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FG Reopens Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Seeks Users Commitment

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FG Seeks Users’ Commitment as it Reopens Ibiam Airport

The Federal Government has urged Travellers from the south-east region to increase their commitment towards the Aviation sector as it reopened the Akanu Ibiam International Airport in Enugu.

This was disclosed by Hadi Sirika, the Minister of Aviation, who represented President Muhammadu Buhari at the reopening ceremony on Sunday.

It would be recalled that on August 24, 2019, FAAN shut down the operation of the Akanu Ibiam International Airport in response to the complaints of prominent people of the South East region, who called government attention to the deplorable state of the airport. They described it ‘as a death trap.’

The Federal Government through the Ministry of Aviation swung into action immediately and rehabilitated the airport to avoid a potential catastrophe.

Upon completion, Sirika urged the people in the region to increase their commitment by using the airport to the fullest of its capacity.

The Minister said “FAAN management has been given the mandate to ensure that periodic maintenance is carried out diligently so that we will not have to go through a painful experience of closure again. May I ask the government and people in this region to increase their commitment by using this airport to the fullest of its capacity? This airport will be placed in concession to ensure value for money.”

He said the rehabilitation of the airport had shown the president dedication towards the infrastructural development of the South-east.

Sirika explained that the airport has been upgraded to international standards and very soon international carriers would be landing and taking off passengers from there.

“With the airport reopening today, it is now open to local flights and on the 5th September, international flights will resume as soon as we begin to allow them into the country.

“In the next few days, most flights will commence. Ethiopian Airlines and
many other airlines that receive approval to come here will come here.” Sirika said.

He said it was the wishes of some stakeholders in the aviation industry to limit international flight services to only Lagos and Abuja airports, but he ensured that Enugu, Port Harcourt and Kano airports were upgraded for international operations to satisfy travellers from the regions.

“Stakeholders wanted us to only make Abuja and Lagos airport international airports and use smaller aircraft to ferry passengers to their locations. I am a policy maker and look at the haves and the have-nots. It will cost an average businessman about $1,000 to book hotel and board flights to come down to these airports from Lagos and Abuja. We will serve you where you are. I made sure Enugu airport meets all international standard that it requires,” Sirika said.

The minister applauded the efforts of the Enugu State government, NCAA and FAAN in ensuring that the rehabilitating of the airport was successful.

“I also thank the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) for performing their duties and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, (FAAN) for giving the project all the attention it deserves.
Sirika stated.

The airport is currently opened for daylight operations between 6:30 am to 7:00 pm.

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Julius Berger Diversifies into Agro-processing

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Julius Berger Steps into Agro-processing to Seize Diversification Opportunity

Julius Berger, a leading construction company in Nigeria, said its board of directors has approved a diversification opportunity for the firm in agro-processing.

The approval was done at a meeting held on September 22, the company stated in a statement filed with the Nigerian Stock Exchange on Thursday.

Julius Berger said the approval would help the company capitalised on diversification opportunities in the agro-processing industry, especially with the emerging developments in Nigeria and government ongoing reforms to make the nation self-sufficient.

The statement read in part: “We would advise the exchange and the capital market that the Board of Julius Berger at its meeting held on September 22, 2020 approved a diversification opportunity for the company in agro-processing.

“The Board of Directors and the executive management of Julius Berger strongly believes that this diversification direction would support the continued success of the group in the future and align with the strategic objective of the government to stimulate value creation in Nigeria.

However, Julius Berger reiterated its commitment to maintaining and strengthening its leadership in the nation’s construction sector.

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Some Nigerians Are Charging Ship Owners Illegal $36,000 Per Month for Secure Anchorage

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Ship Owners Are Paying Illegal $36,000 Per Month for Secure Anchorage in Nigeria

Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, the Minister of Transportation, on Thursday said certain people are charging ship owners illegal $1,200 per day for secure anchorage in Nigeria.

The minister registered his displeasure with continuous patronage of illegal harbours known within the circle as secure anchorage areas.

Amaechi, who spoke at the ‘2020 World Maritime Day Celebration which held at Eko Hotel and Suites in Lagos’ said the issue was unsettling.

He said, “There is a crisis in the maritime sector. The crisis is on the issue of security.

“Today, we have a single individual partnering with the military that is collecting $1,200 to the detriment of shipping companies.

“That one individual is still managing the business with support of other institutions.”

The minister also accused stakeholders of doing nothing to these individuals, saying only the government had the right to step up secure anchorage area

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174,574 Persons Apply For COVID-19 Support Fund Within 48 Hours

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Survival Fund: 174,574 Persons Apply For COVID-19 MSME Support

More Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) has applied for Federal Government financial support under the Nigeria Economic Sustainability Plan.

According to the agency in charge of the program, within 48 hours of opening the registration portal of N75 billion National Survival Fund, a total of 174,574 applications were successfully registered for both the Guaranteed Off-take Stimulus and Survival Fund schemes.

The schemes were instituted to support businesses and individuals negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mariam Katagum, Minister of State for Industry, Trade and Investment, on Thursday in Abuja said as at “8.30am this (Thursday) morning, total successful registrations stood at 174,574.”

She further stated that “the following states have the highest applications as follows, Kano, 19,895; Kaduna, 13,575; Lagos, 13,640; Katsina: 8,383; Federal Capital Territory, 8,085.

Katagum said about 138,000 applications were registered within the first 24 hours of opening the portal, these applicants created profiles and completed the first stage of registration with Kano, Kaduna and Lagos emerging as lead states.

She explained that all successful applicants were sent SMS and email verification with a list of requirements for the second stage of application which would commence on October 1, 2020.

Applicants will be required to upload details supporting their applications which will be verified and if successful, approved for disbursements,” the minister stated.

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