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Senate says it will be counter productive to unlock the Aviation Sector now

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Senate says it will be counter productive to unlock the Aviation Sector now 

The Senate has declared that it would be counter productive for the federal government of Nigeria to unlock the Aviation Sector this Sunday as earlier planned.

The upper legislative chamber’s committee on Aviation raised  the concern after an  emergency meeting with leaders of unions in the sector led by the National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers .

Call for suspension of the easing on the lockdown on the sector this coming Sunday, was also canvassed by the union leaders in the sector on the need for required bailouts to be given first before re-starting it otherwise they would embark on strike action. 

The Federal government had penultimate week, fixed Sunday, June 21, 2020 as date for commencement of domestic flights in five major Airports across the country after about 75 days of  lockdown in curtailing the spread of  Coronavirus pandemic.
The Senate Committee on Aviation after being briefed by the Unionists in the sector on the inherent danger in the plan, called on the federal government to suspend it for now.  Specifically, the Chairman of the Committe,, Senator Smart Adeyemi ( APC Kogi West), said based on serious issues raised by stakeholders in the sector as regards safety and security, plan of  unlocking it should be postponed .

“As submitted by the key players in the Sector, many of the Pilots have lost currency and needed to be re- certified ,   Certificates of Airworthiness of most of the Aircrafts have expired , most of the workers are  owed salaries or on half salary since the lockdown began in March .

” These are serious issues directly connecting to safety and security aside required intervention that must be made by government in form of bailouts for the operators .

“Added to this , is the strike action being threatened by the Aviation workers and since it better to have strike actions in the sector by aggrieved workers than a crash , there is need for government to tarry a bit on the plan unlocking of the sector this Sunday”, he said. .

Former Minister of Aviation , Senator Stella Oduah ( PDP Anambra North ) , concurred with Adeyemi and the Aviation stakeholders on the need to suspend unlocking of the sector for now .

Leaders  of  various unions in the Sector like Comrade Galadima Abednego ,  the National President of National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers, Comrade Ilitrus Ahmadu , National President of Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria and Comrade Nnamdi Hector , the General Secretary of Joint Aviation Trade Union Forum , had in their submissions  , painted gloomy picture of the sector  and imminent danger of restarting it this Sunday.

Comrade Abednego in his submission told the Committee members that many of the Pilots have lost their currency as a result of the lockdown spanning about 75 days now .

According to him, each of the Pilots requires $30,000 for re- currency or re- certification in the face of none payment of salaries .
“Most of the Airlines have either disengaged their pilots during the lockdown or not able to pay them full salaries , treating us as modern day slaves  

“Therefore , before restarting the sector , Pilots and Aircrafts must be re- certified for safety and security , which have not been done .
” Aside that , many of the Airlines need urgent financial intervention to remain afloat , the very reason , government needs to give out bailouts to the operators “, he said .
Painting a more gloomy picture in  his own submission , Comrade Ilitrus Ahmadu of the Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria , said restarting the sector now would be recipe for disaster as many of the workers are hungry and angry due to  none payment of salaries .
He said : “Even federal government owned agencies in the sector like Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria ( FAAN) , is involved in the none salary payment to workers. 
“Those that are paying since the lockdown, are either paying  half or quarter salary to their  workers .
“There is also need for government to subsidise Aviation fuel and even the Airports need to be properly prepared in terms of of fumigation as well as required  protocol for health and safety”.

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Gov Bello grieves over death of Adeboye’s son, condoles with family

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Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State has expressed deep sorrow over the demise of the son of the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Enoch Adeboye

He extended his cindolence to the Adeboye family and the entire RCCG over the loss of Pastor Dare Adeboye.
The Governor’s condolence message was contained in a statement issyef on Thursday by the Governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Muhammed Onogwu

He noted that the death of the highly revered minister’s son was a deep pain in the heart, which cannot be explained unless by those who have had similar experience.
Bello noted that despite the heaviness of the loss he urged the General Overseer to take the son’s death as the will of God Almighty.

He said only God can console the Adeboye family and give them the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.
Late Pastor Dare Adeboye was an assistant Pastor at the church’s branch in Eket, Akwa Ibom State.
The 42-year-old clergy died in his sleep on Wednesday

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56 days after abduction freed 27 students arrive State Police Command, Kaduna

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After 56 days in the kidnappers den 27 students abducted by bandits from Federal College of Forestry Mechanisation, Afaka, Kaduna have regained their freedom.

The students were released in Kindanda village, Giwa local government area of the state.
The Sheikh Abubakar Gumi dialogue committee with support from former President Olusegun Obasanjo was said to have facilitated theur release was on Wednesday

The students are the remainder of the 39 abducted two months ago as 10 were released earlier after payment of ransom by parents and the school management, two others had escaped from captivity.
Chairman of the parents’ forum, Mallam Abdullahi Usman, commended the roles played by Obasanjo, Sheikh Gumi and other stakeholders, saying “their facilitation was very helpful in the release of the students.”
Asked if additional ransom was paid to the bandits before the release, Usman said: “I cannot confirm whether ransom was paid or not. Our main joy and happiness is that our students are back.”

Recall that Parents of the kidnapped students on Tuesday protested the prolonged abduction of their wards at the National Assembly complex.

The freed students are different from the 16 students of Greenfield University, Kaduna, who are yet to be released Their kidnappers are threatening to kill enmass, if ransom is not paid.
The freed students were received at the state Police Command Headquarters.
The students, who were escorted by security agents, arrived in two 18-seater Hiace buses and an ambulance. Most of the students appeared weak and could barely walk, as one of the female students was carried by a security agent on mufti.
It was observed that majority of the students appeared in tattered clothes. Some were in their night wears while others dressed half-clad. Journalists were barred from taking shots of the students as they were led into the conference hall of the police command.
Governor Nasir El-Rufai in a statement by Aruwan, charged the students to view their ordeal as a motivation to put the past behind and work hard towards a happier and successful future ahead.

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Inter faith group to champion campaign on maternal mortality in Nasarawa

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From Abel Daniel, Lafia

A group of Muslims and christian clerics in Nasarawa state has expressed their readiness to champion the campaign on Family Planning(FP) and Child Birth Spacing(CBS) to reduce maternal mortality rate.

The group made their intentions known yesterday at a three day workshop organized by The Challenge initiative(TCI), state ministry of health to strengthen the sensitization campaign towards ensuring adequate awareness fot women in remote communities in the state.

Amongst the participants at the 3 day workshop which held at Kini country hotel Akwanga yesterday are pastors, imams, Muslims and christian scholars both men and women.

The director public Health, state ministry of Health, Dr. Hassan Ibrahim in a remark at the workshop noted that FP/CBS has accounted for 30% reduction in maternal mortality in the country.

Dr. Ibrahim however expressed optimism that with religious clerics at the forefront of FP and CBS propagation, more women and men will accept and practice FP to allow for birth spacing which would enhance the health of women.

Ibrahim assured at the end of the three day workshop participants are expected to come up with workable plans to reach out to more women in the communities.

A facilitator and coordinator of Inter Faith Forum plateau chapter, Mr. Umar Faruk, attested that religious clerics command more respect of their congregation more than any political office holder hence the need to carry them along in the campaign.

“If you want to fail in any policy implementation in Nigeria, over look the role of religious and traditional rulers. Nigerians listen to their religious leaders more than any body else. That is why FB, CBS are becoming more and more acceptable even in the most remote communities today”, Faruk stated.

PresentationS at the workshop by both the Muslims and christian clerics, all pointed out that both the Qur’an and the Bible support FM and CBS.

Both faith came to term with the decision of the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs and the Christian Association of Nigeria at the national approved FM and CBS.

The various presentations by the groups discussions also acknowledged that child spacing or family planning is not population control as some religious and traditional proponents holds but a way to help a women rest well between child birth to enable both the mother and the child maintain healthy living.

At the end of the worksop leaders of both faith pledged to enhance and widen their reach to women both in rural and urban communities with the message of encouraging both men and women to embrace and practice CBS through the use of FP methods.

The state coordinator of CTI Dr. Deborah Hassan, while responding to question on whether child spacing makes birth difficult for women due to tight vigina, she said medically as soon as a woman delivers the vigina returns to it size except where there are cuts at the point of delivery.

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