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Yadudu Explains Advantages of Concession as ASRTI, ICRC Visit



MANAGING Director/Chief Executive of FAAN, Capt. Rabiu Hamisu Yadudu has said that concessioning the nation’s airport will not only lead to shortening the long process of public procurement but will fast track a lot of emergency in fixing of faulty equipment with the signing a Service Level Agreement (SLA).
This is just as Yadudu said progressive efforts were already being made to address the controversies surrounding the Build Operate and Transfer (BOT) agreement with Bi-Courtney Aviation Services, operators of MMA2.

Yadudu made these known when the leaderships of Aviation Safety Round Table Initiative (ASRTI) and Infrastructure Concession & Regulatory Commission (ICRC) held a meeting over the weekend with Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) to exchange ideas on how best to develop airports across the country and the possible best approach to the proposed concession of some major airport terminals.

The meeting had in attendance, the Technical Assistant to the Minister of Aviation, Mr. Mustapha Junaidu and also a staff of the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Council (ICRC) attached to the Federal Ministry of Aviation.

In his opening remarks, Capt. Yadudu said the meeting was conveyed in his capacity as the Chairman of the Federal Ministry of Aviation Concession Team, commending ASRTI for its role in the industry’s development over the years.

“I have been in the industry for 20 years. One thing with ART is that you have always kept in touch. You have always been there to offer your advice and interpretations. It is important that we do a good job so that those coming after us will have something to look up to. Aviation belongs to all of us. It does not belong to any individual,” he said.

Yadudu said: “the long process of public procurement was a major challenge to the aviation industry because of the speed of response involved in the sector. He cited one of the benefits of concession as the fact that a Service Level Agreement (SLA) would be signed between FAAN and the concessionaire such that whenever there is an emergency in fixing of faulty equipment for instance; the concessionaire addresses the issue immediately, to be paid later. This solves the problems of waiting for long procurement processes.

On what FAAN had done to improve comfort and safety for airport users, Yadudu surmised that though FAAN’s revenue had totally dropped because of the COVID-19 effect, the airports manager had taken delivery of 55 Self Service Kiosks from ICTS and has equally received approval to increase its Passenger Service Charge (PSC) after due consultations with relevant bodies including IATA.

The President of ASRTI, Dr. Gabriel Olowo commended the leadership of FAAN under Capt. Yadudu, noting that “we have not had this kind of engagement over the years because ART was perceived differently, whereas ART’s activities have been in the interest of the industry.”

The ASRTI shared its ideas on airports development, standing on the contents of the communiqué issued at the end of the webinar organized by ASRTI on Thursday, August 13, 2020. Theme of the webinar was “Nigeria’s Airports Concession: How Far, So Far?”

On the communiqué’s request for a minimum government involvement in airports management, he noted that minimum involvement was relative as issues such as Aviation Security and Safety would always involve the government as part of its responsibility.

In his presentation, Junaidu explained that FAAN would make more money and spend less on maintenance when SLA is signed with a concessionaire to cover that. To address the issue of process transparency raised by the communiqué, Junaidu said a Strategic Communication Consultant had been appointed by ICRC to keep stakeholders informed on it activities.

Government’s positions on each item in the communiqué were jointly evaluated while gray areas were jointly explained by Capt. Yadudu and Junaidu. Junaidu rendered clarifications from the ICRC perspective.

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COVID-19: Nigeria Bans Flights From India, Brazil and Turkey



Reduces PCR Test to 72 Hours from 96 Hours

…To Fine Airline $3,500 For Each Defaulting Passenger

The Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19,  has reduced the COVID–19 Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test for all Nigeria-bound passengers from 96  to 72 hours.

This is just as the Committee also stated that PCR test results older than 72 hours before departure shall not be accepted;

The Committee came to this conclusion after due consideration and agreed to implement these  protocols as it concerns Brazil, India and Turkey.

According to the Committee non-Nigerian passport holders and non-residents, who visited Brazil, India or Turkey within 14 days preceding travel to Nigeria, shall be denied entry into Nigeria, adding that this regulation, however, does not apply to passengers who transited through these countries.

The  Committee said that the following measures shall apply to airlines and passengers, who fail to comply with I and II(a) above:
Airlines, it said  shall mandatorily pay a penalty of $3,500 for each defaulting passenger while non-Nigerians will be denied entry and returned to the country of embarkation at cost to the Airline.

A statement signed by the Secretary to the Government of the Federation/ Chairman, Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19,Mr. Boss  Mustapha, explained that Nigerians and those with permanent resident permit who visited Brazil, India or Turkey within 14 days preceding travel to Nigeria shall be made to undergo seven  days of mandatory quarantine in a Government approved facility at the point-of-entry city and at cost to the passenger.

The following condition , he said shall apply to such passengers within 24 hours of arrival shall take a COVID-19 PCR test. adding that if positive, the passenger shall be admitted within a government-approved treatment centre, in line with National treatment protocols.

If Negative, the passenger shall continue to remain in quarantine and made to undergo a repeat PCR test on day 7 of their quarantine.
Mustapha said that passenger(s) arriving in Nigeria from other destinations must observe a 7-day self-isolation at their final destination.

The passenger shall carry out a COVID-19 PCR test on day 7 at selected laboratory. and shall be monitored for compliance to isolation protocol by appropriate authorities.

The Committee warned that passenger(s) who provided false or misleading contact information will be liable to prosecution while person(s) who willfully disregard or refuse to comply with directions of Port-Health staff, security agencies or evade quarantine shall be prosecuted in accordance with the law.

“State Governments are required to ensure that all returning travelers from ALL countries are monitored to ensure adherence to the mandatory seven-day self-isolation period and the repeat COVID-19 PCR test on the seventh day after arrival.

“We urge members of the public to adhere to all COVID-19 preventive measures in place including adherence to the national travel protocol, proper use of face mask, regular hand washing and physical distancing.

“This travel advisory shall come into effect from TUESDAY 4TH day of May 2021. The guidelines provided in this document shall be subject to review after an initial period of 4 weeks,” the Committee said.

The Committee said that its action is part of effort to continue to safeguard the health of the Nigerian population, as well as to minimize the risk of a surge in the number of COVID-19 cases in Nigeria, the Presidential Steering Committee carried out a risk assessment of countries with high incidence of cases.

The risk assessment, according to the Committee  took into consideration the epidemiology of cases, prevalence of variants of concern and average passenger volume between Nigeria and each country among other indicators.

It stated that of the countries assessed, this interim travel advisory applies to three countries in the first instance and that these precautionary measures are a necessary step to minimize the risk of a surge in COVID-19 cases introduced to Nigeria from other countries, while national response activities continue.

It  advised Nigerians to avoid any non-essential international travels to any country at this period and specifically to countries that are showing rising number of cases and deaths.

The Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 said it has over the last few weeks been monitoring with concern, the increasing trend of COVID-19 cases in several countries, with additional focus on countries with high incidence, fatality rate and widespread prevalence of variants of concern.

The Government of Nigeria, the Committee  deeply empathizes with the citizens and governments of these countries and assures them of our commitment, unflinching support and solidarity at this time of need

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In a bid to boost capacity and efficiency of air traffic management in the country the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) has obtained licenses for 24 newly recruited air traffic control officers from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Organization (NCAA) after successfully undergoing the necessary training and examination on Aerodrome and Approach Control.

The new air traffic controllers are currently being posted to strategic aerodromes in the country according to their need.

In the same vein the agency has also recertified a total of 30 air traffic controllers in different categories air traffic control including Terminal Approach Radar, Area Procedural Control and Area Surveillance Control after passing the required proficiency/rating tests and certified mentally fit in line with Annex 1 of the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and part II of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulation (NCAR).

Making this disclosure in a statement, the Managing Director of NAMA Capt. Fola Akinkuotu recalled that from year 2020 to date, the agency recertified a total of 194 air traffic controllers in addition to their periodic training and retraining, targeted at keeping them up to speed with latest skills and technology in air traffic management to ensure they remain competitive with their peers globally.

The NAMA helmsman also revealed that in order to reduce delays and congestion in the nation’s airspace the agency has commenced the construction of Aerodrome and Approach Control simulator at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport Lagos as a pilot project to be replicated in Abuja, Kano and Port Harcourt.

Akinkuotu who noted that the safety of the Nigerian airspace remained a cardinal goal of the agency also enjoined air traffic controllers to continue putting in their best in order to justify government’s huge investment in building critical infrastructure as well as capacity of personnel

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Azman Air on Course to Resume Operations Soon- NCAA



Azman Air, a privately-owned airline, is following guidelines of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) to advance standard in its operations, Mr Sam Aderogboye, NCAA General Manager, Public Relation, has said.

Aderogboye made this known on Thursday in Abuja during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

The general manager said the airline had significantly fulfilled the recommendation made by NCAA following a series of incidents involving Azman Air Boeing 737 Aircraft.

He said considering Section 35 (2) of Civil Aviation Act, 2006, and Part (A) of Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations (Nig.CARs) 2015, NCAA suspended operations of all Boeing 737 aircraft in Azman’s fleet.

He added that the suspension was with immediate effect from March 15, 2021, till date.

According to him, the suspension is to enable the authorities conduct an audit of the airline to determine the root causes of the incidents, and recommend corrective actions to forestall re-occurrence.

“NCAA regrets the inconvenience this action may cause to the public, particularly to Azman air passengers, but the need to ensure the safety of air transport and protect the public interest cannot be compromised.

“NCAA will continue to ensure compliance with its regulations in the interest of safety and will view any violation(s) seriously,“ he said.

In a related development during an interview NAN, a top rank Official of Azman Air , who pleaded anonymity, said the airline was responding to issues raised by NCAA.

According to him, NCAA is happy with the level of compliance the airline had undergone during the suspension to maintain standard in the aviation industry.

“We stopped on 15th march. NCAA suspended us due to incidences that concurrently happened, and they decided to conduct an audit on our operations.

“We are responding to all issues raised by NCAA, right now we are conducting some refreshers training, we almost closed all gaps highlighted, we assure you that we will come back stronger and better.

“NCAA are delighted with our responses as stated by NCAA Director General last week. Though, we are on top of situations when it comes to maintenance but the questioned incidences occurred naturally,“ he said. (NAN)

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