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Hadi Sirika says Aviation industry is the worse hit by COVID-19

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Hadi Sirika says Aviation industry is the worse hit by COVID-19

**Pleads with senators not to tamper with ministry’s budget

Minister of Aviation,  Hadi Sirika has indicated that the aviation industry witnessed the worse effect in terms of the negative impact of COVID-19 pandemic.
Honourable Sirika made the stated this on Monday while fielding questions from members of the Joint Senate Committee on Finance and Planning.
The joint committee which has Senators Solomon Olamilekan Adeola and Olubunmi Adetunmbi as chairman and co-chairman, respectively commenced public hearing on the  2021-23 Medium Term Expenditure Framework /Fiscal Strategy Paper, last Tuesday.

He said the industry will still suffer from the hangover effect until quarter four of 2021 and perhaps quarter one of 2022.
“We will continue to see sharp decline in passengers and that is directly proportional to the revenue that we collect, because people’s confidence has to be raised.”

“They have to begin to want to fly again and certain factors that encourages propensity to fly are also being eroded during this period.
“So we are in a difficult and challenging times and we do not have solutions to it even as advanced countries are spending huge amounts of money to support civil aviation businesses.
“The government, because of the challenge of funding has not been able to respond to civil aviation requests and civil aviation funding like other countries have done.”
“Take for example the COVID-19, we are the greatest hit sector. At the time when we came and in order to implement our agenda, which is called aviation road map, when we began to implement it we slowly became the second fastest growing sector. Within the three years of implementation of that roadmap, we became in 2018, the second fastest growing sector of the Nigerian economy and just before COVID-19, we became the fastest growing sector in the Nigerian economy.

“But unfortunately, COVID came and we shut down. We are not in the business of selling phones that we can still sell and get the required revenue. The revenue for yesterday is lost.”

The minister therefore urged the National Assembly not to tinker with the budgetary provisions for the agencies under his supervision. 

He declared that such move under the guise to cut cost was inimical to the survival of the aviation industry.
The Aviation Minister plea was sequel to the observation of Senator Adeola who claimed that some of the agencies in the Aviation Ministry were unwieldy and needed to be streamlined.

The Senator representing Lagos West said allocation to such agencies would be channeled to the national budget. 

The Aviation Minister faulted the suggestion as he said denying the sector needed fund could undermine its growth.
He declared that Aviation was the second fastest growing  sector after the telecommunication industry but expressed regret that the pandemic, Coronavirus has since slowed down its pace.

He said:” On the question regarding challenging times and whether the overhead of the agencies could  be mopped up to fund the national budget, I don’t think so. I don’t think so because of the nature of both the Ministry and its agencies and what is facing us.

To address paucity of fund, the Aviation Minister revealed that plan was in the offing to concession airport across the country to mitigate the challenge.

“If government is not able to fund us because of the challenge of income, then government should not take the little that we have. Every single agency in civil aviation is so critical that we need to fund it and because we understand the nature of this business, that was why we have now introduced the concession of our airports. 

“We have now done the outline business case, we are now going ahead for the procurement to concession this airports. The reason is simple and that is because this government, the All Progressives Congress administration, is social democratic in nature, it does not want to sell national assets. It wants to keep the assets with the people but we can concession them and improve them to make them better. We are very sure that when we do that we will improve the revenue of the nation.”

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Appointment

Reps Committee says it will not hesitate to summon Buhari as Minister of Petroleum over alleged irregularities in NNPC

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By Aminci Audu

The House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum has said it will not hesitate to invite President Muhammadu Buhari to appear before it it as the Minister of Petroleum, should the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation,
(NNPC) fail to turn up to explain on some alleged irregularities

The committee gave the  NNPC two weeks ultimatum to appear and explain alleged on the alleged irregularities in the corporation

The ultimatum was issued by the chairman of the committee, Rep. Sarki Ada (APC-Sokoto) at a public hearing on Thursday, following the refusal of NNPC to honour invitations or reply to letters.
The committee chairman indicated that they have invited some oil companies; namely the NNPC, Addax Petroleum Company Ltd and Santex Nig Ltd, to appear before them and they have failed to show up

“We are giving them two weeks from today. We will reschedule this meeting for two weeks calendar days, to appear before the committee so we continue our business.
He said the committee will not hesitate to invite President Buhari to appear before it as the Minister of Petroleum, if they fail to turn up.
“Buhari is the minister, he appointed himself as approved by the parliament and he is doing his job; we will invite him, and I know as a law-abiding president, he will come.
“When he comes, Nigeria should know that it is because of the failure of the NNPC to appear that made him to appear before us,”he said.
Ada said that the committee had asked for relevant documents to investigate the activities of the NNPC, and the corporation had refused to oblige the committee.

“We have written three letters to them at an interval of three months each requesting for their budget performance and list of assets they are holding and managing on behalf of Nigerians.
“We asked for a list of their liabilities, what are the contracts they are executing, who are the contractors, the companies and what is the progress made.
“We have asked for details of how much they generate from the sales of crude oil produce, how much they are managing on behalf of Nigeria through other joint ventures, until today, there is no response.
“Time has come that we must speak, this country belongs to all of us, we are here as statutory Nigerians,” he said.
The Minister of State for Petroleum, Mr Timipre Sylva, promised to deliver the message of the committee to the NNPC.

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IGP redeploys CP Abutu Yaro to Imo Command, 5 other CPs affected

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IGP redeploys CP Abutu Yaro to Imo Command, 5 other CPs affected

The Inspector General of Police, Ag. IGP Usman Alkali Baba, has appointec CP Abutu Yaro, as the Imo State new Commissioner of Police (CP).
In a statement issued on Tuesday in Abuja by the Force Public Reations officer CP Frank Mba, he indicated that the posting of the new CP is in furtherance of efforts by the Police leadership towards strengthening security, tackling violent crimes and enhancing optimal coordination of policing operations within the State.
He said, CP Abutu Yaro, a fellow of the National Defence College and the immediate-past Commissioner of Police, Zamfara State Command, is an operationally-minded Cop.
“By this new development, Abutu Yaro takes over from CP Nasiru Mohammed who has been redeployed to Western Port Authority, Lagos.

He pointed out that the Zamfara State Police Command also has a new Commissioner of Police, CP Hussaini Rabiu.
Other Commissioners of Police affected by the new posting and redeployment he listed to include CP John Amadi, mni who has been posted from Western Port Authority, Lagos to Airport Police Command, Ikeja, Lagos; CP Anderson Bankole who is now in charge of the Police Special Fraud Unit (PSFU), Ikoyi, Lagos; and CP Joe Nwachukwu Enwonwu, posted to the Department of Finance and Administration (DFA), Force Headquarters, Abuja as the Commissioner of Police, DFA.  
 
The IGP, while charging the newly posted officers to bring to bear their professional experience in improving policing and restoring public confidence in their new places of assignment, assured citizens of the determination of the Force under his leadership to upscale its operations, improve public safety and tackle all forms of crimes in the country.

 

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Ramadan: Zamfara gov donates food items to inmates

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Ramadan: Zamfara gov donates food items to inmates

Zamfara State Governor Bello Mohammed Matewalke has donated food items to inmates at the Gusau Correctional facility.

Represented by his Commissioner of Special Duties, Hon. Lawal Abubakar Zannan Badarawa the Governor gave the inmates 100 bags of rice, 100 bags of maize, 100 bags of millet and 100 bags of sugar.
The items were all handed over to the Deputy Comptroller Mr. Yunusa Ibrahim Ada.

Matawalle, according to a statement by his Director General, Media, Public Enlightment and Communications, Yusuf Idris Gusau, called on the inmates to consider their being in the facility as part of their destiny in life and for them to use their stay for sober reflection so that they will be good citizens that will contribute positively to societal growth.

He urged them to continue to pray for the peace and development of both the state and the nation, noting that people who are incacerated and consider their punishment as corrective, get their prayers answered easily by Allah.

He assured that his administration will continue to make the state better and conducive for more investors and economic growth which will bring more employment opportunities and eliminate criminalities.

Earlier in the day, the governor donated 170 bags each of sugar and assorted grains to the state’s Council of Chiefs as well as 300 bags of assorted grains to the Peoples Democratic Party state Working Committee all in the spirit of the Ramadan fast.

While at the Correctional facility, the Deputy Comptroller, DCC Yunusa Ibrahim Ada thanked the governor for the donation as he promised that the items will be judiciously utilized.
Ada who told the governor that both the wardens and the inmates have been praying for the governor especially in his drive to rid the state of criminal activities also said they will not relent in that direction.

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