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Workers Threaten Showdown With FG over Planned Airport Concession



  • Workers Threaten Showdown With FG over Planned Airport Concession

Workers of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), who were aggrieved that the federal government did not carry them along in the planned concession of airport facilities, have vowed to scuttle activities in all the 22 airports.

The workers are insisting that if government must go ahead with the concession of the facilities, it must meet their (workers’) condition of service-their welfare, which must include severance package, gratuities and pensions, failing, which they would ground activities in all the airports.

The workers’ intransigent stems from their scepticism that government their interests would be protected, if they were not carried along in the concession plan.

A senior official of the Air Transport Service Senior Staff Association (ATSSSAN), FAAN branch, who would not want him name in print, said on Wednesday that workers were shortchanged in all the concessions carried out by government in different sectors of the economy; from the sale of NITEL, ports, Mtel as well as the liquidation of the Nigeria Airways Limited (NAL).

“The workers are worried that the previous concession and sales of government assets were not done in transparent manner. A handful of people ganged up with top government officials to buy over those assets; so we don’t have fate in government and from the way they are going about this planned airport concession, it won’t be different,” the labour official, who is also a senior official of FAAN said.

The official however said that if the government follows due process and carries the workers along, they (workers) would support the plan, adding that so far there is nothing to suggest that the government would do anything different from what it has done in the past.

“What we are asking for is our gratuity, our pension and our severance pay. They should come so that we discuss, if they insist on selling these national assets or they want to concession them; we know that it is not right to sell national assets during recession because government will lose money, but if you allow these assets to appreciate government will earn more. What they will get from the concession now will not even be enough to settle the workers,” the official said.

He noted that “passenger traffic grow gradually and not overnight, so even if the airports are given out in concession it does not mean there will be passenger surge and the concessionaire may not even be able to recoup his investment at the stipulated time.”

“FAAN is self-sustaining. It pays its workers; it manages the airports and pays money to government despite government’s interferences. What we are asking government is to allow FAAN to operate on its own. All the projects carried out in FAAN were funded from internally generated revenue, except the remodeling programme. We took loan from China.

By the way, what is government giving out in concession? What is pressing to us now is the building of second runway in Abuja. Let government give out that in concession and then get a investor to build modular terminal and compete with us under the build, operate and transfer (BOT) arrangement, like what they did with Bi-Courtney and MMA2,” the unionist said.

He expressed concern that government wants to concession the most lucrative airports instead of the ones that are sustained and serviced from the revenues generated from the four major airports in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Kano, which they now plan to concession.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

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Oyo State Budgets N330M Monthly To Support Community Policing In LGAs



Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State

Oyo State Governor, Seye Makinde has said that the state has set aside a monthly budget of N330 million to be spent on security across the 33 local governments in the state.

The governor who disclosed this in Ibadan said each local government in the state is expected to spend N10 million to support the security of lives and property in their domain.

He said part of the measures was the instruction to local government chairmen to involve traditional rulers as well as other voluntary residents in policing their areas.

Each local government is to spend N10 million monthly on this security arrangement.

Makinde explained that the initiative amounts to spending N330 million in the 33 local government areas, besides other efforts the state government had put in place to tighten security.

“We said each local government should set up a security committee, which should include traditional rulers and voluntary people willing to police their areas.

“I encouraged them to budget N10 million to service the committee every month. For the entire state, that’s N330 million per month by all local governments, excluding what we are doing generally at the state level,” the governor told a group on a visit to him during the recent Muslim festival.

“On security, most of the data in the past months shows that things are now improving. The Igangan incident, some days ago, was only falsified by some people who were saying that Fulani herdsmen had invaded Igangan again. The truth is actually about the NCS and smugglers. They know each other.

“Customs officials were accused to have entered Igangan, which is not a border town. But we are working with Federal authorities and they have arrested most of them.

“The gun that was collected is still with us. I said I won’t release it until I get the attention of the Federal authorities.

“In the Constitution of Nigeria, Oyo State is a federating unit. We are not saying Federal agencies should not carry out their operations here. But they must tell us; they must inform us. They may not disclose the details of the operation to us, but we must know about it.

“If we had known about the operation, we would have pre-informed the security detail in the town and those who died could have been alive. The Amotekun Coordinator that died in Igboora would have still been alive today.

“How can you go operating in an unidentified vehicle in a town where the security tactics have been heightened? As they wanted to enter the town, they were confronted because we have heightened security in all of those places.

“So, we will keep appealing to them and to our people that false information won’t help anybody. Nobody will profit politically from the security issues we are faced with. It is our collective responsibility. The people will play their part and the government will play its own part,” Makinde said.

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Security Operatives Arrest Sunday Igboho in Cotonou, Benin Republic



The security operatives in Cotonou, Benin Republic have arrested Yoruba freedom fighter, Sunday Adeyemo, popularly known as Sunday Igboho.

An anonymous source privy to the arrest disclosed on Tuesday morning.

According to the source, Sunday Igboho was arrested in Cotonou while trying to travel to Germany from the West African nation.

President Buhari-led administration is now working with the Benin government to repatriate him to Nigeria.

The source said, “Sunday Igboho has been arrested in Cotonou. He was arrested about an hour ago.

“He was supposed to travel to Germany through Cotonou this night. He wanted to leave Africa through Cotonou. He was arrested by security operatives in Cotonou.

“They are planning to bring him back to Nigeria.”

It would be recalled that the Department of State Services had declared Igboho wanted after its operatives carried out a bloody midnight raid on his residence in the Soka area of Ibadan, Oyo State.

DSS Public Relations Officer, Peter Afunnaya, had advised Igboho to turn himself in to the nearest security.

“Those cheering and eulogizing him may appeal to or advice him to do the needful,” Afunnaya said. “He should surrender himself to the appropriate authorities. He or anyone can never be above the law.”

Pelumi Olajengbesi, one of the lawyers representing Igboho and others arrested in his House, told SaharaReporters he had not confirmed the news of Igboho’s arrest in Cotonou.

“I will contact Yomi Aliu (SAN) to verify the news,” he said.

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IOM Ethiopia Appeals for USD 40 Million to Assist Additional 1.6 Million People in Northern Ethiopia



Northern Ethiopia - Investors King

Nearly two million people affected by the crisis in northern Ethiopia desperately need life-saving assistance, including water, medicine and shelter, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) said today as it issued an urgent appeal for USD 40 million to help internally displaced men, women and children, including newborn babies. 

Since the outbreak of the conflict eight months ago in Ethiopia’s Tigray Regional State, millions of people are enduring unimaginable suffering, including forced displacement, hunger, death, and destruction of private and public property.

In Tigray, IOM has been providing support to more than half a million people, including displaced children, women, men, and vulnerable groups such as pregnant women and persons with disabilities. This includes shelter and provision of essential items such as food, water, clothing, medicine and supplies for babies, as well as sanitation and hygiene services.

IOM has also been supporting camp coordination and management efforts, providing mental health care to those in need, and producing Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) reports to shed light on the evolving situation.

Nearly USD 70 million (USD 69.3M) is needed to respond to the needs of internally displaced populations in northern Ethiopia but only USD 28.7 million has been received this year. IOM needs an extra USD 40.6 million for the remainder of 2021 to be able to continue and further expand its response to help the displaced.

“The nearly two million people displaced by this crisis continue to live in inhumane and undignified conditions and require critical and urgent support,” said Maureen Achieng, IOM Chief of Mission to Ethiopia and Representative to the African Union and UNECA. “IOM Director General António Vitorino said it before, and we say it again: we must act without delay to meet the needs of people in the region.”

The situation in Tigray remains volatile. In partnership and coordination with other UN agencies, IOM is committed to delivering life-saving humanitarian assistance, to continue reaching people in need. IOM is planning to significantly scale up response programming and increase the deployment of senior IOM staff in the region despite the severe shortage of funding.

IOM’s response is aligned with the Inter-Cluster Coordination Group’s (ICCG) – a cooperative effort among sectors and the Humanitarian Country Team to improve the national response – Northern Ethiopia Response Plan, which estimates that 5.2 million people are in dire need in the worst-case scenario of this escalating humanitarian crisis.

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