Monday, 29 February 2016

IATA Partners Nigeria on Aviation Safety in Africa

IATA, Nigeria partner on air safety in Africa

In order to enhance the safety of the Aviation sector in Africa,the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and Nigeria are adopting  new measures in line with decisions reached by African transport ministers in 2012 to improve safety in the continent’s skies.
The disclosure was made by the Director-General of the Nigeria’s Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA)  Captain Muhtar Usman  and IATA’s Regional Director, Safety and Flight Operations, Africa and Middle East, Tanja Grobotek,  in Abuja recently.
Usman described the endorsement of the African Union’s Abuja Declaration as one of the most significant steps taken to boost safety and development of aviation on the continent.
He said the industry would achieve much if all players contributed to sustain initiatives geared towards improving air safety.
“Nigeria is committed to supporting its implementation across the sub-Saharan Africa through developing new strategies that will see the recent gains on Africa’s safety record sustained and even improved,” he added.
Since the Abuja Declaration’s adoption in 2012, Africa’s safety performance, he said, had improved significantly.
Besides these important and valuable gains, Africa still accounts for the highest accident rate.
“African safety is moving in the right direction, thanks to the work done by a number of African nations, including Nigeria, who have worked hard to raise awareness of the importance of implementing the Abuja Declaration,” Grobotek said.
“In 2015, we saw safety on the continent improve compared to the five-year accident rate for both jet and turboprop hull losses. Nevertheless, the challenges of bringing Africa in line with global performance remain,” she explained.
He continued: ” IATA remains focused on its commitment to actively contribute its expertise and resources to help African nations implement the standards outlined in the Abuja Declaration.
‘’One such area is the IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA), a proven tool for raising safety. IATA has worked with a number of airlines in Africa to bring them onto the IOSA registry. Eleven have joined since the Abuja Declaration was signed, which means 31 airlines from sub-Saharan Africa now benefit from this rigorous safety audit.”
Another issue that was discussed at the meeting was the need for African Governments to accelerate the implementation of ICAO’s safety-related standards and recommended practices (SARPS), according to the Universal Safety Oversight Audit Program (USOAP).
The NCAA reaffirmed its commitment to improve on the effective implementation of the SARPS by the end of the year. As at the end of January, only 21 African states had accomplished at least 60 per cent of implementation of the SARPS.

Nigerian Army Boosts Fight against Terrorists with Bike Battalion

The Nigerian Army has inducted a combat motorbike battalion at the Headquarters of 25 Task Force Brigade, Damboa, Borno State to boost the renewed strategy of clearing the remaining elements of Boko Haram terrorists.

Also launched during the event, was the second batch of the portraits of 100 wanted suspected Boko Haram terrorists.
The Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Tukur Yusufu Buratai, while inducting the unit, stated that the essence of the battalion was to open and secure motorways from various towns to and fro Maiduguri and other parts of Yobe State.
Prior to the induction and launching ceremony, the Chief of Army Staff took time off to see and address troops located in Delwa and Bulabulin before proceeding to
He also inspected a Quarter guard at the Brigade’s headquarters and was briefed by the Brigade Commander, Brigadier General Lawrence Adeleke Araba, who showed him some weapons, vehicles and Improvised Explosive Devices, IED-making machines and equipment, recovered from cleared Boko Haram terrorist camps at Talala and Ajingin recently.
Earlier, the Commander, 7 Division Garrison, Colonel Solomon Babatunde Kumapayi also showed the COAS vehicles, weapons and IEDs-making devices recovered by his formation from the terrorists at Kotokuma on Friday.
Inducting the combat motorbike unit, the Chief of Army Staff said: “the battalion will serve as a force multiplier in the clearance operations of remnants of Boko Haram terrorists.”
“With the induction of the unit, troops presence will be seen along the roads, thus keeping the roads open and safe.” General Buratai stated.
A visibly elated Secretary of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Borno State, Ahmadu Musa showered encomiums on the Chief of Army Staff and the Nigerian Army for their sacrifices and the initiative.
Musa said that “the motorbikes would enhance safety and security on the roads” and promised continuous support of his organisation to the Army as they mop up the remaining Boko Haram terrorists.
He also gave assurance that the banner containing the portraits of the 100 wanted suspected Boko Haram terrorists would be displayed and distributed in all the union’s branches and other chapters.
Before leaving Borno, the Chief of Army Staff also visited 254 Task Force Battalion, Sabon Gari located along Damboa-Biu road, where he addressed troops stationed there.


Air Peace Increases Frequency on Lagos-Owerri Route

Nigeria’s budding carrier Air Peace has increased the frequency of flight services from Lagos to
Owerri and back to three times daily.
Flights from Abuja to Owerri and back now operate two times daily.
Flights from Lagos to Owerri is scheduled to depart daily at 7:30 am, 2: 35pm and 5: pm while the
flights from Owerri to Lagos will depart at 8:20pm, 12:10pm and 4:20pm.
Also the schedule from Abuja to Owerri is now 10:50am and 2:50Pm while Owerri to Abuja now operates at 9: am and 4:40pm.
This new schedule became effective on February 21, 2016.

Abba Moro Goes to Kuje Prisons

UPDATE: Ex-interior minister, Abba Moro remanded in Kuje Prisons
The Economic and financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arraigned the former Minister of Interior, Abba Moro over alleged fraud and money laundering before a Federal High Court in Abuja.
Moro was arraigned with Anastasia Nwobia, former Perm Sec in the ministry; F.O. Alayebami and Drexel Global Tech Ltd.
Justice Anwuli Chikere ordered that the former minister should be remanded in Kuje prison, Abuja.
The sum of N676, 675,000 was said to have been realised from applicants for immigration jobs during the fatal immigration recruitment exercise in 2014 where dozens of applicants died and many more injured in stampede.
Justice Chikere adjourned the case to March 2 for hearing of the bail application.

#FreeEse: Outrage Over Alleged Abduction, Forceful Marriage of 14-yr-old in Kano

 View image on Twitter

 #FreeEse: Outrage over alleged abduction, forceful marriage of 14-yr-old in Kano On February 29, 20167:26 amIn News by IkennaComments The pathetic story of how 14-year-old Ese Oruru, who was in August 2015, allegedly abducted in Opolo, Yenagoa Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, by one Yunusa, who hails from Kano, has continued to elicit outrage on social media among Nigerians. Vanguard gathered that Ese, who was 13 as at the time of her alleged abduction, was taken to Kano, by Yunusa, where he converted her to Islam and married her. Ese’s parents had since last August made trips to Kano, where they unraveled the plights of their daughter. The parents said they have involved the police, but efforts to get the Emir of Kano, Mallam Lamido Sanusi, at whose palace the girl is believed to be held to resolve the matter and ensure the return of the 14-year-old to them have proved futile. While her mother was told that Ese had converted to Islam and, therefore, was no longer her daughter, her father was told that his daughter was an 18-year-old adult and not 14, hence she was capable of making decisions for herself. However, Nigerians, yesterday, took to the social media to launch a campaign #FreeEse, calling for the immediate release of the Urhobo-born teenager, whose mother, Mrs. Rose Oruru, is a food vendor in Opolo, Bayelsa State.

Friday, 26 February 2016

The Naira-Dollar blues

  • By Reuben Abati

naira dollar

“My brother, e ku exchange rate oh.”
“Excuse me?”
“I am greeting you. I am saying how are you and the exchange rate palaver. The dollar wahala.”
“So, that is why you are saying e ku exchange rate. Is something wrong with you Yoruba people? Must you turn everything into a form of greeting?”
“You are insulting me?”
“I am making a statement”
“Any serious matter at all, you and your people must turn it into something else. E ku exchange rate? What kind of greeting is that? Yoruba will say e ku election, e ku democracy, e ku change, e ku ana, e ku gbogbo e, gbogbo e, e ku democracy. I am tired of answering you people and your cynical greetings.”
“The people don’t mean any harm.”
“That was how somebody came to me the other day and said e ku Mecca, Medina, e ku Qatar. I felt like slapping the guy.”
“I don’t like hypocrites.”
“Would you have felt better, if he had told you e ku living upside down, e ku idorikodo, e pele change?”
“I would just have been livid, because I know you and your people. Too much cynicism.”
“Can you stop?”
“You know me, I speak my mind.”
“No. You are beginning to sound like Donald Trump. Stop Trump-ing other people, just because you don’t know where they are coming from.”
“But of course I know where you are coming from when you say e ku exchange rate.”
“Where am I coming from? I just left my house”
“My friend. Sit down.’’
“You too stop going upanddan”
“Okay, you want to talk about exchange rate. I am listening. The way it is, everybody is now an economist in Nigeria. Even my driver yesterday was telling me about the behaviour of the parallel market. And I overheard the nanny commenting on the 2016 budget and how it may, in the long run affect the housekeeping allowance.”
“That’s a criminal in the making. You should sack that housekeeper. She certainly wants to pad the housekeeping allowance.”
“You know these people also watch television. She must have listened to stories about padding on television and radio may be, and she may think it is perfectly normal in today’s Nigeria to pad figures.”
“These things run deep, I agree. But a crook is a crook. Better keep an eye on that housekeeper and let her know that this is the era of prudence, discipline and you-steal-you-get-caught-you-blame yourself-and-may-be-go-to-wa wi-tenu-e places.’’
“Don’t worry, I am the EFCC of my house, nobody can pad anything. I am on top of it. I do more market research and monitoring than Madam.”
“I don’t get it. You now go to the market while Madam stays home?”
“You can say what you like, but I can tell you authoritatively that a bag of rice which used to be N8, 500 is now N12, 500. Pampers was N1, 450, it is now within three weeks, N1, 850.”
“What’s your business with pampers?”
“What is not my business with pampers? I am a very active man, upstairs and downstairs. You don’t think I should be interested in all things material and particular and eventual?’’
“You have really changed. What happened to you?”
“Are you interested in my findings or you want to discuss something else?”
“Carry on. I am listening.”
“A congo of garri was N250 a few weeks ago, it is now N500”
“Common garri?”
“Garri has changed oh. It is no longer common.”
“Stop saying really? Be a man and do your own research before Madam and the housekeeper drive you into bankruptcy by adding something of their own to the real figures and giving you false information. You must be proactive.”
“I am with you”
“See, I like to drink Andre. A carton used to be about N20,000. Can you believe it has jumped up to N24,500?”
“Andre? What is that?”
“It is a kind of wine. Middle class taste. I like it.”
“So cheap? Some other people drink Crystal, Cliquot, didn’t know you are just a bush man with all your big mouth. Andre. Please stop disgracing somebody.”
“A carton of Carlo Rossi, a week ago was N14,000, it is now N17, 500.
“Carlo Rossi? Who is that? A football coach?
“Even the cost of paraga and alomo, kasaprenko has gone up.”
“You drink all of that too?”
“A carton of Orijin was N2, 900 the other week, it is now N3, 300”
“You keep talking about drinks. No wonder you have also been monitoring the prices of pampers. You can’t know the prices of these concoctions and not cause some maternity ward problems.”
“I am giving you real figures. And that is why I greeted you, e ku exhange rate. The Naira has been dancing like a yo-yo, and the dollar is the queen of the foreign exchange market in Nigeria today.”
“The colour of change.”
“The Naira even exchanged for N390 to the dollar, and N500 to the pound.”
“Nobody is talking about the pound.”
“It is the American age. You’d think the Americans were the ones who colonised Nigeria with the way they have colonised the Nigerian exchange rate. Practically everyone is looking for the dollar, you would think the Naira never existed. We definitely have an economic identity crisis.”
“My driver told me he has a solution to the problem.”
“I have heard some petrol station attendants also saying they will solve the problem.”
“I am not joking. My own Pastor actually told us on Sunday that the problem with the Naira is spiritual and that with prayers, the Naira will regain its lost strength.”
“Well, the petrol station attendant has a different logic, and his own logic is even different from my driver’s.”
“That is the problem. Everybody in Nigeria today is now an economist. Very soon, the roadside imbecile will issue an opinion on how the Naira can be saved.”
“Are you sure that has not happened yet?”
“I went to a barbing salon last week, and the barber lamented that his prices would have to change”
“Exchange rate and crude oil prices, he said.”
“By the time landlords start blaming the exchange rate and the spot price of crude oil, and they fix prices differently, we would all be in big trouble.”
“But what happened to that campaign?”
“Which one?
“The Buy-Naija-To-Grow-the-Naira campaign, promoted by Senator Ben Bruce and others.”
“Ha. You have not heard? The Common Sense Senator published a book on Common Sense, but it was discovered that the man preaching buy Naija, published his own book in the US of A.”
“What do you mean so? Should he do one thing and say another?”
“Let the people criticizing the Senator go and sit down, and keep quiet. The man is a thinker. They should know that. When they go to his Silverbird cinemas, do they watch Nigerian films there all the time, or do they eat guguru instead of pop corn?”
“I am listening.”
“And have they seen Senator Bruce wearing local attires like a fisherman? This thing is about ideas. And that is why I always argue that what we need is not common sense, but uncommon sense. When you confront Nigerians with common sense, they will start looking for loopholes.”
“I just hope that your common sense Senator is married to a Nigerian woman, because that is the best way to grow the Naira.”
“What is that? Where is that coming from?”
“I don’t think anybody can preach buy Naija to grow the Naira, and then go and marry a foreign wife, that will be hypocrisy of the highest order!”
“What is the connection between where a man marries from and the Naira?”
“There is. Please, there is; it is the biggest money laundering offence.”
“You have started again. Who are you trying to shade?”
“Nobody. But if we want to really save the Naira, everybody should buy Naija.”
“That is too simplistic. Except you are trying to suggest that our Governor-friend with Cape Verde connections has also refused to buy Naija and therefore has a hand in the problem with the Naira.”
“He is our friend oh. Please, no comment.”
“Some people say to save the Naira, not even the bedroom should be outsourced, and that the biggest drain on this economy is the obsession of the Nigerian rich with all things beautiful and romantically seductive from foreign countries.”
“I can’t comment on that.”
“You are saying all of this because Ben Murray Bruce printed his common sense book in America?”
“I am saying we all need to rescue the Naira and the economy. The economy first!”
“You are beginning to sound like a vulcanizer. It is not your job, it is not my driver’s job, and the petrol station attendants should just keep quiet. Na only we dey OPEC?”
“They won’t. They can’t. This is a democracy and we all have a right to make policy. If we don’t speak up, some people will pad things again and things will get worse.”
“It is Godwin Emefiele’s job.”
“Him na your brother?”
“He is the governor of the Central Bank”
“What do you mean, really?”
“What are his views on monetary policy?”
“Go and ask him.”
“And fiscal policy?”
“Go and ask the Minister of Finance?”
“We have a Minister of Finance?”
“Of course we do.”
“And who is that?”
“Wait a moment. What’s that her name again?”
“Wait. I am trying to remember. Em…em…yes, 16+6= 24!”
“You mean you can’t connect the monetary side with the fiscal side of the Nigerian economy, you are busy just saying… Okay, don’t bother, I get it.”
“Candidly speaking.”
“Don’t worry, the people who are benefitting from the Naira crisis know her and they know her name and they know the CBN governor too. In case you don’t know, while you are busy trying to put people down, some other Nigerians have made a fortune from the Naira-Dollar palaver.”
“A fortune?”
“Yes. That is the difference between people who are clever and those who just complain. One of my wife’s friends is almost a billionaire now because the Naira crashed.”
“How did she do it?”
“The God of Olajumoke intervened. The God of Adekunle Gold picked up her call. And the God of Korede Bello said she had won. Her warehouse is profiting from the difference. So when you talk with that your sharp mouth, just know that in every economic situation, there are both happy and sad stories.”
“But there are standards, normative contexts, economic frameworks.”
“If you don’t get it, you can’t get it. If you don’t mind, please, I don’t want a lecture on that.”

Arik Air, Medview expand operations on domestic, regional routes

photo credit:Okereke Chigozie
Arik Air, has increased its frequency on the Lagos-Dakar (Senegal) route to a daily service from a six weekly flight.
The new schedule will operate four of the Lagos-Dakar flights routed via Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire instead of the previous routing via Banjul. The other three flights will continue to operate via Accra, Ghana.
The Lagos-Abidjan-Dakar service will operate on Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays while the Lagos-Accra-Dakar service will operate on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
With the new schedule, Arik Air will be able to provide its customers convenient access between Lagos, Abuja, Accra, Abidjan and Dakar markets.
The airline will also be increasing its frequency on the Lagos-Banjul route from three times weekly to four times weekly from March 14, 2016. All the flights will be operated via Accra using a Boeing 737-700 Next Generation (NG) aircraft.
The Lagos-Accra-Banjul service will be operated on Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays and Sundays, making Arik the only airline operating a non-stop flight from Banjul to Accra.
The Chief Commercial Officer, Mr. Suraj Sundaram while commenting on this development said, “Being the largest airline in West and Central Africa comes with the responsibility to meet the increasing demand from our customers to improve connectivity in the region. We are committed to improving these connections to facilitate the movement of passengers and cargo seamlessly across our expanding network.”

See How a Prophet Got Two Sisters Pregnant

Pastor 'impregnates' two sisters

According to The Nation ,the General Overseer of the Victorious Sacred Solemn Healing and Deliverance Ministry, Prophet Oluwaseyi Idowu has been arrested for allegedly impregnating two sisters.
The pastor, it was gathered, also allegedly attempted to sell their father’s two-storey building without his consent.
Policemen from the Oko-Oba division in Ojokoro Local Council Development Area of Lagos State stormed the church last Sunday to arrest the pastor.
The Nation learnt that the pastor was invited to set up his church and manage a flat in the sisters’ father’s compound when he had accommodation problems in Agege.
Their brother said: “I and my brothers bought my father a two-storey building in Ogunsola close, Abule-Egba and at that time, Pastor Oluwaseyi had rent issues. My father allowed him to set up his church in his compound and also manage a flat. We never knew that was the beginning of our problems.
“The pastor held several vigils to create awareness and public attention. As time went on, he invited people to stay in the church and from the church they moved into the main house. Occupants left the house for the pastor’s people to move in and they lived there without paying a kobo.
“Months later, the pastor said he wanted to marry my 20-year-old sister, a virgin, who just graduated from secondary school. We never knew he had been sleeping with her for months before then. Recently, we found out that he also impregnated my 25-year-old sister who has been indoors for the past nine months.”
He said that their parents were not talking because the pastor’s congregation and family have taken over the building.
He added: “I called my elder brother who told me to report the case to the police. It was at the police station we found out that he intended to sell our building to build a new church elsewhere.”
Since the incident, it was gathered that members of the church have vowed never to return.
An officer at Oko-Oba Police Station said: “This is not an issue of rape; the two impregnated sisters could have resisted or lodge a complaint against the pastor; it was when they got pregnant that a complaint was sent to us and we intervened. But even if Pastor Idowu is charged to court now; it’s useless because the girls were not raped. However, the neighbours and residents at Ogunsola Close are claiming the pastor used charm to sleep with them, and that is not an issue to be resolved in the court.”
When The Nation visited the house, our reporter was told that Pastor Idowu has relocated.

Fed Govt to open talks with MTN after receipt of N50b

Fed Govt to open talks with MTN after receipt of N50b
The Federal Government will open talks with MTN Nigeria over the N780 billion fines, imposed on the telecommunications giants after confirming receipt of the N50 billion part payment made by the firm.
The Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) imposed the over N1trillion fine cut to N780billion, for Subscriber Identity Module (SIM) card infraction.
The government also yesterday confirmed that the firm has withdrawn the suit it filed before a Lagos Highr Court challenging the regulator’s action.
According to the Federal Government, with the “down payment,” the coast is now clear for it to listen to further talks on the matter.
Minister of Communications Technology Adebayo Shittu who confirmed the payment, said the development was in line with what the government asked the firm to do.
A statement by the minister’s Senior Assistant (Media) Victor Oluwadare, explained that the receipt of the N50billion payment will allow the Federal Government to entertain further negotiation on the fine with MTN.
“It is now confirmed that MTN has made a down payment of N50 billion and withdrawn the case against NCC pending negotiation on the settlement (of the outstanding N730billion).

Thursday, 25 February 2016

Wife Accuses Liberian Husband of Selling their Baby for N250, 000

Friday, 19 February 2016

China to Ban Foreign Firms from “Online Publishing”

China is to ban foreign firms from “online publishing” under new rules issued this week, as the country increasingly seeks to minimise Western influence. Chinese websites are already among the world’s most censored, with Beijing blocking many foreign Internet services with a system known as the “Great Firewall of China”.
Regulations posted on a government website, set to go into force next month, state that foreign firms “are not to engage in online publishing”.
The regulations define online publishing as the provision over the Internet of books, maps, music, cartoons, computer games and “thoughtful text”, as well as other content.
It was unclear how the ban would be enforced or whether it would be applied to websites hosted on China-based servers or sites aimed at users in China.
The State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television (SAPPRFT), which issued a draft of the rules, could not immediately be contacted by AFP.
The regulations say any Chinese publishers cooperating with foreign firms to provide online content would need prior approval from the body.
Chinese publishing expert Xu Yi told AFP that the implications of the rules were unclear.
“I think these regulations provide a legal basis for the government to manage foreign companies setting up websites in China,” he said.
“I don’t think this means that websites opened by foreigners in China will be forced to close…it all depends on the Chinese government’s intentions”.
Writing on the website Tech In Asia, veteran China watcher Charles Custer said the rules were an attempt by SAPPRFT to play a bigger role in content management, previously seen as the domain of other government agencies.
“SAPPRFT has traditionally been a regulator of offline publications, but it has increasingly been flexing its online muscles over the past decade, and occasionally clashing with other censorship organs,” he said.
“In practice, the new regulation isn’t likely to change much beyond adding another hurdle would-be publishers have to jump through,” he added.
The regulations come at a time of heightened political restrictions in China.
Authorities have proposed a new law to control the activities of foreign non-governmental organisations, while state media have warned of “hostile foreign forces” said to be using them to foment revolution.
In recent years, censors in Beijing have moved to ban certain TV shows and movies from abroad from being shown online and authorities have decried “Western” influence on the country’s educational system.
In the past, media organisations such as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and Reuters have made big bets on the Chinese hunger for foreign news perspectives, setting up local language websites, only to find them blocked in the country.
Despite the Great Firewall, China has the world’s largest Internet population of nearly 700 million, making firms such as Facebook keen to enter the market.


Panic in Nairobi as Lions Escape from National Park

Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) wardens carry tranquilizer guns, during a search of two lions on February 19, 2016 who left Nairobi's national park and went into "highly populated" areas, in Nairobi. At least two lionesses are reported to have late February 18, 2016 left the park, spread over 117 square kilometres (45 square miles) where buffalo and rhino roam just seven kilometres from the bustling high-rise city centre. The big cats find themselves under growing pressure as one of Africa's fastest growing cities creeps onto ancient migration routes and hunting grounds. / AFP / SIMON MAINA
Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) wardens carry tranquilizer guns, during a search of two lions on February 19, 2016 who left Nairobi’s national park and went into “highly populated” areas, in Nairobi.
At least two lionesses are reported to have late February 18, 2016 left the park, spread over 117 square kilometres (45 square miles) where buffalo and rhino roam just seven kilometres from the bustling high-rise city centre. The big cats find themselves under growing pressure as one of Africa’s fastest growing cities creeps onto ancient migration routes and hunting grounds. / AFP / SIMON MAINA
Wildlife rangers on Friday hunted for two lions who escaped from Nairobi’s national park and meandered into “highly populated” areas of the Kenyan capital.
Kenya Wildlife Service (KWS) issued an appeal, “for help to get two lionesses that strayed from the Nairobi National Park.”
Armed rangers, as well as KWS vets with dart guns, scoured bush and agricultural land alongside the Kibera district, one of Africa’s largest slums.
“Lions are dangerous wild animals. Avoid provoking the lions by confronting them,” said KWS spokesman Paul Udoto.
At least two lionesses are reported to have late Thursday left the park, spread over 117 square kilometres (45 square miles) where buffalo and rhino roam just seven kilometres from the bustling high-rise city centre.
Local media reported as many as six lions might be on the loose.
It is not the first time lions have prowled into town. The big cats are under growing pressure as one of Africa’s fastest growing cities creeps onto ancient migration routes and hunting grounds.
Sometimes the lions are killed by livestock farmers protecting their herds, other times they prowl leafy gardens giving residents a fright.
“These are highly populated areas and that is why we are intensifying the search,” Udoto said. “Anyone with information about them should share it with us immediately.”
– Lock up your children –
Udoto said two lionesses were last sighted around Nairobi’s Langata district.
“Our teams comprising veterinary officials have been in Langata looking for the animals,” he said.
Rangers patrolled a narrow corridor of bush on the edge of Kibera. Its tin-roofed shacks house an estimated quarter of a million people, according to an aid agency that carried out a population study there.
One fearful Nairobi resident tweeted KWS spokesman Udoto asking whether she ought to “lock my kids in”.
“Yes, please do until we report lions have been captured and safely returned to the park. Perils of born town lions,” Udoto replied.
Lions are estimated to have declined in number by as much as three-quarters since 1980, and to occupy less than a tenth of their historic range across Africa.
While the park is fenced in on the city side — some bars even have terraces where one can view animals while enjoying a cold drink — the park is open-sided elsewhere to allow the annual wildlife migration in search of grazing.
But the land is under threat from increasing urbanisation and more intensive agriculture, and the routes used by migrating herds in search of new pastures as well as the carnivores that follow for fresh meat are growing narrower.
Conservationists say wildlife protection is a low priority for city officials struggling with multiple challenges in a grossly unequal capital of some 3.5 million people with overstretched basic services and infrastructure.
In Nairobi, lavish villas adjoin squalid slums and cramped high rise apartments.

Nigerian Pilot Set to Tour the World on a Solo Flight

Project Transcend (1Man, 1Plane, 1 World) ‎the first ever solo flight round the world by an African originating and terminating in Africa is set to kick off in ‎April in Lagos.‎
Transcend is a project powered by the relentless motivation, determination and fearlessness of a group of private sector professionals, whose passion is fuelled by vision and ambition‎
The project aims to inspire Africans to begin to conceive a world without borders and to transform the African narrative whilst shattering all stereotypes. This historic flight will be piloted by Mr Ademilola Odujinrin. ‎
In 2010, ademilola cycled some 3200km from Morocco (Africa) to London (England) in just 17days. His interest in flying developed from a very young age. At age 7 year, Lola started accompanying his uncle who was a commercial pilot on his many trips at a time when sitting in the cockpit was not an ‘’issue’’. This experience grew into a desire by a young Lola to fly around the world.
In 1999, Lola obtained his Private Pilot License (PPL) and went on to take part in aerobatic flights and air races one of which led him to taking part in his first air-race, The King’s Cup Race.
The King’s Cup Race is an annual British handicapped cross-country air race, which began in 1922 as an incentive to develop the light aircraft and engine design sector.
The 810 mile contest was only open to British pilots, included members of the Commonwealth. Despite successful years as a Finance professional in the corporate world, Lola never gave up on his ‘’Sky-High’’ dreams.
In 2010, he qualified as a commercial pilot and went on to fly professionally as an airline pilot both on long and short haul journeys and has now clocked up to 4000 flying hours.
This will be Africa’s very first solo flight around the world, starting and finishing in Nigeria, the continent’s most populous country.
The planned expedition will be achieved flying the Cirrus SR22. It has a total payload of about 439kg. This particular aircraft with registration number N313CD has been specifically modified for this journey with additional long range tanks and an HF radio installed for longer stretches of the journey.
The leg from Australia to San Diego and some parts of Africa requires the use of HF radios. The journey route starts from Lagos, Nigeria in an easternly direction through central Africa into Ethiopia. It then continues in that direction through the United Arab Emirates, India and the Asian subcontinent into Australia, then island hopping before undertaking the longest sector between Hawaii and California.
The journey then continues across the USA into Canada and onwards to the UK through Iceland and finally downwards into Africa, returning to Lagos via Algeria and the Niger Republic.
The aircraft has also been equipped with on-board cameras to provide live feed for the entire journey, thus thousands of people will be able view and share in Lola’s experience as he takes Africa beyond all boarders.
Since 1933, only 114 people have appeared to be successful in a solo round the world flight. ‎‎


Gov. Ahmed Urges Airline Operators to Employ More Nigerian trained Pilots

Kwara Gov. Abdulfatah Ahmed has called on aviation operators in Nigeria to employ more locally trained pilots.
The governor made the called on Thursday at the launching of helicopter training at the International Aviation College (IAC), Ilorin.
The helicopter training was in partnership with Nigerian Navy that donated two XAB206 Helicopters to its training fleet.
According to the governor, IAC has training facilities, structures and personnel capable of training world class pilots.
He added that the growing reputation of IAC as a Centre of Excellence in aviation industry has manifested in its partnership with various organisations, especially the Nigerian Navy and Air force.
“It is on record that IAC, Ilorin trained 25 cadets of the Nigeria Air Force in 2014, while several states and foreign governments have indicated interest in sponsoring students training in the college”, he said.
The Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas, in a message said the Navy’s partnership with IAC was to bring together “IAC’s expertise and facilities with the Navy’s rotary facilities and experience and reputation.”
Ibas noted that the partnership will reduce Navy’s dependence on foreign technical training requirements and promote local capacities in line with prevailing national policy.
Capt. Edward Boyo, the Chairman, Board of Directors of IAC, in his remarks said the college has trained pilots and other professionals for the Police, Navy and Air Force as well as civil pilots.
Source; NAN

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Foreigner Supports#BuyNaijaToGrowTheNaira movement by flying Arik, commends Ben Bruce

Oyibo man supports #BuyNaijaToGrowTheNaira movement by flying Arik, commends Ben Bruce

Michael Moszynki, CEO and founder of a UK Advertising agency shared a photo of him on an Arik international plane. "I'm flying Arik to support #BuyNaijaToGrowTheNaira and I am not Nigerian but I love Nigeria. Welldone @Benmurraybruce"

The man whose twitter account says he is based in London, added: "Wouldn't it be a good idea to set up a national Made in Nigeria Awards to celebrate the best locally made products"

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Domestic Carriers VS Aviation Agencies/Unions: Friends or Foes?

Airlines in Nigeria have often been taunted as having a history of short lifespan with some analyst often predicting the lifespan of a Nigerian airline as soon it is launched. In fact, some people do not hide their disbelief when they see a few airlines exceed the predicted lifespan.
A keen observer of happenings within the aviation sector in Nigeria must be accustomed to the fanfare and contagious optimism that usually heralds the birth of a new airline but the reason why this enthusiasm fizzles out quickly remain a lesson only experience can truly teach anybody who ventures into the business.
A look at the history of the life and times of Nigeria’s domestic carriers will make even one who boasts of world class business acumen have a thorough- thinking -class before venturing into the world of commercial aviation in Nigeria.  

As captured by Wikipedia, ADC Airlines commenced operations in 1984 and closed shop in 2006, Afrijet operated from 1998 to 2009, Albarka Air from 1999 to 2005. Virgin Nigeria which rebranded as Nigerian Eagle and later Air Nigeria operated from 2001 to 2012.

Similarly,Bellview was in service from 1992 to 2010, Capital Airlines from 2003 to 2010, Chrome Air Service from 1999 to 2006, EAS Airlines which later rebranded as NICON Airways operated from 1993 to 2006, Fresh Air from 1999 to 2006, Okada Air from 1982 to 2002, Sosoliso from 1994 to 2006, Spaceworld International Airlines from 2002 to 2006 and the list goes on.

What do we say about Discovery Air that commenced flight operations with so much hope and aspirations but went off the radar so soon? Now Aero Contractors which used to be the pride of Nigeria’s domestic aviation is struggling for survival.
One does not need any soothsayer to tell us that there must be something fundamentally wrong with the aviation setup in Nigeria. It is important to remind AMCON that it owes posterity a duty to ensure that Aero recovers fully.

However, it is baffling  that in the despite the turbulence that threatens the survival of Nigeria’s domestic Carriers ,Aviation Agencies and their workforce who should be visibly worried  display an  attitude that seem to suggest that they do not need domestic airlines to remain functional.

 If not, why would members of Aviation Union to threaten the operations of airlines at the airport and even brag about their ability to shut down the operations of alleged debtor airlines permanently?
In fact Leadership newspapers of September 23,2015 quoted the President of Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Comrade Benjamin Okewu as saying that “A bleak future await all debtor airlines as it will never be business as usual. I believe aviation Stakeholders still remember how we sent one concessionaire at this airport packing from the airport and the same will be extended to debtor airlines and concessionaires”

The reality is :who will pay the debts if you kill your debtor?
Often times when members of these aviation unions go on rampage disrupting airlines operations at the airports, the agencies come out later to deny knowledge of their activities.
For instance, in September 21, 2015, individual parading as members of the Air Transport Senior Staff Association (ATSSAN) and National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) grounded flight operations at domestic wing of the Murtala Muhammed Airport Lagos over a debt of 100 billion naira purportedly owed aviation agencies by domestic airlines. This happened after a similar occurrence at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport, Abuja. What remains a surprise is that affected airlines are not even pressing charges for losses incurred as a result of these disruptions.
This attitude of not showing interest in the survival of domestic airlines leaves one thinking that maybe the aviation agencies are only interested in milking indigenous carriers dry.

In as much as it is honourable for individuals as well as organisations to honour their financial obligations to agencies of government, these agencies also have responsibilities to fulfill. It will be interesting for various aviation agencies to bring to the public domain the total amount of income generated so far from both the living and the dead airlines to see whether it is commensurate  with level of development in the sector.

Can one really say that aviation agencies are living up to their responsibilities towards domestic airlines? Why would the issue of stowaways be a regular occurrence at our airports when there is an agency statutorily responsible for maintaining and securing airport facilities? We constantly read disturbing reports about criminals gaining access into aircraft packed at the tarmac thereby jeopardising the safety of airlines and passengers.
Some analysts are of the view that airlines should provide a back up security for their aircraft. While it is a good idea, it also means that airlines are incurring double cost by providing for themselves services they have paid an aviation agency to deliver.
Another recurring issue at the airport is aircraft ground collision. One still wonders why this has become regular at our airports in recent times when there are air-marshals whose sole duty is to properly guide aircraft on ground to forestall such incidence. Even if these collisions occurred as a result of faded apron mapping like some analyst argue, the question is has the agency saddled with that responsibility of maintaining the tarmac been scrapped?
What do we say about air crashes where there have been allegations that the aircraft involved were not fit to fly. The question is: who cleared the aircraft to fly?
It is surprising yet disturbing that when incidents and accidents occur, fruitless investigations are launched, the agencies return to their business as usual while the airlines look for ways to stay afloat or go extinct.
The truth is that for Nigerian Aviation to make progress, the Aviation Agencies must be overhauled and regulations must be put in place to make them not just revenue collectors but true stakeholders who share not only profit but losses incurred in the course of running the airline business in Nigeria. That way, each agency will be made accountable to its oversight responsibilities.
 For instance, if the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) knows that it will bear part of the cost of fixing any aircraft damaged due to negligence by her staff, it will change the way things are done for good. In the same vein, aircraft inspectors at NCAA will be more vigilant and thorough in carrying out their duties knowing that something is as stake.
Until the aviation agencies are restructured to become stakeholders indeed, domestic carriers will continue to face a bleak future as what we have today are aviation agencies and workers  whose attitude and body language suggest that whether domestic airlines survive or not “the show must go on”. Let the truth be told, it is very dangerous and extremely risky to do business with someone who has nothing to lose.
The Aviation Industry in Nigeria is in dire need of genuine stakeholders.
Stakeholders whose survival depends on the survival of domestic carriers, stakeholders who are
both partners and participants in moving Nigeria aviation from where it is to where it ought to be.

By: Chigozie Okereke