Oru Leonard is now ATACA Chairman

By Favour Nnabugwu

 

New Chairman for Abuja Transportation and Aviation Correspondent (ATACA) has emerged as Mr Oru Leonard is now the chairman of the body  after a rigorous election.

Mr. Oru was announced as the candidate with the highest vote out of the 3 candidates that contested for the office of Chairman.

The newly elected ATACA Chairman, Oru Leonard who is a Fellow of the Advertising Regulatory Council of Nigeria (ARCON) and a full member of the Nigerian Institute of Management (NIM), appealed to members of the association to support the newly elected officials to move the association to greater heights.

He however vowed to work with other executive members in love, unity, mutual understanding to collectively promote integrity of the association.

Speaking earlier, the immediate past chairman, Mr. Chris Agabi described the election as the freest, fair, and most credible election since the inception of the association.

Agabi commended the efforts of the Electoral Committee for the job well done before, during, and after the election that produced successful candidates.

He further commended the contestants for behaving themselves by complying with the association’s electoral guidelines to ensure ATACA actualize a smooth election in 2023.

NiMet predicts 3-day thick dust haze, sunshine on Thursday, Friday, Saturday

By Favour Nnabugwu
The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) has predicted dust haze and sunshine from Thursday to Saturday across the country.
NiMet’s weather outlook in Abuja predicted thick dust haze on Thursday, Friday and Saturday over the Northern region throughout the forecast period.
According to the agency, cloudy conditions with sunny intervals are expected over the North Central region.
It, however, forecast moderate dust haze over Plateau, Niger and Federal Capital Territory throughout the forecast period.
NiMet anticipated partly cloudy conditions over the Inland cities of the South and coastal cities in the morning hours.
It envisaged prospects of thunderstorms over parts of Cross River, Akwa Ibom and Rivers States later in the day.
“On Friday, moderate dust haze condition with horizontal visibility of 2km to 5km is anticipated over the Northern region during the forecast period.
Thunderstorms are expected over parts of Cross River, Bayelsa and Delta States in the afternoon/evening hours,” it said.
The agency predicted slight dust haze condition on Saturday over the northern region during the forecast period.
It forecast partly cloudy conditions with sunny intervals over the North Central cities during the forecast period.
“Partly cloudy conditions are anticipated over the inland cities of the South and coastal cities with chances of morning thunderstorms over Cross River and River States.
“In the afternoon/evening period, thunderstorms are expected over parts of Imo, Abia, Ondo, Edo, Cross River, Delta, Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Bayelsa States,” it said.
According to NiMet, all Airline operators are advised to avail themselves of weather reports periodically from NiMet for effective planning in their operations.
NiMet urged citizens to switch off and disconnect electronics from power supply to avoid damages that could occur as a result of lightning flash at places where thunderstorms were expected.
FG renames MIST of NIMET after President Buhari

By Favour Nnabugwu

 

 

The Federal Government has renamed the Meteorological Institute Of Science and Technology (MIST), Katsina after the President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari.

The Institute was established to serve as a centre for training and research under the Nigeria Metrological Agency, NIMeT

The Institution which will now be addressed as ‘Muhammadu Buhari Meteorological Institute of Science and Technology’ was commissioned on Thursday by President Buhari who is on a two-day visit to the state.

Briefing the press shortly after the institute was commissioned, the Director General, Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NIMET), Prof. Mansur Bako Matazu said the institute which offers National Diploma courses in Meteorology, Climate Change Science and other electrical and technical related areas with NBTE accreditation is the first of its kind in Nigeria and West-Africa.

He also noted that the institute is currently pursuing accreditation for Higher National Diploma in Climate Change Science, Meteorology, and Electro-Meteorological Technology so as to provide advance training for graduates of the institute.

According to Prof. Matazu who is also Nigeria’s Permanent Representative with World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), the institution also offer support services and training to Meteorological personnels from other African countries like Republic of Niger and Gambia. Both countries he said are presently under-studying NIMET and preparing to send more than 50 of their staff to be trained in the institute.

On the capacity of the institution to deliver on all its set objectives, Prof. Matazu said:

“NIMET has been running training activities since 1957 with facilitators from within the agency as well as Professors, lecturers and researchers from other higher institutions.

“This has helped the institute achieve its goals and it reflected in the excellent remarks given by the employers of our students who went on industrial attachment recently.”

Furthermore, Prof Matazu noted that all over the country, through the institute, weather in more than 41 parameters and over a 100 stations are being monitored.

Ghana introduces Visa on arrival for all travellers from Dec 22 – January 15

CAPTION
Minister of Transportation, Ghana, Mr Kwaku Ofori Asiamah
By Favour Nnabugwu
Ghanaian Government has introduce visa on arrival for all travellers from December 22, 2022 to January 15, 2023
The Country’s Transport Minister, Kwaku Ofori Asiamah made this known in a circular issued on Thursday and addressed to all airlines.
Asiamah said the move was aimed at advancing the government’s ‘beyond the return’ initiative.
The initiative is a 10-year project of the government of Ghana to promote tourism and homecoming of Africans and Ghanaians in the diaspora and to foster economic relations and investments from the diaspora in Africa and Ghana.
The statement said, “Following consultation between the ministry of foreign affairs, the ministry of interior, the ministry of tourism, art and culture, Ghana immigration service, and the Ghana tourism authority, approval has been given for passengers travelling to Ghana to opt for visa-on-arrival waiving the requirement for prior approval.
“This arrangement is effective from 22nd December 2022 to 15th January 2023.”
Asiamah, therefore, urged airport authorities across the world to honour the arrangement.
He added, “Consequently, it will be appreciated if systems are updated to reflect the new arrangement and all those responsible for checking-in passengers travelling to Ghana advised not to insist on entry visas prior to their boarding.”
Air Peace suspends flight operations to Dubai over rejection of visas to Nigerians

By Favour Nnabugwu

 

Air travellers from Nigeria to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, UAE will be forced to consider alternative means of transportation in the coming days

This came as Nigeria’s indigenous airline, Air Peace suspended flight operations to the country indefinitely over non issuance of visa to Nigerians by the UAE.

UAE immigration authorities last month announced a visa ban to Nigerians without any reason, rejected applications for visa while the fees are Non- refundable

Following the development, the management of Air Peace in a statement stated that, “We hereby inform the public, especially our Dubai passengers, that effective from Tuesday, November 22, 2022, we shall be suspending our Dubai operations till further notice.

“This is consequent upon the persisting non-issuance of visas to Nigerian travellers by the government of the United Arab Emirates and the accompanying inconveniences.

“Air Peace has been operating into UAE even with the country’s recent travel restrictions, but given the heightening hurdles Nigerian travellers are facing in accessing the country, it has become imperative that we halt our operations to that destination.

“We shall provide further updates as the situation progresses. Passengers whose flights are affected by this development can mail our Call Center to attend to their concerns.”

NAIA Cargo terminal to be Commioner soon by President Muhammadu Buhari

By Favour Nnabugwu

 

 

Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika has said that the cargo terminal project at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, NAIA, Abuja will be commissioned soon.

The  cargo terminal that will be commission by President Muhammadu Buhari reiterated that the national carrier will take off before the end of the year with boeing 737 series airplanes.

Sirika stated while responding to questions from lawmakers during his defence or 2023 budget at the House of Representatives on Tuesday.

He said: “There are two cargo projects in Abuja. One has been completely finished and will be commissioned by His Excellency Mr. President soon. The second one, the contract was given in 2012, the contractors were advanced money up to about 75%.

“These contracts were abandoned by the contractors. Mr. President directed that they be investigated, prosecuted and the monies recovered but because we don’t have prosecuting powers, we reported to EFCC.

“Now in the last three and half years, they confirmed to me that they have finished the investigation. This is worrisome. We will inform the the House when we see EFCC and they brief us formally.

“The aviation ministry has recorded some significant achievements in virtually all areas of the sector within the life of this administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.

“We have provided the safety and security needed in the aviation sector, which has led to the certification for the first time ever in the history of the country of Murtala Mohamed Airport, Nnamdi Azikiwe International airport.

“It is a milestone being the first ever airports to be certified, government in, government out. This testimony as to our concern to our focus on safety. We have recorded the highest level of safety and unprecedented growth, making aviation the fastest growing sector of the Nigerian economy.

“Today, Nigeria is the 7th highest country in recovery from COVID. Some airlines also received interventions to be saved from total collapse. We also created an enabling environment, which provided airlines in the country to attain certification and international air transport association operational safety audit. Our airports are wearing new and befitting looks.”

In his remarks, earlier, the chairman of the House Committee, Hon. Nnolim Nnaji expressed concern over the omission of the 2023 budget of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) by the government, promising to address the matter.

“You would recall that the committee spend most of last week visiting some projects executed by the ministry and some of its agencies within the FCT. Within the next few weeks, the committee will be embarking on similar tours to most importantly but not limited to the other three International Airports Terminals slated for concession.

“The Committee has noticed with great concern the omission of one of the critical Security and Safety Agency of the Ministry, the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) from the 2023 FGN budget.

“This Committee and its Senate counterpart is committed to ensuring that the abnormality is corrected. However, as the minister superintending the ministry, we request that you make the clarification on the matter,” Nnaji said.

Nnamdi Azikiwe international Airport @ 40 tomorrow

By Favour Nnabugwu

 

 

 

All is set for the celebration of the milestones that have been achieved by one of Nigeria’s foremost Airports, the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, NAIA, Abuja on September 29 for its 40th anniversary.

Commissioned on the 29th September, 1982, the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja has developed into a hub for the north-central region of Nigeria and beyond.

Instatement released by the Ag General Manager, Corporate Affairs, Mrs Faithful A. Hope-Ivbaze, the Airport prides in the possession of world-class Airport facilities including a brand new international terminal with a passenger handling capacity of 15million per annum commissioned by the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration in December, 2018, a recently rehabilitated domestic terminal, as well as a hajj/cargo terminal.

To underscore the continuous progress that has been made by Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja over the years, the Airport was awarded the Best Airport in Safety for the Year 2018 by Airport Council International, Africa Region. It also received ACI’s Airport Service Quality Award in the year 2020, amongst several other recognitions.

As part of activities lined up for the commemoration of the 40th anniversary celebration, the Airport will hold an anniversary event on the 29th September, 2022, where passengers, stakeholders and former Managers of the airport will be honoured for their contributions to the development of the Airport.

The hallmark of the event will be the commissioning of Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport’s Park & Pay Automated Car Parking Service by the Managing Director of Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, Capt. Rabiu Hamisu Yadudu.

Nigeria Air: Ethiopian Airlines owns 49%, local investors 46%,  FG 5%

By Favour Nnabugwu
Ethiopian Airlines (ET) consortium has been selected as the preferred bidder for Nigeria Air, owning 49 percent of the national carrier as 46 percent is oened by local investors and federal government own only 5 percent
Minister of aviation, Hadi Sirika when briefing yesterday in Abuja, stated  ET scored 89 percent out of 100 in the technical bidding process and 15 out of 20 as regards financial bids.
Sirika explained that the request for proposal (RFP) under the public-private partnership (PPP) Act, governed by Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission(ICRC), has been completed.
After a careful, detailed and ICRC governed selection process, Ethiopian Airlines (ET) Consortium has been selected as the preferred bidder, offering an owner consortium of 3 Nigerian investors.
“The Nigerian investors are MRS, SAHCO and the Nigerian Sovereign Fund (46 percent), FGN owning 5 percent and ET 49 percent. The consortium has been subject to a due diligence process.
“The contract will be negotiated between consortium and FGN, leading to a full business case (FBC) which will be expected to be approved by the federal executive council (FEC). We expect this process to take 6-8 weeks
The minister said the national carrier would launch with three Boeing 737-800 in a configuration very suitable for the Nigerian market.
According to him, “Nigeria Air will be launched with a shuttle service between Abuja and Lagos to establish a new comfortable, reliable and affordable travel between the two major airports”
The minister added that other domestic destinations would follow later. “The first aircraft is ready to arrive in Abuja for further work and NCAA inspection, demo flights and audit as part of the AOC requirements”
“In time, two others will arrive to complete the required three aircraft for a new AOC holder. The interim executive team has prepared with the support of FAAN.
“The team has arranged for Terminal C at the Abuja Airport and finalised a contract with MMA 2 terminal in Lagos for the operation of an initial shuttle between Lagos and Abuja,” he said.
He noted that the Operations Control Centre (OCC) at the Abuja Airport would act as the headquarters of the airline.
FG directs NCAA to sanction foreign airlines not selling tickets in Naira

FG orders NCAA to sanction foreign airlines not selling tickets in Naira
By Favour Nnabugwu
The Federal Government has ordered the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA to sanction any international airlines that refuse to sell tickets in Naira.
The Government also said that the decision to float a national carrier, Nigerian Air is on course and that there is no going back
The Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, stated this at the end of the Federal Executive Council, FEC, meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Council Chamber, Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Senator Sirika said intelligence reports indicated that some of the airlines are refusing naira and charging their ticket fares in dollars in violation of the nation’s laws, adding that some of the airlines have also blocked local travel agencies from accessing their websites for transactions.
The Minister stated that the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) hss been directed to deal with any of such airlines that are wilfully breaching the country’s laws.
He noted that the foreign airlines have made over $1.1 billion from Nigeria from 2016, which could have been retained in the country if they were local airlines.
Sirika recalled that the airlines remitted over $600 million to their home countries in 2016 while over $265 million has also been released this year out of about $484 million due to them.
He said the government is trying to keep the airlines happy by ensuring that their money does not pile up again, saying that while the country needs their services, the airlines need the Nigerian market.
The Minister warned them to refrain from using the social media to press home their demands rather than resorting to the diplomatic channels.
On the Nigerian Air, he said that the project is a Public Private Partnership, PPP, which is guided by the Infrastructural Committee Regulatory Commission, adding that Nigeria is a candidate for national carrier.
CBN releases $265m to airlines to reduce crisis in aviation

By Favour Nnabugwu

 

 

 

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has released the sum of $265 million to airlines operating in the country, to settle outstanding ticket sales.

This move is to help reduce the crisis in the aviation industry

A breakdown of the figure indicates that the sum of $230 million was released as special FX intervention while another sum of $35 million was released through Retail SMIS Secondary Market Intervention Sales) auction.

Confirming the release in a statement, the Director, Corporate Communications Department at the CBN, Mr. Osita Nwanisobi said: “The Governor, Godwin Emefiele and his team were concerned about the development and what it portends for the sector and travelers as well as the country in the comity of nations.”

He reiterated that the CBN was “not against any company repatriating its funds from the country, adding that what the Bank stood for was an orderly exit for those that might be interested in doing so”.

The CBN noted that with the release, it is expected that operators and travellers as well will heave a huge sigh of relief as some airlines had threatened to withdraw their services in the face of unremitted funds for outstanding sale of tickets.

Recall that Emirate Airlines announced on August 18 that it “has taken the difficult decision to suspend all flights to and from Nigeria, effective 01 September 2022, to limit further losses and impact on our operational costs that continue to accumulate in the market”.