By Lateef Lawal
Arik Air early this month commissioned its mini-depot for the storage of aviation fuel, popularly known as Jet A1. The depot is located within the Arik Air Aviation Centre at the Murtala Muhammed Domestic Airport, Ikeja, Lagos. The Depot which will serve as a strategic reserve, according to Arik Air Deputy Executive Vice President, Mr. Chris Ndulue is to assist the airline manage its fuel requirements properly.
The fuel depot has capacity for 100, 000 litres of Jet A1 and comes equipped with the full compliments of a depot and is an above ground facility which makes the fuel free from water. The Technical Director for the depot, Mr. Owolabi Oriola said the facility has an added advantage of a relaxing chamber which will remove sediments and water from the fuel before being dispensed. It also has a double wall tank to control spill. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: Arik Chairman, Sir Joseph Arumemi-Ikhide (right) receiving the Company of The Year Award from Nigeria’s former High Commissioner to South Africa, Alhaji Shehu Malami at the Leadership Awards for Excellence 2009 held in Abuja on Friday, April 30, 2010.
The mini-depot is to have five browsers, two of which are on ground while three others are on the way.”The browsers also have the facility to remove sediments and water from the fuel before dispensing,” Mr. Oriola said. Speaking at the commissioning ceremony, Arik Air’s Chairman, Sir Joseph Akinola Arumemi-Ikhide said it was a thing of joy for the airline to build its first private depot. He said: “We are doing this because more often than not we have challenges with fueling our aircraft which have caused flight delays. Doing 150 flights daily, with plans for another 45 flights to make 200 within the next one year, means we have to remove all obstacles to smooth operation.”
He stated that the commissioning of the depot is just a tip of the iceberg. “We are going to expand this facility to over five million litres in the next one year. We are going to commission one million litres in Abuja, Port Harcourt already has some and we are adding to it.” ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: A landing Arik Plane
Sir Arumemi-Ikhide reiterated the commitment of Arik Air to safe and reliable operations. “We have the youngest fleet in Africa; all our aircraft are modern. We believe life does not have a duplicate and we want to ensure that people enjoy and not endure flying. There is difference between enjoying and enduring flying.”
Arik Air is West Africa’s leading commercial airline. It now operates a fleet of 26 state-of-the art regional, medium haul and long haul aircraft. The airline currently serves 22 airports across Nigeria as well as Accra (Ghana), Banjul (Gambia), Cotonou (Benin), Dakar (Senegal), Freetown (Sierra Leone), Monrovia (Liberia), London Heathrow (UK), Johannesburg (South Africa) and New York JFK (USA). The airline currently operates over 150 flights daily from its hubs in Lagos and Abuja.
Lateef Lawal (NigerianAviationNews)
*Tags: Nigerians, Arik, Abuja, Lagos, Yar’Adua, Jos, Africa, Masterweb
By Ikechukwu Enyiagu (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The world, as we have it today, was once a village, and, through evolution, we have been able to transform it into a near-global village-thanks to science and technology. Since science began leading the way, man has sought for ways to be bi-locational-even literally; being able to “eat one’s cake and have it.” Behind this longing lies two insatiable desires: the desire for freedom and the desire for security. These desires make good case in the long-listed UN charter on human rights. And so, the desire for freedom, subsequently, has narrowed down to include freedom to subvert natural establishment-sprouting homosexuality, incest and zooerasty. The desire for security has equally degenerated to mean an increased number of war casualties, deserts, and nuclear proliferation.
The obvious truth we have all failed to see over the centuries is that freedom and security live on either side of the same coin; either can only reign at one given time. You either choose to be free or you choose to be secure. This truth, of course, can easily be bought from countries that have been at war for a long time now. War leaves no one secure or free; it leaves you alert and compliant at all times. Compliance is an enemy to freedom just as security is the unsureness of freedom. ( Continues below..... )
The desire for security led us through the devil’s path-leading us astray. This desire informs itself in nations’ security budgetary allocations, military “reserves” and, subsequently, nuclear proliferation. We have believed, over the years, that the way to live free and secure is to annihilate our “enemies.” We have also learned from experience that such beliefs have not only been based on false calculations, but have ended up making us less free and less secure. We kill our “enemies” to ensure our security but we end up more insecure and less free, because our “enemies” are fighting to kill us and be both secure and free. The challenge for military might gave birth to nuclear weapons.
So far, the United States, Russia, United Kingdom, France, and China have been formally recognized as the nuclear weapon states. Other states believed to have these nuclear weapons include India, North Korea, Pakistan, and Israel, which has had a policy of opacity regarding the matter.Sensing the madness which has crept into the desire for security, and its impending over-damaging consequences, the treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons, also called Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT or NNPT) was brought into force by the United Nations on the 5th of March, 1970. ( Continues below….. )
Mortal desires are both indulging and harmful; so is the desire for nuclear weapons as security measures. Iran, at present, has held the whole world hostage with its quest for the enrichment of nuclear fuel, which many fear is for development of nuclear weapons. In order to curtail the global result of the culmination of this mortal desires, and to maintain the non-proliferation treaty, the United Nations must ‘write boldly’ the unmistakable dangers of a ‘global cum nuclear village’ on every wall. This fresh rekindling of awareness will help them see that there is one and only real threat to global freedom and security which is yet to be unequaled; this threat is any government that insists on developing nuclear weapons. In the case of Iran, The United Nation should know that the world’s mortal desires will culminate into global doom should the Iranian regime be allowed to develop nuclear weapons.
The Iranian case should not be viewed from the angle of ‘brotherly-discounts,’ but should be seen as a threat to our ecumenical existence. Every applicable measure must be used to, not only to deter, but to dismantle, from its root, the Iranian century-long nuclear weapon dream and that of any other country on queue. It’s a mortal desire that will culminate into a global doom. Only after these mortal desires have been checked can we hope to find our way toward freedom and security in a new coin with no sides.
*Tags: Nigerians, Nuclear, World, Culmination, Mortal, Desires, Illusions, Africa, Masterweb
By Lateef Lawal
The problem that had hitherto worked against government parastatals, especially in Nigeria have been that of the so-called power brokers who harness every opportunity to ensure that they cheat on the society by using the word ‘Presidency’ to strike fear into government officials into looking the other way when it is glaring that they are committing acts of illegality by not paying taxes on their companies that largely always secure juicy contracts from the common purse of the federating units called -Federal Republic of Nigeria.
In addition, if they are opportune to have an airline, they will want to be in business and keep all the gains without paying for services rendered to their corporate entity by agencies of the government charged with the statutory responsibility of proving such services, thereby leading such agencies into financial quagmire in the areas of the provision of continuous quality service, training and re-training of staff that operate the facilities with which such services are being provided, not to talk of the payment of salaries of such staffers and meeting up with other operational logistics. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: An Airborne Plane
They always succeed in this dangerous game plan by threatening to report whoever dared to ask them to pay their taxes or for services rendered with the word such as, ‘I will report you to the Presidency’ or ‘I will get you sacked. Don’t you know me’. It will only take an with tough stance and that have not soiled their palms with mouth watering gratifications to challenge and look such men in the face. Such was the case in the hay days of Nigeria Airways when some powerful individuals , because of their closeness to the corridors of power in ‘Aso Rock’ wrench the airlifting of pilgrims from the then national carrier and were given the business of Hajj Operations leaving the Federal Government owned airline in the red.
The private airlines cum tour operators then performed woefully year-in-year-out leaving several pilgrims stranded in Saudi Arabia. Each time this happened then, government with its fiat always direct Nigeria Airways to go and bring back the stranded pilgrims without financial back-up to pay for overflying charges across countries in the desert. The accumulated debt was transferred to the bills of Nigeria Airways while the private airlines cum tour operators who failed woefully in the contract were always smiling to the banks with free public money. Same was the situation with several other government owned agencies and parastatals.
Though. Has always claimed it has-‘ no business in business’- that was what informed the selling off of many of the agencies because they were always in the red, a situation that was largely caused by government and it is today being repeated and entrenched systematically. This why we need to critically looked into the recent unnecessary scenario created by some airlines who wanted to evade payment for services rendered to them by some service providers in the industry such as the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria(FAAN) and Nigerian Airspace Management Agency(NAMA). All the airlines jointly owe these two agencies of government a whooping N10billion if not more out of which over N4billion is owed to NAMA. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: A landing Arik Plane
Prior to the 1st September 2010 when the management of NAMA took the bull by the horns after the directive of the Minister of Aviation for aggressive revenue and debt recovery drives, there had been several meetings between NAMA officials and those of the debtor airlines on debt reconciliations. Some attended some blatantly refused to attend. Later a Ministerial Committee was set up to look at all the issues at stake and come up with recommendation on the ways out. Members of Airline Operators of Nigeria(AON) were members of the committee along the those of the Ministry and all the parastatals in the industry. After the committee’s two-week sitting they came up with far reaching recommendations which included the spreading of the old debt owed by the airlines since 2005 to June 2010 be spread across 36 months while they should henceforth make it a point of duty to always pay for services rendered to them.
This recommendation among others were endorsed by the Minister for implementation, which was what NAMA started on 1ST September this year. So, baffles many industry watchers to see an about turn by the airlines that were part and parcel of the report which their representatives at the Ministerial Committee Meeting endorsed their signatures. If airlines who were signatories to the mutual agreement on debts settlement and prompt payment of their current bills failed to abide by the tenet of the, then they do not have moral justification to run to the Presidency for any form of protection nor do they deserve to hide under the umbrella of the Minister who had twice intercede and advised that they should be allowed to elongate their old debt but henceforth pay for services they enjoy on cash and carry basis.
It was even unimaginable that one or two members of the AON could confidently say that domestic navigation charge(s) does not exist in other countries that are signatories to all the ICAO Conventions including operational documents in 17 Annexes that are more or less the’ holy book’ for safe and secure civil aviation in all member States of ICAO of which Nigeria is one.
So, let us examine what ICAO says in these annexes with particular focus on the provision of Air Navigation Services. The International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) Policies on Charges for Air Navigation Services as laid out in Doc.9082/7 states among others that: "That a Charge shall be made to recover the costs of providing facilities and services for aviation." The word Charge in this clause simply means an amount of money paid for either goods or services rendered, while in the usage of the word shall, it is mandatory that whoever is so billed for such services pay the specify amount.
To ensure that the charges are not extended to non-aviation related services or proliferate such Charges, ICAO Council recommends that, ’States shall permit imposition of charges only for services and functions provided for civil aviation operations,’ and added further to say that,’ Each Contracting State has responsibility for Airports and Air Navigation Services in its territory in accordance with Standards and Practices recommended or established pursuant the convention.’ The convention refer to are all the convention of which Air Navigation is part and Nigeria is a signatory unless we are saying we no longer belong or we are opting out of ICAO then the federal government can decide to foot the bills of all Nigerian registered airlines that are operating commercial civil aviation business. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, Nigeria.
Under the same ICAO Policies on Air Navigation Services Charges, such charges it explained include –Approach and Aerodrome Control Charges (which we refer to in Nigeria lately as Terminal Navigation Charge,TNC) and Route Charges either on domestic or international routes.
[ Legal Basis For The Charge ]
In explaining the legal basis for air navigation services charges, ICAO said users are levied for services provided or made available to them (in accordance with the regional air navigation plan). Charges may be levied on the basis of the same unit rate regardless of category of user or, alternatively, some categories of users may be specifically exempted or charged at a lower unit rate, for example flights made under visual flight rules (VFR).
In summary a flight may be defined as: "An aircraft movement through any airspace and defined by aircraft identity and/or airline flight identity, aircraft type, flight category, respective entry and exits points, departure and destination airports, date and time of departure".
[ Liability To Pay ]
In general the liability to pay the charge, says ICAO falls on the user who at the time the flight was made was the operator of the aircraft concerned. In some cases where the operator cannot be traced the owner of the aircraft can be made liable for the charge. Identification of the correct operator is fundamental to the smooth operation of any billing system. In the majority of cases the ICAO call-sign and/or the registration of the aircraft will provide the crucial link. This information is usually entered on the flight plan and will appear on the ATC flight progress strip.
With the above excerpts from the world body of which we subscribe to, and factual issues raised , one wonders where the apostle of free air navigation got their tutorials from. If they want to set a unique commercial aviation practice, the airlines should start carrying passengers free of charge and let us see if they will be able to pay staff salaries and allowances, meet their ramp operational costs, pay for insurance and above all be able to maintain their fleet as at when due. Enough of this balderdash!
Lateef Lawal (NigerianAviationNews)
*Tags: Nigerians, Free, Air, Navigation, Commercial, Flights, FAA, Abuja, Lagos, Africa, Masterweb
By Ikechukwu Enyiagu (email@example.com)
“For wisdom is a defense, so says the holy book, and money is a defense: but the excellency of knowledge is, that wisdom gives life to them that have it.” In other words, money brings security and wisdom brings security but the pre-eminence of wisdom over money is that it brings lasting security. When a man thinks of security, he thinks of lasting security; and when he thinks of a lasting security, he thinks of posterity. Now, there can be no posterity without the children. So we can deduce from this quote that, as money builds the house, wisdom gives it the foundation it deserves. Every architect knows that the height and durability of any building is, first and foremost, dependent on the depth of the building’s foundation. This literally translates that a man’s true security is in his family, his children. That’s the reason kidnappers in developed world often prefer using children as baits for their parents. In every 90 out of 100% divorce hindrances(in the case of families with children) in the developed world is the issue of custody of the children. Each partner wants to go but not without the security for the future-the children.
Coming now to how this issue applies to our contemporary millionaires, you cannot look farther than is already stated; it’s still the children. I see a man work extra-hard either by genuine labor, cheating, defrauding, embezzling, stealing, or making blood sacrifices to get to his primary monetary millions in order to be secure or, better put, to secure a comfortable future for his children. This article is not to question our millionaires’ sources of wealth, but rather to appreciate their zeal and, most importantly, to point out to them why their zeal is misguided by whatever informs it. This article laughs at their methods of ensuring that their future is secure in their children. Although this does not apply to all our 'wealthies', majority of them are in this quagmire which needs to be looked at urgently. ( Continues below..... )
Education sector in the United Kingdom is a major revenue source for Britain, thanks to Nigerian leadership and that of other myopic countries. Malaysia has taken on the heels of Britain in ‘educating’ our Nigerian students. Most of these students either come on their own reasons, by scholarships( which oftentimes are fueled by nepotism) or as children from these millionaire homes. I am emphatically talking on our millionaire politicians because I have a better case on the matter. Scattered all over these countries are the children of the said rich, studying, as it were, courses that boost their fathers’ pride. And so, they can ‘feel’ like they are finally saving a future. But, wait a minute! It’s all wrong, it’s all unwise, it’s all a waste- like building castles in the air. To our millionaires: maybe you have not known, but about 0.5% of your children are actually studying as students do. The rest- what do they do? Well, they do exactly the options you left for other deprived Nigerians studying in different institutions in Nigeria because you have concluded that, since your children are all away getting the best education, you are secure.
What an illusion! What a grand illusion! Since money is the only word you have made your children to understand, it might interest you to know that they pay their way through virtually everything; paying for a girl’s smile, for a class assignment or coursework and for exam mercenary(since the whites/Asians find it hard to different black faces). Some of these children have even graduated to paying for friendships because they can’t afford to be alone, for any reason. No one is mentioning the fact that the abduction/kidnapping strategy has also migrated to Malaysia in search of your children. ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria
Most of our millionaires’ zeal were borne out of ignorance and blatant selfishness. You may be saying, “how does that concern me since I’m connected and can get my children settled once they are through with school?” Well, what you fail to see is that no child runs without, first of all, learning how to sit; Nigeria, as she works on growing, needs professionals with practical ability and not mere theorists. Gone are the days when the ability to read, write, and being able to speak English language is considered a degree certificate in Nigeria labor market. Time is here when every government employee, not to mention the private sectors, with all the UK, Malaysia, Ukraine or US degree, will have to go through intensive practicals as the core interview procedure. You see why you can never be secure in your children when it comes to Nigeria as long as Nigerian schools remain in shambles?
Wake up, our millionaire politicians! Wake up, our men of cash! Buy the truth, and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding. Look into our Nigerian schools. Bring into your homes the brilliant and intelligent but low-opportunity students and set up constructive competitions between them and your children. Upgrade our schools and set up a program to make academic intelligence in Nigeria interesting and competitive. Stop thinking that money is lasting security. No, wisdom is the spirit of money without which money means nothing.
*Tags: Nigerians, Elections, Votes, Contemporary, Millionaires, Illusions, Africa, Masterweb
By AKinyemi Abdul Mujeed
Remember that a fool at fifty is a fool forever. Is Nigeria a fool? Let us find out. Democracy according to Abraham Lincoln is the government of the people by the people and for the people. Before we consider the democratic journey if adventitious or not, there are some features of democracy which need to be considered. These features include periodic election, independence of the judiciary, freedom of press, supremacy of the constitution, respect for fundamental human right, application of the principle of the rule of law, principle of separation of power, principle of check and balances, multi power system and so on.
Although we claim to have periodic election in Nigeria, there is no such thing as periodic election. What we have is periodic selection. During elections, there is rigging, bribery, and killing to get to the to post. Most of our leaders today forced themselves on people by distributing foodstuffs and making irrelevant portfolios. This is very bad. If a political godfather does not baptize a candidate, such a candidate will never win the election and this does not speak well of the giant of Africa. ( Continues below….. )
Nigeria also claim to have freedom of the press, but this is not so. The Nigerian press is not free under the present civilian administration. What they print and broadcast are being carefully screened by their editors to prevent victimization of the government .In September 2008, the Lagos and Abuja branches of channels Television, headed by John Momoh, was closed down by security operatives on orders from the federal government for broadcasting news about Late president Yar’adua’s ill health and his likelihood to resign then.
Also, the rule of law which state that we are all equal before the law is no more valid .The immunity clause prevent public office holders from being dragged to court for any crime committed. This shows that the law is partial. The former President ought to be dragged to court for not being able to account for some money and projects before living office. Most of our leaders are selfish, after ruling thrice-twice as elected president Obasanjo`s shadow loom large over the polity. If his time at the helm had been so prosperous and peaceful, perhaps he would have been so much adorable figure. If he had not tried to perpetuate himself in office by attempting to force a rework of the constitution after eight years, perhaps he would have been getting an hero welcome everywhere.
If he had not seen governance as a means of realizing a personal ambition and living in the delusion that what some great men could not get he received, even without asking, perhaps many would have been singing his praise. If he had not constituted himself into a rock-solid hurdle against democratic ideals, perhaps many would have been praying for him. If he had not become the chief priest of do or die politics, perhaps he would have been genuinely loved by many democrats. Perhaps -may be so. ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria
Where is Nuhu Ribadu now? He has being sent out of office due to the fact that he was fighting corruption. The Niger Delta militants are demanding for there fair share of the Nations wealth. There is no development. What we have are bad roads, terrible power supply, low standard of education, fuel scarcity etc in the Africa’s giant for that matter.
There is insecurity in the country since the last decade. If the then attorney general of the federation (Bola Ige) could be assassinated in 2003 and his killers are still roaming the street as free men after prolonged trials under a civilian regime, what will happen to a common man like you and I? We claim that there is multiparty system. The minimum number of political party that should be in a country in a democracy is two. In Nigeria today we have over 30 political parties, and each party wants’ its candidate to be elected. That is why we have rigging and some other electoral malpractices.
There must also be an independent National electoral body. The body responsible for election in Nigeria is Independent national Electoral commission (INEC), the body itself is corrupt not to talk about the heads of the body. Due to some problem that affects the feature that needs to be considered to know if democratic journey is adventitious or not, it is hereby concluded that the democratic journey in the last decade is nothing but a disappointment as the pace is not adventitious.
*Tags: Nigerians, Fifty, Yar'Adua, Africans, Goodluck, Jonathan, Political, Politics, Leadership, Masterweb
By Ikechukwu Enyiagu (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Assuming that individual votes in Nigeria now count for something, that the logistics for a free, fair and credible election have been put in place, who and who should we vote for in this coming election? Who is vote-worthy among all the aspirants and/or party nominees? Every party goes through primaries before putting forward the candidates that best describe or represent their parties. It’s no longer news that Nigerian political parties have placed their interests far above national interest and their nominees do not, in minutest way, represent the interest of the masses or of the nation for that matter.
That informs the reason so many politicians defect from party to party as elections draw near. You see a single politician go through three parties within four years and you wonder, ‘what is he really after?’ Well, it’s clearly a show of visionless leadership, a glaring proof that most of our politicians do not know what politics or leadership is all about. They scamper from pillar to post in search of who promises them the bigger share if they could sell out their constituencies. A perfect example of such political sell-out is what is going on in Abia state where Mr governor has been buttonholed to return to PDP.
Most of these old politicians generally started from PDP and left for other parties because of in-party irregularities, anti-national interest strategies and policies the party adopted, or because of personal reasons. In the case of governor Theodore Ahamefule Orji of Abia state who has been wooed by the PDP bigwigs to desert his present political party, APGA, for PDP, the sole bargain would have been, ‘what is in it for me?’ and not, ‘ what is in it for my state?’ There are a thousand and one of such cases scattered all over the federation, especially as the election draws nigh. ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria
Every common Nigerian (to whom power truly belongs) knows that the present politics in Nigeria is not representative of our collective yearnings and our national purpose, but it will be well to take cognizance of the few politicians that truly need and are working towards this change that we all long for. So, as we prepare to vote, it’s important that we search out for the best we can squeeze out from our politicians; it is important that we picture tomorrow from our pasts when we choose who to vote for.
Before we decide on who to vote for, we have to, first of all, KNOW THOSE WE DARE NOT VOTE FOR. It will be safe for me now to say that, although we do not have the best of politicians in Nigeria today, we can get the best out of the ones we choose to vote for if we give it a good shot. So, some of the qualifications you have to look out for in any politician who must not be voted for are these:
1. Has he/she been in power before and, if so, how was general security in the area he/she led? If there were security fallout during his/her tenure, he/she is not to be voted for.
2. How did the educational sectors, both for the teachers and the students, fare in his/ her tenure? If there were fallout by, either teachers’ frequent strikes or cults’ butchery, he/she is a bad candidate.
3. The withdrawal of the American troops from Iraq was one of the promises Obama made prior to his election and everybody looked forward to it. If he/she was in office before and was not able to meet, at least, 60% of his/her manifesto, that’s a candidate who is not yet ready.
4. If he/she has been in office before, was his/her administration able to bring in new business ideas,opportunities and investors? Were there remarkable improvements in the business sector? If business was as usual in his/her time, then it’s a clear sign that he/she is not versatile.
5. In the case of a former head of state, how were the citizens in diaspora treated during his regime; with respect like every other citizen from different countries or were their rights violated with the support of our first man? If Nigerian embassies during his tenure were mere outposts, then he is not to be trusted with the lives of the citizenry.
6. His/her background must be dug and if he/she is known to belong to or harbor cultists or occultists, then no good thing will ever come out from such regime. Get rid of such persons. ( Continues below….. )
Photo Above: Map of Nigeria showing its 36 states (including Imo State) and capital (Abuja or FCT)
The core problem we face in Nigeria is security fallout; security of lives, property, personalities, and our national purse. Basically, the most important place we must not make mistake about is who to be voted for as the president. The general fallout we experience in Nigeria has its root in the presidency. So, the person to occupy the first seat in Nigeria must not be selfish and cowardly. These are some of the things to check out in a candidate, both new and returnees, before endorsement or election:
1. He/she must be educated and able to defend his discipline. As a matter of fact, exams should be set from party primaries for every political aspirant based on their areas of discipline -the presentation of certificates is not enough. This will automatically ensure that impostors, mediocre, untrained and ignorant personalities do not lead this great nation as long as they remain in that darkness. As a matter of truth, this is the core problem in Nigeria-the imposition of ignoramus on the nation as leaders.
2. He/she must be a de-centralised person; someone who sees family to mean the nation and the people he leads.
3. He/she must have a record of honesty. Since honesty is rare in Nigeria, it wont be difficult to track an honest man or woman.
4. He/she must be a man with the 21st century mindset, a man who can represent the unspoken wishes of the people.
5. He/she must be open and willing to tolerate high criticism. A good leader knows that criticisms sharpen and bring out the best in him/her.
6. He/she must be tolerant of his/her opponents. He must be willing and ready to accept constructive competitions for the Nigerian goal.
These and a lot more, when properly utilized, will bring a new Nigeria to bare. Someone might say that his/her vote does not count. Well, it does, at least, it will start counting the moment you start believing in yourself, for how can we not believe in ourselves and expect to believe in Nigeria? We are Nigeria, we are the ones to choose who represents us. This consciousness is the beginning of our victory as a great nation.
*Tags: Nigerians, Elections, Votes, Worthy, Africa, Masterweb
By Lateef Lawal
Arik Air which was refused start-up September 1 for its flights by Air Traffic Controllers over its huge debt has made a U-Turn by paying N50 million for its domestic operations and $25,000 for six flights on the Lagos-London route.
It could not be immediately known why the sudden change of heart, when the management of the airline had earlier told journalists that it was not going to pay since "the dispute in respect of the domestic charges has been on since 2002 and is currently before the Supreme Court".
Arik management further claimed that at a meeting held August 30, at the conference room of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority(NCAA) attended by Aero, Air Nigeria, Dana, Bristow and IRS airlines, it was agreed that navigational charges were illegal. It also described the action of the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency(NAMA) as unlawful and unilateral. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: A landing Arik Plane
Despite the claim by Arik, all the airlines mentioned including Associated Airline, Overland, Allied Air, Mobil Aviation and AOS Helicopters not only paid part of their old debts but also embraced the new payment regime of ‘Pay As You Go’ for all their flights to avoid future accumulation of debts.
However, in a swift response to Arik’s claims, NAMA in a statement stated among others:
That all the domestic airline operators were fully notified earlier before now shortly after a meeting in Abuja with the honourable minister of aviation, Mrs Fidelia Akuabata Njeze who equally appealed to them to honour their financial obligations to all the parastatals. That the issue of Terminal Navigation Charge has never been a contentious issue in the court with the Agency.
That AON had wanted a waiver on en-route navigation charges which was taken to the Court and the Appellant Court ruled in favour of NAMA in 2002.
That the issue in the Court has nothing to do with the huge debt Arik is owing NAMA on services provided on domestic and international routes. That when AON went to Court in 2002,Arik was never incorporated and can not be a party to the issue in Court as claimed to escape settling its debt which stood at N884,719,271.65 and $1.6million on domestic and international routes respectively as at June 2010. That what transpired today, showed that Arik Air was alone ranger in this new payment regime as other airlines made their flights without hitches.
That the Act No 48 that established NAMA empowers it to charge for its services ditto ICAO regulation . NAMA as an agency of government does not receive subvention for payment of salaries and allowances including continued maintenance of facilities to ensure safe air navigation. Our only source for meeting these mandatory obligations is from our internally generated revenue. It was after this statement was issued that NigerianAviationNews learnt that Arik Air had come forward to pay N50million at about 8.00 pm and 9.00pm last night, clearance was reportedly given to Air Traffic Controllers to give Arik Air flights navigational services. And as at this morning (Thursday) all flights of Arik commenced their normal schedule. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, Nigeria.
1. From: NIGERIAN AIR TRAFFIC CONROLLERS ASSOCIATION[ Haske Jibrin(President), Martin Akujuobi(General Secretary) ]: The attention of the Nigerian Air Traffic Contollers’ Association has been drawn to the current debate, innuendos and misguided arguments regarding the denial of services to defaulting airlines by the relevant government Agencies over payment of fees and charges. The Association wishes to state as follows:
*That we identify with the resolve of the Government Agencies to deny services to ANY Airline that fails to pay its business charges to the concerned parastatals, especially I the interest of the Aviation Safety systems.
*That the Association supports any step taken by Government to ensure adequate funding of the various Aviation Parastatals to enable them finance their critical safety services to the industry such as Staff Training and Re-Training, Equipment re-newals and up-grades and other financial obligations to the Public Air Transport system.
*That the public should be properly guided by the fact that the denial of services to defaulting Airlines is in line with normal and civilized business practice and any thing to the contrary is both unethical and a reward to unpatriotic corporate citizenship.
*Meanwhile, it is mischievous to insinuate that Air Traffic Controllers are on strike. The truth is that the Association and its members will continue to deny Air Traffic Services to any airline found to be in default, while arrangement has been concluded to set up a committee of the Association to ensure the sustenance of this important revenue drive.
2. FROM: CIVIL SOCIETY REPRESENTATIVE[ Comrade Abdul-Razaq Saidu, Civil Society Rep-MTSS Aviation ](MTSS 2011-2013): The existence of the Federal Government’s MTSS and full representative of the Civil Society in the same MTSS gave the Civil Society representative some serious concern over the indebtedness of the airlines to the Federal Government’s parastatals and agencies in the Aviation sector with particular reference to NAMA.
It is a fact to confirm that NAMA has installed basic infrastructure and equipment thereby enabling the pilots and air traffic controllers to function effectively in terms of safety in the air. The airlines indebtedness to the parastatals has become an open hearing issue by the Senate Committee on Aviation, Ministerial Committee for which both had looked into the face-off between the airlines and parastatals particularly NAMA.
Directives were given to address this face-off, but some airlines have refused to comply with these directives, considering the fact that it is an ICAO set standard on payment for services provided. It has therefore become mandatory for the airlines to pay for the services being provided by these parastatals.
Lateef Lawal (NigerianAviationNews)
*Tags: Nigerians, Arik, Airlines, FAA, Abuja, Lagos, Africa, Masterweb
By Masterweb News Desk
The burial of Chukwudubem Okafor, 64, a Nigerian Professor in the U.S. who killed his wife and himself on August 15, is on hold unless funeral expenses are paid up. The original funeral/burial cost of $13.000.00 was reduced to $9,500.00 to enable Okafor's family afford the bill, but only the sum of $4,200.00 has been paid as at the time of this report. Hunt Memorial Chapel(aka Emmett Golden Hunt Memorial Chapel), the funeral home (mortuary) handling the burial, upon passionate plea by Nigeria Masterweb, has extended its deadline for the completion of the funeral payment from August 30, to September 6. Hunt Memorial Chapel would upon the expiration of the deadline, if the $5,300 balance is not paid, declare Okafor's body abandoned and seek permission from the city for its cremation .
Hunt Chapel handled the funeral and burial ceremony of Cheryl, Chukwudubem Okafor's murdered wife, and is now stuck with his body. Cheryl was buried at Laurel Dale Cemetery in Reading, Pennsylvania. According to Carrie Arvilla Hunt, Hunt's Funeral Director, the funeral home has been with Okafor's body since August 15. ( Continues below…… )
Photo Above: Laurel Dale Cemetery, Reading, Pennsylvania, where Chukwudubem Okafor's wife, Cheryl was buried.
Nigerians and friends of Nigerians are called upon to help raise the needed funds to enable Okafor's burial in the U.S. We are not talking of burial in Nigeria which would be more than double the cost for U.S. internment. Let us give him a grave site which his children in Nigeria from his first marriage could go to and pay him their last respect, whenever they make it to the U.S.
Please send your donation via Cashier's Check (Cheque) immediately to:-Please for record purposes notify Masterweb at email@example.com of any donation to Hunt Memorial Chapel. Hunt Memorial Chapel can be reached by phone at +1 (610) 380-8000.
Photo Above: Chukwudubem Okafor and wife Cheryl (Photo 1).
Photo Above: Chukwudubem Okafor and wife Cheryl (Photo 2).
*To forward this article to friends and associates, here is the link to send to them:- http://nigeriamasterweb.com/blog/index.php/2010/09/02/u_s_may_cremate_nigerian_prof_help_bury_
*Tags: Nigerians, Chukwudubem, Okafor, Kill, Wife, Cheryl, Attack, Woman, Crime, Africa, Masterweb
By Ikechukwu Enyiagu
One can hear a number of our Nigerian university students cheering and saying, “aha, we know it; we know that cultism is the only safe way through school, and when we graduate, we will metamorphose into our fathers’ occults to take our places in the nation-we always knew we were right.” As for our fathers and our leaders of the ages, “what an old man sees while sitting down, the young can’t see even while standing"- so they often quote. But suppose, only supposing, that I beg to differ in this case, will the generals involved dare to consider this truth they have only refused to acknowledge for decades?
There once was a young man who had to, as a matter of no-alternative, become a cult member in order to muster enough bullies to rig the councilorship election in his favour. And he sure won. I once knew of a local government chairman who, on campaigning, had to offer the life of his first son before he could be granted the chairmanship position of his L.G.A. The story is, “and he sure won.” Just lately we were brought to the awareness of state lawmakers in naked blood oath taking. Our polity has been marred from the beginning by occult introduction and acceptance. For the uninformed, occultism in our polity is what has been rebranded ‘godfatherism’. ( Continues below..... )
Granted, Wole Soyinka, in an interview, explained the genuine and commendable (permit me to say) reasons confraternities were introduced in Nigeria. Looking back upon the years gone, I wonder how this myopic birth has fared. Cults metamorphosed into occults hence, cultism and occultism. While the cult boys and girls rule our universities and streets, the occult fathers and mothers rule the nation.
The sole purpose for the emergence of cultism and occultism in our country was and has always been to instill fear in the opponents in order to subdue them and subvert justice. This is the tool that has successfully held Nigeria under one cord-dictatorship. This dictatorship tells its story when PDP openly rigs elections by the shameless comments and decisions they make before elections are conducted. Over the years, occult groups became Nigeria while Nigeria became just a name.
The basic criterion for winning an election in Nigeria has, for decades, been established as the name of the so called elders’ groups one belongs to. Research has equally proven that within a short space of time, two different cult and/or occult groups are bound to have a misunderstanding and, since violence and terror are their greatest tools, blood often spills. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: University of Ado-Ekiti (UNAD) students demonstrate against cultism.
But the question here is, “whose blood, whose child?” It has always been the simple, the innocent and the quiet in the land; it has always been Nigeria. Taking a second look at our national political parties will give you an even clearer picture. They are like a bunch of children playing the “ghost and blood games”, gambling, as it were, with our future that they have called personal business. Now that the election is our closest neighbor, there are blood initiations, oath takings, missing of persons, blood sacrifices, and all the evils only them can tell how they are done going on in different constituencies.
All hope is not lost, however, for my true fellow Nigerians. Change is coming to America through Obama, a change commensurate with what the country needs at a given time. In the case of Nigeria, a change has already begun but it wont be a change via pleas. The change that is coming on Nigeria shall be as strong as the heart of Nigeria-it shall not be measured less. There is a clarion call; Get rid of this evil practice and let Nigeria breathe.
Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. Finally and after all considerable considerations, I permanently stand to oppose the majority who agree that occultism is the solution for Nigeria. No, it is not!
Ikechukwu Enyiagu can be reached at
*Tags: Nigerians, Attitude, Nation, Occultism, Solution, Abuja, Lagos, Africa, Masterweb
By Lateef Lawal
It is indeed a 50th Independence Anniversary gift as promised by the Director General of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Dr Harold Demuren when he spoke of his optimism last month with aviation journalists that the attainment of Category 1 Safety Status will be an anniversary gift to the government of the Federation of Nigeria.
Last Wednesday, United States of America(USA) through her Ambassador in Nigeria, Ms Robin Sanders announced in Abuja that Nigeria had scaled the hurddle and is now recognised as belonging to the Category 1 Safety Status of the Federal Aviation Administration(FAA) of the U.S.A after three years of strenuous upgrading exercise entered into with the country's regulatory agency, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority(NCAA).
Sanders explained that with the new safety rating, Nigeria registered aircraft will be able to operate direct flights between the U.S and Nigeria without safety hinderance.
She therefore charged Nigeria, especially the regulatory agency to sustain the status already attained in continued collaboration with the United States of America to ensure the maintenance of the highest safety standards. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: FAAN logo On A Nigerian Map in Nigerian Flag Colours
Sanders urged Nigeria to keep the flame aglow in sustaining the safety rating and noted that in the next 18-24 months, Nigeria will come under global watch towards ensuring that the Category 1 Status is sustained and also urged Nigeria to step up its efforts at maintaining hundred per cent full body search at all airports in addition to its efforts at acquiring three dimensional full image body scanners.
She said that the achievement of category one is an important milestone for Nigeria and US bilateral relationship. Sanders explained that Nigeria is one of the African countries including Cape Verde, Egypt, Ethiopia, Morocco, South Africa that are Category 1 rated.
Receiving the Category 1 certification documents, from the U.S Ambassador on behalf of Nigerian government, the Director General of Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority(NCAA), Dr Harold Demuren expressed gratitude to the US government for all its contributions for the long journey that started a few years ago.
In her remarks, Nigeria's Minister of Aviation, Mrs Fidelia Njeze, lauded the assistance of the U.S government in the attainment of the safety rating while she listed the benefits to include reduced costs on aircraft insurance premium, better and easier access on aircraft leasing from aircraft manufacturers as well as attracting foriegn investment into Nigeria. ( Continues below..... )
Photo Above: Nigeria Minister of Aviation, Mrs Fidelia Njeze
Njeze assured the Nigeria will do everything possible to sustain the safety rating , which she said is a befitting gift for Nigeria's 50th independence anniversary. She commended Arik Air as one of the airlines that will benefit from the safety rating in flying into the U.S with its domestic crew as well as Nigeria registered aircraft.
Also speaking the Senior Special Adviser to the President on Aviation matters, Captain Shehu Usman Iyal expressed gratutude to the US government for the feat, which he said is no mean achievement considering the many years the Nigerian government through its safety reform agenda has been pursuing the safety rating. Iyal said the Federal Government is committed to sustaining the category one status through various measures aimed at promoting safety and security in the aviation sector.
He traced the pursuit of category one to the tenure of the Obasanjo administration, which he said was poised to turn around the aviation sector with its many intervention measures and programmes affirming that sustaining the safety rating will not be difficult.
He praised various agencies and bodies including the World Bank, International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), U.S Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and others that made Category 1 Safety rating for Nigeria a reality.
Lateef Lawal (NigerianAviationNews)
*Tags: Nigerians, Airlines, FAA, Category, Safety, Status, Abuja, Lagos, Africa, Masterweb
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