Travel News

Operators excited as UAE lifts visa ban on Nigerians - PUNCH

SEPTEMBER 13, 2023

BY  Stephen Angbulu and Funmi Fabunmi

The United Arab Emirates, on Monday, lifted its months-long visa ban on Nigerians.

Consequently, Etihad and Emirates Airlines will resume flight operations in Nigeria immediately.

“President Bola Tinubu and President of the United Arab Emirates, Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, on Monday in Abu Dhabi, have finalised a historic agreement, which has resulted in the immediate cessation of the visa ban placed on Nigerian travelers

“Furthermore, by this historic agreement, both Etihad Airlines and Emirates Airlines are to immediately resume flight schedules into and out of Nigeria, without any further delay,” the President’s Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Ajuri Ngelale, revealed in a statement he signed Monday.

The statement is titled ‘President Tinubu secures landmark deal with United Arab Emirates across sectors; visa ban on Nigerian travelers is lifted immediately.’

Monday’s resolution followed talks between Nigeria’s President, Bola Tinubu and his Emirati counterpart, Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

It also comes nearly three weeks after the President expressed his willingness to personally intervene to end the nearly one-year ban.

“We are a family with the UAE; we only live in separate rooms but in the same house. We should look at the issues as a family problem and resolve it amicably. As you know, in every family, there are peculiarities.

“You can have an erring son or daughter, but we must work together. We need to agree on core aviation and immigration issues,” Tinubu told the UAE Ambassador to Nigeria, Salem Saeed Al-Shamsi, at the State House on August 24, 2023.

It marked the first occasion in which Tinubu addressed the deadlock that led to the suspension of flights to Nigeria by Emirates, the UAE’s national carrier.

In October 2022, the UAE banned nationals of about 20 African countries from entering its borders.

“This is to inform you that we will not be posting 30 days visa applications for these nationalities effective today, October 18, 2022,” the notice partly read.

Affected countries include Uganda, Ghana, Sierra Leone, Sudan, Cameroon, Nigeria, Liberia, Burundi, Republic of Guinea, Gambia, Togo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Senegal, Benin, Ivory Coast, Congo, Rwanda, Burkina Faso, Guinea Bissau, Comoros, and the Dominican Republic.

In a notice issued to trade partners, including travel agents, Emirati authorities demanded that all applications be rejected.

“Any applications from the above-mentioned countries will be sent back or canceled,” said the notice. However, it does not affect persons holding diplomatic passports.

Since the ban, the UAE and Nigeria have been locked in a diplomatic row over issues involving flight allocations and travel restrictions.

In February, former President Muhammadu Buhari appealed to Al Nahyan via telephone to lift the visa ban. However, the UAE authorities rejected the request.

Explaining the recent development, the President’s spokesman noted that the immediate restoration of flight activity through Emirates and Etihad Airlines and between the two countries does not involve any immediate payment by the Nigerian government.

Reacting, an official of the aviation think-tank, Aviation Safety Round Table Initiative, Olumide Ohunayo, said, “Congratulations that the President was able to get the visa ban lifted, and business can return fully among the two countries while we make efforts to repatriate airline funds. It is good to see that Emirates and Etihad are returning, I just hope Nigerian airlines will have the same slots and frequencies in Dubai and not outside Dubai airports, under the principle of reciprocity.

Also, a former Managing Director of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, Roland Iyayi, while reacting said, “If Air Peace starts flying into Dubai, Emirates will reduce their price because they know that its price will be lower and will want to match theirs, so they don’t lose most of their passengers. So, there’s a possibility that fares will be reduced given the competition between Emirates and Air Peace which is indeed very good for the country.

Also speaking, a former Military Commandant at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, Group Capt John Ojikutu (retd.), said, “It is not about Emirates and Etihad alone, it is about every other foreign airlines that operate to Nigeria and pay our aviation services providers in dollars.”

International students, passengers express concerns over airlines’ relocation at Lagos airport - PUNCH

SEPTEMBER 13, 2023

By Lilian Ukagwu

Passengers using the  Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos have expressed concerns about the confusion and lack of proper information that followed the directives by the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo to relocate airlines to the new terminal at the airport.

The PUNCH reports that Keyamo had made a surprising announcement, directing all airlines to relocate from the airport by October 1, 2023, but the Federal Aviation Authority of Nigeria last Wednesday forcefully relocated the international carriers to the facility.

While this move may be seen as a necessary step for airport improvement and development, it has caused worries among international students and passengers alike.

International students, who rely on frequent flights to their home countries, are concerned about the potential disruptions and inconveniences this relocation may cause. Many of them have already booked their flights well in advance and fear that these changes could lead to missed connections and increased travel time.


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Speaking to a group of international students studying at various institutions in Nigeria, the majority expressed their disappointment and worries over the minister’s decision.

A passenger, Adekemi Awomolo expressed her distress, highlighting concerns about the sudden and unplanned nature of the notice.

Awomolo described her reaction to the news as disturbing and confusing, hoping that no further complications would arise prior to her flight, adding the impromptu nature of the notice had caused unease among passengers, leaving them uncertain about what may happen during the transition period.

Expressing concerns over the impact on airline operations, Awomolo emphasized the potential disruptions that could occur due to the abrupt relocation directive. “The notice is very short and unplanned, and it would affect most airline operations too,” she explained.

The unexpected relocation notice has fueled worries among passengers, generating uncertainty about the alternatives that may be implemented. Awomolo mentioned the possibility of being redirected to the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja, which would not only inconvenience travellers but also raise additional concerns about the logistics and travel arrangements.

In light of the situation, Awomolo believed that the government should have approached the matter with better strategizing and planning. She suggests a gradual reduction in the number of airlines operating at Terminal One to allow for a smoother transition and give airlines sufficient time to adjust their operations accordingly.

The lack of adequate planning and preparation has left passengers like Awomolo questioning the government’s decision-making process. The absence of a well-thought-out contingency plan adds to their concerns, particularly regarding the potential difficulties in rescheduling flights.

“The news was disturbing, seeing that I was confused and was praying that nothing more should happen before my flight date. I feel that the notice is very short and unplanned and it would affect most airline operations too.

“This is likely to cause some concerns because people may become uncertain of what may happen next, maybe they go take us to Abuja to board.

“I feel the government should have strategized better by gradually reducing the number of airlines operating at the terminal one and giving airlines time to adjust operations too.”

Also, an intending passenger and student of the University of Law, United Kingdom, Segun Odutayo expressed disappointment and frustration regarding the timing and lack of consideration by the government and aviation ministry in ensuring a smooth travel experience.

Speaking about the impromptu relocation of airlines to terminal two, Odutayo shared his concerns about the overall handling of travel arrangements.

“It’s so sad that this news is coming at this crucial time,” Odutayo remarked. “This incident only reinforces my perception that the government and the aviation ministry do not have our best interests at heart, particularly when it comes to making travelling an easy experience for us as students.”

Expressing his discontent, Odutayo emphasized that the short notice period for any flight changes would significantly impact people’s travel plans and cause unnecessary disruption. He urged the government to consider providing a minimum of four months’ notice for any changes or disruptions in flight schedules, thus allowing individuals to adequately plan and make alternative arrangements.

Odutayo further urged the government and aviation authorities to proactively create alternative plans for travellers, ensuring that their journeys continue without unnecessary obstacles or inconveniences. By doing so, he believes that the burden and stress on passengers can be significantly reduced.

He said,” It’s so sad that this news is coming at this crucial time. This added to my perception that the government and the aviation ministry do not have our interest at heart as they have chosen not to make travelling an easy one for us as a student. For whatever reason, the notice period is short.

“This would affect people’s travel plans and the effects and would allow unnecessary changes in flights already scheduled for this period. The government should give at least four months’ notice and make alternative plans for travellers.”

Another passenger, an international student, Bukola Adebayo, expressed his worries regarding the impact of the airline relocation on his travel plans. He believes that the notice given for the relocation is short, especially considering that this period is a peak time for international students travelling out and the end of summer vacation for many.

With the airline relocation announcement, Bukola shared that his flight time has already changed three times since he booked his flight. He is concerned that these changes may jeopardize his resumption day and cause disruptions to his academic plans.

Reacting to the development, the President, Association of Foreign Airlines and Representatives in Nigeria, Dr. Kingsley Nwokoma expressed his apprehensions over the capacity of Terminal Two to accommodate all the foreign airlines and stakeholders effectively. He remarked that during the construction of the terminal, the progression and growth of the industry were not adequately considered. As a result, the relocation to Terminal Two may prove to be chaotic and challenging for the airlines and passengers involved.

The president emphasized the importance of network punctuality in airline administration. He pointed out that many passengers had purchased tickets months in advance, and now they were being asked to adapt to the relocation. While he acknowledged that the recent power outage was a safety concern, he highlighted the significant disruptions it has caused, including flight cancellations, delays, and issues with the conveyor belt system.

Dr Nwokoma explained that the disruptions to network punctuality had forced passengers to alter their itineraries, with some travelers having to make unscheduled stops during their journeys. He expressed concern that such inconveniences would result in not only financial losses for the airlines but also potential lawsuits from disgruntled passengers.

Furthermore, he emphasized the long-standing safety concerns raised by airlines regarding the parking of large aircraft at Terminal Two. Previous measures were taken to address these concerns by demolishing nearby buildings. However, the current airline relocation has added another layer of complexity to these safety challenges.

He went on to express his worry about the impact on students, who are slated to resume their studies. Delays and disruptions in their travel plans may pose significant problems, as they need to reach their final destinations promptly, adding that schools and institutions may not sympathize with the late arrivals, potentially complicating matters for the affected students.

He said, “So it is not easy on the airlines and of course, there would be a lot of passengers that would sue airlines. It’s not a good thing at all because terminal two the airlines have been complaining about safety in regards to big aircraft coming to the park and that was why the then government in power decided to demolish some buildings because of the safety implications now this has come to add to it. It’s not a good thing for the airlines because they are on the receiving end and passengers too are on the receiving end and the airlines can’t really do anything here because there is no how they can help the passengers.

“The students that are supposed to resume it’s going to be a big problem because they need to get to their final destination and if there are issues and they can’t get to their final destination it’s going to be a big problem because no school is going to be looking at that rather they will ask why did you come late.

Meanwhile, an industry stakeholder who doubles as the Chairman United Nigeria Airlines, Prof Obiora Okonkwo, said,” There is no manual for relocation. It has nothing to do with students who are travelling, You land where you are to land and be attended to where you are to be attended to, this should be an issue that affects international airline operators and not Passengers. But I’m sure those that will relocate will be happy with the minister because they will see more modern facilities that will make their work easy.”

Factbox-Airlines, suppliers set to take a hit from RTX's jet engine issues - REUTERS

SEPTEMBER 13, 2023

(Reuters) - Airlines and aerospace suppliers are expected to take a hit after RTX Corp said on Monday 600-700 engines on Airbus A320neo jets need to be inspected for quality issues, which could ground hundreds of aircraft through 2026.

In July, RTX said microscopic contaminants were found in a powdered metal used in high-pressure turbine discs that are part of the Pratt & Whitney Geared Turbofan (GTF) engine’s core. The presence of those contaminants could lead to cracks in the engine.

The following airlines and aerospace suppliers expect to be affected:

Air New Zealand The company said the issue would further

reduce engine availability and have a

“significant” impact on its flight

schedule from January 2024. The airline

has 16 A320neo jets in its fleet.

Singapore The inspections would affect four of the

Airlines’ Scoot engines that power Scoot’s A320neo fleet

and could force it to adjust some of its


Wizz Air The Hungarian carrier estimated a

potential 10% capacity reduction in the

second half of fiscal 2024.

IHI Corp The Japanese firm expects an earnings

hit from the lengthy inspections.

Kawasaki Heavy The component manufacturer expects an

Industries impact on its earnings from the jet


Melrose The GKN Aerospace owner said it faces a

Industries potential hit of around 200 million

pounds ($249.54 million) over the period

to 2026.

MTU Aero MTU, which has an 18% share in the GTF

Engines engines program, said inspections could

result in a hit to revenue and reported

EBIT of around 1 billion euros ($1.07

billion) in 2023.

($1 = 0.8015 pounds)

($1 = 0.9317 euros)

IATA laments multiple taxations in Nigeria - THE GUARDIAN

SEPTEMBER 14, 2023

The International Air Transport Organization (IATA), a global regulator for airline operators, on Wednesday lamented the multiple taxations in Nigeria.

Vice President, Africa and Middle East for IATA, Kamil Al Alwadi, hit out at the Federal Government (FG) over the alleged stifling of airline operations with heavy and sundry taxes and charges.

Alwadi during an address said research showed that Nigeria ranks highest in airport charges in Africa as there are at least 27 charges imposed on airlines by the FG.

According to him, the airport in Abuja ranks as the most expensive airport in the whole of Africa and that is closely followed by the one in Lagos state.

Alwadi lamented the stunted growth of the industry on the continent, especially Nigeria while he also urged the FG to create a conducive environment for airlines to thrive.

“In recent research conducted, we discovered that the most expensive airport in Africa is Abuja airport, followed by Lagos airport,” he said while speaking at the 7th Aviation Africa summit and exhibition in Abuja.

“With all these exorbitant charges, Nigerian airlines can’t compete with their foreign counterparts. Africa has put itself in a place where it cannot help its own: expensive fuel, excessive charges, leasing and insurance through the roof.

“The airlines need to be financially viable too. The airlines contribute to the country’s GDP but Nigeria needs to decide what to do for them to survive.”

Stranded Cruise Ship Shows Risks of More Traffic in Remote Arctic - BLOOMBERG

SEPTEMBER 14, 2023

BY  Danielle Bochove and Ragnhildur SigurdardottirBloomberg News

, Source: Bloomberg

(Bloomberg) -- The grounding of a luxury cruise ship off the coast of Greenland on Monday highlighted the irony of touring the fast-warming Arctic on a vessel powered by fossil fuels, the main culprit in climate change. But the incident also underscores the recent growth of marine traffic in the region, a trend that raises the risk of accidents and pollution in hard-to-reach places. 

Global warming is destroying vast tracts of polar ice, opening previously frozen sea routes through the Arctic for longer periods. In the case of Greenland — where the Ocean Explorer remains mired in glacial silt in a remote fjord, days from help although not in immediate danger — cruise ship traffic has risen 50% in the last year, to about 600 ships, according to Brian Jensen of the Danish military’s Joint Arctic Command. 

That trend is seen across the Arctic. “From the period of 2009 to 2018, ship traffic on a pan-Arctic scale doubled,” said Paul Berkman, lead author of a 2022 report on the subject published by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. “Ship traffic is increasing as sea ice is decreasing.” 

Read More: Luxury Ship Charging $33,000 a Person Awaits Rescue in Greenland’s Arctic

The impact is being felt on remote ecosystems and communities as ships burning marine diesel, or methane-emitting liquefied natural gas, increasingly criss-cross the top of the globe. Some studies show the carbon footprint of cruise ships, per passenger, is bigger than that of passenger jets. Globally, maritime transport emits more CO2 than Germany. 

More ship traffic also means a higher risk of accidents in remote, poorly mapped areas known for harsh and unpredictable weather conditions. 

A 2021 report on Arctic marine disasters showed a 42% increase in accidents between 2005 and 2017 north of 58 degrees latitude, which encompasses the Arctic as well as some sub-arctic territory. The report acknowledged gaps in the data, noting that not all Arctic states provided information. 

More than 40 expedition vessels — smaller ships capable of traversing narrow channels and shallow waters — were exploring the Arctic this summer, led by 20 different operators, according to Cruise Industry News. Popular routes included those across Canada’s Northwest Passage and along the coasts of Greenland, Norway and the Svalbard Archipelago. Of even greater concern, though, are much larger conventional cruise ships capable of carrying thousands of passengers. 

The Icelandic Coast Guard is “very worried” about the rising number of such vessels around Iceland and the Arctic, spokesperson Asgeir Erlendsson said. “If any of those big ships run into trouble, there are many people on board and a rescue mission can take a long time and needs to involve a lot of people,” he said. “This requires international cooperation and using resources like the fishing fleet if needed. Rescuing with a helicopter for instance will be very time consuming under such circumstances.” 

Greenland's parliament will probably start talks about extending protection of land areas to also include waters, Vivian Motzfeldt, the country's minister for business, trade and foreign affairs, told the country's main newspaper, Sermitsiaq.

“The current situation clearly shows that we must and need to work to ensure there are strict, clear and unambiguous legal requirements” starting from the next cruise season, she told the media.

The Danish ship sent to rescue people on board the Ocean Explorer is not expected to reach the remote Greenland fjord until Friday. Other countries’ Arctic territories are even larger and more difficult to access. The Canadian Coast Guard has seven or eight icebreakers available each year to serve 162,000 kilometers (101,000 miles) of northern coastline, delivering supplies and providing search-and-rescue support. 

Fewer than half of Canada’s primary Arctic shipping corridors have been surveyed to modern standards, said Rashaad Bhamjee, superintendent of navigational programs for the Canadian Coast Guard. Less than 16% of its Arctic waters have been properly mapped. “The worst case scenario, for us, would be having a large cruise ship, or a tanker, run aground or breach its hull.” 

The need to protect the region from environmental disasters has led some Arctic governments, including Canada, the US and Greenland, to impose bans on oil and gas exploration. 

“We simply don’t have the technology or the capacity to respond to any sort of emergency or accident,” Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told Bloomberg Green in an August 25 interview about the Arctic. “You think of Deep Water Horizon, or things that happen in the Gulf of Mexico that at least aren’t hindered by sea ice and incredible remoteness — you couldn’t do it.” 

Cargo shipping is also increasing, as melting ice opens routes that can shave days or even weeks off southerly routes. Russia has made transport through its Northern Sea Route a key pillar of future economic development. China’s Arctic policy includes a Polar Silk Road to facilitate travel through the region. Military interest in the region is on the rise since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. All of it spells increased future risks. 

Other potential consequences include ships colliding with marine mammals, light and noise pollution, and the spread of diseases to remote Indigenous communities. 

In the case of the Ocean Explorer, authorities are hoping for an uneventful resolution in the next few days, after initial attempts to free the ship failed. Its hull is intact, no oil has leaked and, so far, the 206 people on board are safe. Still, it’s a cautionary tale about the potential for disaster in what is still one of the most remote places on Earth. 

“Our worst-case scenario is a large cruise vessel with 8,000 to 9,000 people on board having an emergency in an isolated area,” said Tore Wangsfjord, chief of operations at the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre North-Norway, which handles search-and-rescue operations over an area extending to the North Pole. 

Of the Ocean Explorer, he added, “Multiply the number of people on board by 25, and you can imagine the situation.”

--With assistance from Brendan Murray and Christian Wienberg.

(Updates with comment from Greenland minister from ninth paragraph.)

UAE official says visa restrictions not lifted for Nigerians - CNN

SEPTEMBER 15, 2023

By , CNN

CNN — The United Arab Emirates has contradicted claims by the Nigerian government that it is to lift a year-long visa ban on Nigerian travelers.

An official from the Gulf state told CNN: “There are no changes on the Nigeria/UAE travel status so far.” 

The source asked not to be named because he is not authorized to speak to the media.

The UAE said in a notice last October it will no longer issue visas to citizens from Nigeria and 19 other African nations. It did not provide further details. Obtaining a 30-day tourist visa was relatively easy until the UAE abruptly stopped issuing the visas to Nigerian nationals.

Flights between both countries were stopped last year after Dubai’s Emirates airline suspended its operations in Nigeria citing trapped revenues.

The carrier said it could not access and repatriate its funds amounting to $85 million withheld in Nigeria.

Earlier this week, Nigeria’s President Bola Tinubu met with UAE leader Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan in Abu Dhabi where both men “finalized a historic agreement,” according to a statement released by the Nigerian government.

The government said in the statement that the agreement paved the way for the lifting of the visa ban, including the immediate resumption of flights between both countries.

“Furthermore, by this historic agreement, both Etihad Airlines and Emirates Airlines are to immediately resume flight schedules into and out of Nigeria, without any further delay,” a statement by Nigeria’s presidential spokesman Ajuri Ngelale said.

However, a statement by the UAE government later Monday said both leaders had during the meeting, “explored opportunities for further bilateral collaboration” with the hope of “reinforcing ties between the UAE and Nigeria,” but did not mention lifting the visa ban or flights restarting.

In a follow-up statement, Nigerian government spokesman Ngelale said officials from both countries needed more time to finalize agreement details, contradicting his earlier statement.

“Given the agreement struck between the two Heads of State, there is need to allow cabinet officials from both sides to work out the finer details and finalize the cross-sectoral agreements,” he said, adding that “Everyone can now allow the process to work itself out organically, devoid of speculation.”

An elite’s playground

There was much jubilation from excited Nigerians when it was announced that the visa ban was lifted.

Dubai is a popular destination for thousands of Nigerian tourists. It is also a haven for real-estate investors from the country. 

Before the pandemic, Nigerians ranked among Dubai’s largest foreign real-estate investors, with investments valued at nearly $2 billion, according to local media reports citing the Dubai Land Department. 

Before the ban, Emirates Airlines operated two daily flights from Lagos, Nigeria, to Dubai, and one daily flight from the capital Abuja to Dubai.

UK Releases New Entry Requirement - LEADERSHIP

SEPTEMBER 21, 2023

Says visa alone can't guarantee entry

Written by James Kwen

The United Kingdom (UK) has updated its travel requirements for people wishing to enter the country.

The UK also announced that Nigerians and other citizens, except British and Irish nationals, wishing to enter the country must apply for Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA).

The new rule becomes effective from November 15, 2023, and applies to everyone, including children.

The new travel rule implies that all visa applicants wishing to travel to the UK need an Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA) card before they enter or transit through the country.

The UK Home Office said persons who need the travel permit are those who were previously eligible to visit the UK without a visa and not already legally resident in the UK.

Also listed for ETA are those on visits shorter than six months, business people, tourism, and those visiting family and friends. Applicants are required to apply online before booking any travel to the UK. Once granted, it will be valid for multiple journeys over two years or until the passport one is applying with expires.

The UK Home Office, in a statement, further said travellers with valid visas may not be allowed to board without a valid ETA, as the ETA is digitally linked to travellers’ passports.

The statement reads: “The UK travel requirements are changing. Except for British and Irish citizens, everyone, including children who enter or transit through the UK, will soon require permission before they travel.

“This means that if you were previously eligible to visit the UK without a visa and not already legally resident in the UK, you will need an electronic travel authorisation (ETA), your stay must be shorter than six months and could include tourism or visiting family and friends, transit, business, and short term study.

“You do not need to show a paper copy, but it may be helpful to prove the confirmation email for your own records while an ETA grants you permission to travel to the UK, it does not grant you entry. So, you would still need to go through passport control at the border to enter the UK.

“Make sure you show the same passport you used to apply for your ETA and that your passport is valid for the whole of your stay.”

Principals of UK Boarding Schools set for Nigeria in October - BLUEPRINT

SEPTEMBER 21, 2023

Following an increase in demand for schooling in United Kingdom by Nigerians, Principal and Leaders of certain schools in London are expected in Lagos next month.

The event tagged; “UK Boarding Schools Week,” will hold in Lagos from 13-15 October at The Wheatbaker Hotel in Ikoyi, Lagos. 

 According to a statement issued to newsmen by the organisers, Mark Brooks Education in association with the UK’s Department for Business and Trade, activities lined up for the event includes, reception, seminar, and exhibition.

The first event will be a networking reception from 6pm – 8pm on Friday for visiting heads to meet school leaders and parents.

On Saturday, there will be a 30-minute seminar from education specialists on ‘Helping Teenagers to Thrive’ 

The entire programme would be concluded on Sunday 15th with a  a new event  ‘Lagos to London’. 

Mark summed up the objective behind the summit and what it was expected to achieve.

He said:” It will create an opportunity  for prospective parents to find out more and even sit entrance tests and interviews to beat the rush for places. 

“An overseas education is increasingly popular for Nigerian families for a variety of reasons, an international experience, academic and sporting excellence, and a greater chance to secure a top university place.”

Some of the Principals equally revealed educational  facilities and attendant advantages for prospective students.

According to Stuart Ansell, COO at Box Hill School, apart from  strong academic results,  the institution also ” deliver fantastic pastoral care and a ‘home away from home’ for boarding students.”

Henrietta Lightwood from Cardiff Sixth Form College disclosed that academic achievement is another reason for choosing UK school. West African students add tremendously to the community and gain “offers from world’s best universities.”

Sarah Matthews, Head at Truro High School for Girls, who is coming on the education summit for the first time said she looks “forward to spending more time in West Africa where I always receive such a warm welcome.” 

She also spoke in glowing terms about her school.

 “We offer a safe and affordable learning environment where girls thrive.”

Stuart Higgins of the Hereford Cathedral School said she was “delighted to be representing the school.

“Awarded ‘great for music’ by a national publication, the school has strong Christian ethos and “offers a wide range of sporting opportunities.”

Some of the top schools in the UK  to be part of the Boarding Schools Week include, Abbey College Cambridge, Bishop’s Stortford College, Bromsgrove School, among others.

FG opens old MMA terminal to ease flight disruptions - PUNCH

SEPTEMBER 21, 2023

By Funmilayo Fabunmi

The Federal Government has officially reopened the D Wing of the old international terminal at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.

The government aimed to alleviate flight disruptions and improve the overall efficiency of air travel.

The move was part of a broader effort to address the growing challenges faced by travellers and airlines operating in Nigeria, following the sudden relocation of foreign airlines from the international terminal of the Lagos airport to an adjoining new terminal that opened in March.

The reopening of the old international terminal, which had been temporarily closed for renovation, was announced by the Minister of Aviation, Mr Festus Keyamo, on Monday.

A statement signed by the Director, Public Affairs & Consumer Protection, FAAN, Abdullahi Yakubu-Funtua, said Keyamo emphasised the government’s commitment to enhancing the aviation sector and ensuring that passengers had a seamless travel experience.

The statement reads in part, “This is to inform  the travelling public  that the Hon. Minister of Aviation, Mr Festus Keyamo,  has  graciously  allowed  the use of the D Wing  of the Old Murtala  Muhammed International terminal to compliment the New International Terminal in order to  ease facilitation of passengers through  the airport.”

Keyamo had ordered airlines to relocate to the new terminal on October 1, 2023 but FAAN on Wednesday forcefully relocated the international carriers to the facility.

The sudden relocation by FAAN came the same day fire razed part of the baggage hall of the MMIA, forcing the agency to evacuate passengers and personnel from the facility.

Reacting, the Director of Media, FAAN, Mr Abdullahi Yakubu-Funtua, said the airport fire and other development affecting power supply necessitated the sudden relocation of the foreign carriers.  However, he said FAAN was on the matter.

The use of the D Wing for the processing of passengers had commenced.

Thousands of Venezuelan Migrants Will Be Allowed Work Permits in the US - BLOOMBERG

SEPTEMBER 21, 2023

(Bloomberg) -- The Biden administration has moved to provide hundreds of thousands of Venezuelan migrants with work permits, meeting calls from New York and other cities strained by an influx of asylum seekers. 

The Department of Homeland Security estimated Wednesday that 472,000 Venezuelans who arrived before July 31 will be eligible to work under the fresh Temporary Protected Status designation. The move, which protects the migrants from deportation, is part of a series of policies aimed at managing the growing number of arrivals at the US-Mexico border and in urban centers. 

Democratic-led cities have sounded alarms for months about the cost of caring for migrants, many of whom arrive by buses dispatched from border states like Texas with no immediate prospects for legal work. 

In New York, which by law can’t turn away those who need housing, Mayor Eric Adams’s administration estimates 10,000 asylum seekers are arriving each month, an influx that may cost an estimated $12 billion over the next three fiscal years. Venezuelans account for 40% of the asylum seekers currently in New York’s care, by far the largest share of any country, according to the Adams administration.

Adams thanked Biden for “taking this important step that will bring hope to the thousands of Venezuelan asylum seekers currently in our care,” according to a statement.

“I am hoping that this is the start of looking at all of the countries that are coming into New York City and the other municipalities,” Adams said on WABC-TV Wednesday. “I don’t believe any city should have to carry this national problem.” 

Cities struggling to house new migrants who are overwhelming shelters, social services and already-stretched budgets have become a political issue for President Joe Biden. 

Republicans accuse the president of fueling a surge at the border with welcoming policies, while immigrant-rights advocates fault him for not putting enough political capital behind a push to overhaul the nation’s immigration laws earlier in his term. 

The latest move will affect Venezuelans who arrived in the US between March 8, 2021, and July of this year. Within 30 days, DHS is also aiming to approve work permits for immigrants who entered the country under a pair of humanitarian parole programs established earlier this year. However, the new policies fall short of recent calls for DHS to eliminate a months-long waiting period for all asylum seekers to work. The agency says only Congress can change that.

The administration is also expanding a program that allows border officials to swiftly deport some immigrant families who have crossed the border and lack a basis to stay in the US. It is also sending 800 new active-duty military personnel to the border to assist with logistics, the department announced.

Texas Turmoil

Eagle Pass, a Texas city of 30,000 along the Mexican border on the Rio Grande, has seen several thousand migrants arrive this week. It declared a state of emergency Sept. 19 “due to the severe undocumented immigrant surge into the city.” Officials said the declaration would pave the way for requesting extra financial resources to account for the additional services the migrants would require. 

US Customs and Border Protection shut down vehicle crossings at one of the main bridges with Mexico on Wednesday, saying it would remain closed indefinitely due to the influx of immigrants.

Many of the new arrivals are being quickly released into the US because border detention facilities are near capacity, the Washington Post reported, citing unidentified Homeland Security officials. Texas Governor Greg Abbott said Wednesday that federal officials had cut razor wire barriers in Eagle Pass intended to stop border crossings, but that he’d ordered the Texas National Guard to “repel illegal crossings” and install more razor wire.

Biden has defended his actions on immigration, saying he introduced legislation to address the issue on his first day in office. The administration says it is doing all it can to assist states and cities with the influx and puts the onus on Congress to fix the system. 

The president requested $4 billion from Congress for border security and migration mitigation in an emergency spending measure. But that package faces an uphill road to passage, with the Republican-led House girding for a clash with Democrats on their own border demands as part of a fight over how to avert a government shutdown on Oct. 1. 

--With assistance from Brendan Walsh.

(Updates with comment from Mayor Adams in sixth paragraph, state of emergency in Texas starting in 11th paragraph)


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