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Airlines Lament As Aviation Fuel Price Hits N1,300 Per Litre

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The Airline Operators of Nigeria have expressed deep concern regarding the escalating cost of operations, amidst the surge in aviation fuel prices exceeding N1300.

This was disclosed in a statement on Friday by the Spokesman of Airline Operators of Nigeria, Obiora Okonkwo.

Okonkwo in the statement stressed the critical need for immediate government intervention to prevent the collapse of numerous airlines.

The airlines said that the fluctuation in forex rates and the soaring cost of aviation fuel at N1,300 per litre have disrupted operational planning and stability within the aviation sector.

Okonkwo, who also chairs United Nigeria Airlines, explained that the unforeseen increase in aviation fuel prices from N700 per litre and the rise in the exchange rate to N1400/$1 have resulted in significant losses for airlines, TheGlittersreports.

Passengers who purchased tickets well in advance under previous rates are now being airlifted at the current higher costs, further impacting the airlines’ loss in the revenue stream, he claimed.

“We are making losses on factors that are beyond our control. We are not only faced with the problem of scarcity of dollars; even the aviation ecosystem is feeling the heat. Handling companies have increased the cost of their services, airports have increased their charges and those that service the aircraft have also increased the cost of their services. The monies for these payments are coming from the passengers who are already exhausted financially,” he said.

Okonkwo also noted that numerous businesses in Nigeria are experiencing low returns, leading to a decline in the number of essential passengers traveling during both peak and off-peak seasons. As a result, the airlines struggle to maintain adequate load factors to support their operations during the current low season, as there are fewer travelers for tourism and social engagements.

“Passenger traffic has shrunk because even those on social engagement like weddings, burials and other ceremonies may not be inclined to spend money on flight tickets; they would rather send credit alerts to those hosting the events who would appreciate such gestures. So, they pay instead of appearing in person,” he added.

“Air travel is a catalyst to economic development. There should have been government engagement with airlines at different levels. Airlines do not have special forex allocation; so, they buy at the same place traders who trade in Brazilian hair, textiles, and others buy.

“Our passion to remain in this business is being eroded. We are at the point of oxygen supply. Some airlines are going into a coma. Our equipment is diminishing. The minimal revenues we earn to keep the airlines flying, we convert to pay our lessors.

“It is impossible to bring in more aircraft. Aircraft owners have become skeptical because of country risk. A Nigerian airline may meet its terms, and all the standard criteria but the aircraft owners consider country risk above other factors. Country risk supersedes everything and lessors have their own obligations. So, there is nothing personal. Some airlines deposited money with the Central Bank of Nigeria but they cannot provide us the needed dollars,” he said.

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FCT Minister Approves Promotion for 8,785 FCTA Staff

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Minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Barr Nyesom Wike has approved the promotion of 8,785 Staff of the FCT Administration to new grade levels.

Mr Udo Samuel Atang, the Acting Permanent Secretary of the Federal Capital Territory Administration said a promotion examination was conducted for the staff.

This was contained in a statement made available on Thursday by the Director of Information & Communication, FCT, Muhammad Hazat Sule.

It explained that out of the 9,710 staff who sat for the examinations as stipulated by the Public Service Rules, only 8,785 were successful.

In specifics, out of the 3,924 eligible staff of the Common Services Departments only, 3,295 Staff were promoted.

Of the 933 staff of the Professional and Technical who participated in the examination, only 918 were promoted.

Also, only 1,144 staff among the 1,179 staff of Health department benefitted from the promotion.

In the education department, 3,428 staff out of the 3,674 staff were promoted.

“The Acting Permanent Secretary, therefore, urged all Staff of the Administration to reciprocate the Minister’s kind gesture by supporting the leadership of the Administration to deliver on Mr. President’s Renewed Hope Agenda, particularly the Ministerial Performance Bond for Presidential Priorities and Deliverables.”

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Police Arrest Suspected Armed Robber, Recovers Pump Action Gun, One Cut To Size Gun, A Tricycle, Announces Death Of Armed Suspect

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Delta state police command have arrested two suspected armed robbers terrorizing innocent tricycle passengers along the PTI Junction to Orerokpe and recovers a pump action gun, one cut to size gun and a tricycle and announced the death of an armed suspect who engages police in a gun duel at Okpanam town.

According to the Police Public Relations Officers to the Delta State Police Command, DSP Bright Edafe, the arrests of the hoodlums came following the reassurance by the Delta State Police Commissioner, CP Olufemi Abaniwonda to leave no room for criminality to grow and thrive in Delta State while affirming the Command’s resolve to pursue and prosecute criminals to the fullest extent of the law.

According to Edafe, following a complaints on the robbery incidents at Redeem Road, Okpanam town, and other parts of the State, the Commissioner of Police Delta State, CP Abaniwonda Olufemi issued a firm warning to DPO’s and Area commander’s in Asaba on the need to step up and nip the ugly trend in the bud.

He stated that In line with the directive, on March 4, 2024 at about 0255hrs, while working on a distress call, the DELTA HAWK Team collaborating with the Okpanam Divisional Police Headquarters, proceeded to Marble Hill Junction in response to a distress call about an ongoing armed robbery operation at Play Learn Academy School.

The officers mounted surveillance within the scene of the robbery, where they sighted an Okada rider and two occupants.

Upon sighting the team advancing towards them, they took to their heels and immediately started shooting at the police operatives_and the during the gun duel, one of the suspected armed robbers sustained gunshot injuries, while one English Pump action gun, and one cut-to-size single barrel gun with three cartridges were recovered.

The injured suspect was taken to the Hospital where he died while receiving treatment. Efforts are on top gear to recover more firearms and further arrest other fleeing suspects.

In another development, on March 1, 2024, at about 1950hrs, following information from a lady (name withheld), a female resident who reported that at about 1915hrs of same date, while she boarded a tricycle (Keke) from PTI Junction to Orerokpe Community with two other passengers including the driver, that while approaching Okudiete Community in Okpe LGA, the three boys suddenly attacked and pushed her out of the moving tricycle, making away with her phone, handbag containing money and other valuables.

The victim immediately boarded another tricycle and reported the incident to Orerokpe Police Division. Upon receipt of the report, the DPO Orerokpe CSP Paul Oboware deployed his Visibility Patrol Team on a stop and search duty at Oha-Junction.

Sequel to the tip-off, the patrol team swiftly gave the robbers a hurt chase and succeeded in arresting two of the suspects. Meanwhile, one of the hoodlums escaped through the bush, and all items robbed from the victim were recovered from the robbers including a tricycle with REG NO: ASB56QD.

Preliminary investigation revealed that the suspects are notorious robbers who specialize in robbing unsuspecting passengers of their personal belongings while in transit on a tricycle. Similarly, efforts are ongoing to arrest the other fleeing suspect and to discover other associates of the syndicate.

CP Olufemi Abaniwonda reassured the steadfastness and commitment to uphold law and order in Delta State. He further appeals to the public to be law-abiding and live within the ambit of the law, urging that anyone with information on crime can always reach out through the CONTROL ROOM numbers: 08036684974; 08125958005; 09053872287, that callers may opt to remain anonymous. He noted that while the police command has the responsibility to ensure the safety of lives and properties, the citizens in turn have the responsibility of helping the police achieve their mandate by reaching out to the police.

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Hard time: Nigerians call for adoption of parliamentary system

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Following President Bola Tinubu’s removal of fuel subsidy, Nigerians are facing economic hardships and are calling for a change from the presidential system of government to parliamentary system of government.

The Nigerian economy has been severely strained due to the removal of the fuel subsidy, resulting in increased prices of essential commodities and transportation fares.

Some political analysts who on what they feel about the development noted that the current economic downturn has underscored the inadequacies of the presidential system in addressing pressing issues facing our nation.

According to report, the House of Representatives has also introduced a bill seeking to return Nigeria to the parliamentary system of government at the federal, state and local government levels effective from 2031.

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