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FG Supports Continuous Growth of Nigerian Airlines, Says PermSec, Aviation



Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Mr Gatson Browne; Chairman of Air Peace Airline, Chief Allen Onyeama; and Director, Air Transport Management, Ministey of Aviation and Aerospace, Mr Hassan Ejibunu

The Federal Government of Nigeria will continue to support Nigeria’s Airlines to flourish and blossom, says Dr. Meribole.
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The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Aviation and Aerospace, Dr. Emmanuel Meribole has given assurance that the federal government will continue to initiate and implement policies that ensure Nigerian airlines benefit from the Bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASA) signed by Nigeria with other countries.

Dr. Meribole stated this in St. John, capital of Antigua and Barbuda, Monday, 7th August, 2023 at the reception held by the Government of Antigua and Barbuda to celebrate the commencement of direct flight between Nigeria and the Caribbean country by Air Peace Airline.

The Permanent Secretary who was represented by the Director of Air Transport Management of the Ministry, Mr. Hassan Ejibunu commended Air Peace for recording another milestone, coming on the heels of the historic flight between Nigeria and Israel in April 2023 by the airline. He congratulated the government of both countries for the historic feat, as the journey to further cement their relationship in the areas of commerce, trade, and tourism had commenced. He noted that the people of both countries were bounded by common ancestry, and the separation between them was man made, which the flight commenced by Air Peace was meant to bridge. He expressed appreciation of the Federal Government of Nigeria to the Antiguan and Barbudan authorities for granting approval for the designation of Air Peace by the Nigerian Aeronautical Authorities to fly the Nigerian-Antiguan route.

The representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Amb. Bolaji Akinremi, who is the Director, Economic, Trade and Investment said the development signposted the beginning of a new fond relationship between Antigua and Barbuda in particular and the entire Carribean countries in general, as movement between Africa and the Caribbean would become easier and less stressful.

Bolaji stated that the air connectivity was in sync with the Foreign Policy posture of President Ahmed Bola Tinubu, GCFR of integrating the economy of Africa nations and the Carribean countries are considered as integral part of Africa as the fifth bloc. He assured that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs would continue to do its best to foster the new fond relationship by promoting Bilateral Meetings between the business communities of both countries.

Speaking at the occasion, the Chairman of Air Peace, Chief Allen Onyeama thanked the Governments of both countries for believing in the capacity of Air Peace to operate on the route which he stated would open air connectivity between West Africa and the Caribbean countries.

He assured the Government of Antigua and Barbuda that the operation had come to stay, as other positive things were bound to accompany it. He further assured that he would encourage Nigerian business community to see Antigua and Barbuda as the next business destination because of her rating in the Ease of Doing Business and other favourable conditions that makes investment to flourish in the country. He declared that Air Peace Airline was collaborating with the government of Antigua and Barbuda to float an Airline in which Air Peace would have substantial equity share. He informed the gathering that the airline on commencement of operations would cover the entire Carribean countries which would make air connectivity between Africa, the entire Carribean countries and Americas stress-free.

In his remarks, the Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Mr. Gatson Browne stated that a new dawn had come into being in the relationship between Nigeria and Antigua and thanked Air Peace for bringing about the desired unity between his country and Nigeria.

He underscored the ancestral linkage between the Caribbean nations and Africa, which he referred to as the Motherland. He stated that Antigua and Barbuda was home to every African and that his government was desirous of promoting economic and bilateral ties with African nations within the context of the South-South cooperation.

Prime Minister Browne enjoined members of the business community from Nigeria on the trip to take advantage of the favorable economic policy of his government to invest in Antigua and Barbuda. He informed potential investors in manufacturing in Antigua and Barbuda of the opportunity of market accessibility to all the Caribbean countries.

After reeling out some of the benefits and called on investors from Nigeria to take advantage of them to invest in Antigua and Barbuda, he confirmed that his country was collaborating with Air Peace Airline to float an airline known as LIAT 2020 which would soon commence flight operations.

The Prime Minister urged Nigerian Government officials on the trip to help facilitate holding of a Business Forum meeting between Nigeria and Antigua & Barbuda,

In attendance at the reception were some members of the business community from Nigeria and top government functionaries from the Republic of Antigua and Barbuda.

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Private Jets Operating Commercial Services to Lose Licences – NCAA DG



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



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.

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



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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