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10/23/10

Permalink 09:03:09 am, by lateef lawal, 234 words   English (US) latin1
Categories: News
*Nigeria: NahcoAviance Embarks On Warehouse Modernization & Expansion

By Lateef Lawal

The foundation laying ceremony of a multi-billion naira expansion and modernization of NachcoAviance warehouse was performed yesterday by the company's Board Chairman, Senator(Gen) Ike Nwachukwu at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos.

The modernization project, he said was necessitated in view of the expansion of its business over the years and the company's increasing customer base and the need to ensure quality service delivery and customer satisfaction. ( Continues below..... )

Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos

Photo Above: Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, Nigeria.

In view of the aforementioned, the company concluded that the existing warehouse could no longer guarantee seamless cargo facilitation and quality service delivery to its numerous customers. The new cargo warehouse when completed would have expanded capacities to handle annual cargo throughput of 200,000 tons of import and 60,000 tons of export cargo. ( Continues below..... )

Nigeria Minister of Aviation, Mrs Fidelia Njeze

Photo Above: Nigeria Minister of Aviation, Mrs Fidelia Njeze

Apart from the installation of mechanical cargo handling and automation systems and new euro-pallet and over-sized racks, the new warehouse will have closed circuit cameras installed to enhance security surveillance while turnstiles equipped with computerized access control systems would ensure restriction of unauthorized access into the sterile areas of the warehouse among other new modern innovations to be installed.

Lateef Lawal (NigerianAviationNews)

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Permalink 01:30:44 am, by lateef lawal, 614 words   English (US) latin1
Categories: News
*Nigeria: President Jonathan Commissions TRACON Project

-Promises Sustenance of Safe, Secure & Efficiently Run Airspace

By Lateef Lawal

President Goodluck Jonathan has assured that the Federal Government would ensure that the nation’s aviation industry was given the needed attention as regards safety and security. He gave the assurance 18th October, 2010 while commissioning the Total Radar Coverage of Nigeria(TRACON) project at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

He further assured that all necessary support would be given for the maintenance and sustainability of all safety and security related infrastructures in addition to jealously guarding the recent attainment of the Federal Aviation Administration(FAA) of U.S Category1 Safety status.

The president noted that the commissioning of the project was another milestone in the deliberate stride of the federal government in providing efficient and safe air navigation for air travelers, adding that it was a thing of joy that Nigeria’s airspace which was blacklisted in 2005 for being unsafe was today the toast of both domestic and foreign airlines including the international community, especially the International Civil Aviation Organization(ICAO)and other related world bodies. ( Continues below….. )

President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria

Photo Above: President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria

Jonathan specially commended the Minister of Aviation, Mrs Fidelia Njeze and the management and staff of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency(NAMA) for making the completion and deployment of TRACON in all the four major sites of Lagos, Abuja, Kano and Port Harcourt a unique 50th independence anniversary gift to the nation. In her address, the Minister, Mrs Njeze said the commissioning was another remarkable milestone in the attainment of the vision of the president to deliver a safe, more secure and efficiently managed aviation infrastructures for the well-being of Nigerians and all air space users.

She noted: "The journey towards the realization of this milestone has been eventful and nevertheless challenging. Notwithstanding the enormous demand on our very limited resources, we are glad that today the cumulative efforts, made since 2003, have given birth to this major critical safety and security equipment in the history of Aviation in Nigeria."

In spite of the challenges faced during the installation, she said that the surveillance system for Radar Approach and Automated Area Control Centers, constituting the TRACON and its major components, have been successfully deployed at the four major international airports of Lagos, Abuja, Kano and Port Harcourt. ( Continues below..... )

Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport,  Abuja, Nigeria.

Photo Above: Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja, Nigeria.

In addition, the stand-alone Monopulse Secondary Surveillance Radar (MSSR RSM-970) are in the following five locations-Talata Mafara, Maiduguri, Numan, Obubra and Ilorin which are integrated with Voice Communication and Switching System, Voice Recording System, Fibre Optics inter-facility links and the Very Small Aperture Terminal(VSAT) network to serve as Wide Area Radar link.

The acting Managing Director of NAMA who is also the Director of Enginnering and Safety Services, Mazi Nnamdi Udoh commended the president and the minister for the support given for the completion of the project despite several hiccups it suffered in the past seven years, having passed through three federal administrations, seven Aviation Ministers and seven different project managers.

The project which was awarded to Messrs Thales SA of France on 7th April, 2003 at a total cost of 66,500,870 Euros under the administration of Chief Olusegun Obasanjo when Mrs Kema Chikwe was Aviation Minister, Mazi Udoh explained had an initial completion duration of 36 months.

The delay in the completion of the project, was traced to the delay in the payment and changes in the leadership of NAMA and Ministry of Aviation at various times in the past seven years.

Lateef Lawal (NigerianAviationNews)

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10/22/10

Permalink 03:18:00 am, by aviationreport, 674 words   English (US) latin1
Categories: News, Nigerian News, African News

*Issues As African Airport Managers Examine Industry In Abuja

By Nosa Osula-Aituamen

The Airport Council International, Africa Regional conference, is an event that brings African airport managers together to share ideas, interact and proffer solutions to improving services rendered to passengers and other customers at airports.

This year, it was the turn of Nigeria to host the event, this was the first time Nigeria would be hosting such an event since the ACI inception in the early 1990's. The event took place at the International Conference Center in Abuja, September 13-17, 2010. The 5-day event was well attended with delegates from other African countries, including delegates from Nigeria, the host country, represented by Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN.

The first day of the event was a disaster according to delegates who told AviationReport that they were confused as to where to go to be attended to. Papers for various presentations came in after they were presented, according to reports. Problems were further compounded in the afternoon with the meal which was badly prepared and organized - with frowning faces, delegates reluctantly ate the meal but not without complaints to the organizers. The second day was better as amendments were made after the show of shame the previous day. ( Continues below..... )

Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport,  Abuja, Nigeria.

Photo Above: Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja, Nigeria.

Then came the fourth day, Thursday, the D-day for the conference to be declared opened by the Minister of Aviation Mrs.Fidelia Njeze, delegates were well seated waiting expectantly for the program to commence but this did not happen until after two hours when the Minister came in to kick start the event. The usual protocol was observed, the result was that some papers were hurriedly presented and the usual question and answer session was skipped.

Questions and answers at previous conferences helped delegates to bare their minds on certain issues and often resonate solutions to problems with answers given. Unfortunately this was absent in this year’s conference. ( Continues below..... )

Nigeria Minister of Aviation, Mrs Fidelia Njeze

Photo Above: Nigeria Minister of Aviation, Mrs Fidelia Njeze

After the repetition of what journalists have heard in the past of what had been done and will be done at the nation’s airport to make it safe and secured, came the time to eat lunch after the boring presentations. This time the meal was manageable but not sufficient. Some staff of FAAN could not hide their disappointment as they bitterly complained to some senior managers who in turn said it was beyond them.

As if that was not enough, one of the “Oyinbo” delegates had stomach upset, visiting the toilet frequently. The ugliest side of the event was the disappearance of some delegates' laptops, carted away by unknown persons despite the large number of FAAN security brought to the event, everywhere you turn, they were there. Can one say bringing them along was worth it?

The Gala-Nite that same day was superb, those who attended applauded the efforts of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority who hosted the nite as there was plenty to eat and drink unlike what happened in the afternoon. NCAA came to the rescue. ( Continues below..... )

Sam Mbakwe Airport, Owerri, Imo State.

Photo Above: Sam Mbakwe Airport, Owerri, Imo State.

EXHIBITION

Well, few companies exhibited what they had, most of them where foreign ones, the exhibition stand was not only scanty but there were no Nigerian airline exhibiting, except NCAA again who was there with the consumer protection department personnel and Maevis showcasing what they had.

I hope Nigerians would start seeing changes at our airports with the number of those from FAAN who attended the conference, though it was a FAAN affair, their number was more than those who came from other countries and even other stakeholders.

Though many have said this is a litmus test for FAAN, it is hoped that FAAN would borrow a leaf from NCAA in the organization of such International conferences and avoid pitfalls. The question now is: Can FAAN Management candidly say that the N150 million invested in the conference was justified?

Nosa Osula-Aituamen (AviationReport)

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10/21/10

Permalink 11:15:10 am, by lateef lawal, 505 words   English (US) latin1
Categories: News
*Nigeria: ATSSSAN Canvasses 'Pay As You Go' In All Agencies

By Lateef Lawal

The Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria(ATSSSAN) has advocated the retention of the “Pay As You Go” regime, recently introduced by the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), if government was desirous of assisting agencies in the aviation industry. Speaking at the National Executive Council of the association meeting held in Ibadan, ATSSSAN President, Comrade Benjamin Okewu said the system should be introduced in all the parastatals for the survival of the aviation sector. ( Continues below..... )

Airborne Plane

Photo Above: An Airborne Plane

Comrade Okewu noted that only the newly introduced ‘Pay As You Go’ system of payment for services would save the agencies from collapse as nearly all the agencies in the aviation sector were at the verge of collapse adding that NAMA before now had found it difficult to meet up with its statutory obligations as a result of debt owed it by airlines. “We are happy that up till now, the political juggernauts have not been able to penetrate the federal government or the presidency to give counter directive on that particular policy,” Okewu said.

He said workers welfare could only improve when agencies were paid by end users and urged all those owing various agencies to settle their debts for the survival of the industry. Okewu lamented the absence of succession plan in the aviation sector, which has made it very difficult for future planning in the sector. The ATSSSAN president said aviation was the mainstay of some economies in the world and regretted that the absence of succession plan has kept the industry backward. ( Continues below..... )

Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos

Photo Above: Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, Nigeria.

On Category1 Safety Status attained by the country, Okewu said it was a herculean task that has been bestowed on the country with higher responsibility. He said it was time to get it right in the sector to ensure its sustenance without dropping from the category. “NCAA, has to be up and doing to ensure that we don’t drop from that category and that we maintain it. NCAA has to go further to ensure that within the shortest period of time all our airports especially the major international airports are certified in good categories” Okewu declared.

He also warned airlines on the dangers of neglect in the training of pilots, adding that the future would be bleak if airlines refused to train their employees. “All they want is to use the available human capital for maximizing their own profit and you that was not the situation when Nigeria Airways existed. So there is practically what we called a professional guilt in the aviation industry, so much so that sometime we get scared that in the next five years, you might be able to count the number of Nigerian Pilots, their captains and pilots” Comrade Okewu said.

Lateef Lawal (NigerianAviationNews)

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10/19/10

Permalink 06:28:00 am, by lateef lawal, 609 words   English (US) latin1
Categories: News, Nigerian News

*EFCC Keeps Watch On Nigerians With High Profile Cases

By Lateef Lawal

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission(EFCC) is keeping a very close watch on people involved in high profile corruption and fraud cases at various courts across the country to forestall their foray into contesting the 2011 Elections. To this end, the anti-graft agency has on its list not less than 15 former governors and several other ex-ministers and chief executives of federal agencies. The EFCC list includes those standing trial or have their appeals pending before either Appeal Courts or the Supreme Court.

First on the high profile cases watch-list is the former governor of Ekiti State, Ayo Fayose, who has a 51-count charge of corruption pending against him since 2007; next is former Plateau State governor, Joshua Dariye, whose N700 million alleged fraud case will come up on 27 October, 2010.

Others are Alhaji Saminu Turaki, ex-Jigawa State governor who was arraigned before the court over a N36 billion alleged fraud, Chief Orji Uzo Kalu, ex-Abia State governor who was granted bail since 2008 in N5 billion alleged fraud case, former governor of Taraba, Jolly Nyame who is standing trial over a N1.3 billion corruption charges, Chimaroke Nnamani, ex-Enugu State who is facing N5.3 billion fraud charge, Alhaji Adamu Abdullahi, former governor of Nasarawa State who was arraigned on a N15 billion charge of fraudulent enrichment and corruption and Haliru Bafarawa, former Sokoto State governor who stands trial on N15 billion fraud charge. ( Continues below..... )

EFCC Operatives

Photo Above: EFCC Operatives

Still on the high profile cases watch list, a re-Ms Adenike Grange whose N300 million corruption charges come up at the Federal High Court on 27 October, 2010, Senator Iyabo Obasanjo-Bello who stands trial on similar charge of N10 million corrupt enrichment, former governor of Plateau State, Michael Boatmang, standing trial for allegedly corruptly enriching himself with State funds in the tune of N1.5 billion.

Roland Iyayi, former Managing Director of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency(NAMA) is standing trial along with the one time Aviation Minister, Professor Babalola Borishade over the N5.6 billion Safe Tower project scandal. Femi Fani-Kayode, also a former Aviation Minister charged for alleged fraud totaling N270 million, but this particular case was struck out at the lower court but EFCC won the continuation of the trial at the Federal Appeal Court, however the ex-Minister has appealed against it at the Supreme Court. ( Continues below..... )

EFCC officers and police prepare to bust a Cyber Cafe in Lagos, Nigeria.

Photo Above: Nigeria Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) officers and police prepare to bust a Cyber Cafe in Lagos, Nigeria.

Boni Haruna, ex-governor of Adamawa’s N254 million corruption case comes up again in November 2010, same with that of ex-governor Rasheed Ladoja’s N6 billion. The rest are- Kenny Martins charged over N774 million Police Equipment Fund alleged swindling. The case is to be heard on 9 November, 2010, Mallam Nasir El-Rufai standing trial on 8-count charge of corruption, Prince Ibrahim Dumuje N774 million corruption case, Senator Nicholas Ugbade and others standing trial on 158-count corruption charges totaling N5.2 billion, Dr Yuguda Manu Kaigama, chairman of Taraba State Civil Service Commission arraigned over N17 million fraud, while Chief Joe Musa, the Director General of National Art Gallery and others have their trial slated for November 19 and 20, 2010 over N1.012 billion alleged conspiracy and fraud.

Not left out is the former boss of Intercontinental Bank, Dr Erastus Akingbola standing trial over N27 billion fraud, Sanni Lulu and three other members of Nigeria Football Federation arraigned over N1.5 billion fraud and Professor Innocent Chuka Okonkwo, the ex-Vice Chancellor of Imo State University, standing trial with others over N145 million fraud which is already slated for trial in November 2010.

Lateef Lawal (NigerianAviationNews)

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10/18/10

Permalink 12:10:50 am, by Ikechukwu, 920 words   ng-NG
Categories: News
*The Miracle of EFCC Creation in Nigeria

By Ikechukwu Enyiagu

At last,‭ ‬and after half a century,‭ ‬Nigeria is beginning to sound like a country without a pseudo undertone.‭ ‬From the days of our early fathers to the Roman age,‭ ‬corruption was not viewed only as the degradation of human pride but an open war by an individual or group of persons against their immediate community and established kingdom.‭ ‬Such people,‭ ‬no matter which class or rank they may belong,‭ ‬were suddenly and totally removed from among the people to deter others from breaking ranks.‭ ‬

Mismanagement of state funds and power were seen as direct opposition to the very meaning of that given state,‭ ‬and the perpetrators knew that the end result of their actions meant just one thing: death.‭ ‬But as psychology gained ground in the society,‭ ‬it became less wasteful and more frightening a message to sentence dissidents and state enemies to any given number of years than outright executions.‭

‬Human rights came into play,‭ ‬not only to defend the accused,‭ ‬but to help the law in determining what a real offense is and the proper punishment to be apportioned.‭ ‬And democracy is the father of human rights.‭ ‬But as democracy gives everyone a voice and human right gives everyone the right,‭ ‬without the third party to balance the definition of democracy where human right is concerned,‭ ‬the country eventually degrades to the unavoidable end-war.‭ ‬ ( Continues below..... )

Tafa Balogun, Nigeria's former Inspector-General of  Police in cuffs being taken to court  April 4, 2005,  after arrest for corruption.

Photo Above: Tafa Balogun, Nigeria's former Inspector-General of Police in cuffs being taken to court by EFCC April 4, 2005, after arrest for corruption.

The ignorance of this in our country made highly corrupt and evidently evil persons come into political power,‭ ‬mess with the treasury,‭ ‬and be re-elected without satisfactorily accounting to the people for previous leadership.‭ ‬And the effect of this is that‭ ‬it turned‭ ‬Nigeria into a nation of lawlessness‭ ‬where only the financially incapable are guilty of any and every crime that may be imposed.‭ ‬Enemies of our state ruled and ruled again‭; ‬now they are staging a comeback because the force that resonates between democracy and human right seemed absent or asleep. It is one thing when an individual steals from his neighbor and renders him broke,‭ ‬but it’s another thing,‭ ‬and more terribly so,‭ ‬when a king starts stealing from his subjects:‭ ‬it narrows a kingdom, if unchecked, down through an autonomous community to just a living witness.‭ ‬

The primary quality of a state seeking for self-rule is the ability to manage resources-all recourses,‭ ‬no matter how little or large,‭ ‬and maintain an organized authority in its respective hierarchies.‭ ‬A state ceases to define its vision the moment responsibility and accountability among different levels of governance are no longer viewed as paramount to its foundation and sustenance.‭ Through the years,‭ ‬as‭ ‬Nigeria tries to live up to its dreams,‭ ‬several agencies and bodies have been introduced to balance the workings in a functional democratic setting.‭ ‬But,‭ ‬as always,‭ ‬the root has proven too tough to dig at that we invested half a century into it.‭ ‬Now that EFCC has learned to speak,‭ ‬I believe that our land,‭ ‬Nigeria,‭ ‬will speak again.‭ ( Continues below..... )

EFCC officers and police prepare to bust a Cyber Cafe in Lagos, Nigeria.

Photo Above: Nigeria Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) officers and police prepare to bust a Cyber Cafe in Lagos, Nigeria.

‬Now that EFCC has begun to act,‭ ‬I see democracy and human rights,‭ ‬functioning side by side with the law.‭ ‬The emergence of EFCC,‭ ‬like any other before it,‭ ‬was greeted with misgivings from different quarters.‭ ‬However,‭ ‬we seem to have been able to discipline, to a greater margin, the roots of the Nigerian corruption through the EFCC.‭

‬Recently,‭ ‬and speedily,‭ ‬the underground work of EFCC has begun to bear fruits that everyone would be able to have more than a bite at its ripeness.‭ ‬As slow as the body’s results may seem in coming,‭ ‬the progress is unmistakable and promising:‭ ‬The banking sector,‭ which is ‬the messenger of corruption when it wants to be,‭ ‬has been rightly targeted for a start.‭ ‬The final nailing of this epidemic of corruption and money laundering in Delta state,‭ ‬followed by a successful disqualification of corrupt politicians from all parties to contest,‭ ‬will redefine leadership in Nigeria before those who would stop at nothing to be elected.

I urge other relevant bodies like ICPC etc,‭ ‬to join forces with EFCC in regaining‭ ‬Nigeria’s political sanity and, as a result, the entire nation and its people.‭ ‬As I praise EFCC as deserved,‭ ‬I equally ask that they stop at nothing in following through with their mandate.‭ ‬It’s really not enough to indict corrupt individuals‭; ‬Nigeria demands that the guilty be brought to justice and the public be made aware of it.‭

‬Nigeria demands that every case that was shabbily treated and closed be opened in due cause.‭ ‬Nigeria demands also that the‭ “‬untouchables‭” ‬be touched,‭ and ‬the‭ “‬above the law”s be forced to bow before the law.‭ ‬Nigeria demands that the Nigeria Police Force be completely shaken and restructured,‭ ‬with the evil die-hards brought to justice.‭ Nigeria is saying that the force and authority to deliver it lies solely in true sacrifice. ‬However,‭ ‬considering where we,‭ ‬as a nation, are coming from,‭ ‬I’m sure that most will agree with me that EFCC of today is the miracle we have been waiting for.

Ikechukwu Enyiagu can be reached at ike.enyiagu@gmail.com

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10/17/10

Permalink 02:23:00 pm, by aviationreport, 874 words   English (US) latin1
Categories: News

*Nigeria: Dearth of ATC Worries NAMA

"75 percent of controllers in Nigeria wear glasses as they stay glued to the screen for several hours." -Adedara

By Nosa Osula-Aituamen

The National Association of Air Traffic Controllers (ATC) says the shortfall in Controllers across airports in the country is cause of worry to them, adding that dearth of Air Traffic Control personnel could make nonsense of the Federal Government's effort in the improvement of Navigational aids in Nigeria. This and other issues were the subject of discussions at the 39th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Nigeria Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA) held in Ilorin, Kwara State capital.

The AGM with the theme: “Air Traffic Control Human Capital Development; Collaborating for Global Air Safety,” focused on the dwindling number of air traffic controllers in the Nigerian aviation sector and seemingly inability of the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology, NCAT, to provide succor. The event which brought together seasoned controllers and aviation experts from Nigeria and beyond, showed that Nigeria still operate with less than 300 controllers as against the world aviation regulatory body, the International Civil Aviation Organisation, ICAO’s stipulation for a minimum of 400. ( Continues below..... )

Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos

Photo Above: Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, Nigeria.

A Retired Director of operations in the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Adebisi Adedara noted that the rate of attrition in the department had reached alarming state, stressing that there may be need for the Nigerian College Aviation Technology, Zaria to shorten the course duration for controllers so as to fast track ongoing efforts to bridge the gap.

Adedara noted that the shortage in the number of controllers had led to over-labouring the few at hand, many of whom he said were already on their way to retirement. “The rate of attrition in the air traffic control department is very high. While we are currently having 280 controllers as against the mandatory 400, about 45 percent of them are already on their way to retirement. The effect of this is that the few controllers at hand are overworked, stressed up, cannot socialize, even as they work in an unconducive environment. 75 percent of controllers in Nigeria wear glasses as they stay glued to the screen for several hours,” he noted.

He however attributed the situation to a stop gap of about nine years in the production of controllers by NCAT which he said created a vacuum, just as he said that there had not been a conscious succession plan by government and past chief executives of the highly regulated sector. “For nine years or thereabout, there was no single controller produced by the NCAT. Also at a time when the shortage in manpower in the department became too transparent in the early 90s, a set of about a hundred controllers were at the same time injected into the system, all the 100 controllers are on there way to retirement at the same time now,” he stressed. ( Continues below..... )

Sam Mbakwe Airport, Owerri, Imo State.

Photo Above: Sam Mbakwe Airport, Owerri, Imo State.

Corroborating this, NATCA president, Jibrin Haske said there was need for government to take urgent steps towards capacity building among controllers even as he commended latter for recent moves in the area of equipment upgrade. He urged government as well as NAMA management to match the drive towards modern equipment acquisition with human capacity development for an effective and efficient result.

According to him, the recent moves by government in the sector portrayed strong indication that the future of aviation in Nigeria is bright. “Our association has repeatedly stressed the often forgotten fact that aviation practice, particularly air traffic control, is human centered. While we have consistently demanded for the procurement, installation and maintenance of modern and efficient air traffic management infrastructure in our airspace for the safe and expeditious conduct of operations, it does not in any way detract from the imperative to engage personnel who have to skillfully apply these tools to achieve the objectives of air traffic services.

“Skilled and resourceful air traffic controllers are an asset to every country at all times hence the need to prioritize the maintenance and retention of their skills and proficiency.“In this vein, we acknowledge and commend the World Bank and the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency for the massive training programme of radar controllers in USA. We are equally delighted that the first set of ATCOs attending the PPL course in the United States would depart before the end of October,” Haske acknowledged.

In order to make the demands a reality, Chairman of NAMA’s board of Directors, Alhaji Abubakar Barrage Kawu implored all end users of the agency’s service to assist government through prompt payment for services rendered to them.

He noted that since the agency could only discharge its duties optimally when it is financially buoyant, it behooved on the airlines to be prompt in the payment of services rendered to them by NAMA. Kawu, who doubles as the National General Secretary of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), stressed that government on its part had made it a matter of priority to ensure that the pay-as-you-go mode of payment, recently adopted by the agency worked, so as to enable it meet up with its pressing obligations.

Nosa Osula-Aituamen (AviationReport)

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Permalink 02:33:00 am, by aviationreport, 644 words   English (US) latin1
Categories: News, Nigerian News

*Nigerian Court Rejects Bail Application in N4.2b Cocaine Trial

-Assures of Speedy Trial

By Nosa Osula-Aituamen

The bail application brought before Justice Okon Abang by five accused persons in connection with unlawful importation of 450.400kg of cocaine worth over 4.2 billion naira has been dismissed even as hearing resumed October 11, 2010. The judge assured the matter would be given accelerated hearing. According to Justice Okon, the trial had commenced and there had been no delay by the prosecution and the defence. In line with the ruling, the accused persons would remain in prison custody pending the determination of the case. The defence counsel Mr. Benson Ndakara so far has not issued a statement regarding an appeal on the ruling.

In rejecting the bail application, the Judge noted that the international community is interested in the case and that the quantity of exhibit involved is colossal. He equally stated that some of the accused may jump bail being foreigners and promised to further expedite action on the trial. Already seven NDLEA witnesses had testified out of 13, and more witnesses are billed to testify within the week. NDLEA principal witnesses that have testified include a forensic expert, exhibit officers and some investigators that participated in the operation. ( Continues below..... )

The Law

NDLEA prosecuting team led by the director of prosecution and legal services Mr. Femi Oloruntoba who had argued against the bail application on the ground that no enough materials have been placed before the court said the ruling was a welcome development. He equally reiterated the prosecution’s preparedness for speedy trial. The seizure is the second single largest made by the anti-drug Agency since its creation 20 years ago

The accused persons include a Taiwanese Fong Chui Sen, 54, a timber merchant, a Chinese, Richard Wang, 62, an importer of textiles and shopping bags as well as three Nigerians who are clearing agents Alhaji Inua Mohammed, 56, Ezeala Kingsley and Godswill Asomugha. They were recently arraigned by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) over their alleged involvement in the 450.400kg of cocaine seizure. All five accused pleaded not guilty to a four count charge of conspiracy and unlawful importation of 450.400kg seizure of cocaine made at the Tin Can Island Port, Lagos.

The first count states that, Fong Chui Sen and Wang Richard male adults, between the months of March and July 2010 at Ibadan and Kano, Nigeria, without lawful authority conspired to import 450.400 kg of cocaine into Nigeria from Republic of Chile and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under section 14 (b) of the NDLEA Act, CAP N30 Laws of the Federation 2004. ( Continues below..... )

Map of Nigeria

Second count read that Fong Chiu Sen male adult, on or about the 22nd day of July 2010 at Tin Can Island Port, Lagos, without lawful authority imported 450.4 kg of cocaine from the Republic of Chile into Nigeria and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under section 11 (a) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act, CAP N30 Laws of the Federation 2004.

Count 3 states that Inua Mohammed, Ezeala Kingsley, Godswill Asomugha male adults, on or about 22nd day of July 2010 at Lagos, conspired to aid one Fong Chiu Sen and Wang Richard to import 450.4 kg of cocaine from the Republic of Chile into Nigeria and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under section 14 (b) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act, CAP N30 Laws of the Federation 2004.

The last count states that Inua Mohammed, Ezeala Kingsley, Godswill Asomugha male adults, on or about 22nd day of July 2010 at Lagos, aided one Fong Chiu Sen and Wang Richard to import 450.4 kg of cocaine from the Republic of Chile into Nigeria and thereby committed an offence contrary to and punishable under section 14 (b) of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act, CAP N30 Laws of the Federation 2004.

Nosa Osula-Aituamen (AviationReport)

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*Tags: Nigerians, Cocaine, Trial, Court, Rejects, Bail, Application, Abuja, Lagos, Africa, Masterweb

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10/16/10

Permalink 12:39:39 pm, by lateef lawal, 299 words   English (US) latin1
Categories: News
*Total Radio Coverage of Nigeria's Airspace Nearing Completion

-Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Jos, Sokoto, Ilorin and Maiduguri stations already installed

By Lateef Lawal

The Total VHF Radio Coverage of Nigeria is almost complete with appreciable progress recorded on several key ground stations of the country’s air navigation chart.

Competent sources informed NigerianAviationNews that the VHF equipment installed at Lagos, Abuja, Ilorin and Port Harcourt are now tested and deployed for use by both pilots and air traffic controllers on frequency 120.9MHz since September 25th 2010. In addition, it was learnt that similar installations have been completed in Jos, Maiduguri and Sokoto, with Abuja station already integrated with existing system in the Northwest on 128.5MHz and Jos integrated with the systems in the Northeast on 124.1MHz of the Northern sector with appreciable improvement in the coverage of both sectors. ( Continues below….. )

United Airlines Airborne Plane

However, it was gathered that there are some delays in the installation of the Wukari node of the north east equipment. While the building and the mast to accommodate it are ready, the new Kano Control Tower is not ready.

The delay is attributed to the inability of the contractor to immediately offset the Custom Duty payment and transport to Kano the Control Tower cap from the Lagos Port. ( Continues below..... )

Nigeria Minister of Aviation, Mrs Fidelia Njeze

Photo Above: Nigeria Minister of Aviation, Mrs Fidelia Njeze

The contract for the VHF Coverage of Nigeria’s airspace was awarded at a cost of N400m to a Nigerian firm-DaeoMakro Nigeria Limited and a foreign partner, ParkAir of UK.

The near-completion of the total radio coverage is coming on the heels of the recently completed Total Radar Coverage of Nigeria(TRACON) which is scheduled for commissioning shortly.

Lateef Lawal (NigerianAviationNews)

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*Tags: Nigerians, Airlines, FAA, Airspace, Completion, Abuja, Lagos, Africa, Masterweb

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Permalink 01:29:00 am, by lateef lawal, 507 words   English (US) latin1
Categories: News, Nigerian News, African News

*ICAO Elects Nigerian 1st African President

By Lateef Lawal

The Director General of Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority [NCAA] Dr. Harold Olusegun Demuren, was elected president of the 37th General Assembly of International Civil Aviation Organization [ICAO] held in Montreal, Canada from 28th September to 8th October, 2010. ICAO is an organ of United Nations

The appointment which was unanimously endorsed by all the delegates from the one hundred and ninety [190] member states of ICAO made history. This was the first time an African was elected to preside over ICAO General Assembly, the United Nations global aviation Agency.

This development which cane under Agenda Item 4 of the second plenary meeting, also had the nomination of the Chief Delegate of the United States, seconded by the Chief Delegate of Australia and eventually the Assembly elected by acclamation Dr. Harold O. Demuren, Alternate Chief Delegate of Nigeria, as President of the Assembly. ( Continues below..... )

Dr. Harold Olusegun Demuren

Photo Above: Dr. Harold Olusegun Demuren

As put forth by the Chief Delegate of Brazil, seconded by the Chief Delegate of Colombia, the following nominations for the posts of Vice-President were also approved by acclamation. They included: First Vice-President Mr.Cãtãlin Radu, Alternate Chief of Romania, Second Vice-President, Mr. José Tomas Pérez, Alternate Chief Delegate of the Dominican Republic, third Vice-President Mr. Valeriy Okulov, Chief Delegate of the Russian Federation, Fourth Vice-President, Mr. Mohammed Al Suwaidi, Delegate of the United Arab Emirates.

With regards to Agenda Item 6, on the nomination of the Chief Delegate of Malaysia, supported by the Chief Delegate of Canada, the Assembly approved by acclamation the following nominations for Chairpersons of Commissions: Technical Commission Mr. Sameh El Hefny, Chief Delegate of Egypt. Economic Commission- Ms. Silvia Gehrer, Alternate Chief Delegate of Austria Legal Commission Mr. Levers Mabaso, Delegate of South Africa ,Administrative Commission Dr. Nasim Zaidi, Delegate of India. The remainder of the meeting was devoted to general statements delivered by the delegations of Belgium, the European Union, China, India, United States, Indonesia, Kenya, Mexico, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Peru, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, and Colombia. ( Continues below..... )

Nigeria Minister of Aviation, Mrs Fidelia Njeze

Photo Above: Nigeria Minister of Aviation, Mrs Fidelia Njeze

As President, Dr Demuren presided over the 37th ICAO General Assembly which discussed latest issues in Aviation Safety, Aviation Security and Environment. In attendance at the second plenary meeting were Honourable Ministers responsible for Civil Aviation Authorities from all the 190 contracting states, Aircraft manufacturers, International Air Transport Association [IATA], Airport Council International [ACI] and other Aviation Stakeholders.

The Minister of Aviation, Mrs Fidelia Njeze was at the head of the Federal Government delegation to the Assembly. The delegates cut across Chief Executive Officers and top management staff of parastatals in the ministry namely the NCAA, the Nigerian Airspace Management agency [NAMA], the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria [FAAN], the Nigerian Meteorology Agency [NIMET], the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology [NCAT] Accident Investigation Bureau [AIB] and Airlines. Nigeria will be seeking re-election into the ICAO Category II Council in the course of the Assembly.

Lateef Lawal (NigerianAviationNews)

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*Tags: Nigerians, Airlines, FAA, ICAO, Elects, NCAA, Harold, Demuren, Abuja, Lagos, Africa, Masterweb

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