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Aviation Roadmap to be Fully Delivered Before Buhari’s Administration Ends – Sirika

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All aspects of the Aviation Sector Roadmap developed at the inception of the Buhari administration will be delivered, and its objectives achieved, before the expiration of its tenure.

This is according to the assurance given by the Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika in a goodwill message at the first edition of the National Aviation Conference organised by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) in Abuja.

”We are ready to pursue all the components of the roadmap. Every part of the roadmap has reached advanced stages and all would be delivered before the end of this administration. Aviation industry in Nigeria is a goldmine, but it is still virgin” he said.

He pointed out that the Aviation Industry Roadmap as approved by the Federal Government was intentionally fashioned after the Public Private Participation (PPP) model with the plan to grow the entire sector.

He challenged investors to tap into the myriads of opportunities in the sector, especially with the recently approved 12 hectares of land for implementation of the aviation roadmap by the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA).
Some of the aviation roadmap include Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO), Aviation Leasing Company, National Carrier, Aerospace University, Airport Concession and Aerotropolis amongst others.

Sirika also disclosed that President Buhari would at any moment from now sign into law the passed Civil Aviation Bill by the National Assembly and assured that with the president’s assent to the bills, Nigerian aviation industry would grow rapidly, while more opportunities would also be created for all stakeholders and investors.

He reiterated Government’s commitment to the continued enhancement of safety and security in the sector, a commitment which has been acknowledged by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and other global authorities.

“Globally, the core variables that sustain the aviation industry is safety and security. We must continue to sustain these in the country.”
He reiterated that the Federal Government was willing and ready to discuss business, and partner with investors to bring the desired growth and development to the industry.

Managing Director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Capt. Rabiu Yadudu, in his presentation, disclosed that Nigeria lost $2.5 billion (about N1.25 trillion) on Maintenance Repair Overhaul (MRO) investments to neighbouring countries in 2021 due to lack of functional facility in the country.

Nigerian airlines ferry their aircraft for maintenance to countries like Ethiopia, Morocco, Egypt, United Arab Emirates, South Africa, and other nations with advanced maintenance facilities.
There are also indications that President Muhammadu Buhari would at any moment soon give assent to the new Civil Aviation Bills recently passed by the National Assembly.

Speaking on Tuesday in Abuja at the maiden edition of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) National Aviation Conferences (FNAC) with the theme: ‘Advancing the Frontiers of Possibilities for Safe, Secure and Profitable Air Transport,’ in a welcome address, Capt. Rabiu Yadudu, the Managing Director of FAAN said that such capital flight would have been saved if the country had MRO facilities that could adequately cater for all types of aircraft.

Yadudu, however, said that the conference would avail investors and entrepreneurs the opportunities to invest in the several areas in the sector.
To carry out C-check on Boeing 737 aircraft or its category, airlines expend at least $1.8 million. The C-check is carried out on aircraft every 18 months.

Yadudu lamented that Nigeria’s potential and capacity in the global air transport industry is being grossly underutilised, stressing that if stakeholders in the industry were indeed desirous of attaining the status of a major player in the global aviation sphere, it was high time the country integrated backward to repose and move the industry forward.

He explained that the focus of the conference was on Nigeria because the country had the largest fleet of aircraft within the subregion.

He said: ”It was reported that Nigeria lost $2.5 billion (about N1.25 trillion) in MRO investments to neighbouring countries. Having such investments here would have created more employment opportunities for Nigerians, revenue generation and training of technical personnel for maintenance of aircraft.

”The inter link and value chain between the air transport, tourism and hospitality industry for economic growth cannot be over emphasized. Today, the Eiffel Tower in Paris, London bridge, Dubai Mall, Burj Khalifa, the British museum in United Kingdom, e.t.c. have all been consciously developed into major tourist attractions that drive passenger traffic to those destinations and by implication attract businesses and generate employments for the locals and foreigners alike.”

Yadudu further lauded Sen. Hadi Sirika, the Minister of Aviation, the Permanent Secretary, Directors of the Federal Ministry of Aviation, the Senate and House Committee Chairmen and other stakeholders
for supporting the industry at all times.

Also, Capt. Bob Hayes, the first Nigerian pilot in his address congratulated FAAN for putting together the conference to discuss challenges militating the efficiency of this industry, as well as proffering long lasting solutions to the challenges.

Hayes stated that all the government’s roadmap for the sector would grow the industry if well-implemented and called on all investors to partner with the government in order to ensure industry growth.

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Private Jets Operating Commercial Services to Lose Licences – NCAA DG

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The Acting Director-General of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Captain Chris Najomo has warned that all private jet operators operating commercial charter services risks loosing their licenses.

He gave the warning in Lagos on Friday during the media unveiling of his vision board for year 2024 tagged NCAA Project 2024.

The Ag.DG, who expressed concern over the illicit activities of illegal private jet operators in the country, said if private jets wants to operate as commercial or charter operators, they should apply for the commercial licences.

Highlighting the regulatory provisions, Najomo noted that only holders of Air Transport Licence (ATL) and Airline Operating Permit (AOP) with a valid Air Operator Certificate (AOC) are authorized to conduct charter operations.

He also stated that NCAA will cease offering services to all debtors, who have refused to payment the NCAA and federal government monies owed them, noting that almost all airlines are guilty of this.
Nigerian airlines are currently indeed to NCAA in billions of naira.

He also said the NCAA is committed towards simplified certification and licensing processes as this will ensure ease of doing business.

Najomo further stated that one of his 2024 projects is to Ensure improved staff welfare, training, retraining and reorientation of staff.

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NDLEA Arraigns SAHCO Manager, 7 Staff For Aiding Drug Trafficking

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An Assistant General Manager of Skyway Handling Company (SAHCO), Olajide Ahmed Kafidipe, and seven other staff of the company, were today, arraigned before a Lagos Federal High Court, on charges bordering of conspiracy, unlawful importation and possession of 1, 440.90 kilograms of Tramadol.

Olajide and others were arraigned before the court presided over by Justice Deinde Isaac Dipeolu, by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).

The seven staff of the company arraigned alongside Olajide were; Sanyaolu Rasheed Oladele; Musa Mutalib Opeyemi; Sanamo Alla Daniel; Anuge Evans Isibor; Mahmud Agboola Musa; Udeh Felix and Obinna Henry.

The prosecutor, Mr. Abu Ibrahim, while arraigning the SAHCO staff, told the court that all the defendants conspired with the trio of Mubarak Sarki Salami, Abdullahi Aliyu a.k.a Aboki and Anwal Monday, who also staff of the company but now at large, to commit the offences on or about October 25, 2023.

The prosecutor, Mr. Ibrahim further told the court that the Assistant General Manager of SAHCO, Olajide and other staff of the company, conspired amongst yourself to transport 1, 440.90 kilograms of Tramadol 225mg, a Narcotic, from SAHCO Import Shed.

The prosecutor also told the court that the SAHCO’s Assistant General Manager, Olajide, conspired with Sanyaolu Rasheed Oladele, and procured one Lawal Itunu Temitope, to transport the prohibited substance from SAHCO Import Shed in a Mercedes Benz Bus with Registration Number LAGOS MUS 269 YC, belonging to Platinum Pacific International Limited.

He further informed the court that another staff of SAHCO, Sanyaolu Rasheed Oladele, unlawfully possessed the said 1, 440. 90 kilograms of Tramadol 225mg, a Narcotic Analgesic.

The prosecutor told the court that the offences committed by the defendants, contravened sections 14 (b), 21 (2)(d) and 20 (1)(c) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Cap. N30, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004. And punishable under sections 11 (b) and 20 (2)(b) of the same Act.

All the defendants denied the allegations and pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Following their not guilty plea, the prosecutor asked the court for a trial date and also urged the court to remand them in the custody of the Nigerian Correctional Services (NCoS), till the hearing and determination of the charge.

However, lawyers to the defendants, told the court that they have filed their clients’ bail application except that of the Assistant General Manager, Kafidipe Ahmed Olajide and Obinna Henry.

The lawyer therefore asked the court for a short date, to enable them file the bail applications for the duo.

With the development, the prosecutor, Mr. Abu Ibrahim, urged the court to remand all the defendants in NCoS’ custody till when the court will hear their bail applications.

But the trial judge, Justice Dipeolu, in his reasoning, order the operatives of the NDLEA to call their Airport Commander, to allow the defendants to be remanded in their custody till tomorrow, January 17, when their bail applications will be heard and determined.

Upon the complied with the court’s directive, which was granted by the Commander, the court ordered the remand of all the defendants in NDLEA till tomorrow, while adjourned to January 24, 2024, for the commencement of their trial.
Source: Ontimenews.com

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Tinubu Sacks Heads of Aviation Agencies, Asks EFCC to Investigate NCAA’s Financial Transactions

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In a move that has caught stakeholders in the Aviation sector unawares, President Bola Tinubu has approved the suspension, removal, and replacement of Chief Executive Officers under the Federal Ministry of Aviation and Aerospace Development

The Special Adviser to the President Media & Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale who made this known in a statement on Wednesday, said the leadership change is in line with the President’s determination to bring world class standards to Nigerian Civil Aviation in consumer protection and the promotion of the wellbeing of Nigerian passengers and other sectoral stakeholders.

Ngelale announced that the Managing Director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Mr. Kabir Yusuf Mohammed has been removed from office and replaced with Mrs. Olubunmi Oluwaseun Kuku as the substantive Managing Director of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria.

Also, the Managing Director of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Mr. Tayib Adetunji Odunowo has been removed from office and replaced with Engr. Umar Ahmed Farouk as the substantive Managing Director of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency.

The Director-General of the Nigerian Safety Investigation Bureau (NSIB), Engr. Akinola Olateru has been removed from office and replaced with Mr. Alex Badeh Jr. as the substantive Director-General of the Nigerian Safety Investigation Bureau.

The Director-General of the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET), Prof. Mansur Bako Matazu has been removed from office and replaced with Prof. Charles Anosike as the substantive Director-General of the Nigerian Meteorological Agency.

He further noted that the Rector of the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), Capt. Alkali Mahmud Modibbo has been removed from office and replaced with Mr. Joseph Shaka Imalighwe as the Acting Rector of the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), pending the appointment of a substantive Rector, in accordance with Section 13(2) of the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology Act, 2022.

Meanwhile, Ngelale announced that the Director-General of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Capt. Musa Shuaibu Nuhu has been suspended from office to enable the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to conduct an unfettered investigation into the activities of the suspended Director-General and other senior officials in the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, adding that Capt. Chris Najomo assumes office as the Acting Director-General of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority immediately.

“Furthermore, President Bola Tinubu approves the commencement of a diligent process to be conducted by the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development to recruit a substantive Vice-Chancellor and other principal officers of the African Aviation and Aerospace University (AAAU).

“The President anticipates that the new leadership across this critical sector will uphold the safety, convenience, and comfort of the Nigerian people as primary and sacrosanct in all of their administrative activities.

“Due to the high cost of underperformance in the sector, the President demands the immediate establishment of world-class policy design, implementation, and regulatory frameworks to reposition the sector in alignment with his Renewed Hope Agenda.

“All of the above-mentioned directives of the President take immediate effect”, he concluded

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