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Sirika raises hope for an airport in Lokoja as alternative to NAIA

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Sirika raises hope for an airport in Lokoja as alternative to NAIA

Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, has reiterated the necessity for an airport in Lokoja, Kogi State as alternate to Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja.
He spoke in the same vein with the chairman, senate committee on Aviation, Senator Smart Adeyemi who had earlier based his call for an airport in Lokoja on its proximity to FCT and its advantage of being a gateway to more than Nine States.
The minister while fielding questions from journalists after he defended the budget of the ministry and its agencies said, “Lokoja is an important northern town. It is a cosmopolitan town, it’s a mini Nigeria and it is extremely very important in growth and development of our country.” 
“We have a lot of agricultural activities around there. There is fishery, there is perishable item production and so on. So citing an airport there is quite apt.
He said for him, it is is something that Government should have done long ago based on its importance.
The minister also announced 10 new airports were being constructed across the country to boost civil aviation as aviation has become a national security asset.
These were coming even as the Senate Committee on Aviation bemoaned the state of dilapidated facilities at Minna airport, Zuru and Ajaokuta airstrips.

Sirika said both the executive arm of government and the National Assembly have done justice to the civil Aviation sector since 2015 when the current administration came on board through the development of a roadmap, which is being implemented.

The Minister added that the Aviation sector was the fastest growing sector of the economy, hence the Federal Government’s decision to build new seven airports in Anambra, Benue, Ekiti, Nasarawa, Ebonyi, Gombe, among other states. 
He also noted that Kebbi, Osubi, Dutse airports have been taken over by the Federal Government while the Gombe State government had also written the federal authorities, asking it to take over the Gombe Airport.

“Consequent upon that roadmap, we have seen aviation grow in 2018 to become the second fastest growing sector of the economy and by 2019, it became the fastest growing sector of the economy and increased its GDP contribution.
“During the tenure of this administration from 2015 till now, we’ve seen a lot of growth in civil aviation, number of airports is increasing. So far, about seven airports have been added to the map, some of them completed, some of them under construction.

“There are airports coming up in Benue, Ebonyi, Ekiti, Lafia, Damaturu, Anambra and so forth. All of these show that civil aviation is growing during this administration. 

“So, we have about 10 new airports coming up, that is almost half the number of airports we used to have in Nigeria. So we are adding 50 per cent of the number of airports,” Sirika said.
The Minister also hinted that the much-talked-about national carrier, Nigeria Air, was part of the Aviation sector roadmap, which will be delivered before 2023.
“We are on it. The transaction adviser has brought in the outline business case. It is being reviewed by ICRC. Soon after it finishes, it will go to FEC and it will be approved. We will not leave this government without having it in place,” Sirika said.

On the issues of dilapidated equipment at some airports across the country, Sirika said it is a work in progress as the airports are being attended to one after the other based on priorities.

“We have been improving these airports one airport after another. We don’t have the resources to take them all at once. We are attending to them, we look at an airport and find which is that safety item and which is that item of security that needs attention first before we now turn to other matters. Certainly we are making Ilorin one of the best airports because in the first place it was an alternate for Lagos,” Sirika revealed.

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Appointment

Disability Commission demands streamlining of PLWDS in Governance

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Disability Commission demands streamlining of PLWDS in Governance

The Executive Secretary of the federal commission for persons with disabilities (FCPWD), James Lalu has called on Governments at all levels to streamline the inclusion of persons with disability in governance.
He made  the call while speaking at the occasion to mark this year’s International day for persons with disability with a theme titled ”Building Back Better: toward a disability-inclusive, accessible and sustainable post COVID-19.Lalu said the emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic has exposed  Nigerians living with disabilities to more tasking challenges.
He listed some of the challenges to include difficulty in accessing public facilities like schools, train stations, airports and the neglect of persons with disabilities.
Lalu also observed that people with disabilities can contribute to the growth of the economy if given the audience and included in the governance of the nation.He urged Nigerians to stop the discrimination against the people living with disablilities as they equally have a say in the society.

Earlier at the occasion,  the minister of humanitarian affairs and disaster management, Sadiya Farouk represented by the director, special needs in the ministry, Mrs. Nkechi Onwukwe expressed confidence in the ability of the Executive secretary of the Commission to successfully manage the affairs of the new organization which is under the ministry of humanitarian affairs.
She said the creation of the disability commission will ensure that issues affecting persons living with disabilities will now be included in every policy of government.In a related issue, the Instructor and Trainer in Armed Forces Electrical Mechanical Engineering  (AFEME) Mechatronics School, Mr Adamu Alexander has described as discrimination, anti social and intimidation for building and establisilning separate schools for People Living with Disabilities (PWDs) in Nigeria.
Alexander who spoke at the event said it is high time for the federal government and individuals to established inclusive Technical Vocational Education Training Schools (TVETS) across Nigeria for PWDs and non PWDs to co-exists as provided in the disability law.Quoting from the disability law and policy, that says any public or private school that have no environmental plan or reject PWDs would be sued, faced  imprisonment or an option of fine.
He noted that PWDs constitutes 15% population of Nigeria citizenry which he said is at the high alert.He added that the PLWDs are no longer people to be pited or feel sorry for but are capable to work, to be educated and to learn other vocations to help the country and society at large if the leaders provide inclusiveness in every aspect of their development.

Also speaking at the celebration,  the Project Manager of Sight Saver, Mr. Rasak Adekoya requested that the Executive Secretary of the newly created National Commission for Persons with Disabilities, Mr James Lalu ensure that 30% of all inclusive procurement will go to PWDs entrepreneur like Kenya is committed.

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SMA to Chair Investiture ceremony of New ICAN District Society Chairman

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SMA to Chair Investiture ceremony of New ICAN District Society Chairman

Member Representing Bida/Gbako/Katcha Federal Constituency, Niger State in the House of Representatives, Hon. Saidu Musa Abdullahi (SMA) is billed to chair the Investiture ceremony of Mallam Yahaya Zakari as the new Chairman of Minna and District Society of the Institute of Chartered Accountant of Nigeria (ICAN).

This was communicated through a letter to Hon Abdul requesting him to Chair the ocasion that will take place on Thursday, December 10, 2020 by 11:00am prompt at Justice Idris Legbo Kutigi International Conference Centre, Minna, Niger State.

Mallam Zakari, who is the immediate past Director of Bida Campus of the Niger State Polytechnic, was recently elected as the Chairman of Minna and District Society of ICAN, Niger State.

When it was more rewarding to work with Federal Government, the Lavun born Chartered Accountant, Mallam Zakari Yahaya resigned his service as a Lecturer from the Federal Polytechnic, Bida and joined Niger State Polytechnic in order to champion the accreditation of its Accountancy Department by National Board for Technical Education(NBTE).

Hon Abdullahi who is a graduate of Economist from the prestigious Sir Ahmadu Bello University Zaria, holds a Masters of Science in Development Studies.
The reps member is the Deputy Chairman, House Committee on Finance and a strong Member of House Committees on Public Petition; Banking & Currency; Insurance & Acturial Matters; FCT; Agric Colleges & Institutions; and Interpaliamentary Affairs of the ninth Assembly. The Lawmaker had worked in three critical sectors of Nigerian economy i.e. Oil & Gas; Banking and Construction before venturung into politics fully.

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Professor Yakubu gets senate’s confirmation as INEC chairman for another 5 years

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Professor Yakubu gets senate’s confirmation as INEC chairman for another 5 years

The Senate on Tuesday confirmed the nomination of Prof Mahmood Yakubu for appointment as Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) for another five years.
Yakubu was first appointed as INEC chair on October 21, 2015, by President Muhammadu Buhari.
He was reappointed after his first tenure  came to an end in October this year.
His confirmation followed the consideration of the report of the Senate Committee on INEC, chaired by Senator Kabiru Gaya (APC, Kano).

Senator Gaya, while presenting the committee’s report, said the nominee possessed the requisite qualifications for the INEC top job and therefore recommended his confirmation.
Opposition PDPsenators, who spoke after the presentation of the report, backed Yakubu’s nomination, saying that he’s unbiased and apolitical.
Senate Minority leader, Enyinnaya Abaribe commended Yakubu for the technological innovations he introduced at INEC, especially the transmission of election results to the central portal from polling units.
He’s moving in the right direction and we should give him the necessary support, said Senator Sandy Onor (PDP, Cross River).
Senate President Ahmad Lawan congratulated the nominee and wished him success in his second term.

Prof Yakubu had, during his screening last week, challenged the National Assembly to expeditiously consider and pass the electoral act to ensure seamless 2023 election.
According to him, the ammended electoral framework was germane to the conduct of 2023 general elections.
“We would like to see a situation where the electoral ammendment is expeditiously considered and passed and I am confident that this is going to be done.”
He said elections cannot be conducted in an atmosphere of uncertainty, adding that work on the electoral framework has to be finalized before 2023 elections would be conducted.

“I want to appeal to the Senate to please expedite work on the Electoral Act so that we can conduct elections in an atmosphere of certainty,” he said.
He said when the commission met with members of the Senate and House committees on the electoral matter in Lagos, the had extensive interaction where they submitted 78 areas of electoral ammendments adding that he also forwarded additional 13 areas of ammendment to the two committees.
“The earlier that is done the better for us. There is no way we can conduct election successfully without uncertainty unless the electoral legal framework id finalised for us to deploy our regulations and guidelines for the election.
“We have to develop the regulations and guidelines for the election for us to produce manuals for the training of adhoc staff, So it is critical.”
When asked what INEC would do differently he said

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