- FG Approves N2.6bn to Pay Pension Increment Arrears
The Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate has approved the payment of the final tranche of the six months’ arrears of 33 per cent pension increment to pensioners.
According to PTAD, the payment would be paid to 103,710 civil service pensioners.
The pension directorate recalled that in July 2010, the Federal Government announced a 33 per cent pension increase for pensioners.
The Federal Government began the payment of the increment from January 2014 leaving arrears of 42 months.
Out of the 42 months that were outstanding as at 2014, 24 months were paid in 2016; six months were paid in 2017, while six months were paid in November 2018.
PTAD stated that, “The directorate has now cleared the backlog of the 33 per cent pension arrears of three main departments of Civil Service Pension Department, Police Pension Department and Customs, Immigration and Prisons Pension Department.
“The directorate has also assured that backlog of 33 per cent arrears owed parastatal pensioners will be cleared in due course.”
FG To Reopen Nigerian Airspace to International Flights in Weeks
Buhari Plans to Reopen Nigerian Airspace to International Flights
The Federal Government has said it would reopen the nation’s airspace to international flights in few weeks.
Hadi Sirika, the Minister of Aviation, disclosed this on Thursday in Abuja during the briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.
The Airspace was closed in March to curb the spread of COVID-19 in Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation. However, with economies gradually reopening despite lack of a viable vaccine for the ravaging coronavirus, President Muhammadu Buhari led administration has decided to join other global nations and reopen the Nigerian airspace to international flight operations.
This was after Nigeria’s largest carrier, Air Peace announced it would be letting go 70 pilots due to the impacts of COVID-19 on the airline financial position.
Also, earlier this week Bristow Helicopter announced it would let go about 100 pilots and engineers as it can no longer support them financially. This series of sacks in the aviation sector likely prompted the Federal Government to reconsider its position on airspace lockdown.
Sirika said, “So we really want to open. But we can’t open alone, for within the space where we operate we’ve got all kinds of people there in the airports.
“We’ve got immigration, police, Customs, civil defense, port health, etc, and so the PTF has set up a technical committee to come up with a date when everybody will be happy to start.”
The minister added, “So we will open as soon as all of us are happy to open. And I want to adopt what the coordinator has said; it will be in weeks rather than in months.”
Sirika, however, urged Nigerians not to blame officials for the current situation in the aviation sector.
He said, “On the question about the reopening of the airports, I will like to use this medium to reiterate and to be consistent with what we’ve been saying. I want people to understand that this is not purely an aviation function.
“It also has to do with our health and is so huge that it made Mr. President in his wisdom to set up the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19. This is in the interest of the nation.”
Association of Aircraft Pilots Goes After Bristow, Air Peace, Gives Them Two Weeks Ultimatum
NAAPE Gives Bristow, Air Peace Two Weeks Ultimatum to Reverse Action
The National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE) has issued a two-week ultimatum to Airlines, which have sacked or planning to sack their Pilots and Engineers, to reverse the action or they would withdraw their service across all Airlines.
Earlier in the week, shortly after NAAPE directed all its members working with Bristow to discontinue their service, the management of Bristow Helicopter immediately announced it would sack about 100 pilots and engineers over a period of few weeks to better manage its weak financial position caused by COVID-19 pandemic.
The announcement was made on the same day, Air Peace, Nigeria’s largest carrier, disclosed that it would also be letting go about 70 pilots due to a similar reason.
Comrade Abednego Galadinma, the President, NAAPE, who spoke on the situation at a press conference held at Airport Hotel in Ikeja Lagos, said: “We demand that Bristow and Air Peace should immediately recall all sacked Pilots and Aircraft Engineers until all labour issues are resolved or be grounded by NCAA because of attendant safety concerns created by their action.
“As a result of the known consequences of these illegal actions and our commitment to patriotic fervour, we shall be forced to withdraw our guarantee of industrial peace within the industry if this call is not heeded within two weeks.
”Our union will be left with no other option but to withdraw the services of Pilots and Aircraft Maintenance Engineers across all the airlines.’’
Galadinma added that some of the airlines were operating during the lockdown which means the COVID -19 which they are using as an excuse did not affect revenue from essential services like oil and gas.
It would be recalled that Bristow Helicopter had blamed its decision on the disruption of services in the oil and gas sector.
Therefore, Galadinma said “Operators especially Bristow Helicopters have rendered our members redundant despite assurances by government of support for their businesses in return for operators not laying off staff.
“These operators are already running on lean manpower with disproportionate number being expatriates yet, without regards to our expatriates and local content laws and executive order (5) they gave gone ahead to lay off staff under the guise of COVID-19 pandemic.”
“And they cannot be using COVID-19 as an excuse because the cessation of flight operations did not affect essential services like the oil and gas and Bristow and Caverton were operating during the lockdown. In fact, you’d recall that our members were held by the Rivers State Government during the lockdown, so how can they be using COVID-19 as an excuse.
”it is on record that Bristow Helicopters operated throughout the lockdown supporting oil and gas operations with government approval and guarantees service contracts in the same national interest but are now using COVID-19 to force redundancy on our members.
CACOVID, Dangote Announce Palliative for Families Across Nigeria
CACOVID to Provide Palliative for Families Across Nigeria
The Private Sector Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID-19) led by the Chairman of Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, on Thursday announced they will be flagging off a palliative scheme for families across the nation.
According to a statement released through the Group official Twitter handle @cacovidng, each family that benefits from the palliative scheme would receive below food items.
The statement reads “At the moment, we’re flagging off the palliative scheme across the country. For every family that benefits from the scheme, we will be handing over the below essential food materials.
“We have Isolation Centers functional across all 36 states of the country, equipped with state of the art equipment that will cater for everybody who comes down with COVID19. These facilities are stocked with the essential tools to aid the management of the pandemic.
“CACOVID is majorly comprised of private sector individuals, with the aim of serving as a buffer for the effects of the pandemic. With this in mind, we can assure that there are no political affiliations needed to benefit from the Palliatives scheme.”
The statement noted that the allocations were agreed upon by the Nigerian Governors Forum but the allocation itself is presently being carried out by the PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PwC), the Group partner.
“To balance our efforts and ensure efficiency, we’re still running a sensitization campaign to make sure everyone understands that COVID19 is deadly, not propaganda and can infect anybody,” CACOVID-19 stated.
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