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Uncertainty as Aviation minister fails to allay apprehension on hike in airfare

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Uncertainty as Aviation minister fails to allay apprehension on hike in airfare

Uncertainity hits the aviation sector as the minister in charge Hadi Sirika yesterday was not forthcoming over the apprehension among Nigerians on possible hike in airfare occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Airline operators had indicated the possibility of hike in airfare after months of inactivity in the sector coupled with the social distancing protocol of the Nigerian Center for Disease Control (NCDC).
The minister who spoke in response to a poser on the airfare after an interactive session with the senate committee on Aviation said, “Price is not in my hand but like I said from what we have put in place, I do not think that anything significant will happen to affect the propensity to fly.

On the protocol at airport for VIP and other travellers the minister said they have circulated the information the President has approved, that all those who have no business in traveling will certainly have no business to enter the airport.
“They will not enter the airport, not at all, so any body coming into the airport, this  time around whether as a personality, ministers, or even  honourable members, the senators will not be carrying their  aids into the airports any longer. “
“So the VIPs should help us and take  responsibility, so that we ensure that  they  don’t  add to our problems in the country.
On Passenger processing he said they have protocol in place, and they will process faster than it used to be
He said there will be nothing like rush hour because eople have to stay safe before anything happens.
“So I’m sure that as civil aviation we are responsible to ensure that everybody remains safe. So there should be no fear, no panic.
“The industry is highly regulated, it is one aviation and I’m sure that you have seen from what we have been doing lately we have been following the international convention and practices.
“So this will not be different. There is nothing to panic about, we will become physically distant when required.”
On whether the passenger capacity of the aircraft will be trimmed down to 50% because of social distancing he said they have not said so.
“Bear in mind that the most of the flights are not always full. That is number one. Number two I said to you that we are working with the airlines to come up with the protocols before we open. That will be unveiled to you in due course.”
He announced the resumption of flight beginning from the 8th of July 2020 with Lagos and Abuja Airports which will be followed by Kano, Port Harcourt, Owerri and Maiduguri on the 11th and others on the 15th.
He said date for the resumption of the international flights would be announced in due course.

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FG admonishes Nigerians on need for peaceful coexistence

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FG admonishes Nigerians on need for peaceful coexistence

Following the growing tension in Ondo and Oyo States, the Federal Government has called on citizens and good people of Nigeria to put unity and peace above all.

Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola who gave the advice Tuesday in his office in Abuja, implored all citizens in the country to exercise restraint and pursue active efforts on how to use the tools of constructive dialogue, good neighbourliness and the primacy of peace-building as ways of dousing anger and resentment that can only lead to anarchy.

In his speech, titled “A TIME TO PUT UNITY AND PEACE ABOVE ALL”, which he personally signed, Aregbesola observed that “The regrettable incidences of heightening ethnic and religious tension in our country are, in part, outcomes of political and economic strains that have persistently defined our land and continue to exacerbate security challenges, making the task of development more traumatic.”

According to him, “Government is keenly aware and genuinely concerned about these complications that, sadly, have been sharpened by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic through the growth of anxieties about issues, life and livelihood in our communities.”

The Minister stated further that, Government is taking a holistic look at the challenges and will stop at nothing to bring lasting peace, security and amity to all our communities.

He emphasized that government would not tolerate any act or behaviour capable of jeopardising law and order as well as security of lives and property in any part of the country.
  “There will be no tolerance for any act or behaviour capable of jeopardising law and order and security of lives and property in any part of Nigeria.” He said.

 “Therefore, as the government is fashioning long term answers to address these problems, it urges citizens to appreciate that self-help and lawlessness cannot offer a path to sustainable solution.
“It can only lead to greater pain as well as costly human and material losses and disruption of the already difficult task of devising responses that will produce tangible peace and development in the country.”

Aregbesola assured that the Federal Government is moving in quickly to bring state, community, security, traditional institutions, religious organizations and youth groups into a purposeful dialogue that will bring effective resolutions to the problem within constitutional and legal frameworks.

He therefore called on all the citizens in the country to continue to work together as brothers and sisters towards building a peaceful community that will be beneficial to all, irrespective of ethnicity, religion and other differences.

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WIEN advocates for 35% affirmative action in governing board appointments

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WIEN advocates for 35% affirmative action in governing board appointments

Women In Energy Network (WIEN) is asking for 35% affirmative action to be applicable also in the appointment of Governing boards.
WIEN is an association established in 2020 to provide a platform for Women that work across the Energy Industry value chain; to network and build confidence and links to progress their careers or businesses.
The President of WIEN and Managing Director of Zigma Limited Mrs. Funmi Ogbue, spoke during her opening statement at the
Public Hearing on Petroleum Industry Bill ( PIB) 2020, organised by Senate’s joint Committee on Petroleum Downstream, Upstream and Gas,
She indicated that from research Boards of Directors with at least three women demonstrate improved
communications, greater adherence to codes of conduct, and
better criteria for managing strategy and monitoring its
implementation.
“WIEN would like to see the deliberate inclusion of policies that will
ensure that at least 35% of each Governing Board is constituted by
women.
“WIEN suggest that the PIB mandates the inclusion of a minimum
indigenous women from the Host Community on the Board of Trustees.
She raised concern over the proposal in the Petroleum Industry Bill that says each settlor, where applicable through the operator should contribute an amount equal to 2.5 % of actual operating expenditure in respect of all petroleum operation.
She also said the 2.5% is too expensive.
“WIEN posits that a total of not more than 1 % (one percent) consistent with other Statutory provisions like the Nigerian Local Content Act 2010, replace the current figure captured in the PIB.
“This will improve investors’ perception about the industry being already over taxed which will attract even more Foreign Direct Investment to the sector and country at large.
She kicked against the use of Gender Neutral Pronouns/Terms such as the PIB’s use of masculine terms “him, his, he” to refer to the position of “Minister, Commissioner Chief Executive, Executive Commissioner, Non-Executive Commissioner, Authority Chief Executive, Executive Director, Directors and Officers of the Authority , Transaction Advisor, Licensee of the Petroleum Exploration Licence, Receiver, Liquidator”

According to her, such gender terms should be changed to gender neutral terms “they, their, its, a person.”
“This is to avoid legal issues and confusion as in some other positions gender neutral terms are used.”

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FG to provide Solar home systems for 5m households

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FG to provide Solar home systems for 5m households 

Nigeria’s Minister of State for Power Jedy-Agba has disclosed that the country is set for a ‘bounce back’ programme in its green recovery initiative that will provide solar home systems to 5 million households

He spoke at a UK hosted Climate Change Conference Roundtable on Clean Power Transition on 11 January during a virtual visit to the UK on 10–12 January by United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres which he attended. 

The Minister added that off-grid power sources have become more competitive since the removal of fuel subsidies.

He stressed that Nigeria was taking steps to merge its energy access and energy transition plan. 
He acknowledged that the largest population without electricity globally resides within its borders, and identified financing as a major constraint to Nigeria’s clean and renewable energy transition plans. 
According to him, 

“With the help of the international community, we can improve the decentralized renewable energy market to create jobs, provide energy more quickly to those without access, and ensure that we maintain and eventually reduce our emission levels to achieve our net-zero objectives.

“As the COP26 Presidency, the UK Government is committed to supporting the Nigerian government to develop ambitious evidence-based plans to deliver on Nigeria’s own commitments ahead of the COP26 summit in Glasgow in November 2021. 
“The UK supported the solar sector in Nigeria with a £66m programme between 2014 and 2020 which  helped provide energy access to   5.5 million Nigerians since 2015.
He said the UK is delivering ongoing programmes to develop quality standards, financing and manufacturing arrangements for solar home systems.
“Many UK companies are also active in the solar home system market in Nigeria.
“The UK considers the licensing of mobile money to facilitate Pay As You Go arrangements for solar home systems a positive development.”

The United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres at the event challenged developed nations to fulfil their pledges to provide $100 billion annually for developing countries’ clean energy transition.
During the roundtable, the Foreign Secretary announced that the UK will pledge up to £38 million to the Climate Compatible Growth programme, supporting developing countries to accelerate their transition to clean energy while growing their economies.
“The UK is already moving to clean power faster than any major economy, and last year committed to protect at least 30 per cent of its land and ocean by 2030.
“Together these announcements address the two leading sources of global emissions – electricity generation and land use – and demonstrate the UK’s leadership in fighting climate change ahead of the COP26 summit in Glasgow in November.”

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