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Three Years After Unveiling, FG Fixes April 2022 Take Off Date For Air Nigeria

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Three years after it was unveiled, the Federal Government on Wednesday said Air Nigeria, the proposed national carrier will take off April 2022.

Aviation Minister, Hadi Sirika announced the take-off date while briefing state house correspondents after the federal executive council (FEC) meeting at the presidential villa, Abuja.

He said the national carrier will be run by a company in which the Nigerian government will hold a five percent stake while Nigerian entrepreneurs will hold 46 percent.

He said the remaining 49 percent will be reserved for yet to be assigned strategic equity partners, including foreign investors.

Sirika said the national carrier, when operational, will create about 70,000 jobs for Nigerians.

Sirika recalled that over 400,000 Nigerians participated in choosing the name which was launched in 2018.

“Today (Wednesday) in Council civil aviation presented two memoranda. The first one is approval for the award of contract for the provision of Automated Civil Aviation Regulatory Equipment, including software support and training, which will be located in Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport

“In summary, this is a software that will allow all of the activities of civil aviation regulation to be done electronically on one platform, including payments, including follow-ups on personnel licensing, the medicals, the economic regulation of airlines, safety regulation of airlines and all other businesses within the envelope of civil aviation will be monitored by this single software.

“It is called ‘the truth machine’ in the quotation in Europe because all of the truth of regulation of civilization will appear on this platform, it’s an extremely important software that the world has now come to terms with.

“The contract was given to Messrs. Arif Investment Nigeria Limited, who are representatives of Empik GmbH. This Empik are the creators of this software, one of its kind in the world, at the sum of N1,492,520,325, which will be including 7.5% VAT and a completion period of six months. So that’s the first memoranda.

“The next one also is approval of the outline business case for the establishment of the national carrier and this is the sixth time the memorandum appeared before Council. The sixth time, we got lucky to be passed by Council.

“The structure of the proposed airline; the government will be owning not more than 5%. So 5% is the maximum equity that government will take, then 46% will be owned by Nigerian entrepreneurs. So, if you add that, it’s 51%. So, it’s 51% majority shareholding by Nigerians and then 49% will be held by strategic equity partners or partners that will be sourced during the procurement phase, which is the next phase.

“This airline, if started, and within the first few years will generate about 70,000 jobs. These 70,000 jobs are higher than the total number of civil servants that we have in the country. Its importance had been well discussed so, I’ll not go back to it. You had discussed it separately also on various fora as to the need for it.

“But one important item is the AU agenda 2063, which speaks to the integration of Africa, which speaks to the cause and trade within Africa that is intra-Africa and to which also another flagship project of AU agenda 2063 called the Single African Air Transport Market (SAATM).

“Now, the only way, the quickest way that you can integrate Africa is by air because if you want to interconnect all the 54 nations of Africa, via rail or road, or waterways, which is even impossible, the quantum of money that you need to do all of these, the time it will take to develop this infrastructure, as well as the maintenance cost, is almost prohibitive.

“It’s doable, it’s time-taking, but with aviation, within a year, once the right policy is in place, like SAATM, you can connect Africa, and then, of course, the needed integration will happen. Part of AU agenda 2063 So, these are the two memoranda that were submitted, and gladly they were passed by Council.

“The name is Nigeria Air which of course, if you remember back in time, this was subject to a national debate and 400,000 people participated, choose the name, the colour, the logo, everything and it was produced that time. It was launched also in Farnborough as far back as 2018.

“So, the business case is a public document. It will be on our website, you can download it and we can give you copies. This airline will pick up and start, by God’s grace, on or before April 2022.”

Asked if the April date is certain, he said: “Well, the best case is that the airline will pick up that period, April 2022 all things being equal. But since it’s an outline of the business we will follow the outline of the business.

“It is our hope and desire that it starts on April. It can be sacrosanct records but it’s dependent upon other factors since we are going to the market right away.”

In 2018, the federal government unveiled Nigeria Air, at the Farnborough International Public Airshow in London.

The federal government later suspended the proposed airline.

Lai Mohammed, the minister of information and culture, had said the project was suspended due to investor apathy.

If successful, the airline will be coming almost 18 years after Africa’s largest economy shut down Nigerian Airways due to perceived corruption and maladministration.

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Lekki Killings: It Will No Longer Be Business As Usual For Okada Operators In Lagos – Jejeloye

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In continuation of a total clampdown on recalcitrant and killer okada operators in the state following the recent killings of one Mr. David Omahi by suspected commercial motorcyclists, The Lagos State Taskforce has continued with its mob up exercise to rid Lekki axis and the entire State of unscrupulous Okada operators who have refused to heed the sound of warning and carried on with their illegal operations.
Leading today’s exercise, the Chairman of  Lagos State Taskforce, CSP Shola Jejeloye stormed the axis in a sting operation at mid-day and seized 115 bikes for flouting the State Traffic laws of operating on restricted routes and plying the State’s Highways.
Jejeloye said that the Agency will make do of its promise by ensuring that the illegal business carried by these operators will be frustrated till they obey the laid down laws of the State.
“This operation will be a continuous one not just in Lekki but in every other part of the State, and we will make sure that their activities are truncated till they abide by the rules. They will never be above the law no matter how large their numbers are” He stated.
CSP Jejeloye made further appealed to Lagosians to join efforts with the Government in ensuring that the fight to restore and maintain sanity on Lagos Roads is won collectively for the betterment of all who reside or visit the City of Lagos
“Restoring sanity is not an easy task, neither is it a job for one man or the Agency alone. If we joined hands together we will achieve our desired goals of ensuring that no one takes the laws into their hands and gets away with it, especially not in a cosmopolitan city like Lagos”
The Chairman promised to raid black spots and hideouts of Okada operators within the axis and other parts of the State within the coming weeks in order to make their illegal activities unproductive and make the state harsh for any operator who has turned deaf ears to the warnings of the State Government.
“More enforcement for.compliance.activities will be carried in the comings days under the banner of Operation Kogberegbe in order to amplify their shady activities in the State.
The Chairman stated that business for them will no longer be as usual.”If they refuse to comply with the State best practices by  obeying the laws, then they will be arrested and prosecuted, while their bikes will be forfeited to the State Government via the Court” Jejeloye concluded

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JUST IN: Lagos Imposes Total Ban On Okada In Six LGAs [Video]

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The Lagos State government, on Wednesday, announced a “total ban” on commercial motorcycles, popularly called Okada,  in six LGAs in the state.

Babajide Sanwo-Olu, governor of Lagos, announced the directive while briefing the state’s security agents on Wednesday.

The six local governments listed by the governor are Ikeja, Surulere, Eti-Osa, Lagos Mainland, Lagos Island, and Apapa.

Sanwo-Olu said, “The whole of Ikeja, Surulere, Eti-Osa, Lagos Mainland, Lagos Island, and Apapa local governments have been placed on a total ban effective from the first of June. This is the first phase of banning that we are going to be embarking on so that others should know… They should find something else to do.”

Sanwo-Olu further advised residents patronizing Okada riders on highways to embrace the alternative transport schemes already provided by the Government to plan their journey.

According to him, the government had provided Last-Mile Buses, medium-capacity and high-capacity buses in the affected areas for the convenience of commuters.

“We will not sit back and watch criminally-minded people use motorcycles to perpetrate crimes and criminality in Lagos. Lives are being lost on a daily basis, preventable accidents are happening every day and the riders are not respecting any of our traffic laws. The situation has led to a complete breakdown of law and order. This ban has come to stay and we will not tolerate any weakness in enforcement.” he said.

Earlier before the ban, the Chairman of Lagos State Taskforce, Shola Jejeloye was said to have stormed the Lekki axis in a sting operation where 115 motorcycles were seized for flouting the State Traffic laws of operating on restricted routes and plying the State’s Highways.

Jejeloye emphasized that as part of the agency’s effort to clamp down on uncooperative and killer okada operators in the state, it would continue with its mob up exercise to rid Lekki axis and the entire State of unscrupulous Okada operators who have refused to heed the sound of warning and carried on with their illegal operations.

“This operation will be a continuous one not just in Lekki but in every other part of the State, and we will make sure that their activities are truncated till they abide by the rules. They will never be above the law no matter how large their numbers are” he said.

The chairman further urged residents of the state to join efforts with the Government in ensuring that the fight to restore and maintain sanity on Lagos Roads is won collectively in order to improve security.

Watch Video Below;

 

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BREAKING: Court Denies Nnamdi Kanu Bail, IPOB Leader To Remain In Detention

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Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has denied the bail application of Nnamdi Kanu, leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

Ruling on the bail application, Justice Binta Nyako, said the issue of Kanu’s absence in the past, since 2017, should be determined, before his bail application, will be entertained.

She added that Kanu breached his former bail conditions, and until that is heard, his present bail application is immature.

Ahead of the ruling on the bail application, on Wednesday morning, the Federal Government had filed a six-count amended charge against Kanu.

Justice Nyako, however, berated the prosecution for filing the amended charge just hours before the ruling. She said she was not aware of the amended charge until she got to the court in the morning.

According to her, the prosecution cannot dump the new amended charge on the court, on the morning of the hearing.

On dismissing his bail application, the court noted that Kanu’s trial had since 2015, suffered various setbacks owing to over 19 interlocutory applications that have been filed in the matter.

It, therefore, implored the parties to allow the case to proceed to trial to enable the charge to be determined.

Kanu had in the application he filed pursuant to sections 6(6) and 36(5) and (6) of the 1999 Constitution, as amended, as well as sections 161, 162, 163, and 165 of the Administration of Criminal Justice Act, ACJA, 2015, prayed the court to release him on bail, pending by determination of the charge against him.

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