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Allied Air takes delivery of brand new N8billion B737-800SF aircraft



• Nigeria’s economy picking up more and more-Emefelie
• Aircraft set to distribute COVID-19 Vaccines across Nigeria-Sirika
• Acquisition shows signs we are leaving a recession-Wigwe

ALLIED Air, Nigeria’s first cargo airline has taken delivery of a brand new Boeing 737-800 SF aircraft which according to the airline, financiers and government, will support the country in its distribution of COVID-19 Vaccines when they arrive.

The aircraft which was said to have been procured for about N8Billion, arrived Abuja amidst the customary water canon salute at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport.

The plane was received by dignitaries including the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefelie, Minister of Aviation Hadi Sirika as well as Managing Director of Access Bank, Herbert Wigwe and Managing Director of Allied Air Captain Val Thongo.

Emefelie who spoke on the financing of the aircraft explained that the aircraft was financed through the intervention fund of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) via Access Bank stating that the industry was growing.

He said, “First thank the honorable minister for aviation Hadi Sirika for what he is doing in the aviation industry in Nigeria and we are here to commission the B737-800 aircraft which has been funded through the intervention fund of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) through access bank.

“We are happy because only two or three weeks ago, the aviation minister also commissioned another aircraft for Air Peace so what does that tell us, that with the hard work of the aviation minister we can see that Nigerian aviation is picking up more and more, investment are happening in the aviation industry and only just last week, we even got a call from one of the West African countries asking that they want Allied Air to participate even in lifting currency.

“It might interest you to know that Allied Air is Central Banks own major currency lifting company.
“We need more and more investment in the area of aviation and I can assure us that CBN is ready, Nigerian banks are ready and that is why you can see one of the largest banks in Nigeria Access Bank also standing here ready as the major financier taking all the credit risk to support Access Bank.

Also speaking on the aircraft acquisition, Aviation Minister, Hadi sirika, expressed his thanks to the Central Bank and Access Bank for their support, stating that the country is now thinking into the future.

He also stated that government was putting policies in place to make financial institutions get involved in investment opportunities like the aircraft acquisition which is an index for growth too.

Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Godwin Emefelie, Minister of Aviation Hadi Sirika, Director General NCAA, Captain Musa Nuhu as well as Managing Director of Access Bank, Herbert Wigwe and Managing Director of Allied Air Captain Val Thongo Inside the aircraft

“First and foremost, it wouldn’t have been possible without the support of the Central Bank and Access Bank and we’ve seen how forward looking CBN is and how futuristic Nigeria has become; this kind of partnership is what we have been canvassing for since we assumed leadership of this industry.

“And because you know before COVID-19 aviation grew to be the second fastest sector of the economy in 2018 and in 2019 became the fastest growing sector, it is activities like these with support of central bank and other financial institutions like Access Bank that has made it possible so the policy we are putting in place is okay

“This aircraft will be dedicated to cargo and also the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, so the aircraft is ready, the cargo shed is ready and everything is ready to receive the vaccine and distribute” Sirika said.

Managing Director of Access Bank, Herbert Wigwe in his speech expressed pride to be part of the Allied Air venture, stressing that the aircraft will further increase the country’s capacity to distribute COVID-19 vaccines when they arrive.

He said,”We are proud to be part of this endeavour by allied air supported by the CBN and the Ministry of aviation but I think what is important is that these are little signals to show that we are coming out of a recession. We just visited the facility for cargo that would allow them ship things pout of the country. This shows Nigeria is opening up, we now have aircraft that would deliver COVID-19 vaccines across the entire country. Yes we receive products internationally but to distribute them across the country, now we truly have the facility to do all of that. We are very happy .”

Aviation Minister Hadi Sirika, CBN Governor Emefelie, Access Bank Managing Director Herbert Wigwe and others at the airport

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Nigeria Air: Civil Society Group Tackles NASS



Says Committee Chairman’s declaration amounts to ‘giving the dog a bad name in order to hang it’

A civil society group, The Concerned Civil Society Advocacy Group has taken up the outgoing Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on Aviation, Nnolim Nnaji on his recent declaration that the national carrier project was a fraud.

According to the group, the declaration, coming in the wake of the recent exhibition of one of aircrafts of Nigeria Air in Abuja, amounted to “giving the dog a bad name so that it can be hanged”

In a statement to the media in Abuja on Wednesday,and signed by the Group’s National Coordinator, Bako Barkindo and National Secretary, Julius Adaji, it described the sustained plot to ensure the failure of the national carrier project as a disservice to the Nigerian people who stand to benefit from its establishment.

Former Aviation Minister, Senator Hadi Sirika

The Statement read:

“The media has been awash with reports that the House of Representatives Committee on Aviation has declared the national carrier project a fraud after a hastily organised ‘public hearing’ whose outcome was obviously predetermined.
As usual, many gullible Nigerians have been deceived through deliberate misinformation by opponents of the Nigerian Air project who have been masquerading their real intentions as national interest.
Everyone knows what the benefits of a national carrier are, and they include; competitive ticket prices, direct flights to international destinations, national pride etc. We therefore wonder why the concerted efforts by some people to ensure that the project fails.

“As a group that believes that Nigeria deserves a very robust national carrier that is private sector-driven (bearing in mind the issues that led to the death of defunct Nigeria Airways), we have followed the process through which the project had passed, from the appointment of transaction advisers up to the announcement of Ethiopian Airlines as the Strategic partners and other private sector investors before the court injunction obtained by some domestic airline operators. It is therefore surprising that the Chairman, House Committee on Aviation had to come up with such a declaration shortly before the Committee’s tenure ends.

“We are therefore constrained to raise the following questions:
1.Has the Committee chaired by Nnolim Nnaji not been part of the whole process of establishing the airline, or they have been watching from the sidelines, unconcerned with such a flagship project in the sector?
2.Why wait till the wee hours of their departure from the national assembly to hold a make-believe public hearing where the Chairman acted as a sole administrator and did not allow those in charge to make contributions but went ahead to declare the national carrier project a fraud, a position that at variance with that of Senate?
3.Is the Committee not aware of the fact that government equity in the airline is only 5% and the remaining 95% belongs to the strategic partners (Ethiopian Airlines) and other private investors; and that even if government withdraws from the venture, the owners of the 95% will carry on?
4.On the use of the Ethiopian Airlines plane, why didn’t the Committee highlight the 49% ownership of Nigeria Air part of which includes the provision of aeroplanes for take-off?
5.Can the Committee invalidate an Executive Council-approved project that was midwifed by the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) and approved by the President?
6.Why are some members of the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) so vehemently opposed to the national carrier project, if not for the sole purpose of continuous exploitation of air travellers? Should Nigerians be subjected to whims and caprices of these airline operators who have made air transportation in the country unaffordable to the average Nigerian?
7.Why would the Association also claim that they were not carried along in the process when every stage was advertised in most national dailies and some international publications as well as the electronic and social media? Moreover, all the information regarding the airline has been available on websites of the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) and the Ministry of Aviation. Wherein lies the the much-vaunted secrecy?

“As concerned citizens we believe that the establishment of the cational carrier will be of immense benefit to Nigerians with the provision of competitive rates for both domestic and international routes.
It is our belief also that there’s more to this seeming gangup to truncate the project than meets the eye, especially with the close relationship with the major actors in the plot to deprive Nigerians of the inherent benefits.

“We conclude that all the negatives being spread about the Nigeria Air project is only to ‘give a dog a bad name so they can hang it’.

The group appealed to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to ensure the take-off of the airline which,according to them was at that stage before the change of government.

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Jibrin Condemns Destruction of Political Activist’s Hotel in Kogi



Accord Party Candidate in forthcoming gubernatorial election in Kogi State, Admiral Usman Jibrin (rtd) has condemned the attack and wanton destruction of a hotel belonging to a political activist Hon. Kabir Bala aka Okwo’ located at Ejule in Ofu Local Government Area of the state.

Reports have it that the hotel, said to be one of the best in the area, was attacked and completely razed down Wednesday night by people yet to be identified.

Admiral Jibrin in a statement to the media in Abuja, said the attack on the hotel was not only condemnable, but dastardly and unwarranted.

According to the retired Chief of Naval Staff, people should imbibe the spirit of politics without bitterness and eschew the recourse to needless violence in aspiring for positions of power.

He called on the state security apparatus to ensure an urgent and independent investigation and communicate their findings to the public to douse the tension that is building up in Kogi East.

Admiral Usman Jibrin (rtd)
Accord Party Governorship Candidate, Kogi State

The Governorship hopeful, while also calling on the State Governor, Inspector-General of Police and the Department of State Services to quickly take steps to ensure that the electioneering period leading to governorship election is devoid of all forms of criminality.

Admiral Jibrin, popularly called ‘Akpabana’ promised to bring his experience, extensive knowledge of security and universal contacts to bear on ensuring that the people of the state are safe and secure when he takes over the mantra of leadership of the state.

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President Bola Ahmed Tinubu has announced the appointment of Speaker of House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila as Chief of Staff, and Sen. Ibrahim Hassan Hadejia, a former Deputy Governor of Jigawa State, as Deputy Chief of Staff.

Sen. George Akume

A statement by the State House Director of Information, Biodun Olajundoye said President Bola Ahmed Tinubu confirmed the appointment on Friday during a meeting with the Progressives Governors Forum (PGF),

Oladunjoye further stated that the President also named former Governor of Benue State and immediate past Minister of Special Duties, George Akume as the new Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF).


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