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Lagos Metro Rail: Phase 1 to be Completed by Next Week; Lagos State Government

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Lagos Train

Lagos state government has announced that phase one of the blue line rail will be completed by next week.

This was disclosed in a post shared on Twitter by the Senior Special Assistance (SSA) to Lagos State Governor, Hon Jibril Gawat.

According to the notice, Lagosians are invited to witness the official completion of phase one (Blue Rail) which span from Marina to Mile 2.

Investors King understands that Lagos which is the most populous state in Nigeria and the economic nerve of the country is investing in its transportation system to ease the movement of people and goods. 

The rail network is expected to move 500,000 passengers daily, 3.5 million passengers weekly and 15 million passengers a month with the potential to increase the numbers in the near future. 

Apart from rail transportation which has two parts of the blue line and red line, the state government has also enhanced water transportation with new safety equipment. 

It would be recalled that Lagos Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu had noted in September that the state will test run its Blue Rail Line train service project in December 2022. The governor disclosed this at the historic launch of the last track beam (T-beam) for the blue line rail

While commending the contractors for the work done so far, Babajide Sanwolu added that the construction of the second phase of the Blue Line project would commence after the start of the operation, which would extend the rail project from Mile 2 to Okokomaiko, with stations built at Festac, Alakija, Trade Fair, Volkswagen, LASU and Okokomaiko.

In addition, the governor stated that discussions are ongoing with Ogun State Government for a possible extension of the rail line to Agbara, making it much easier for people to transit between both states. 

Already, Lagos State Government has begun payment of compensation to 800 people affected by the right of way of the 32km Lagos Rail Mass Transit (LRMT) Red line project in Ogun State.

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International Students in UK May Work Ten Extra Hours as Job Shortages Worsen

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The United Kingdom is facing the challenge of job shortages that is already berthing economic losses to institutions and organisations, Investors King has learnt.

The situation is fuelling inflation in the country, especially in the area of offsetting wages of the shrinking labour force.

It was gathered that most companies and organisations had to pay higher for workers who have had to work more and spend more time on duties.

Accordingly, Investors King can report that the situation of decline in manpower is affecting the country’s productivity and rendering of services.

To tackle the challenge, the government of the United Kingdom might be planning to review upward the number of hours international students can work during their studies.

It’s expected that when the extension is done, widening job vacancies across the country would be filled and inflation would be abated.

The nation’s ministers, after due diligence and planning, might extend the work hour limit for international students from 20 to 30 hours per week or to remove it completely.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt was said to have indicated desire to boost the workforce in order to prevent employers from spending heavily on the existing workers.

It was gathered that the policy, if considered, would afford the students opportunity to work more and meet up with the financial needs even as they are contributing t the economic growth of the country.

The employment gaps were created following increasing economic challenge and the withdrawal process of the United Kingdom from the European Union.

Meanwhile, the consideration of the extension of the work hours for international students have been greeted with mixed feelings from stakeholders.

While some said the students would benefit in it if it is eventually adopted in terms of fetching them more money and boosting their job experience, others have expressed concerns that the development may affect the academic performance of the international students.

Some Nigerians were of the view that their relations schooling in the UK wouldn’t be affected negatively as it would encourage more people to study in the country.

For them, working longer hours while studying can help address the hike in the cost of living owing to the effects of inflation in the UK.

“If it can be done, I believe it will help a lot of us studying here in UK. We can strike a balance between our studies and work and I can assure you that there won’t be problem in either our work or studies.

“Due to the expensive prices if things here, we will be happy to over more sources whereby we can make legitimate income and this planned work extension would be a welcome idea to us studying here,” a Masters student in UK who simply identified himself as Wumi told Investors King.

However, others contended that the policy would make students to struggle with making good grades in their careers.

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NAHCO Says Strike Didn’t Cause Major Business Loss, Plans Salary Increment Dialogue With Workers

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The Nigerian Aviation Handling Company Plc (NAHCO) has stated that the industrial action recently embarked on by airport workers did not cause a great loss in the sector.

It assured that negotiations on the agitation for salary increment for workers would begin on Wednesday, January 25, 2023 to Saturday, January 28th, 2023.

Investors King recalls that in the early hours of Monday, January 23, 2023, both local and international airports were shut down and flights grounded due to the strike of some aviation workers but at about 3pm that same day, the strike was called off and work continued. 

In a press statement obtained by Investors King on Wednesday, signed by the Company Secretary, Dikko & Mahmoud Solicitors, Bello Abdullahi, clarifications were presented on what transpired.

Abdullahi explained that the industrial action was embarked on by some members of staff of the National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) and Air Transport Senior Staff Services Association (ATTSSSAN) to request for salary increase and protest NAHCO Management as touching their demands.

According to him, their action was in violation of the pronouncement by the National Industrial Court on 20th January 2023.

“The withdrawal of services by the striking workers led to NAHCO Plc’s inability to provide service to our client airlines. The resultant effect was that scheduled flights were unable to operate from our airport stations across the country, thereby leaving passengers stranded across the various airports,” he stated.

Abdullahi disclosed that a meeting was held by the NAHCO Plc management, the affected unions, the Federal Airport Authority (FAAN), the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), the Department of State Security (DSS) and other stakeholders at NAHCO Plc Head Office in Lagos on Monday.

He highlighted the resolutions enacted at the meeting as:

  1. The discontinuance of the suit filed against the NUATE and ATTSSSAN unions at the National Industrial Court.
  2.  Issuance of a counteroffer to the Union’s demands by the NAHCO Plc Management before close of business of Monday, January 23, 2023.
  3.  Commencement of negotiations on salary increment on Wednesday, January 25, 2023 and conclusion by Saturday, January 28th, 2023.
  4.  The immediate resumption of all staff to work.
  5. Non-victimization of staff due to participation in the strike action.

The Company Secretary then assured the public and shareholders of the organisation’s commitment to quality delivery of aviation services.

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Passengers Stranded as Local, International Airports Officials Embark on Strike

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In the early hours of Monday, aircraft commuters were stranded as the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company Plc (NAHCO) commenced industrial action over workers’ salary increase.

Investors King reports that several local and international airports were closed down leaving the passengers outside and unattended to.

This was observed at Murtala Muhammed Airport Terminal Two, (MMA2) Lagos, Murtala Muhammed International Airport, (MMIA), Air France/KLM, Qatar, Ethiopian Airlines, Delta Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, Turkish Air and some others where NAHCO handles check-in, boarding and ramp services.

Passengers have lamented the situation, saying that no information, notice nor emails were sent to them to inform them ahead.

One of the international airport customers, Alex Nwuba who already booked a flight to Qatar, said he was disappointed when a member of NAHCO staff told them that they will not attend to any passenger because they are on strike.

He said the Qatar flight he ought to board already landed in the morning but has flown to Doha since there is no body to handle it.

Travellers whose flights have been delayed or rescheduled called for urgent attention to forestall further grounding of flights.

Investors King learnt that the NAHCO management had a meeting with its staff on Sunday before embarking on the strike action on Monday. 

According to an aviation analyst, Daniel Young, the situation will result in enormous financial losses by passengers if not solved timely.

“These individuals who pepertrate these actions are obviously oblivious of the long term efffects of some of those insensitive decisions they take. This behaviour by NACHO staff portrays the company as one whose self distruct code is activated. Even more so, it affects the overall perception of the country and the aviation industry,” he said.

Young urged the federal government to intervene before the matter gets out of hand as the country is currently going through a lot.

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