of the continued delay by the Federal Government to establish the national carrier, Sirika, in May this year, tweeted that discussions for the project were held at the United States Embassy in Abuja. 
“The plan is still in place and the processes for the establishment are still being pursued despite the delay since it was unveiled,” an official of the Aviation Ministry assured. 
The ministry had also, in May this year, in a document on its updated status of the aviation roadmap, stated that private investors were to raise $250 million to start up the national airline.

By: Boye Salau 

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Firm Launches New Radio Campaign For Product

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An oil and gas firm, 11 Plc, has launched a new jingle for its mobil super lubricants.
The firm in a statement recently indicated that it is the sole distributor of Mobil fuel and lubricant brands in Nigeria, noting that the radio campaign was aimed at making the brand Nigerian customers’ choice.
“The campaign, which hit the airwaves three weeks ago, was launched to create fresh awareness for all category users of the premium lubricants during the Easter and Ramadan period and beyond”, the statement said.
According to the firm, Mobil Superbrand is a global family of premium passenger vehicle engine oils that provides different levels of protection to match whatever conditions users of the products may encounter.
The company said its vision was to be the number one business group in Nigeria in terms of sustained service, quality and reliability and the first brand of preference by the consumers whilst conducting operations with high safety standards and environmental compliance.
It added that it aimed to provide the best in class products, services and solutions to customers with a focus on safety and environmental standards.

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Arik Air Explains Flight Cancellation In PH Airport

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Arik Airline has clarified that the incident that resulted in passengers getting stranded at Port Harcourt Airport last Tuesday was due to adverse weather conditions.
This was disclosed in a statement signed by the Public Relations Manager of the airline, Adebanji Ola.
Some passengers of the Arik Air had expressed frustration over being left stranded at Port Harcourt Airport after their flight to Lagos was abruptly cancelled.
The affected passengers, scheduled for the flight from Port Harcourt to Lagos State, got upset by the development, and took to social media platforms to express their grievances.
Nevertheless, the airline had in the statement, reiterated its commitment to safety, highlighting its strict policy to avoid flying in inclement weather conditions, which they said had necessitated the cancellation of the affected flight.
It extended its apologies to customers whose travel plans were disrupted by the unforeseen circumstances, reaffirming its dedication to prioritising passenger welfare.
“We are aware of a recent story circulated in social media alleging that passengers were left stranded at Port Harcourt Airport under our care. It is imperative that we provide clarity on this matter to rectify any misconceptions.
“In the evening of Tuesday, April 2, 2024, our flight W3 744 Lagos-Port Harcourt was compelled to make an air return due to adverse weather conditions, specifically heavy rainfall and thunderstorms in Port Harcourt.
“Consequently, both the Lagos-Port Harcourt (W3 744) and Port Harcourt-Lagos (W3 745) flights had to be cancelled.
“It is crucial to note that by the time of the cancellation, our banking facilities at the airport had ceased operations, rendering funds unfeasible at that moment.
“However, the passengers were promptly briefed on the situation and advised to return the following day for re-protection on available flights”, it stated.
The statement added that on Wednesday, April 3, 2024, all the affected passengers from both Lagos and Port Harcourt were successfully accommodated on available morning and evening flights.

Corlins Walter

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Settlement On Course For Redundancy Benefits – Aero Airline 

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The Aero Contractors Airline has affirmed  its commitment to clear the remaining five per cent of redundancy benefits owed its workers.
Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the airline, Captain Ado Sanusi, in a press release said the firm was intensifying efforts to address outstanding financial commitments.
He faulted the move by workers union, the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE), to issue a press statement, despite ongoing efforts to resolve the issue amicably.
“This should not be an opportunity for disharmony, dialogue is a process. There was a letter written, there was a process agreed upon, and all of a sudden they went to the press. We are ready to resolve the issue”, the CEO stated.
NAAPE had recently issued a letter threatening to go on a protest over non-payment of outstanding redundancy benefits to its members.
The group accused the management of Aero Contractors of depriving the affected former workers access to their entitled benefits.
The protest letter, addressed to the management of the airline, read in part: “Consequent upon the avalanche of complaints received from our members who have been deprived of their fundamental entitlements and denied the rightful collection of their redundancy benefits in the last seven years and given the anguish and mental agonies suffered by them, We are compelled, as responsible representatives of these eminent men/women, including the dead, to protest through this letter and express our bitterness over management’s seeming lackadaisical attitude, insincerity and insensitivity to the continued wellbeing of these great Nigerians”.
The Aero CEO, however, clarified that in the last seven years, the company has paid approximately 95 per cent of the redundancy benefits.
“We should be given credit because this management initiated the process of paying off redundancy. We want our prospective investors to understand that we are a very responsible company, and we take our obligations seriously, not only for staff but also in other areas.
“We update them on a day-to-day basis to ensure business continuity. It is a very tough environment in which we are operating”, he said.
Sanusi stressed the importance of maintaining transparency and communication with stakeholders throughout the process.
He said despite challenges posed by fluctuating exchange rates and fuel costs, Aero Contractors remained steadfast in its efforts to uphold its obligations and ensure business continuity.

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