The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has assured all airport users that Nigerian Airports under its Management are fully ready to play host to air travellers during this Sallah celebration.
This is just as it noted, that as part of its preparations to ensure seamless facilitation of its highly esteemed passengers during the Sallah celebrations and beyond, security has been beefed up at the Airports.
Making this known in a statement made available to The Sight News on Saturday, the FAAN Acting General Manager, Corporate Affairs, Faithful A. Hope-Ivbaze(Mrs), also disclosed that facilities at the Airports have been generally improved upon and are functioning optimally.
According to her, “In addition, all other logistics have been upgraded and strengthened to provide for the expected increase in passenger traffic in and around our Airports.
“Travellers are enjoined to look out for directional signages at the Airports for guidance, as well as abide by all safety and security instructions at the Airports”, she said.
While advising the general public and intended travellers to make early preparations towards completing their travel requirements in good time, FAAN also restated that receiving of dignitaries at restricted areas by security agents and Airport officials is prohibited and anyone found wanting will be prosecuted.
Accident Investigation Bureau Lagos office already pulled down.
The Federal Executive Council, FEC, at this week’s meeting presided by President Muhammadu Buhari, has approved a total sum of N4,045,197,340 billion for the Aviation Ministry to help acquire for the use of Accident Investigation Bureau, AIB, a highbrow property in Abuja, that will serve as office accommodation and a laboratory.
According to the statement by the Information Minister, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, part of the approved sum would also be used for the procurement of specialized equipment to aid the AIB to perform its job with the use of 21st-century technology to be hosted in Canada.
The Information Minister announced that “the council approved a memo from the Honorable Minister of Aviation for the award of contract for the establishment and deployment of Advanced Report Generation Utility Engine, web-based reporting tools in favour of Messers Sinecon Limited in the total sum of N553, 575, 000, inclusive of 7.5% with a delivery period of 12 months”. This technology will aid the Accident Investigation Bureau to be able to establish and develop the advanced reports generation system”.
Lai Mohammed explained that the web-based Advanced Reporting Generation Utility Engine, “has tremendous benefits to both authorities and recipients of the information. It will be hosted on a common database, which reduces the agency’s cost of production, and provides technical means for users to search across agencies of government to communicate findings of accident investigations in a modern web-based format, as opposed to the current traditional written format published on the web”.
Speaking further on the benefits according to the brief from the Aviation Minister, Hadi Sirika, Information Minister said, “the web reporting tool will motivate investigators overtime to create more visual contents that will have an integrated option to develop 3D flight animation to communicate the history of flights that will be hosted on plane sciences services in Ottawa, Canada”.
The Information Minister also made public the second approved memo by FEC was the sum of N3,491,622,340 to enable the Ministry of Aviation to purchase a choice property at Plot 426, Cadastral Zone, opposite the Corporate Affairs Commission.
Lai Mohammed said of the decision that, “this property will enable the ministry to be in the same building with many of its agencies. As of now, many of the agencies operate from rented properties and this is a drain on the government apart from the fact that it does not allow for good coordination of activities”.
On the genuineness of the property, as regards its status with the Federal Capital Territory Administration nay its technical and physical fitness, the Information Minister affirmed that “necessary checks and legal searches have been made and the council approved the purchase.”
This measure may have put paid to the hues and cries about the erstwhile AIB Lagos office ignominiously pulled down by the government for its error in the construction of the second international terminal at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos, without consideration for safe maneuvering of aircraft at the taxiway and the apron for parking.
The body in two statements issued between Friday last week and today, hinged their decision on the high cost of aviation fuel popularly called Jet A1 at N700 per liter.
The decision to suspend the planned flight disruption according to the AON is government assurance to wade into the matter with a view to finding lasting solution.
“AON hereby wishes to notify the general public that the earlier announced shutdown of operations on May 9, 2022 is hereby suspended in good fate (sic) pending the outcome of hopefully fruitful engagement with government”.
Before the suspension over five airlines had renounced their participation in the planned disruption of flight operations tomorrow.
Reacting to AON’s suspension, the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika in a statement applauded the body for heeding government’s call.
He says, the Ministry has always made conscious efforts to assist members of the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), some of which includes facilitating a meeting between the Association and Mr. President, during which the Association got several concessions, including duty-free importation of aircraft, engines, spare parts and components.
“It should also be recalled that members of the Association were also considered for, and given Bail-out funds to the tune of N4 billion during the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure that they remained afloat. This was without prejudice to the fact that most of them were heavily indebted to Aviation agencies (as they still are)”.
The statement which was signed by the Minister’s Special Assistant on Public Affairs, Dr James Odaudu added that, in the past efforts were made to ensure the operators get forex to cater to their operations from the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN as well as on the vexed issue of aviation fuel.
“The Honourable Minister at various times personally took members of the Association to engage with Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to sort out issues of access to Foreign Exchange (FOREX) for their operations, and also the NNPC to exploit ways of ensuring the availability of Aviation fuel (JET A1) through importation or from the major Marketers”.
The Minister also assured foreign airlines operating in the country that all logistics and services for their operations remain in place as usual and that no disruptions whatsoever should be envisaged.
He added that, as a government, reiterated it commitment to the continued growth of the aviation industry where airlines and other service providers operate in a profitable and competitive environment.
…. Commends Some Airlines for Opting Out of Planned Action
In reaction to the insistence of the Airline Operators of Nigeria to carry out the threat to withdraw flight services from Monday, the Ministry of Aviation has explained that it has always acted to protect the interests of their members, even as it has clarified that the Association was not planning a strike against government.
The position of the Ministry was contained in a statement by the Special Assistant to the Minister of Aviation, Dr James Odaudu released to newsmen Sunday evening.
Full text of the statement:
“From the time the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) issued notice of withdrawal of flight services as a result of rising cost of Jet A1 (Aviation fuel), and in spite of the initial statement by the Ministry detailing efforts to address the knotty issue while soliciting more understanding from AON, enquiries have continued to flood in with some under the erroneous impression that the planned withdrawal of flight services was directed against the government.
“We wish to state that the decision of the Association is purely a business one as they are private businesses reacting to market forces while appealing for government interventions to enable them carry on with their operations.
The Ministry has always made conscious efforts to assist and promote the operational interests of AON, some of which includes facilitating a meeting between the Association and Mr President, during which it got several concessions, including duty-free importation of aircraft, engines, spare parts and components.
“The Honourable Minister at various times personally took members of the Association to engage with Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to sort out issues of access to Foreign Exchange (FOREX) for their operations, and also the NNPC to explore ways of ensuring the availability of Aviation fuel (JET A1) through importation or from the major Marketers at affordable prices.
“It should also be recalled that members of the Association were also considered for, and given Bail-out funds to the tune of N4 billion during the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure that they remained afloat. This was without prejudice to the fact that most of them were heavily indebted to Aviation agencies (as they still are).
We believe that members of the Association are patriots who have continued to bear the brunt of unfavourable global oil market dynamics for which we salute their doggedness.
“It is gratifying that members of the Association have started reviewing the decision to withdraw flight services from tomorrow, with Ibom Air, Green Africa Airlines, Arik, Dana and some others having given indications that they will carry on with their normal flight schedules. We hope and believe that a few hesitant members will consider the dire implications of the planned action for businesses and individuals and review their decision likewise.
We also wish to assure foreign airlines operating in the country that all the requisite logistics and services for their operations remain in place as usual and that no disruptions whatsoever should be envisaged.
“As a government we reiterate our commitment to the continued growth of the aviation industry where airlines and other service providers operate in a conducive, supportive and profitable business environment.
“We therefore, call on the members of AON to commit to undisrupted flight services nationwide while the Ministry of Aviation, with other relevant stakeholders, continue with ongoing efforts at finding a lasting solution to the perplexing issue of aviation fuel availability and affordability, in the overall interest of the industry and the economy at large” the statement concluded.