Travel News

13, 000 Nigerian students pursue US degrees - VANGUARD

SEPTEMBER 18, 2022

…As 25 U.S. universities participate in Abuja and Lagos college fairs

By Ebunoluwa Sessou

Nearly 13,000 Nigerian graduates and under-graduates students are currently seeking admission into universities in the United States across 1000 US universities.

This was disclosed by the .S. Consul General Will Stevens at the 21st Annual EducationUSA College and Career Fairs organized in both Abuja and Lagos.

The students who were said to be exploring possibilities in studying in United States as well as partaking in the American higher education, expressed optimism of connecting to the global world.

This year’s EducationUSA College and Career Fair which took place in Abuja and Lagos was organized by the U.S. Mission and featuring visiting representatives from 25 universities and colleges from across the United States.

The Fair was augmented by talks by U.S. experts and Nigerian U.S. university alumni on college admissions and student visa application processes.

Speaking with the students, U.S. Consul General Will Stevens said that America remains a leading destination for international students, noting the United States offers students an unrivaled educational experience, flexibility, and diversity.

According to him, “Over the last two decades, EducationUSA College and Career Fairs have resulted in an increased number of highly qualified Nigerian applicants to U.S. institutions. Nearly 13,000 Nigerians are currently pursuing U.S. graduate and undergraduate degrees across 1,000 U.S. colleges and universities.

“Nigeria sends more students to U.S. colleges and universities than any other country in Africa and is the eleventh largest source country worldwide of international students to the United States. The vast majority of these students, upon graduation, contribute positively to Nigeria’s public and private sectors and civil society when they return”, he said.

Speaking on the theme “Exploring Opportunities Post-Pandemic,” Consul General Stevens noted that the role of the U.S. Mission in Nigeria is to facilitate and build connections between the United States and Nigeria. He added that one of the best ways these connections are built, and mutual understanding is fostered, is through educational exchange.

“We are happy to provide Nigerian students who wish to study in the United States a unique opportunity to learn about the diversity of the programs offered at various U.S. educational institutions,” he said.

Meanwhile, U.S. Deputy Chief of Mission David Greene who spoke in Abuja greeted students, parents, teachers and all 25 U.S. university representatives, which included admissions officers from leading and diverse institutions such as Howard University, Drexel University, Pace University, University of Oregon, Iowa State University, and University of Tennessee.

Meanwhile, in both cities, Counselor of Public Affairs Adnan Siddiqi, U.S. Mission EducationUSA advisers, and Nigerian alumni of U.S. universities joined the visiting U.S. college admissions officers to speak about the benefits of American education and study abroad, and to answer questions about the college admissions process, standardized testing, financial aid, and scholarships and opportunities.

South Africa May Lose 53% of Graduates to Emigration, Survey Shows - BLOOMBERG

SEPTEMBER 18, 2022

(Bloomberg) -- About half of South Africa’s top earners and university graduates are considering emigration as citizens lose faith in the country’s future, the Social Research Foundation said, citing a survey it conducted. 

Out of 3,204 registered voters the Johannesburg-based research group surveyed in July, 53% of university graduates and 43% of those who earned more than 20,000 rand ($1,138) a month may leave the country, according to the findings. Overall, 23% of those surveyed said they may look to live in another country.

Confidence in South Africa’s future has fallen after more than a decade when average economic growth failed to match the increase in population, meaning the country’s citizens have been getting poorer. The country has been wracked by corruption scandals in recent years and regular power outages since 2014. More than 350 people died in a spate of looting and arson in July 2021.

The number of those considering emigration “rises with social and economic status,” the SRF said in a statement accompanying the survey results on Thursday. Almost a third of urban South Africans are mulling leaving compared with just 11% of those living in rural areas.

“People between the ages of 25 and 40 are the most likely age groups to be considering emigration,” according to the foundation. “The data is consistent with the foundation’s past findings on confidence in South Africa’s future.” 

If an increasing number of South Africa’s richest people leave the country, the number of those paying tax, which supports welfare payments to almost a third of South Africans and other government services, will plunge, the SRF said.

“South Africa is vulnerable to surrendering near half of its top skills base and income earners, and by extension much of its remaining tax base,” the SRF said. 

The survey had a margin of error of plus or minus 1.7 percentage points.

NCAA lifts ban on Azman Air - PUNCH

SEPTEMBER 18, 2022

The Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, on Friday, announced that the Air Transport Licence of Azman Air had been renewed.

The agency, in a press statement signed by the Director General, NCAA, Capt. Musa Nuhu, stated that the airline’s licence was renewed after fulfilling all outstanding requirements

It read in part, “Consequent upon the fulfilment of all outstanding requirements, the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority has renewed the Air Transport Licence of Azman Air, enabling the Airline to resume flight operations.”

The NCAA had suspended Azman Air two months after grounding Aero Contractors and Dana Air, reflecting the crisis in the aviation sector.

The Director General of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, Captain Musa Nuhu, had  confirmed on Thursday that the agency was withholding the Air Transport License of Azman Air till it provided the required documentation for its operational licenses’ renewal and sign a Memorandum of Understanding on how it would remit its legacy debt accrued from the collection of Passenger Service Charge.

According to Nuhu, Azman Air must sign the MOU to negotiate its debt remittance, which was part of the N42bn and $7.8m debts in PSC, and also provide tax clearance as one of the documentation for its ATL.

Nuhu said as soon as the airline complied, it would get its approvals as these were part of the renewal processes to ensure the regulator did not go under.

Sunday PUNCH had, on Thursday, reported that Azman Air asked its members of staff not to show up for work based on operational reasons.

ECB Is Pushing Banks to Scrutinize Their Energy-Intensive Risks - BLOOMBERG

SEPTEMBER 19, 2022

(Bloomberg) -- The European Central Bank is pushing lenders to scrutinize their exposure to energy-intensive industries as the fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine spreads through the economy.

The ECB is also calling on lenders to look at risks they could face from rising interest rates, although banks expect to benefit from tighter monetary policy overall, said Andrea Enria, who leads the ECB’s supervisory board. He spoke at a conference in Brussels.

The ECB wrote recently to lenders, telling them to analyze the impact of a gas stoppage on their businesses, people familiar with the matter said recently. Responses are due in mid-September and follow-up conversations are to come by the end of this month, the people said.

Enria reiterated his call for banks to factor in a potential “severe” economic downturn in their projections of how capital ratios will evolve. Those calculations are a key factor banks take into account when announcing dividends and share buybacks.

While banks are starting from a position of strength thanks to high capital levels, Enria also said the models lenders use to forecast the future can sometimes paint an overly benign picture.

Nigeria Set To Choose Ethiopian Airlines As Core Investor Of New Flag Carrier - THISDAY

SEPTEMBER 19, 2022

The soon-to-be-created Nigeria Air will be the country's new flag carrier.

Nigeria has confirmed that Ethiopian Airlines has been chosen as the core investor and partner for the country's new flag carrier. Nigeria Air has been in the works for a while now and has slowly been approaching a full launch, pending support from partners. Ethiopian is Africa's largest carrier and has shown a willingness to invest in new startups recently.

Ready to take off?

According to ThisDay, Nigeria's federal government has formally chosen Ethiopian Airlines (Ethiopian) as a partner for the long-awaited Nigeria Air. The deal includes a 49% equity share for the airline, joined by 5% from the government since the project is set to be private-public. Notably, Ethiopian is sticking to its policy of not investing cash into a new business.

Instead, the airline will leverage its technical prowess, an abundance of aircraft, and management skills to establish Nigeria's first flag carrier in years. While yet to be formally confirmed, an initial pool of pilots is set to arrive in Addis Ababa for basic training for certification on the Boeing 737NG.

Ethiopian Airlines has invested in several carriers across Africa in recent years. Photo:  Konstantin von Wedelstaedt via Wikimedia Commons

Acording to one source close to the Ministry of Aviation, Ethiopian was the only airline that bid to lead the new flag carrier. Despite that, the choice was likely a good one, adding that,

"Ethiopian Airlines has the equipment needed for the start-up of the new national carrier, Nigeria Air. It has many Bombardier Dash 8 aircraft, which would be the equipment that would be deployed with additional deployment of few Boeing B737 NG aircraft. The airline is most prepared to support the Nigerian government actualise its national carrier ambition."

Finally happening

Nigeria Air was first announced in the summer of 2018 at the Farnborough Air Show but suspended a few months later in November. Fast forward four years, and the carrier was once again on the radar, with several players, including Qatar Airways, rumored to run the new operation.

In June, the airline received its Air Transport License (ATL) from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), a precursor to the all-important Air Operators Certification (AOC). The next step was finding a partner to run the airline, which is now reportedly completed with Ethiopian Airlines' appointment.

The next few months will tell us more in terms of the airline's timeline for takeoff. With a fleet of Boeing 737s and Dash 8s, we can expect a domestic and regional focus in the initial months, a market that has no shortage of travelers in Nigeria. Keep an eye out for this up-and-coming carrier in the near future.

NCAA in the spotlight

All eyes were on the Nigerian government and the NCAA this week as Azman Air lost its ATL due to failure to pay dues and operational issues. However, after 24 hours of outcry, the carrier signed an MoU with the government and was handed a five-year extension on its ATL to continue operations.

For now, the Nigerian market is only set to get more competitive as foreign carriers, and homegrown ones compete for a share.

Canadian PM assures of greater ties, welcomes Nigeria Conference of Speakers of State - VANGUARD

SEPTEMBER 19, 2022

The Prime Minister of Canada, Justin Trudeau has expressed his Country’s readiness and commitment to further deepen bilateral relationship between Canada and Nigeria.

Trudeau, disclosed this in his message at the commencement of the week-long 2022 Conference of State Legislators whick kicked off in Ottawa, Canada.

He also urged the visiting Parliamentarians to interact and explore the rich culture that make the Canadian people unique.

The Conference of Speakers led by it Chairman, Rt Hon Abubakar Suleiman is been facilitated by the trio of the Executive Director , OZ Consulting Firm, Abi Goodman, Hon Jim Karygiannis, of GTA Strategies and David Murchison of the Institute of Governance, is to create avenue for Nigeria Legislators and their Canadian counterpart to interact on legislative processes and governance.

Welcoming the delegates Trudeau said, “It is with great pleasure that I welcome the Honorable members from the Nigeria National Assembly and the state legislature to Canada.

“As you visit Ottawa, Kingston, Toronto and Niagara Falls. I hope you have an opportunity to interact with the people , take in the culture and visit the sight that makes Canada so special.

“Canada and Nigeria have a long, strong history together and Iam looking forward to working with you to grow the ties between our two nation.

Leader of delegation and Chairman, Rt Hon Abubakar Suleiman, said the study visit has become imperative in looking into transnational boarder into looking at practices and learning from other climes.

“Our choice of Canada is strategic giving our shared history of being a Commonwealth nations and our democratic experiences. Canada is no doubt, one of the most developed countries of the world worthy of learning from.

“Canada ranks among the highest in international measurement of government transparency, civil liberty, equality of life economic freedom, education and environment sustainability.

” In view of this our mission to Canada is simple and clear. We are set out for robust engagement with our host with a view to learning practices and ideals that will reposition our country on the right trajectory for greatness through subnational legislative activities.

One of the facilitators, Abi Goodman in her remarks while welcoming the lawmakers said the conference will go a long way in reshaping the Nigeria legislative trajectory in the foreseeable future.

She noted that OZ Consultant over the years has been engaged in promoting ideal democratic values and ethos through trainings and study abroad for those who holds strategic positions of authority which in turn affect the people in one way or the other.

“We are delighted to note that this program came to fruition after months of strategic planning ceaseless brain storming and execution. Over the years Oz has continually excelled as an enabler for the continuous inculcation of ideal democratic value and ethos through trainings and study and other engagement abroad for those who holds strategic positions authority which in turn affect the people in one way or the other.

“As a result, the focus of our organization has always been directed towards seeing sustainable development and growth through the relevant exposure and growth and experiences those occupying these offices have garnered, from the obtainable practices in other clime like Canada.

“It is on this same note that we are confident that the present program will be more fulfilling as is particularly designed for the conference of speakers of state legislators and other members of Parliament and their delegation using the Canadian experience. Thus we are excited that this will go a long way in reshaping the Nigeria legislative trajectory in the foreseeable future.

The delegation on study tour arrived Toronto Sunday morning for the event.

Nigeria's Aero Contractors gears up resume services - CH-AVIATION

SEPTEMBER 19, 2022

Aero Contractors (N2, Lagos) plans to resume commercial services latest by October 2022 in the hope that its audit by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) will be completed by the end of this month, according to local news reports.

Aero Contractors has operated under the receivership of the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) since February 2016. It suspended its scheduled passenger flight operations in July, citing a harsh operating environment and lack of available equipment.

Meanwhile, the carrier has signed a partnership agreement with Nigeria's Umza Aviation Services, which is to invest USD50 million for the purchase of five DHC-8-Q400s to be operated by Aero Contractors. As reported, Umza Aviation is linked to Mohammed Abubakar, owner of Umza Farms, and is part of a new partnership between virtual carrier UmzaXpress and Aero Contractors.

Speaking to reports at Abuja, after taking delivery of the second Dash-8-Q400 last week, Aero Contractors Head of Security Adah Daniel (representing Managing Director Abdullahi Mahmoud) said: "We are looking at the end of the month because we wrote to the NCAA that we want to start operation and we have to finish with the ongoing audit. So, once we are through with the NCAA audit process and we are cleared, we will commence immediately. It could be earlier, and it could be early next month, but it depends on the audit; however, we are confident that the audit will end this month because we have already started. So, they will be coming in to do the final paperwork, and once that is done, we are good to go".

According to the ch-aviation fleets advanced, Aero Contractors' entire fleet is currently stored at Lagos. This includes:

Report: Ethiopian Airlines selected as technical partner, core investor of Nigeria Air - THE CABLE

SEPTEMBER 19, 2022

The federal government has reportedly picked Ethiopian Airlines as a technical partner and core investor for the planned national carrier, Nigeria Air.

The selection, according to ThisDay, will be announced soon.

A source at the ministry of aviation told ThisDay that representatives of the ministry had travelled to Addis Ababa to finalise the agreements.

“Yes, we have selected Ethiopian Airlines. We have agreed to work with the airline, and we are hoping to make the announcement soon,” the newspaper quoted the source as saying.

The source added that the ministry had started a training programme for the personnel of the planned national carrier at the Ethiopian Airlines facility in Addis Ababa.

“I heard the minister sent some pilots there some time ago for training. But it was ab-initio training. They are also preparing for the training of pilots on Boeing 737 NG aircraft. Ethiopian will provide the technical management,” the source added.

The source further said that Ethiopian Airlines would provide equipment, technical personnel and management for the airline.

“Ethiopian Airlines has the equipment needed for the startup of the new national carrier, Nigeria Air. It has many Bombardier Dash 8 aircraft, which would be the equipment that would be deployed with the additional deployment of a few Boeing B737 NG aircraft. The airline is most prepared to support the Nigerian government to actualise its national carrier ambition,” the source said.

At the end of the first federal executive council (FEC) meeting in September, Hadi Sirika, minister of aviation, said the federal government had spent N651 million on transaction advisory services for the airline project.

Sirika said the ministry would soon request the council’s approval of the full business case, a public-private partnership guided by the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) regulations.

The federal government had said it would have a five percent stake in the Nigeria Air project with no government control.

In April, Sirika disclosed that Emirates Airlines also indicated an interest in the airline project

The airline had obtained an air transport licence (ATL), the preceding step to acquiring an air operator’s certificate (AOC). The airline applied for the certificate in April 2022.

London’s Heathrow alters 15% of Monday flights for Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral - CNBC

SEPTEMBER 19, 2022


  • Heathrow said it would reduce flights to avoid noise during the queen’s funeral.
  • The funeral is scheduled for Monday, Sept. 19.
  • Some carriers will cancel several flights to reduce noise during the event.

British Airways Airbus A319 aircraft takes off from Heathrow Airport in London, Britain, May 17, 2021. REUTERS/John Sibley
British Airways Airbus A319 aircraft takes off from Heathrow Airport in London, Britain, May 17, 2021. 
John Sibley | Reuters

London’s Heathrow Airport will change about 15% of its Monday flights to avoid noise during Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral. “As a mark of respect, operations to and from the airport will be subject to appropriate changes in order to avoid noise disturbance at certain locations at specific times on Monday,” Heathrow said in a statement Thursday.

British Airways said it will cancel about 50 short-haul flights throughout the day. The airline said that the cancellations are on routes where it operates multiple flights a day and that it plans to utilize larger planes to accommodate passengers. A spokeswoman said the carrier doesn’t expect long-haul flights to be canceled. Britain’s busiest airport said flights would be diverted around Windsor Castle during a private family service.

Airlines agreed to pause arrivals and departures from 11:40 a.m. GMT to 12:10 p.m. GMT to cut noise during a moment of silence, and arrivals from 1:45 p.m. to 2:20 p.m. during a procession of the queen’s hearse. Departures will also be on hold from 3:05 p.m. to 4:45 p.m. during a ceremonial procession to Windsor Castle.

Virgin Atlantic also said it would cancel four flights to and from the airport from Los Angeles and San Francisco: two departures on Sunday and two westbound flights on Monday. “We apologise for any inconvenience caused and thank those affected customers for their understanding during this solemn occasion for the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth,” Virgin Atlantic said in a statement.

Strong quake kills 1, topples three-story building, derails train in Taiwan - CNBC

SEPTEMBER 19, 2022


  • A strong earthquake shook much of Taiwan on Sunday, toppling a three-story building and temporarily trapping four people inside, and knocking part of a passenger train off its tracks.
  • One person died and nine people had minor injuries, Taiwan’s Emergency Operations Center said.
  • The magnitude 6.8 quake was the largest among dozens that have rattled the island’s southeastern coast since Saturday evening, when a 6.4 quake struck the same area.

Firefighters work at the site where a building collapsed following a 6.8-magnitude earthquake, in Yuli, Hualien county, Taiwan September 18, 2022. Taiwan's 0918 Earthquake Central Emergency Operations Centre/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES.
Firefighters work at the site where a building collapsed following a 6.8-magnitude earthquake, in Yuli, Hualien county, Taiwan September 18, 2022. 
Taiwan’s 0918 Earthquake Central Emergency Operations Center | Via Reuters

A strong earthquake shook much of Taiwan on Sunday, toppling a three-story building and temporarily trapping four people inside, stranding about 400 tourists on a mountainside, and knocking part of a passenger train off its tracks.

One person died and nine people had minor injuries, Taiwan’s Emergency Operations Center said.

The magnitude 6.8 quake was the largest among dozens that have rattled the island’s southeastern coast since Saturday evening, when a 6.4 quake struck the same area.

Most of the damage appeared to be north of the epicenter, which Taiwan’s Central Weather Bureau said was in the town of Chishang at the relatively shallow depth of 7 kilometers (4 miles).

In nearby Yuli town, a cement factory worker died and the three-story building, which had a 7-11 convenience store on the ground floor and residences above it, collapsed, the island’s Central News Agency said.

The 70-year-old owner of the building and his wife were rescued first, but it took longer to get to a 39-year-old woman and her 5-year-old daughter.

A photo released by the Hualien city government showed the girl lying on a blanket and being handed down a metal ladder from the top of the debris by helmeted rescue workers in orange uniforms.

The top two stories of the building were left sprawled across a small street and onto the other side, with electricity wires pulled down by the fallen structure.

More than 7,000 households were reported without power in Yuli, and water pipes were also damaged. Shelves and musical instruments fell over at the Mount Carmel Presbyterian Church and a long crack ran down its floor. Outside, the pavement was broken into slabs of concrete.

Police and firefighters rushed to a bridge collapse on a two-lane road in what appeared to be a rural part of the same town where three people and one or more vehicles may have fallen off, according to media reports.

Also in Yuli, a landslide trapped nearly 400 tourists on a mountain famous for the orange day lilies that blanket its slopes this time of year, the Central News Agency said. They had no electricity and a weak cellphone signal.

Debris from a falling canopy on a platform at Dongli station in Fuli town, which is between Yuli and the epicenter at Chishang, hit a passing train, derailing six cars, the Central News Agency said, citing the railway administration. None of the 20 passengers were injured.

The shaking was felt at the north end of the island in the capital, Taipei. In Taoyuan city, west of Taipei and 210 kilometers (130 miles) north of the epicenter, a man was injured by a ceiling collapse on the 5th floor of a sports center.

The Japan Meteorological Agency issued a tsunami advisory for several southern Japanese islands near Taiwan, but later lifted it.


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