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Senate Summons Aviation Minister Over Air Incidents

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aviation
  • Senate Summons Aviation Minister Over Air Incidents

The Senate on Tuesday resolved to summon the Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, to address the chamber in plenary on the recent near air mishaps in the country.

This followed the adoption of a motion moved by Senator Gbenga Ashafa (Lagos-East) and 14 others, entitled, ‘The Need to Minimise the Possibility of Air Mishaps and Near Fatalities in Nigeria’.

The lawmakers unanimously granted the prayers of the motion, including to urge the Minister of State for Aviation “to immediately direct all relevant agencies in the aviation industry to immediately conduct a maintenance and airworthiness audit on all commercial aircraft operating within the Nigerian airspace as well as the training of personnel operating within the industry.”

Many senators, who spoke on the motion, narrated their bad experiences at the airports and during flights and agreed that Sirika should address the chamber and not appear before a committee.

Moving the motion, Ashafa said, “The Senate observes that on the 20th of February, 2018, the story of a near fatal incident involving Dana Air with number 9J0363 hit the news waves. It was reported that the aircraft overshot the runway upon landing at the Port Harcourt airport on a flight from Abuja. This incident was attributed to the wet surface of the runway.

“The Senate recalls that just a few weeks before the afore stated event, there was also panic on Wednesday, 7th of February, 2018, when the emergency door of an aircraft conveying passengers to Abuja fell off upon landing at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja.

“The Senate is concerned that these recent occurrences might be a sign of a sequence of human errors caused by the failure of officials and staff of the agencies saddled with the responsibility of guaranteeing safety to carry out their due diligence before issuing clearance for aircraft to operate within the Nigerian airspace.”

Ashafa recalled that the country had experienced a significant number of air catastrophes that cost the lives of hundreds of Nigerians due to a range of causes, including human and technical errors.

“The Senate states with concern that it is against this backdrop that it has now become imperative to move with speed and alacrity in order to ensure that all relevant agencies in the aviation industry do their work with excellence and minimal human error in order to prevent avoidable loss of human lives,” he added.

Seconding the motion, Senator Chukwuka Utazi recalled that the Deputy Majority Leader, Senator Bala Ibn Na’Allah, had in 2015 moved a similar motion leading to the constitution of an ad hoc committee headed by Senator Rabi’u Kwankwaso, which visited the airports and conducted a public hearing where stakeholders made presentations.

Utazi said, “Most of us, after listening to these people and visiting all the airports, became very afraid of entering planes. I was afraid after listening to the professionals on our airports. And all the issues raised by the Kwankwaso-led committee as of that time, none of them has been addressed.

“Ordinary landing equipment that should be at the airports, the commonest of all things, so that they can land at any time, whether daytime, night time or in the rain, we don’t have them at the airports here.”

In his contribution, Senator Mohammed Lafiagi, identified poor maintenance culture as a major factor responsible for the near incidents.

He said, “First of all is the maintenance culture. Maintenance of these aircraft, perhaps a lot of us may not know, is done outside this country. We have no maintenance facilities for these aircraft. And for the fact that foreign exchange becomes a problem for this industry, a lot of these maintenances are skipped.

“And that may be a major cause. So, we must work towards establishing maintenance facilities in this country.”

The Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, decried that despite efforts by the legislature to intervene in the issues affecting the aviation sector, the Federal Government had yet to take productive steps on the recommendations.

He said, “As the sayings go, make hay while the sun shines, and there is no repentance in the grave. I think it is important that this matter is settled as quickly as possible so that we will be able to be sure that those who fly in Nigeria fly safely.

“I had my own personal experience last month where an aircraft I was on board missed the runway twice. It missed the first one and came back to miss the second one. It was just God who saved us. I am sure that most of us have had similar experiences. It is important for us to ensure that this matter is sorted out. Once anything happens, there is nothing we can do to reverse it.”

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

Government

Lagos Imposes 24 Hour Curfew as #EndSARS Protest Turns Violence

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Sanwo-Olu Imposes 24 Hour Curfew in Lagos as Hoodlums Hijacked #EndSARS Protests

The Executive Governor of Lagos, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Tuesday, imposed a 24-hour curfew on all parts of the state as peaceful #EndSARS protest turned violence amid the destruction of properties and lives.

In a statement released by the governor through his official Twitter account @jidesanwoolu, the governor said “I have watched with shock how what began as a peaceful #EndSARS protest has degenerated into a monster that is threatening the well-being of our society.

“Lives and limbs have been lost as criminals and miscreants are now hiding under the umbrella of these protests to unleash mayhem on our state. As a government that is alive to its responsibility and has shown a commitment to the movement #ENDSARS, we will not watch and allow anarchy in our dear state.”

“I, therefore, hereby impose a 24-hour curfew on all parts of the State as from 4pm today, 20th October,2020. Nobody, except essential service providers and first responders must be found on the streets.”

This was after reports of numerous attacks and destruction of properties by certain elements that the Nigerian youths claimed were sponsored by politicians to disrupt their agitation and invalidate the entire protest.

On Monday, prisoners were freed in Benin, Edo State by unknown individuals either sponsored by politicians or part of the protesters that gone rogue or with different agenda.

In Abuja, a group of thugs (sponsored or not) burnt several vehicles claimed to be parked by peaceful protesters while in Lagos, the story is not different as unscrupulous elements have been stealing and attacking people.

With a 24-hour curfew now in place in Lagos and Edo States, the youths agitating may be forced to eventually meet with the government to discuss their demands and implementation methodology.

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Government

Buhari Bows to Pressure, Overhauls Murderous Police Unit, SARS

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FG, NPF Dissolve SARS Amid Nationwide Protests

President Muhammadu Buhari has finally bowed to pressure to disband the murderous Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) unit of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF).

In a statement released on Sunday, Mohammed Adamu, Nigeria’s Inspector General of Police, said the Special Anti-Robbery Squad unit had been abolished “with immediate effect”. He, however, said SARS officers would be redeployed to other police units, formations and commands that the Nigerian people are saying also needs reform.

 

This was after President Buhari had said he met with the Inspector General of Police on Saturday to discuss reform of the UNIT against a complete overhaul being pushed by millions of harassed, dehumanised and disrespected Nigerian youths.

The statement further aggravated Nigerian youths, who encouraged Nigerians abroad to stage protests across the nation’s embassies in a move to draw international media and organisations to the plight of youths in Africa’s largest economy. Sensing chaos amid expected economic recession in the third quarter, President Buhari and the Nigeria Police Force quickly dissolved the murderous anti-robbery squad to force decorum and calm millions of angry Nigerian youths.

Nigerian youths, both celebrities, influencers and regular people, have used their social media backed with action to compel the Nigerian government, known for blatant disrespect, disregard and the use of counter-protests to suppress and discredit dissenting voice, to finally put to an end a police unit that has killed several youths for owning an iPhone, having a laptop, driving a car or even looking good.

This is a win for the Nigerian youths and sent a strong message to the leaders that youths will no longer tolerate their excesses and henceforth would be demanding accountability, transparency and the right implementation of the rule of law regardless of class, status or position.

To the youths, it validated what the majority have been clamouring for, UNITY that transcends tribes and religions. If Nigerian youths stick together and continue to demand change in one voice with civil disobedience, we will eventually have a Nigeria we all can be proud of.

Congratulations to US!.

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Government

LAMATA Says Lagos Red Rail Project to be Operational by October 2022

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Railway Projects

Lagos Red Rail Project to be Operational in 24 Months

Lagos State Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA) has said the ongoing Lagos Red Rail Line project will be completed for operation in the next 24 months, October 2022 to be precise.

Mrs Abimbola Akinajo, the Managing Director, LAMATA, disclosed this at a milestone meeting on the implementation of the Lagos Rail Mass Transit Red and Blue Line projects in Lagos on Tuesday.

In the meeting with contracts, Akinajo said the gathering was to reaffirm the established positions on timelines for delivery of the rail lines to passengers, according to a statement titled ‘Lagos red rail line will be operational in 24 months’ and signed by Kolawole Ojelabi, Assistant Director, Corporate Communication, LAMATA.

She said, “The red line is supposed to be a quick win because it will share tracks with the Nigerian Railway Corporation on its Lagos – Ibadan rail corridor. There will be no delays, no budget or cost overrun and there will not be any shift in delivery date.

“Our meeting is to take stock of what we have done so far since this project started and to re-emphasise that there is no room for slippage in the delivery of the red line.”

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