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Airport concession: No lay offs of FAAN workers, says FG - THE CABLE

AUGUST 12, 2021

The federal government has assured the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) workers that it will not terminate their employment amid plan to concession four major airports in the country.

Hadi Sirika, minister of aviation, gave the assurance during a virtual event on the airport concession update with stakeholders in the industry on Wednesday.

In June, the federal government announced plans to concession four airports for a period of 20-30 years.

The airports include Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos; the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja; Malam Aminu Kano Airport, Kano and Port Harcourt International Airport, Rivers state.

This means the federal government will turnover ownership of the airports for the private sector to operate and maintain and then revert the control back once the duration of the concession has elapsed.

At the virtual event, Sirika instead said more workers will be needed as most of the airports were understaffed.

He explained that Nigerian airports were currently operating in a suboptimal environment and thus they needed improvements that would be provided by the participation of the private sector such as infrastructure investments, runway maintenance, navigation aids as well as investment in terminal facilities.

He said rather than selling the government-owned assets, it will be given to the private sector to modernise, create more jobs for Nigerians, and generate more revenue for the country.

“We will not sell the assets that belong to over 200 million Nigerians and the future generation of this country,” the minister said.

“We are not going to sell because those that were sold were lost, so we in government believe that we should hold those assets for the Nigerian people in trust.

“We must make those assets better to provide the services that are needed. So, we said, rather than sell out rightly, we will concession.

“In other words, we would give it up to someone who would operate them and make them better.

“We will then get more money, the people will enjoy better services, the industry grows and after a certain time, the airports will come back to us.”

Sirika also assured that the concessionaires (operator of a concession) would run the assets based on international standards and expand the facilities in accordance with traffic demands at each of the airports.

Vice-president Yemi Osinbajo had announced the federal executive council (FEC) approval to concession the Lagos and Abuja airports.

UK travellers put off by changing policies, travel boss says - THE

AUGUST 12, 2021

British holidaymakers have faced more uncertainty than many other Europeans in recent months, the boss of one of the continent’s biggest travel companies has said.

Tui chief executive Friedrich Joussen said that UK travellers had been put off by changing policies from the UK Government.

He singled out ministers’ decision to add Portugal to the list of green travel destinations in mid May before removing it in early June.

“You had Portugal on the green list and then Portugal off the green list, so the predictability of decisions I think was not very high,” he said.

“When you change the programme so often, then people cancel,” he added.

Data revealed by Tui on Thursday showed that, on all but a handful of days since mid-January, UK travellers cancelled more travel for summer 2021 than they booked.

In Germany Netherlands and Belgium, the three other countries that Tui released data for, bookings had been ahead of cancellations throughout most of this period.

“The difference between the UK and the other countries is a little bit of the uncertainty,” Mr Joussen said.

He added that the cost of PCR tests will be putting off customers.

He also called for vaccinated European adults, and unvaccinated children, to be allowed to travel without restrictions.

Asked his opinion on how to treat unvaccinated adults, Mr Joussen split the debate into two camps.

One side of the debate argues that unvaccinated people should be motivated to get jabbed by making it more difficult for them to travel and go to public events.

“The other one was: why should we protect unvaccinated (people) if they don’t protect themselves?

“Just open it up.

“You know, hospitalisation is very low, we don’t have overloads in the system.

“Vaccinated people are not threatened by the unvaccinated.

“So my personal view was a little bit the second one,” he said.

Tui said on Thursday that its revenue had risen by more than 800% to 649.7 million euros (£465 million) in the third quarter of 2021 compared to the same period a year earlier.

Earnings loss before income taxes narrowed from 1.5 billion euros (£1.3 billion) to 846.9 million euros (£717 million)

Ottawa promises vaccine passport for international travel this fall - THE CANADIAN PRESS

AUGUST 12, 2021

The federal government says it plans to create proof-of-vaccination documentation for international travel by early fall.

Immigration Minister Marco Mendicino said this afternoon that Ottawa is working with the provinces — which hold the data on vaccinations — to develop consistent credentials. The minister said the government is also working with other countries to recognize the credentials issued in Canada.

The federal certification would include data on the type of vaccines received, dates and location.

"For Canadians who decide to travel, using a proof of vaccination will provide foreign border officials with the vaccination history needed to assess whether a traveller meets their public health requirements and provide a trusted and verifiable credential for when they return home," says a government release.

Intergovernmental Affairs Minister Dominic LeBlanc said the government expects the credentials to be digital but will also make it available for those without access to a device.

The federal announcement comes in the middle of a fierce debate as some provinces talk about introducing domestic proof of vaccination.

In Quebec, beginning in September, anyone wanting to visit non-essential businesses like bars, restaurants, gyms and festivals will need to present a scannable QR code through a smartphone app to prove they've been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

Manitoba has been issuing proof-of-immunization cards to residents who are two weeks past their second shot.

Nova Scotia Liberal Leader Iain Rankin has promised that a re-elected Liberal government would bring in a proposed ScotiaPass for fully vaccinated residents and that businesses and other organizations would be able to use the system to limit access to their services.

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, meanwhile, continues to insist his province will not introduce proof-of-vaccination documentation.

"We've been very clear from the beginning that we will not facilitate or accept vaccine passports," Kenney told reporters last month.

"I believe they would in principle contravene the Health Information Act and also possibly the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act."

Indonesian ambassador meets Onyeama, defends assault on Nigerian diplomat - PREMIUM TIMES

AUGUST 13, 2021

A viral had showed at least three men in a vehicle assaulting the Nigerian diplomat in front of his official residence.

By Kabir Yusuf

Indonesia’s Ambassador to Nigeria, Usra Harahap, who met with Nigeria’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama, on Monday told the minister that an assaulted Nigerian diplomat was to blame for the incident.

Mr Harahap said Ibrahim Abdulrahman was the aggressor during his encounter with some Indonesian immigration officers.

PREMIUM TIMES obtained a copy of Mr Harahap’s presentation to Mr Onyeama.

A viral had showed at least three men in a vehicle assaulting Mr Abdulrahaman in front of his official residence in Jakarta, the Indonesian capital.

PREMIUM TIMES reported how the Nigerian government promptly condemned the incident, describing it as “unacceptable and unfortunate.”


Instead, he said the immigration officers from South Jakarta Immigration Office were carrying out surveillance functions on foreigners. When they asked Mr Abdulrahman for identification, he refused to identify himself or tender his passport, the official said.

When they met with Mr Abdulrahman and politely requested him to show his travel document, “he answered that his passport was in his room.”

After being asked several times, Mr Harahap said, the Nigerian official was not willing to show his passport.

“Then you come with us to the office to check the travel document Sir, through our system. If nothing wrong are found concerning the passport and residence permit, we will not investigate further,” the immigration officers reportedly told Mr Abdulrahman.

And Mr Abdulrahman, who was reportedly angry, was reported to have said, “Just arrest me and you will regret to know who really I am.”

“You will know who really I am and be careful on that,” Mr Harahap quoted him as replying to the officers.

The officer reportedly said, “We will not detain you further Sir, if you can show us your identity card.” Then Mr Abdulrahman was quoted as saying, “Where is your car, I’ll come to your office.”

By the time the officer’s car arrive, the Nigerian diplomat requested to sit on the left side near the door and “the officers treated him as an ordinary foreigner without any intimidation and didn’t handcuff him, and didn’t hold anything in his body such as cellphones and other stuff that were in his clothes.”

On the way to the immigration office in South Jakarta, several incidents happened, Mr Harahap recalled.

“Abdulrahman elbowed the immigration officer, Mr. Laode Hauzan Baidi, who was sitting next to him until Mr. Laode’s lip was bleeding.

“This led to other officers restraining him from attacking another officer during the trip. However, Mr Abdulrahman kept on resisting and shouting until to the point where it required officers to hold and calm him down.


“The officers did this for the sake of security and safety as they were carrying out the Immigration Duties and Functions,” he said.

In the midst of the row, Mr Harahap added that the diplomat shouted he was a staff of the Nigerian embassy.

But due to the incident that happened in the car, “officers detained him when they arrived at the South Jakarta Immigration Office because he continued to attack the officers.”

The Indonesian envoy said the Nigerian diplomat showed his identity card during the investigation at the office.

Mr Harahap further said the problems of the two parties had been resolved with the achievement of a peace agreement witnessed by the Nigerian Ambassador to Indonesia, the Head of Section of Intelligence and Action for the South Jakarta Immigration Office, and the Ambassador’s Guard from the Police.

“There was also a police report made by the immigration officer who was injured, but it was not further processed because the issue was resolved amicably.

“I believe that you have received a report and information as well from the Nigerian Ambassador in Jakarta, and it might be different from my report to Your Excellency,” Mr Harahap told Mr Onyeama during their meeting.

an interview with The PUNCH newspaper said, “The Federal Government will make its position known after consulting with the recalled Nigerian envoy expected to arrive in the country along with Abdulrahman on Thursday.”

Nigeria to concession four major international airports, rules out workers sack - NAN

AUGUST 13, 2021

The aviation minister provides details of the concession plan of the four airports.


The Nigerian government has provided more details of its plan to concession the four major international airports in the country.

The Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos, which accounts for over 60 per cent of international flights in Nigeria; Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport; Port Harcourt International Airport and the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, are all to be concessioned to private managers, an official said.

Aviation minister Hadi Sirika also allayed the fears of workers of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) of any layoffs during or after the concessions.

He gave the assurance at a virtual meeting with aviation stakeholders in Lagos, on Wednesday.

Mr Sirika said instead, more hands would be engaged as most of the airports were understaffed.

The minister informed the stakeholders that there would not be any need to sell the country’s assets, but to concession them in a manner that would modernise the airports and have them operated to create more jobs as well as generate more revenue for the country.

“We will not sell the assets that belong to over 200 million Nigerians and the future generation of this country.

“We are not going to sell because those that were sold were lost, so, we in government believe that we should hold those assets for the Nigerian people in trust.

“We must make those assets better to provide the services that are needed. So, we said, rather than sell out rightly, we will concession.

“In other words, we would give it up to someone who would operate them and make them better.

“We will then get more money, the people will enjoy better services, the industry grows and after a certain time, the airports will come back to us,” he said.

The minister further explained that the airport terminal buildings to be concessioned would generate their revenues from non-aeronautical resources, while all other facilities at the airports and existing concessions, outside the airport terminals, would still be managed by FAAN.

He added that the concessionaire would sign service level agreements for runway, taxiway, security and air traffic Management with FAAN and NAMA to ensure that the airport operated efficiently.

The minister also said that the concessionaire would provide the investment required to upgrade the existing terminals, take over the maintenance of new terminals over a period of time, based on the financial assessment of each transaction.

Existing concessions within the terminals, however, would be inherited by the concessionaire and would be allowed to run their course before any review, Mr Sirika said, adding that tariffs would be regulated in accordance with the procedures set out in the concession agreement.

As regards the Passenger Service and Security Charges, the concessionaires and FAAN would share the charges which would be paid directly to FAAN by IATA, the minister said, while the airport authority would be required to provide manpower, through AVSEC, for the security of both the airside and landside.

The concessionaire would similarly be expected to provide and maintain landside equipment which would allow FAAN continue to provide and maintain airside security equipment, the minister said.

Mr Sirika noted that airports in the country were currently operating in a suboptimal environment and thus they needed improvements that would be provided by the participation of the private sector, especially in infrastructure investments, runway maintenance, navigation aids as well as investment in terminal facilities.

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He added that with the increasing population, a private operator of the four main airports would run them based on international standards and expand the facilities, in accordance with traffic demands at each of the airports.

(NAN)

We will make air travel easier, Green Africa CEO assures - THE NATION

AUGUST 13, 2021

By Faith YahAya, Abuja

The Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Green Africa airline, Babawande Afolabi has promised to make air travels easier and cheaper for Nigerians.

He said with N16, 500 for tickets, Nigerians will get the opportunity to fly to their destination easily.

Afolabi spoke at the conference room of the international wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja after the airline made its maiden flight yesterday.

He said: “We will use the power of air travel to create a future and make life easier for normal people.

“The level of support that we have got across the board kept us to where we are now and it is also an inspiration for us as we go in the future.

“We look forward to many more flights and connecting people with their dreams and opportunities within the country and across the continent.”

The Director – General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Capt Musa Nuhu congratulated the airline for the successful launch.

Nuhu, who was represented by the Regional General Manager, NCAA Abuja, Engr Sulemain Akwuh, urged the airline to uphold the standards that gave them the operational license.

He said: “Remember all the processes you have been through. You have gone through the standards. The standards are the same all over the world; there is nothing like over regulations or under regulations. Everything we do is in line with the regulations.

“You have given us a standard now which you have been licensed to go along with and those standards we always hope you will uphold – safety and security.

“For a better business, you need to keep innovating in your own business approaches to win more customers that is the only thing that can complement the safety. We talk about safety but we know your major goal is making profit but you have to balance the two so that you can make more profit.”

Also, the Regional General Manager, North Central and Abuja Airport of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, Mahmud Sani pledged to work with the airline “delicately” to the benefit of the air travelers.

Abductions, Kidnappings Since January in Figures - VANGUARD

AUGUST 16, 2021


Since the well-publicised abduction in 2014 of 276 schoolgirls from Chibok by Boko Haram terrorists in Borno State, more armed groups have resorted to mass abductions.

*Highest number of kidnap cases, 27, was in February with 605 victims; followed by July, 23, and January, 21, with 327 and 284 victims, respectively.

*The timeline below(from the latest) shows how thriving kidnapping has become and the perpetrators "no dey look face": Monarch, government officials and pregnant women, young or old, can be taken and/or killed.

AUGUST

*3rd : Police kill three kidnappers, rescue commissioner's wife and driver in Benue

*5th: Bandits kidnap father of Zamfara Assembly Speaker, five others

*9th: Gunmen kidnap Niger Commissioner for Information

*9th: Pastor, wife, 27 others kidnapped in Kwara

*12: Gunmen abduct ex-councillor's wife, 7-month-old son in Zamfara

JULY

*3rd: Bandits abduct 7 women, 4 children along Birnin Gwari Road

*5th: Boko Haram abducts Rev. Fr. Elijah Juma Wada of Catholic Diocese of Maiduguri

*5th: Gunmen attack National Leprosy and Tuberculosis Centre in Kaduna, kidnap 8

*5th: 150 students abducted from Kaduna school

*6th: Gunmen kidnap 4 farmers in Ekiti

*8th: 16 kidnapped by gunmen in Damishi, Kaduna State

*8th: Bandits demand N220 million as ransom for 11 persons abducted from Anguwan Gimbiya, a suburb of Kaduna State

*11th: Emir of Kajuru, 13 family members, aides, kidnapped in Kaduna

*13th: Kogi monarch kidnapped

*14th: Wife of former LGA Chairman kidnapped in Jigawa

*16th: Former Provost Marshal of the Nigerian Army, Maj. Gen. Hussaini Ahmed, killed, in-law kidnapped by bandits along Lokoja-Abuja highway.

*18th: Bandits kill one, abduct 7 in attack in Kaduna

*18th: Bandits attack two vehicles, abduct six occupants around Bade forest in Kaduna

*19th: Gunmen kidnap medical doctor in Kogi

*19th: Five kidnap suspects set ablaze in Edo

*19th: Gunmen hijack boat, abduct 5 maritime union workers, 3 others in Rivers

*19th: Armed herders abduct, kill 2 aid workers, Gov Ortom's relation, 5 others in Benue

*21st: Kidnappers abduct 38-year-old man in Jigawa

*21st: Bayelsa SSG's mother kidnapped

*25th: Gunmen hijack 3 buses, kill 2, abduct 60 passengers in Sokoto

*26th: Bandits abduct monarch in Kaduna, demand N100m ransom

*30th: Unknown gunmen kidnap night club operator in Bayelsa

*2nd: 200 pupils of the Salihu Tanko Islamiyya School in Tegina, Niger State abducted.

June

*4th: Bandits kidnap 2 Kaduna nurses

*8th: Kidnappers abduct Abuja tailor, Mary Adi

*9th: Abductors kidnap Dr Dan Ella, a lecturer in the Department of Theatre Arts, University of Jos.

*14th: Ekiti farmer, Jimoh Olodan, kidnapped

*17th: Armed bandits strike, abduct students at Federal Government College, Birnin Yauri, Kebbi State.

*28th: Ekiti monarch, Oba Benjamin Oso, kidnapped

*28th: One Lukman Ibrahim kidnapped, pregnant wife killed in Offa, Kwara State

*30th: Bandits kidnap students of Bethel Baptist School, Kaduna; and Peter Jediel, the Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress in Taraba State

MAY

*2nd: Kogi council chairman abducted

*12th: Ondo graduate abducted

*16th: Ondo pastor, Otamayomi Ogedengbe kidnapped

*29th: Katsina Sharia Court Judge, Alkali Hussaini Sama'ila, kidnapped

*30th: Armed gang abducts over 100 students from an Islamic school in Niger State

*30th: Nasarawa State House of Assembly member, Ismail Danbaba, abducted in Kaduna

*6th: Kidnappers kill Lagos-based pastor in Ondo after collecting N2m ransom

*7th: Kidnappers abduct 2 Chinese miners in Osun State

APRIL

*19th: Masked armed men kidnap 2 Fulani in Oke-Ogun, Oyo State

*20th: Gunmen kidnap 20 students, 2 staff members of Greenfield University, Kaduna

*23th: Ekiti traditional ruler, Oba David Oyewumi, abducted

*26th: Three kidnapped construction workers in Ondo released

*27th: Nursing mother, 8 others in Ogbomoso, Oyo State abducted

*8th: Bandits kidnap 30 in Rafi LGA of Niger State

MARCH

*11th: Gunmen kidnapped 39 College of Forestry, Afaka, Kaduna

*23rd: Gunmen kidnap FCTA staff members, 3 others

*28th: Abductors of RCCG members in Kaduna demand N50m ransom

*29th: Kidnappers of Sarkin Hausa younger brother in Osun demand N50 million ransom

FEBRUARY

*1st: Kaduna State Commissioner for Internal Security and Home Affairs, Samuel Arwan, says some people abducted when bandits attacked Barawa village, Fatika District, in Giwa LGA of the state.

*1st: Peace Ogbogbo, wife of an Ughelli businessman in Ughelli North LGA, Delta State, kidnapped

*2nd: The police in Abuja confirm abduction of John Makama, father of Gwari Local Council Chairman

*2nd: 40 people kidnapped in a renewed bandit attack on Shiroro communities in Niger State

6th: A farmer, Solomon Akinmeji in Iju Akure North Council Area of Ondo State, kidnapped

*9th: Gunmen attack ambulance conveying a corpse, killing an occupant and abducting one at Ahor, Benin Bye-pass, Edo State

*9th: Jimoh Folowosele, an indigene of Aramoko Ekiti, in Ekiti West LGA, abducted while on official duty in Geidam, a border town in Yobe State

*9th: A 46-year-old tipper lorry owner in Ilorin, Alhaji Musa Atere, kidnapped along Ogundele/Madi Road in Ilorin LGA of Kwara State.

*10th: Unidentified gunmen kidnap seven travellers on Benin-Warri Highway at Sapele Oghara axis

*13th: The traditional ruler of Uruagu, Nnewi, Anambra State abducted. The victim, Obi Charles Afam Obi, kidnapped in Orafite on his way back from a burial ceremony

*13th: Bandits kidnap 13 persons in Faskari LGA of Katsina on their way to Funtua to access poverty alleviation loans

*14th: 18 persons abducted by bandits, who ambushed a passenger bus in Rah LGA of Niger State

*15th: No fewer than 20 villagers from different communities in Rafi LGA of Niger State kidnapped.

*17th: 42 persons out of which 27 were students were among those kidnapped from Government Science College, Kagara in Rafi LGA of Niger State

*18th: Bandits invade communities in Shiroro, LGA of Niger State, kidnapped no fewer than 10 persons after killing two

*18th: Gunmen kidnap 91-year-old traditional ruler of Kunduru community in Katsina State

*20th: The driver of Adamawa United Football Club, Kabiru Mohammed, kidnapped on Benin-Ore Highway

*21st: University of Ibadan student, Emmanuel Odetunde, abducted around while working at his father's poultry farm in Oke Odan, Apete area of Ibadan, Oyo State

*22nd: 81-year-old, Chief Bassy Iyamba, kidnapped from his house in Calabar South LGA, Cross River State

*23rd: Lecturer at the Department of Linguistics and Communication, University of Port Harcourt, Dr. Jones, and traditional ruler in Rivers State abducted by suspected kidnappers, who also attacked journalists of the Rivers State Television, RSTV.

*24th: Scores of travellers abducted by suspected Boko Haram members along Maiduguri-Damaturu Highway.

*25th: No fewer than 317 students of Government Girls Science Secondary School, Jangebe, Talata Mafara LGA, Zamfara State, abducted by bandits.

*27th: Bandits kill six persons and kidnapped 15 others in attacks on communities in two LGAs of Niger State.

JANUARY

*4th: Kidnappers abduct Senior Protection Assistant with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees, UNHCR, Abubakar Idris, along Damaturu Road, Borno State

*4th: Gunmen kidnap a medical doctor, Akindele Kayode, from a Health Care Centre at Tapa in Ibarapa North Local Government Area, LGA, Oyo State

*5th: In Niger State, residents of Yakila community in Rafi LGA attacked by bandits, who kidnapped village head, Alhaji Ibrahim Abdul, a nurse and her two kids.

*5th: No fewer than 40 persons kidnapped in Birnin Gwari, Kaduna State, according to Birnin Gwari Progressive Union

*5th: Gunmen kill one person, abduct over 20 others along Mungi Buga in Gwari Gadabule village in Toto LGA, Nasarawa State

*5th: Traveller abducted, driver killed along Ise Isua -Akoko Highway, Ondo State

*6th: Fashion designer's apprentice in Ondo town, Ondo State, kidnaps lover's three month-old- baby girl

*5th: Zamfara State Police Command says kidnappers struck at Kaduari village in Maru LGA and kidnapped six children of one Alhaji Sabi Gyare

*12th: A lecturer with Ken Saro Wiwa Polytechnic in Bori LGA of Rivers State, simply identified as Mr. James, abducted by gunmen at his residence in Ugwurutali, Ikwere LGA.

*13th: Gunmen kidnap four nursing mothers alongside 14 others in Mando village, Birnin Gwari LGA, Kaduna State.

*14th: Ekiti-based petrol dealer, Suleiman Akinbami, kidnapped

*15th: A kidnap attempt claimed the lives of Alhaji Yinusa Gambo and Mallam Surajo at Chikaji village, Igabi LGA, Kaduna State

*20th: Dean, Faculty of Science and Education and Head of Department of Mathematics, Federal University Dutsin-Ma, Katsina State, Professor Johnson Fatokun, abducted along Akwanga-Keffi highway at Kurmi Shinkafa village

*23rd: 25-year-old son of Bauchi State Auditor-General, Ziilkifiru Muhammed, escapes from kidnappers' den. Mohammed was kidnapped alongside his father's friend, Tiyasu Suleiman, along Bauchi- Tafawa Belewa Highway after the Auditor General, Abdu Aliu was shot.

*24th: Bandits invade Kafin Koro and adjourning villages in Paikoro LGA of Niger State, kill five persons and abduct one while 10 others sustain various degrees of injury.

*24th: A spokesperson for Nigeria Immigration Service, Edo State Command, Mrs. Bridget Esene, kidnapped by unknown gunmen in Benin. She says her abductors sold her to herdsmen.

*25th: Kidnappers attack Raphael Orphanage Home in Abaji Area Council of the FCT, Abuja, abducting at least eight children and three others.

*25th: The wife of the late Zonal Chairman of Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Kogi State, Matthew Kola-Ojo, is among 14 people kidnapped between Ife and Egbeda in Ijumu Council Area of Kogi State

*26th: A former councilor in Nkari Ward 4 in Ini LGA of Akwa Ibom State, Benjamin Akpan, says four persons abducted after an attack in the area.

*27th: An aide to the member representing Oru West Constituency in Imo State House of Assembly, Dominic Ezerioha, abducted by gunmen

*28th: 83 persons including 27 wedding guests abducted along Wukari- Takum Road in Taraba State. 56 kidnapped in Niger State.

Many other unreported incidents may have taken place, especially in Niger, Zamfara, Sokoto, and Katsina states (North-West and North-Central), where banditry is raging.

Thus, the sum total may well be above 111 if all cases were captured.

Vanguard News Nigeria

10 THINGS NIGERIANS SHOULD KNOW ABOUT THE WORLD BANK’S REPORT ON ECONOMIC MIGRATION - VENTURES AFRICA

AUGUST 16, 2021

Over the last few years, Nigeria has been on a steady decline. The economy faced the worst recession in four decades last year, the Naira continues to weaken, the labour industry bleeds, and insecurity is at an all-time high. Africa’s giant is the poverty capital of the world and the capital of out-of-school children in Sub-Saharan Africa. It is, therefore, no surprise that the World Bank’s latest report on the country is somewhat dispiriting. 

The report is in three parts. “The first part examines the broader labour market structure in Nigeria, as well as the economic and demographic context, to identify specific drivers of increased migratory pressure in recent years, before hypothesizing that the recent surge in irregular migration is a direct result of worsening joblessness combined with a lack of regular channels for youth to find employment in other countries.” 

The second and third part examines the trends and patterns of international migration from Nigeria, how developing countries are increasingly using international migration as an employment strategy, and how there is a lack of an organized structure that promotes better migration management. Here are 10 things you should know from the report:

Less attention is being paid to Sustainable Development Goals

The report points out that, regardless of the topic of migration receiving extensive limelight in recent years, little attention is paid to policies that help Nigeria realize the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals on facilitating safe, orderly and regular migration. It goes on to state that Nigeria is both Africa’s most populous country and its largest economy. Nigerians are not only creating a vibrant and dynamic society within Nigeria but are also leaving their footprints across the globe in diverse fields ranging from medicine to movies, and from literature to diplomacy. Also, Nigeria is reaping dividends from the success of its diaspora. These benefits come in the form of remittances that equalled five per cent of Nigeria’s GDP in 2019 and in the form of investments in Nigeria and transfer of skills and technology from returning migrants.

Nigeria is currently experiencing the worst unemployment crisis in its history

According to the report, Nigeria is currently experiencing one of the most severe unemployment crises in recent times. Between 2010 and 2020, the unemployment rate increased fivefold, from 6.4 per cent in 2010 to 33.3 per cent in 2020. The rise in unemployment rates has been especially severe since the 2015-2016 economic recession and has further worsened as COVID-19 led to the worst recession in four decades in 2020. Women are also particularly vulnerable in the Nigerian labour market. In comparison to 46.4 per cent of the male population, only 40.6 per cent of women are fully employed. And the proportion of people who are fully employed in rural areas is significantly lower than in urban areas.

Unemployment is a motivator for migration.

It was stated in the report that a combination of rising unemployment, booming demographics, and unfulfilled aspirations puts increasing pressure on young Nigerians to migrate overseas in search of gainful employment. Multiple surveys show that the number of Nigerians looking to emigrate abroad is high and increasing. The proportion of Nigerian youths planning to leave the country permanently increased from 36 per cent in 2014 to 52 per cent in 2018.

The number of irregular and forced migrants is skyrocketing.

When compared to other Sub-Saharan African countries or benchmarked globally, Nigeria’s share of international migrants is significantly lower. On the other hand, the increase in the number of forced and irregular migrants from Nigeria is a cause for concern. Despite the recent increase in irregular migration, the proportion of international migrants in Nigeria’s population is much lower than in Sub-Saharan Africa and globally. One significant trend in the data is the steady increase in the number of Nigerian refugees and asylum seekers. The proportion of Nigerian refugees and asylum seekers increased drastically in the last decade from 27,557 in 2010 to 408,078 in 2019. 

The majority of Nigerian migrants intend to travel outside of Africa.

According to the report, the majority of international migrants from Nigeria remain in Sub-Saharan Africa, but the proportion of international migrants to Europe and North America has increased significantly since 1990. However, the proportion of Nigerian migrants among international migrants has decreased in Sub-Saharan Africa while increasing in Europe and North America. In 2019, the proportion of Nigerian migrants moving to other Sub-Saharan African countries remained high (42 per cent), but it had decreased significantly since 1990. However, in 2019, the proportion of Nigerian migrants in Europe and North America increased to 31 per cent and 22 per cent, respectively.

Migration is for the rich, as it were.

According to the report, international migration in Nigeria is primarily available to well-off Nigerians from southern states. The top 5 Nigerian states with the highest proportion of households having at least one family member as an international migrant in the last three years are all in the southern regions of Nigeria. It is not surprising that the relatively prosperous southern states report a significantly higher proportion of households with international migrants compared to the northern states. This is because international migration is costly, it requires families to spend upfront capital that few families in the poorer regions of the country can afford. As the poorer Nigerian states catch up to the richer ones in the future, international migration from Nigeria would likely increase.  

While remittances are important for Nigeria’s development, the cost of sending remittances to Nigeria remains too high.

Following the data from the report, remittances sent by Nigerian migrants totalled more than US$25 billion in 2019, which made Nigeria the sixth highest recipient of international remittances globally. However, despite the importance of remittances to the Nigerian economy, the cost of sending international remittances to Nigeria has remained high over the last decade. 

The cost of sending international remittances to Nigeria from Africa, Europe, and North America is well above the SDG target of three per cent. More remarkably, costs are higher for intra-African corridors, presumably due to burdensome regulations, lack of competition, and low financial access. Reducing the cost of sending remittances to Nigeria directly benefits Nigerian households as it provides more resources for them to invest in their households and the economy.

The need for Nigeria to better leverage regular migration

Per the findings of the report, Nigeria has made significant recent improvements to its migration framework and continues to draw on the support of stakeholders for policymaking and implementation. The policy seeks commitments from the government to several identified challenges, including data management on the diaspora and remittances; the inability of the diaspora to exercise voting rights in Nigeria; national security concerns; high remittance costs; inadequate infrastructure; agreements to avoid double taxation; a lack of a framework for the transfer of skills and technology; and a lack of integration frameworks for returnees. Various technical working groups such as the Labor Migration Working Group, and the Migration Working Group offer platforms for stakeholders to come together, discuss issues, and propose actions to improve the migration management framework.

Current programs are not taking safe paths for overseas employment.

The report specifically points out that a large number of the current programs are not geared towards making use of safe, orderly, and regular channels that provide overseas employment opportunities for youth. The report provides an assessment of the Federal Overseas Employment System in Nigeria. 

The first stage is pre-decision when workers decide on whether to migrate based on the understanding of the costs and benefits of migration. The second stage is pre-departure when workers who pursue the decision to migrate obtain necessary legal documents, take up measures to improve their employability (skills) and awareness, and complete logistical preparations for migration including obtaining the necessary finances to secure migration. 

The third stage is during migration when migrants are employed in destination countries. The fourth and final stage is post-return when some (but not necessarily all) migrants decide to return to Nigeria, either voluntarily or involuntarily, upon the end of the necessary legal permits to stay in destination countries. 

 Expanding legal pathways for migration could be beneficial to Nigeria.

The report extensively states that Nigeria’s institutions are well-placed to promote managed migration approaches that help create opportunities for prospective Nigerian job seekers to find employment internationally and can be supported to help design schemes that increase the return on human capital investments for Nigerian youth. 

It is important to acknowledge the growing migratory pressures in the Nigerian economy and to recognize that managed labour migration can be one of many jobs strategies that can help unlock unrealized gains for the country’s economy. What is needed are systems that, alongside preventing irregular migration, can facilitate safe and orderly migration to enable youth to find overseas employment and help Nigeria to benefit through remittances and transfer of skills, technology, and investments.

Written by David-Duke N. Ndukwu

Why Nigerian airlines may not cut ticket fares – Stakeholders - PUNCH

AUGUST 16, 2021

BY  Juliana Ajayi


Stakeholders in the aviation industry have said the charges paid by airlines in Nigeria and the cost of operation make it difficult for them to reduce their ticket fares.

A member of Aviation Round Table, Olumide Ohunayo, in an interview with our correspondent, said the cost of tickets was still rising due to the naira-dollar exchange rate.

He said, “Most of the expenses of the airline are denominated in dollars; they have to buy spares, train their crew and spend money on certification. When you put all these together, it is a big cost to them.

“Also, the aviation fuel price keeps getting worse. We do not refine, we transport. As you leave Lagos, the cost of the aviation fuel keeps rising.”

He added that the insecurity in the country had prevented airlines from expanding, as they had to spend so much providing security for some of their personnel, including expatriates, and other important guests.

Ohunayo said, “Almost all charges and payments to agencies have increased by ratio. All of these would return to the passengers. The tax collected by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria has also doubled.”

The Managing Partner, Aglow Aviation Support Services Limited, Tayo Ojuri, said, “At the moment, we might not anticipate low ticket fare because airlines have to put some factors into consideration such as the crew, maintenance insurance, as well as the cost of operations, including the aviation fuel.

“Airlines put these into considerations before determining their ticket fare. The lease is major; your lease is dollarised. Whatever money you make on your lease, you have to convert it to dollars. However, dollar does not exist at a preferential rate at the moment.

“Also the crew, operational staff down to the pilot, inflight crew have to go for their training every six months which is also dollarised.

“We do not have simulators for ATRs yet in Nigeria; maintenance also has to be put into consideration, likewise the insurance cost.”

According to him, other charges include landing and parking charges.

An aviation security expert, Group Capt. John Ojikutu (retd.), said airlines must carefully examine the cost of operation, and set reasonable fares for their tickets in order to make profits.

“You cannot fly to Abuja now that you are importing fuel, buying aircraft from foreign countries, importing spare parts in dollars, yet sell tickets cheap and expect to make profit.”

The Chief Operating Officer, Ibom Airlines, George Uriesi, said the price of aviation fuel have a major impact on ticket fares.

He said, “We have to fly, so we have as much as possible tried to take as much fuel as we can out of Lagos which is the cheapest fuel. But you still have to refuel everywhere you go. Every two or three days, they announce a new price to us and on the average, we are paying double.

“When you are paying twice the amount of what you were paying before for fuel,  then you have to try to be efficient in all your other expenses. You have to look for a way to add a little to the ticket price.”

FG flies ISIS fighters’ family members, others to Nigeria - DAILY POST

AUGUST 16, 2021

The Federal Government of Nigeria has repatriated 22 family members of slain Islamic State (ISIS) fighters.

The relatives, flown to the nation’s capital, Abuja, were among the 101 stranded Nigerians in Libya.

Head of Media, National Diaspora Commission (NIDCOM), Abdur-Rahman Balogun confirmed the return in a statement.

Those brought back were received by officials of Foreign Affairs Ministry, NIDCOM, Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).

Others were National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), Department of State Services (DSS), Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) and Port Health.

“The stranded Nigerians include the 22 family members of suspected former members of ISIS that were killed in Libya as well as their children,” Balogun said.

Balogun said all evacuees came with negative PCR test for COVID-19, and landed at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport GAT wing, aboard Airforce C130.

Since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi, groups loyal to ISIS fighters still control some areas in Libya.

President Muhammadu Buhari, federal and state government officials often link the crisis in the North African nation to the influx of bandits as well as the proliferation of arms and ammunition.

At the weekend, Katsina Governor, Aminu Bello hinted that the Islamic State West Africa Province (ISWAP) is trying to establish bases in the North-West region.

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