Travel News

NAMA to install modern landing equipment in three airports - PUNCH

MARCH 09, 2022

BY  Henry Falaye

FOLLOWING the successful installation of Category 3 Instrument Landing System in Lagos and Abuja airports, the Federal Government through the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, says it has concluded plans to install the modern equipment in three additional airports to improve air safety in the country.

An Instrument Landing System is a radio navigation system that provides short-range guidance to aircraft to enable them to approach an airport runway at night or in bad weather.

In its original form, it allows an aircraft to approach until it is 200 feet (61m) over the ground, within a half-mile (800m) of the runway.

The acting Managing Director of NAMA, Mr. Lawrence Pwajok, who spoke on plan to install the equipment, listed the three airports as Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano; Port-Harcourt International Airport; and the Katsina Airport.

He said the move would increase the number of airports that have Category 3 ILS in the country to five.

Pwajok described an instrument landing system is a piece of navigational equipment that provides lateral guidance for an aircraft, sky guidance for the aircraft, and longitudinal guidance for the aircraft when coming into landing.

He said “Navigational facility is one of the very critical requirements for access into an airport safely, efficiently, and economically. We place a very high premium on the procurement and installation of navigational equipment.

“Over the last five years, we have deployed significantly a large number of navigational equipment. I can go through some of them by justifying my statement.

“Currently, we have installed what we call Category 3 Instrument Landing System, in Lagos and Abuja. We are also planning to install additional ones in Kano, Port Harcourt, and Katsina,“ he said.

The NAMA boss, who explained that Category 3 landing system was the highest category for landing facility anywhere in the world, said the government was set to invest heavily to ensure all the nation’s international airports have it.

Pwajok said that the lighting system would complement Category 3.

He said that a Category 3 approach system was required to guide the pilot using the instrument landing system.

He added, “Currently, we have installed an instrument landing system of Category 2 that requires what we called low visibility operations.

“In operation, where the visibility is below 800 metres and not lower than 300 metres, we use what we called a Category 2 instrument landing system

“For a Category 1 instrument landing system, which is few, you need 800 metres visibility or more. That is, visibility must be about 1km (1000m) for you to be able to do a Category 1 landing system, the lowest of the three categories.

“For Category 3, when the aircraft and the flight crew are adequately certified for it, with the visual lighting system available, you can basically land in zero visibility,“ he said.

He said that Category 2 ILS was currently being installed in Ilorin, Ibadan, and Akure.

He further added that some state airports such as Gombe, Kebbi, Bayelsa, and Anambra had already installed Category 2 ILS.

The NAMA boss said the airport in Lafia, which also had Category 2 ILS, had not been opened.

Pwajok said Categroy 1 ILS was very few in airports, adding that the government had planned to replace them with Category 2 ILS

“We have other equipment that can bring an aircraft to the airport and we call them Very High-Frequency Omni-Directional Range (VOR), a ground-based electronic system that provides information for high and low altitude routes and airport approaches.

“The VOR is like a broadcast station. It transmits information, unlike radio stations where you tune and hear music. For this navigational facility, when you tune, it gives you directional guidance.

U.K. Motorists May Drive 30% Less After Surge in Cost of Fuel - BLOOMBERG

MARCH 09, 2022

(Bloomberg) -- British motorists will cut back substantially on driving this year to save money as petrol prices rocket following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, according to the U.K’s most influential fuel lobbyist.

Speaking shortly after it a U.K. decision to phase out Russian oil imports by the end of the year, Howard Cox, head of Fair Fuel UK, said he expects mileage to fall by as much as 30% in 2022.

“Our supporters are already doing less recreational driving,” Cox said in an interview on Tuesday. “They’re doing fewer shopping trips and stocking up. They’re telling me they are prioritizing driving to work and dropping the kids at school, but the fun things in life they won’t be doing as much.”

Fair Fuel UK has 1.7 million supporters, including 100,000 commercial drivers. The lobby group is supported by Conservative members of Parliament and has successfully campaigned for taxes on driving to be frozen for 12 years, saving drivers an estimated 110 billion pounds ($144 billion).

Gasoline prices are at a record high of 152.95 a liter, or about $7.58 a gallon, according to government figures published on Tuesday. Those costs are likely to climb after a joint effort by the U.S. and U.K. to cut back on imports of oil from Russia. Brent crude prices jumped more than 50% since the end of last year to $131 a barrel, the highest since 2008.

Cox said he supported sanctions on Russian oil. “You’ve got to stop letting (Russian President Vladimir) Putin make money on this. Demand is going to fall as people won’t drive as much. I expect we’ll see 30% less driving.”

He urged Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak to prod the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries to boost production to make up for the lack of supplies from Russia.

Fair Fuel also wants Sunak to cut fuel duty by 5 pence a liter at when he delivers his Spring statement on March 23.

  • U.K. Petrol Prices Surge at Fastest Pace in 13 Years to a Record
  • Germany, Britain and Italy Hit by Surge in Pump Prices: Chart
  • U.K. Plans to Ban Russian Oil Imports in New Sanctions Move 

Airlines Begin to Cut Flying as They Grapple With Fuel-Cost Jump - BLOOMBERG

MARCH 09, 2022

(Bloomberg) -- U.S. airlines have begun paring flight plans due to soaring fuel prices, underscoring the speed at which Russia’s attack on Ukraine has upended the industry and jeopardized a hoped-for rebound this year.

Alaska Air Group Inc. will trim flying by as much as 5% in the first half in response to “the sharp rise in fuel costs,” according to a regulatory filing Tuesday.

Allegiant Airlines plans to reduce second-quarter capacity between 5% and 10%, Chief Financial Officer Greg Anderson said at a Raymond James Financial Inc. conference Monday. The carrier will trim flight frequency mainly in weaker demand times. The comments, relayed in a note by Raymond James analyst Savanthi Syth, were confirmed by an Allegiant spokeswoman.

The industry concern is that exorbitant gasoline prices could sap consumers’ spending power and lead to slower demand for vacations and other leisure pursuits. Higher prices also raise costs for airlines, making it difficult to maintain profits if they can’t pass the expenses along to customers.

Spot jet fuel prices for delivery in New York harbor have jumped 73% this year to $3.98 a gallon, the highest since 2008. In January U.S. airlines were predicting they’d pay around $2.50 a gallon.

See also: U.S. and U.K. Move to Ban on Import of Russian Oil

Alaska shares rose 4.1% at 10:10 a.m. in New York, rebounding after the airline industry plunged Monday. Allegiant’s parent, Allegiant Travel Co., rose 2.4%.

Seattle-based Alaska sees continued strong demand for spring break and summer travel, but it cited fuel prices as a significant uncertainty. “The impact on the economy is the question we all have now,” CFO Shane Tackett said at a Raymond James conference.

Alaska still expects to return to its full pre-pandemic levels of capacity this summer but “will continue to prudently adjust capacity as necessary in response to the evolving fuel environment,” the company said in the filing.

New UK visa centre in France will not accept walk-in applications from Ukrainian refugees - SKYNEWS

MARCH 09, 2022

Avisa centre being set up in northern France to assist Ukrainian refugees will not offer appointments or walk-in access, and its exact location will not be made public, the Home Office has confirmed.

Earlier a Downing Street spokesman had told reporters the centre in Lille would "start accepting appointments" from Thursday, but that has been contradicted by a statement released by the Home Office.

"We have taken urgent action to process visas at speed for all those eligible to the Ukraine Family Scheme, while carrying out vital security checks," it said.

"We have protected appointments at all of our visa application centres to ensure there is sufficient capacity and deployed extra staff to help people through the process as quickly as possible.

"In light of the risk from criminals actively operating in the area around Calais, we have set up a new temporary Visa Application Centre in Lille which will open tomorrow focused on referrals only for people in the area eligible for the scheme."

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On Tuesday the Home Secretary announced a "bespoke visa application centre" was "en route to Calais", but said it would be setup away from the town to prevent "choke points" around the port - yesterday it emerged the centre would be based in Lille, more than 70 miles away from Calais.

Sky News understands access to the centre will be reserved for Ukrainians who arrive in Calais and are deemed the most vulnerable by UK officials stationed at the French port town.

Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper criticised the government's position in a social media post: "Good grief. Why is Priti Patel not sorting this out?

"Do people now have to go all the way to Calais before they can - maybe - be sent back to Lille? This is making it harder not easier for desperate Ukrainian families."

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman also expressed concern about the Home Office handling of the visa process for refugees.

Rob Behrens said: "It is vital the Home Office acts to correct failings in its handling of visa applications, especially failings we have previously reported and which we are seeing repeated here"

"In this horrendous situation swift action is needed to make sure the process of getting a visa is simple, accessible and quick. Lives depend on it."

Earlier Transport Secretary Grant Shapps defended the government's decision to setup the temporary centre away from Calais, saying: "We do not want to see this mixed up with the wider issue of people traffickers and criminal gangs in Calais, so we don't want to attract people to Calais without having the paperwork resolved in the first place before they get there."

Diesel nears N650/litre as firms, residents embrace alternatives - THE GUARDIAN

MARCH 09, 2022

By Femi Adekoya, Wole Oyebade and Victor Gbonegun

• Scarcity hits local airlines, aviation fuel sells for N605/litre

AS oil prices rally, leading to higher diesel prices locally, local manufacturers, services firms and real estate operators, especially those in the serviced-apartments sector are beginning to explore cheaper alternatives to buffer rising costs, as diesel nears N650 a litre.

With generated power supply insufficient for local demand, many operators have had to explore off-grid options, especially in the form of integrated power projects through gas and diesel plants, and renewable sources in some cases. For others, embracing a higher tariff package from distribution companies in exchange for more hours of power supply is the way to go.

Already, the near-term inflation outlook appears increasingly unpredictable, as the petrol shortage crisis and the rising cost of diesel have added to other challenges driving up prices of essential commodities in the country.

Petroleum marketers are already taking advantage of surge in prices by adjusting pump prices daily even when old stocks are being dispensed.

Yesterday, oil prices traded higher, with Brent Crude closing at $130.7 a barrel, reflecting concerns about higher diesel prices in the days to come. Locally, diesel was dispensed at N625 per litre in many filling stations in Lagos and Abuja.

The January Consumer Price Index (CPI) released by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS), showed a slight moderation in the headline inflation, from 15.63 per cent in December to 15.6 per cent. But there are fears that the direction of the inflationary trend could change significantly from February.

This is expected to be triggered by the shortage of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), as the cost of transportation, a key driver of inflation, has doubled or tripled in different cities.

For manufacturers, the impact will be felt in rising production costs with worries about the knock-on effect on sales as consumers’ incomes weaken further.

For the real estate sector, many estates are subscribing to distribution companies’ higher tariff plans in exchange for improved access to electricity, as a way to manage rising costs of operating diesel plants.

According to the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), the rising cost of production has made its members consider the renewable energy alternative offered through the Sustainable Use of Natural Resources and Energy Finance (SUNREF), a green financing line for businesses developed by the French Development Agency (AFD).

Already, MAN and AFD have put together an $81m funding scheme for the development of renewable energy and the energy efficiency sector in Nigeria.

Last year, MAN noted that it spent 33 per cent more to generate electricity; a move considered too expensive and responsible for the non-competitiveness of locally produced goods.

For many residents, insufficient power supply has made many Nigerians depend mainly on petrol and diesel for power generation.

The Minister of Power, Abubakar Aliyu, had recently explained the reasons behind the recent poor power supply, citing hydro capacity during dry season and maintenance work at gas plants.

Since February, most parts of the country have been experiencing poor power supply — worse than it used to be. President of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Michael Olawale-Cole, said the escalation in the price of diesel would be a double jeopardy for manufacturers and portends a hard time that could even threaten their survival and competitiveness.

Olawale-Cole said that the prevailing prices of diesel, as well as current petrol scarcity “are totally unacceptable,” warning, “if we are not careful the economy and Nigerians will suffer for it.”

He attributed the trend in the domestic price of diesel to the rising price of crude oil in the international market, which is impacting on its landing price in Nigeria.

“The rising price of crude oil is part of it. The current scarcity of petrol is now influencing the diesel market.

“However, the answer to all these problems is to ensure that we are adding value to our crude oil here and stop depending on imported refined products. That is the solution and can be met by the government showing commitment to ensure that our existing refineries are maintained and made to work.

“It is agonising that we are producing crude and exporting them abroad for refining and later importing them at prices that we cannot afford. Naturally, this is going to affect inflation and add to the suffering of the people”, he said.

A former chairman, Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyor and Valuers, Lagos State, Adedotun Bamigbola said what is prevalent in most of the newly built residential houses is for management to provide inverters with the sales of the properties to reduce dependency on generators as source of power supply.

Bamigbola said the development has also posed the challenge of how to effectively manage such alternative power sources consisting of solar, generator and public power supply for the estates.

The high cost, he explained, has created an increase in default rate of paying service charge or diesel charge, adding that if the occupiers agreed to pay the high charge, they might also have to restructure duration for using generation from 24 hours to 12 hours depending on the terms of agreement.

“In Magodo and other residential estates in Lagos, residents have to subscribe to a premium payment to Ikeja Electricity, so that they can have more power supply and escape the cost of diesel”, he said.

On his part, the Vice President, International Facility Management (IFMA), Nigeria Chapter, Lekan Adewunmi said most estates and facility managers who rely mostly on generators than public power supply are facing difficult times due to the hike in price of diesel, which rose to N500 per litre depending on locations.

He said: “When you do your budget yearly and allocate N1 million for example for diesel and now with a serious hike amounting to about 60 per cent increase. Such a budget will not work and might have serious issues with tenants and occupants. It is either you now reduce the hour of using the generator or the tenants pay more for diesel. If a facility manager is not skillful enough, the situation now can push them into big problems.”

He said residential estates and facilities without a plan for alternative energy sources, are now considering investing in solar and inverters to stave off the problem.

MEANWHILE, local airlines, yesterday, raised another alarm over massive spike in the price of aviation fuel, currently selling at N605/litre at some airports nationwide

The operators said the “unbearable” spike and attendant disruption have made efficient air transport and affordable airfares unsustainable.

Aviation fuel, also known as Jet A1, accounts for between 30 to 40 per cent of operating cost in aviation. As a deregulated arm that is exclusively controlled by suppliers, the price has consistently been fluctuating along with Naira to Dollar exchange rate.

The Guardian learnt that the fuel, which cost about N450/litre last month, has pushed up to N599 in the South and as much as N605/litre in some parts of the North, creating scarcity at the ramp and attendant flight delays.

A local carrier, Ibom Air, yesterday apologised to air travellers for its flight disruptions, blaming the development on fuel scarcity.

“We have encountered a situation today where aviation fuel is scarce and therefore unavailable at almost all our flight destinations. This has significantly impacted our flight schedule today and may do the same tomorrow.

“We sincerely apologise to all our passengers affected by the current situation. At this time, we have no indication when the issue will be resolved, however, we are working with our fellow airlines and fuel suppliers to find a solution,” the management stated.

An industry expert, Lanre Aladeselu, explained that Nigeria is 100 per cent dependent on aviation fuel importation and therefore bound to feel the impact happening in the international community.

“Crude oil is already over $100 in the global community. That means consumers in Nigeria will have to pay more given that the industry is deregulated. That is what is happening right now,” he said.

2nd Niger Bridge for Commissioning Oct 2022 - Gambari - VANGUARD

MARCH 09, 2022

By Soni Daniel, Vincent Ujumadu

In what appears as a pre-commissioning event, the Chief of Staff to the President, Prof Ibrahim Gambari, yesterday led a team of senior government officials to inspect the progress of work on the second Niger Bridge that is primed to link major cities in the Southeast and Southsouth with the rest of the country.

The bridge, which was inherited from the previous administration in the country, appears to be a signature project, which the Buhari administration is anxiously waiting to deliver and make a major statement as a demonstration of its commitment and political will in delivering within a space of three years.

How Nigerian Agricultural Sector Can Be Revived

After being led on inspection of the ambitious project by the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, the Chief of Staff to the President, revealed that the Niger Bridge has so far gulped over N400 billion but that the administration was satisfied the project would finally be delivered in October.

Prof Gambari explained that out of the N400 billion already spent, the previous administration committed N10 billion into the project, adding that contrary to insinuations, the project was being funded 100 percent by the Nigerian government.

Also on the issue, the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, announced that there would be power disruption around the bridge head for two weeks in April this year to enable the Transmission Company of Nigeria to relocate and realign the transmission lines to pave the way for the completion of the ring roads connecting the bridge from all routes.

The minister also announced that with the completion of concrete work on the bridge, making it possible for a walk from the beginning to the end of the 1.6 kilometres stretch, the minor alignments on the structure would be wrapped up before the end of April.

Reacting to whether there would be tollgate at the Second Niger Bridgehead, Fashola said that his priority was to complete the road before delving into the suitability or otherwise of the road for tolling.

The minister said that although there is a Federal Executive Council approval for the tolling of 12 highways in the country, the decision on tolling the 2nd Niger Bridge head was yet to be made by the federal government.

That notwithstanding, there are ongoing construction of facilities that have the semblance of toll gates at the bridge head.

Explaining the project to the presidential entourage, which also included the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Dr. Chris Ngige and the Managing Director of the Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority, NSIA, Dr. Uche Orji, the Managing Director of Julius Berger Nigeria Limited, Lars Richter, disclosed that the level of work on the bridge, which they started in earnest in 2018, had reached 93 percent.

Richter said that despite the difficult terrain where the bridge is situated, the company deployed a special technology to stabilize the ground for the construction work to progress in earnest and provide environmental safety for all the communities around the area.

Domestic flights in Nigeria disrupted due to fuel shortage - REUTERS

MARCH 09, 2022

BY  Chijioke Ohuocha

ABUJA — Fuel shortages in Nigeria have caused domestic airlines to cancel some internal flights and delay others this week, two of the country’s biggest carriers said on Wednesday.

Air Peace, Nigeria’s biggest carrier by passenger numbers, flying to Dubai and Johannesburg, said it was likely to experience flight disruptions on Wednesday and in the coming days due to jet fuel scarcity.

“Unfortunately, the fuel scarcity is starting to seriously impact our operations,” it said.

  • Another carrier, Arik Air, delayed almost all its flights on Tuesday and canceled others, it said, adding that there was no certainty on the situation in the coming days.

    Nigeria imports almost all its jet fuel, which has nearly doubled to as high as 625 naira ($1.50) per liter since December, Arik Air said.

    Global jet fuel prices have hit a near 14-year peak as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine triggered a surge in the crude oil market, hitting airlines and passengers with steep cost increases.

    The latest crisis marks a further blow to an airline sector still recovering from the effects of COVID-19 restrictions.

    Airline passengers in Nigeria pay for fares in naira, which has weakened sharply due to devaluations. Fuel suppliers however are paid in dollars, a scarce currency in Africa’s top economy.

    Nigeria’s fuel crisis has been exacerbated by imports of sub-standard petrol. This has angered motorists, who have been spending hours in lines to fill their tanks, while some public transport owners have taken advantage to hike fares.

    ($1 = 415.34 naira) (Reporting by Chijioke Ohuocha; Editing by Jan Harvey)

  • FG says no bidder has been selected for Nigeria Air - RADIO NIGERIA

    MARCH 09, 2022

    The Federal Government says, no preferred bidder has been selected for the national carrier, Nigeria Air.

    The Director, Public Affairs, Ministry of Aviation, Dr. James Odaudu who stated this in a statement says, this became necessary as some persons with vested interests have been promoting some organisations that have bided for the forthcoming national carrier, Nigeria Air.

    “A similar report coming just two days after the issuance of a Request for Proposal which was published in local and international news media is not only false but capable of discrediting the process for the establishment of the airline, and discouraging interested parties”.

     He assured that, throughout the process leading to the publication of the Request for Proposal, the guiding principle has been transparency and accountability, as promised and this will remain till the final delivery of the project, adding that, by this, they stand.

     The Aviation Ministry spokesman also stressed that no corporate entity or individual has been appointed or selected, or even preferred for the project as the process for selection has just started with the Request for Proposal.

     “All interested partners and the public are therefore advised to discountenance the report and proceed with their proposals as we assure them of our unalloyed commitment to transparency and accountability till the end of the process”.

     Dr. Odaudu noted that, the driving force is the commitment of the Buhari administration to bequeath to the country a national carrier that Nigerians would be proud of, and their determination and commitment to it remains stoic.

     “Finally we wish to appeal to media practitioners to always confirm information from the right quarters before going to press so as to avoid misleading the public as in this particular case”.

     Reporting by Nosa Aituamen, editing by Daniel Adejo

    Six Nigerian Airlines Form Historic Alliance - DAILY TRUST

    MARCH 09, 2022

    By  Abdullateef Aliyu

    Six Nigeria airlines including Air Peace, Azman Air, United Nigeria Airline, Arik Air, Aero Contractors and Max Air have signed a pact tagged the ‘Spring Alliance’, to mutually support one another’s operations and improve service delivery for their clients.

    The carriers signed the alliance on Tuesday, March 8, 2022, in Lagos.

    Speaking, the Chairman of Air Peace and Vice-president of the Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON), Allen Onyema, stated that the Alliance would benefit passengers who fly with the six airlines.

    Daily Trust reports that the alliance is structured after the popular global airline alliances.

    Onyema explained that with the alliance, passengers of any of the airlines would be protected if one of the airlines had an issue.

    “It is our response to the complaints of the flying public, so this alliance will enable us to satisfy them,” he said.

    Onyema stressed that the initiative to form the alliance was a revolution in Nigeria’s aviation sector, while urging other airlines to tap into the benefits offered by the alliance by joining.

    He said that the Spring Alliance was not limited to Nigerian airlines alone, as other African airlines could join, adding that the alliance originated from Nigeria, but open to the world.

    He said: “In the Aviation world, we have so many alliances airlines. We have the Star Alliance; there is One World and several others. Airlines decide to key into those alliances for the benefit of both the passengers and the airlines themselves.

    “So, today, the 8th day of March 2022, some airlines in Nigeria notably, Air Peace, Azman Air, Arik Air, Aero Contractors, Max Air & United Nigeria have decided to come together to form what we call the Spring Alliance.

    “We decided to come together to do this for the benefit of the flying public that use the opportunities provided by these airlines to fly.

    “By this alliance, our passengers are protected whenever there is a problem with one airline. It is our response to the complaints of the flying public, so this alliance will enable us to satisfy them.

    “But with this alliance and what we are going to be doing henceforth, the flying public will reap the benefit. For example, if Air Peace has a tech issue on any of its aircraft, the passengers of Air Peace need not be delayed. If any member of this alliance is going to the same destination, all we need to do is move the passengers over to that other airline, a member of the alliance, at no further cost to the passenger”.

    “This will help aviation, it will help the sustainability of our operations, it will help the cause of the flying public to experience seamless commuting whenever they choose to.

    “This is where we are today, so we are hereby putting our signatories to these papers today, launching this idea that will revolutionise Nigeria’s scheduled flight operations for the better.”

    The Managing Director, Aero Contractors, Capt. Abdullahi Mahmood, noted that the formation of the Spring Alliance was a historic move, which prioritises the satisfaction of the passenger.

    “History has been made here today in Nigeria, and this is the first time something like this is happening in Nigeria’s aviation industry. You can see that the airline operators are fully committed to making sure that our passengers are satisfied. Like we say, for every challenge, you see an opportunity and probably this is the time that we have seen an opportunity whereby the airlines can come together, work together and have a healthy competition whereby at the end of the day, we make our passengers happy and safe.

    “Safety is the number one priority and this is what we stand for and coming together, like my colleagues rightly said, you find out that all these delays are caused by problems that passengers do not know and we just carry them from one point to another on time and make sure that everything goes smoothly. We are asking passengers to give their utmost cooperation, we are doing our best, it is a challenging situation we find ourselves but yes, we are all in this together and we are hopefully coming out together,” Mahmood said.

    He also thanked all the relevant aviation stakeholders, adding that “this is just the beginning. Like my colleague rightly said, this alliance is not only for Nigerian airlines; we are looking at other airlines around the world keying into the Spring Alliance”.

    The CEO of United Nigeria Airline, Obiora Okonkwo, said the alliance would revolutionise flight services for the Nigerian flying public, noting that passenger satisfaction was the major objective behind its formation.

    Accordording to Okonkwo, “Today, history has been made at this landmark event. The Nigerian scheduled operators coming together to sign this all-important document. This, no doubt, will revolutionise the service and provision for the typical traveller in Nigeria. It is all about the passenger.

    “There’s no doubt that Nigerian airlines are going through some situations and part of the ways to react to this is to have the passengers in mind. It is simply thinking out-of-the-box. We are not reinventing the wheel, we are just adopting what we have seen that has worked in other places, and it will surely work in Nigeria so that the passengers going to the airport are more guaranteed that they will  fly.

    “On this note, we are thanking the passengers and we continue to appeal to them to show some understanding and to continue to show us love, knowing that we are in this together, that the airlines will continue to do anything possible within their strength to ensure efficiency of our services and then thanking the government that has been showing some understanding.

    “In the coming days, there will be talks and discussions as airline operators will be  engaging stakeholders in the industry, all for the best of our services and efficiency”.

    EU Targets Golden Visas in Clampdown on Dirty Money - BLOOMBERG

    MARCH 09, 2022

    BY  Clara Hernanz LizarragaBloomberg News

    (Bloomberg) -- European Union lawmakers voted to limit so-called golden visas, as countries across the region clamp down on cash-for-passport programs.

    Wednesday’s European parliament vote, which passed with a 595 to 12 majority, aims to ban “golden passports” and set up EU-level regulation on visas that includes stronger background checks on applicants and the source of their wealth. After the vote, parliament expects the European Commission to propose legislation to standardize programs across the common area.

    “The commission has a duty now to act,” MEP Sophie In’t Veld said during a press conference in Strasbourg ahead of the vote. “The whole situation with the war in Ukraine has again put spotlight on the problem of people buying passports, buying residency, buying access to the EU.”

    Parliament wants the Commission to come up with a legislative proposal that will ban golden passports, phasing them out by 2025 while regulating golden visas to ensure that investments flow into the real economy. Lawmakers are also asking for stringent background checks, including on family members and on the origin of funds. In addition, parliament called on the EU Commission to ban Russian nationals who are subject to EU sanctions from all so-called residence-by-investment schemes.

    Thirteen member states currently have programs that allow citizens of non-EU countries to acquire an EU passport or residency permit in exchange for an investment such as real estate or bonds. Without any European-wide rules in place, the eligibility requirements vary greatly across the region, with the minimum investment ranging from 127,000 euros ($140,000) in Bulgaria to 1.2 million euros in the Netherlands. The golden visa programs have attracted about 3.5 billion euros per year from 2016 to 2019, according to European Parliament research.

    In 2020, the European Commission opened legal action against Cyprus and Malta for their cash-for-passports schemes which grant EU citizenship to investors “without a genuine link” to the country.  Bulgaria, which also has a citizenship-by-investment scheme, has tabled a draft bill to end it.

    Member states including Portugal, Greece and the Czech Republic have halted the issuance of visas to Russian nationals in light of the war in Ukraine. Last month, the U.K. scrapped its investor visa scheme in crackdown on money laundering. Bulgaria also moved in that direction with a bill to drop golden passports altogether.

    “We consider that operating investor citizenship schemes that systematically offer citizenship in exchange for pre-determined payments and investments, without a genuine link with the Member States concerned, violates EU law,” the commission said in a statement.


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