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NAF, Aviation agencies deepen strategic cooperation for airspace security

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In line with one of the Key Drivers of his Vision for the Nigerian Air Force (NAF), which addresses enhanced strategic partnerships with Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDAs), the Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar yesterday, 22 January 2021, received the Director General (DG) of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Captain Musa Nuhu, and the Managing Director (MD), Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Captain Fola Akinkuotu, at the Headquarters (HQ) NAF, Abuja.

The duo, who were accompanied on the visit by the Director of Operations, Licensing and Training Standards, NCAA, Captain Bahago Elisha, held high level deliberations with the CAS bordering on collaboration and synergy of the 3 organizations in the areas of security of navigational infrastructure, calibration of navigational aids, training of personnel, safety of the airspace and exchange programmes.

A statement by the Director of Public Relations and Information,
Nigerian Air Force,Air Vice Marshal Ibikunle Daramola ,said the CAS expressed delight at the proposed deepening of the partnership with the NCAA and NAMA, noting that collaboration would further enhance the efforts of the NAF to improve flight safety and, by extension, operational effectiveness.

Air Marshal Abubakar disclosed that the Federal Government has so far acquired 23 brand new aircraft for the NAF, while 15 more were expected to be delivered during the course of the year, alongside 8 Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs). The 15 expected manned aircraft, the CAS said, comprised 12 Super Tucano attack aircraft that would be based in Kainji as well as 3 JF-17 Thunder multi-role fighter aircraft.

He further disclosed that amongst the expected UAVs were the Wingloong II, which has endurance of between 16 and 20 hours depending on its operating mode, as well as the CH-4 and CH-3 UAVs.

The CAS also disclosed that the NAF was expecting 3 special mission aircraft that would be based in Benin to cover the maritime environment and handle some of the challenges in Nigeria’s territorial waters and Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

“Therefore, it is nice that we keep you updated on what we are doing and ensure continuous interaction with you in terms of management of the airspace”, the CAS said.

Speaking further, the CAS noted that, other areas of concern include the certification of all the aviation personnel in the industry to ensure that ” the right person is doing the right job”.

He added that the NAF has highly skilled human resources that could be of tremendous assistance to the NCAA and NAMA upon retirement. He also asserted that there are quite a number of areas in which the NAF, NCAA and NAMA had been working together in the past, which included civil licensing of NAF pilots.

The CAS equally noted that there was the need for NCAA to revisit NAF Aviation Medicine facilities in Kaduna and Lagos to further address the issue of their certification for aircrew medical examinations.

Air Marshal Abubakar also highlighted the need to reactivate the Airport at Azare in Bauchi State as it would go a long way in aiding the fight against insurgency in the North East.

He therefore assured that a Team would be constituted, comprising personnel from the NAF Training and Operations Branch, that would liaise with the NCAA and NAMA to work out modalities on how to further improve the inter-agency collaboration for mutual benefit as well as enhanced security and management of the Nigerian airspace.

Speaking earlier, the DG NCAA, Captain Musa Nuhu, emphasized that, though cooperation exists between the NAF and NCAA, there was a desperate need to formalize it with a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).

He noted that there were many areas of cooperation to be explored, for enhanced safety of operations and security within the Nation’s airspace, especially at this time when the NAF is playing a very critical role in the fight against insurgency.

He noted that the NCAA has adequate understanding of the NAF, and with that understanding, he said, there is a better idea of how both agencies can collaborate to put the country on the cutting edge and ensure greater effectiveness and efficiency of operations.

“We can form a committee and give them the task to come up with systems or ideas on how we can formalize the cooperation between the civil and the military,” he said.

While making his remarks, the MD NAMA, Captain Fola Akinkuotu, noted that the importance of inter-agency collaboration in airspace management could not be overemphasized.

He said his Agency was looking at having a mutually beneficial relationship with the NAF. Captain Akinkuotu reiterated that the partnership between the NAF and NAMA would provide opportunity to have an extra eye in the management of the airspace for stakeholders in the security of the Country.

He therefore urged the NAF to exploit the opportunity of the partnership to the fullest for the overall benefit of the Nation.

Also present during the visit were HQ NAF Branch Chiefs and other senior NAF officers.

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Aspirant Confirms Receiving Refund From Delegates After Losing Primaries 

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Adam Namadi, son of former Vice President Namadi Sambo, has confirmed receiving a refund from delegates after losing the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) House of Representatives ticket for Kaduna North Federal Constituency.

Reports earlier emerged that drama ensued when Namadi who allegedly gave each delegate N2 million and promised to add N1.5 million if given the ticket, asked them to refund the money.

Reacting, in a statement on Wednesday, the former aspirant justified his action, saying “there was nothing dramatic about the request, and it is unfortunate the media has been purporting it as such”.

According to him, there was an agreement between the delegates and stakeholders in the constituency prior to the primary election that those not favoured by the outcome of the election should be refunded.

He said, “Delegates themselves are aware of the directives given by the major stakeholders of the PDP in the Kaduna North constituency, that any sums given to delegates by various aspirants for their support should be returned to those unsuccessful in their primary elections.

“This was done to encourage delegates to vote for the aspirants based on their qualities and not just their perceived spending power and to hold them accountable for the candidates they put forth.

“As a mark of respect for that agreement, some delegates in the Kaduna North constituency started to reach out to the unsuccessful State House of Assembly aspirants whose elections were held before ours, followed by my fellow contender, Shehu Usman ABG and I.

“Therefore, I am not acting in isolation or making any ludicrous demands.

“I take their decision in good faith and will continue to labour with the PDP and do all my best to protect its good fortunes”.

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“Absolute Agony” says Alex Ferguson, As He Presents Manager of the Year Award to Jurgen Klopp

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Sir Alex Ferguson joked that it was “absolute agony” to have to present Jurgen Klopp with the trophy named after him at the League Manager’s Association (LMA) awards last night.

Liverpool boss Klopp was named Manager of the Year after guiding the Reds to League Cup and FA Cup glory, plus second in the Premier League and this weekend’s Champions League final.

Klopp was presented with the Alex Ferguson Trophy by the man himself – who admitted, with tongue in cheek, that doing so was especially painful.

Watch: Ferguson in “agony” as he honours Klopp

Why would that have pained Ferguson?

As manager of Manchester United, Ferguson made them undisputed kings of English football, overtaking Liverpool as the club with the most national league titles – as the Scotsman once put it, knocking them off their perch.

The balance of power has shifted in recent years, however, with Ferguson retiring and Klopp being appointed at Anfield, with the German bringing consistent domestic and European success back to Liverpool.

United have not won the Premier League since 2012-13 – Ferguson’s last season in charge – or any trophy at all in the last five seasons, while Liverpool won the league in 2019-20 and the Champions League the year before.

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Nigeria lauds improved collaboration in AFI Region, signs MoU with Sierra Leone, Rwanda

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MINISTER of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika has commended International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) stressing that it’s leadership stance in collaboration has led member states of the African Indian-Ocean ( AFI) region to pool resources in resolving challenges and enhance safety in the Sub-region.

Sirika made this known at the 7th AFI Aviation Week in Abuja, Nigeria holding from 16th – 20th May where the nation signed Memorandum of Understandings, (MoUs) with Sierra Leone and Rwanda for technical support to enhance safety and security of Civil Aviation in the region.

According to him, ICAO’s leadership has set the bar for Member States to collaborate in resolving challenges particularly in the area of enhancing safety in our Sub-region.

He explained that one of the outcomes of such collaboration is the Comprehensive Regional Implementation Plan for Aviation Safety in Africa, which metamorphosized in the West Africa region into the Banjul Accord Group Aviation Safety Oversight Organization (BAGASOO), in Abuja, which is hosted and substantially funded by Nigeria stating that this organisation has continued to support the Member States in improving their safety oversight capabilities and human resource development.

On the MoUs, Sirika said they will aid to strengthen safety and efficiency of the sector as well as cooperation in the region.

The Aviation Minister stated that, aviation being an enabler and a positive factor for growth, development and robustness of the economy, informed the sector to enter into partnerships with other countries.

From left, Commisioner Banjul Accord Accident Investigation Agency (BAGAIA), Engineer Charles Irikefe Erhueh with Minister of Aviation, Nigeria, Senator Hadi Sirika and Commissioner Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) Nigeria, Engineer Akin Olateru at the opening ceremony of the 7th AFI Aviation Week in Abuja, Nigeria holding from 16th – 20th May

“This is the only way to continue to make these initiatives relevant and sustainable, while contributing to the strengthening of safety, security and facilitation in the region, bearing in mind that a safe, secure and efficient air transport system is a natural impetus for socio-economic development of the region and a means to support trade and tourism”.

The MoUs were signed by the Nigeria’s Director General, Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, Captain Musa Nuhu and representatives of the two countries at the opening ceremony of the Conference in Abuja.

Explaining further, the NCAA Director General, Captain Nuhu said, the partnership with the two African countries is to assist each other where there are gaps or deficiencies in the system, adding that no civil aviation authorities globally have the capacity to do everything.

The experience of the last two years, Captain Nuhu emphasized has underscored the fact that overcoming challenges and achieving meaningful growth in the industry, can only be done through cooperation, collaboration and co-ordination amongst stakeholders.

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