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09/15/10

Permalink 02:05:13 am, by lateef lawal, 980 words   English (US) latin1
Categories: News
*Nigeria: Arik Air Makes A Detour - Pays N50m & $25,000

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..... )

A landing Arik Plane

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..... )

Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos

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

REACTIONS……………

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)

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09/02/10

Permalink 02:56:07 am, by admin Email , 391 words   English (US) latin1
Categories: News
*U.S. May Cremate Nigerian Prof - Help Bury Him

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…… )

Laurel Dale Cemetery, Reading, Pennsylvania, where 
Chukwudubem Okafor's wife, Cheryl was buried.

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:- Hunt Memorial Chapel(or Emmett Golden Hunt Memorial Chapel), 427 E Lincoln Highway, Coatesville, Pennsylvania 19320.

Please for record purposes notify Masterweb at admin@nigeriamasterweb.com of any donation to Hunt Memorial Chapel. Hunt Memorial Chapel can be reached by phone at +1 (610) 380-8000.

Chukwudubem Okafor and wife Cheryl.

Photo Above: Chukwudubem Okafor and wife Cheryl (Photo 1).

Chukwudubem Okafor and wife Cheryl.

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_

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08/30/10

Permalink 01:11:19 am, by Ikechukwu, 751 words   ng-NG
Categories: News
*Nigeria: Is Occultism The Solution?

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..... )

Map of Nigeria

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..... )

University of Ado-Ekiti students demonstrate against cultism.

Photo Above: University of Ado-Ekiti (UNAD) students demonstrate against cultism. *Ado Ekiti is a city in Ekiti State, Nigeria. It is also known as Ado. The population in 2004 was 44,6749.

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 ike.enyiagu@gmail.com

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08/29/10

Permalink 12:59:29 am, by lateef lawal, 653 words   English (US) latin1
Categories: News
*Nigeria Finally Attains FAA Category 1 Safety Status

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..... )

FAAN logo On A Nigerian Map in Nigerian Flag  Colours

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..... )

Nigeria Minister of Aviation, Mrs Fidelia Njeze

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)

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08/28/10

Permalink 12:50:11 am, by drgenesis, 829 words   ng-NG
Categories: News
*Hurray! 50 big cheers to Nigeria!!!

By Dr. Genesis A. Dawuda

“Today is independence Day.” – Alhaji Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, Nigeria’s First Prime Minister on October 1st 1960.

About 50 years ago, the quote above rent the air as the first sentence, and first line of the speech presented by Nigeria’s first and only Prime Minister –late Alhaji Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa on the ceremony of the Independence of Nigeria as a sovereign state.

Nigeria is situated in West Africa and shares land borders with the Republic of Benin in the West, Chad and Cameroun in the east, and Niger in the North. In the south its coast lies on the Gulf of Guinea, part of the Atlantic ocean. With a population of over 140 Million, it is known as the most populous country in Africa and the eighth in the World.

This wasn’t so about 50 years ago. It had about 25,000,000 people that made up the population. According to the late Prof. Stephen Leacock (Dec. 30, 1869 –March 28, 1944 –former lecturer, head of department of Economics & Political Science and Professor Emeritus at McGill University, Montreal), “The climate never varies; each day is awful. White people cannot live there; those who survive go home.” ( Continues below..... )

Map of Nigeria

About 50 years ago, there were all in all 5,000 whites, but a large proportion of them were missionaries, nurses, and teachers, holding down a job, not a country, along with the clerks and traders of the steamship companies and the Staff of the Government House. Three guns (31/2 inches each), four battalions of infantry, one mortar and a signal school class, make up the whole National Defence of Nigeria.

Even at that, the whole army was black, except the officers. Someone said if there was to be mutiny at that time Nigeria could rise up and kill all the white officers, but why will they do that at the first instance?

Before independence, there was real government, the Government House was at Lagos. With mostly the Nigerians running the state. Those in the inland govern themselves through their Chiefs, Emirs and such relevant titles their people know them with. This was the indirect way of ruling the whole regions put together.

About 50 years ago all the revenues raised in taxes cannot keep Chicago running for six months, but today there is Petro-dollar, Human resource, Solid minerals and recently ICT that is doing wonders in the development that even led to the relocation of one of the headquarters of a GSM company from South Africa to Nigeria.

Today, Nigeria has earned to herself the credit of constructing the fastest growing federal capital city in the world. The federal Capital was moved from Lagos to Abuja. It started with three-lane roads, now it’s embarking on six-lane roads in order to manage vehicular traffic. About 50 years ago, Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa said, “ In these days of rapid communications, we cannot live in isolation, apart from the rest of the world, even if we wished to do so.” Today, there is the Internet, The GSM and the easier accessibility to air Transportation.(There are 22 airports in Nigeria with paved runways, and 21 Airstrips). ( Continues below….. )

President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria

Photo Above: President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria

About 50 years ago, the late prime minister closed his speech with “God save our Queen.” But today; to utter ‘God’ has been replaced by ‘Allah.’ About 50 years ago, Nigeria “emerged without bitterness or bloodshed” but today it’s sad to say that many lives have been lost in cold blood and vehement bloodlettings.

About 50 years ago, the late prime minister opened a “new chapter in the history of Nigeria and of the commonwealth and indeed, of the world.” Today, we have a recorded history of 14 previous and current Leaders after Independence, 10 past and present senate presidents, 11 Past and Present Chief Justices of the Supreme Court of Nigeria. 7 Speakers of the Federal House of Representatives (past and present).

Today, we have six geopolitical zones, 36 States including the Federal Capital Territory, 774 Local Government Areas, Today, we have 8,540 elected councilors, 1,205 House of Assemblies. 24 well-consolidated banks. We have 27 federal Universities, 31 State Universities, 33 Private Universities.

Today, We have 13 different organizations concerned with security in the Military, Paramilitary, and Agencies. With the Nigerian Police divided into 12 zones. To say Nigeria has not grown and developed does not need consulting the late professor of Economics, Stephen Leacocks in his grave but to compare his penned thoughts with what is tenable today in Nigeria.

With doors opened to the world, Nigerians are listed among every 5 blacks around the world. Today, we have the Philip Emeagwali (a Nigerian), who Bill Clinton (former president of United States of America, the most popular democracy in the world) addressed as the Bill Gates of Africa.

This same Bill Clinton recognized the resilience in Nigerians as the most happiest people on the planet earth. Click www.drgenesis.com/hurray.htm to read more on Nigeria at 50

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08/27/10

Permalink 02:22:38 am, by lateef lawal, 890 words   English (US) latin1
Categories: News
*Nigeria: Abuja Airport Now IATA StB Compliant

By Lateef Lawal

MAEVIS Nigeria Limited, in conjuction with key industry partners, especially the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), British Airways, RESA, IER and other stakeholders, has completed a key milestone in making Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport (NAIA) the second IATA StB compliant airport in Nigeria.

The Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos(MMIA) became compliant in August 2008. British Airways (BA) – a One World Alliance partner airline, and MAEVIS launch partner airline commenced the use of full 2D Bar Coded Boarding Pass (BCBP) Departure Control Systems (DCS) operations on a fully IATA compliant CUTE systems for all Abuja international passengers on her Abuja - London and points beyond international flights from August 16, 2010. ( Continues below..... )

Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport,  Abuja, Nigeria.

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

This development makes Nigeria’s Abuja airport fully compliant ahead of the IATA/ACI deadline of December 2010. According to the Managing Director of Maevis, Mr Tunde Fagbemi, this achievement "is also a true testimony of the resilience of the FAAN/Maevis team (a true Nigerian spirit), the extensive Infrastructure, Superstructure and Systems deployment at these Airports and the many tests, customisation and certification by British Airways, Lufthansa, Delta Airlines, Air Nigeria and our numerous IATA/ACI certified deployment partners and personnel".

Fagbemi added, "now that we are fully certified and gone live, we are confident that in the coming days other Airlines and their passengers using NAIA will gradually cut over to the new world class systems and Brand new Check-in-Desks and ultra modern check-in platform /systems provided by MAEVIS on a PPP – BOOT basis. As noted by IATA, these systems would further simplify the check-in and boarding process for all passengers who use NAIA and help to make Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) drive for excellence in customer service and make international standards and other Technology friendly expectations at our airports a reality."

The full implementation of the 2D bar-coded boarding passes enables:

-*Fast and convenient check-in and boarding.

-*Boarding with home printed 2D bar coded boarding passes.

-*Issuance of Mobile phone 2D bar coded boarding passes.

-*Several other passenger facilitation delights for airport customers and Aviation Stakeholders. ( Continues below..... )

FAAN logo On A Nigerian Map in Nigerian Flag  Colours

Photo Above: FAAN logo On A Nigerian Map in Nigerian Flag Colours

Maevis is a world-class Airports Infrastructure, Airports Operations Automation Systems provider Integrated ICT business solutions expert and Out Sourced Service provider. Maevis is FAAN’s partner under a PPP agreement - the team is committed to the renewal, revamping and upgrading of FAAN Airports Operations Management Systems (AOMS) and the renewal of certain defined infrastructure, superstructure and systems at Airports and Terminals located at four International Airports in Lagos, Kano, Port Harcourt and Abuja.

The current deployment at NAIA includes the Building of a Brand new World Class level 4 Data Centre, laying of a brand new ICT backbone for the aviation industry, the re-cabling of the Fiber Optic cable at the airports & the installation of modern servers, a brand new Communications network linking all Airlines and their host Airports in Lagos, Abuja, Kano & Port Harcourt, deployment of a full suite AOMS Systems, a Full IATA compliant 2D BCBP compliant CUTE /DCS System, the renewal/revamping of the Check in counters, check-in area, replacement of all current Servers, PCs, Printers etc at these airports with 2D barcode-compatible machines, and the introduction of 2D barcode readers at boarding gates in line with ICAO, ACI & IATA standards.

Since the deployment Friday, August 20, passengers have been able to print their own 2D bar-coded boarding passes at home or at the office and proceed directly to baggage drop-off or through security at NAIA enroute to their boarding gates and destinations of choice. ( Continues below..... )

Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos

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

Fagbemi noted that the company had made provisions for all local airlines and any other operators on all its new check-in counters and boarding gate stations to issue and read 2D BCBPs even if their Departure Control Systems (DCSs) have not been upgraded to handle them or if they do not currently have their own CRS and Departure Control System.

The unique approach that Maevis has taken with this technology implementation at NAIA, according to him was fashioned after its earlier deployment in August 2008 at Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA) which has been described by many industry stakeholders as impressive. Not only are the day-to-day needs of the Airlines supported with shared workstations, Maevis is investing for the future of the Airlines, FAAN and indeed assisting the entire aviation industry in Nigeria to fully implement IATA's Simplifying the Business objectives with the aim of creating:

-*more opportunities for airports;

-*more convenience for passengers and lower costs for the industry.

The technology reduces costs and improves customer service for both airlines and airports by introducing faster and easier check-in. This system offers the passenger more self-service options during their journey through the airport. This also translates into paper documents being converted into electronic messages both for passengers and air cargo, saving time and increasing accuracy. This new system deployed at NAIA will result in less time spent at check-in, giving longer commercial dwell time to travelers and offering passengers more pleasant travelling experience.

Lateef Lawal (NigerianAviationNews)

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08/26/10

Permalink 02:34:00 am, by Ikechukwu, 706 words   ng-NG
Categories: News
*Nigeria: The Attitude Of A Repentant Nation

By Ikechukwu Enyiagu

Does Nigeria have a problem? Yes. Is it right to pluralize this monster? Yes. The Concise Oxford English Dictionary describes 'problem' as "an unwelcome or harmful matter needing to be dealt with and overcome." Before anything can be termed as problematic, it must be an unwelcome phenomenon which outcome will bring nothing but harm and/or discomfort to its hosts. The force and the face of a problem stir a spontaneous desire in man to deal with and overcome it. However, the middle line which this definition of problem tends to summarize(in the case of Nigeria)with the word 'deal with' is the key to the 'overcoming' which everyone yearns for. This hidden word is called 'repentance.'

The problem with Nigeria is not just the leaders who cannot lead well and it is definitely not the leaders with passion for embezzlement either. The problem with Nigeria is an epitome of a nation that has refused to apportion its mistakes their appropriate places. It is the mistake of not accepting one's place of fall and the reason for the fall before attempting to move on. I can assure you that many a leader have come up severally in Nigeria with the 'genuine' desire to better Nigeria...but have not only failed, they made everything worse. No farmer who comes home sweating and wants a change of cloths will venture putting on a new cloth without, first of all, taking a clean bathe. The stench has to be removed as a matter of urgency. Continues below..... )

Map of Nigeria

Photo Above: Map of Nigeria showing its 36 states (including Imo State) and capital (Abuja or FCT)

Nigeria has refused to acknowledge its sins and repent from it yet we yearn to go forward. We heap sin for sin, be it from the government offices to our national and international security quarters, from our business fronts to our neighborhoods, and/or from our religious enclaves to our families. Our desire for sin matches our desire to be better. This is why it has become a blind cycle in Nigeria-soldier go soldier come...

However, there is an attitude for progress, be it in the live of an individual, an organization or a state. This attitude is called REPENTANCE. Repentance has a miraculous grace to lift one to an unimaginable height of assurance, peace and progress. It deals with the covenant of death and cuts off every limiting cord. Nigeria, what we need is genuine repentance...from all quarters.

We need to individually consider our roles in this problem, be it a government that treads on the minority, the president who buys his way forward, the banker that robs, the lecturer that bullies, the security officer that plays god, the parent who spoils the child, the pastor who preaches his type of heaven, the imam who encourages self-destruction or the brother who betrays-the list is endless. ( Continues below….. )

President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria

Photo Above: President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria

We all need to take stock and repent genuinely. Genuine repentance is the only answer to our moving forward as a nation because genuine repentance alone can abolish minority-mentality, stop our incumbent president from becoming another Abacha, the likes of Umar Farouk Abdul Matallab from shaming his family, another Prof. P. O. Otubu from destroying the future of our children, the police court-like attitude of execution rights, the parent from buying WASSC for the son, the pastor from feeding on the blood of his weak members, the incorrect re-branding of Islam as a terrorist religion, and the ritual killings for money.

Only genuine repentance will make Nigeria enjoy what it has. As 2011 election approaches, I implore us all, as a nation, to set aside a period for true remorse and genuine repentance before we plunge ourselves into yet another future that could turn out to be an already written history. Genuine repentance alone will make the Nigerian vision clearer and our leaders able to deliver. It is the only true re-branding that Nigerian needs for the now and the future.

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

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Map of Nigeria

08/25/10

Permalink 03:04:11 pm, by admin Email , 297 words   English (US) latin1
Categories: News
*Woman Dies in Nigerian Ex-Governor U.S. Home

By Masterweb News Desk

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A Nigerian woman, Chinwe Masi, 47, on August 19 died in the United States home of Ex-Abia governor, Orji Uzor Kalu. Chinwe died from suspected internal organ failure that may have been triggered by ingestion of alcohol. She suffered from high blood pressure according to friends.

Chinwe, formerly married to one Okechukwu Ogbonna, reportedly arrived the ex-governor's home at 14900 River Road, Potomac, Maryland at 8.30 pm on the fateful day, Thursday, August 19. According to sources, she had gone to deliver cologne purchased by the ex-governor at her shop during a previous U.S. visit in June this year. There were four other Nigerians at the ex-governor's home at the time of Chinwe’s arrival.

Chinwe was offered a bottle of Guinness stout upon her request and 15 minutes later started shouting "my chest, my chest" vomiting blood. The ex-governor immediately picked up the phone and called paramedics and police, both arriving the scene in minutes. Paramedics were on their way carrying her into the ambulance when she gave up the ghost at 8.48 pm. ( Continues below...... ) Deceased, Chinwe Masi

Police and detectives with the permission of the ex-governor, conducted an 8-hour search of his home. The Homicide unit of Montgomery County Police Department said they do not suspect foul play so far in Chinwe's death and were awaiting autopsy results for final conclusion.

Masterweb will keep you updated as more information becomes available.

Deceased, Chinwe Masi

Photo Above: Deceased, Chinwe Masi (Photo 2)

Orji Uzor Kalu's US home where Chinwe Masi died.

Photo Above: Orji Uzor Kalu's US home where Chinwe Masi died.

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*Tags: Nigerians, Woman, Dies, Ex-governor, Orji, Uzor, Kalu, Home, Africa, Masterweb

Map of Nigeria

08/23/10

Permalink 01:29:00 am, by admin Email , 543 words   English (US) latin1
Categories: News, Nigerian News, World News, African Issue, Tellers and Global Viewers

*British Gay Priest To Marry Nigerian Man

By Masterweb News Desk

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Reverend Colin Coward, 65, a homosexual priest at St John the Baptist Church in Devizes, Wiltshire, England, has announced plans to marry his Nigerian male model boyfriend, Bobby Ikekhuame Egbele, 25. Mr. Egbele is a fashion designer and runs an online clothing shop, Bobafrique ( http://www.bobafrique.com/index.htm ), where he models clothes.

Devizes has four Church of England parish churches, the oldest, St John the Baptist Church founded in 1130 and dedicated to St John the Baptist.

The Church was stunned with Rev. Coward's proclamation, because ordained homosexual clergy of Church of England are required to be celibate. Coward failed to reassure the Church he would remain celibate with the gay union.

Coward lives with his gay fiancé in Marston, near Devizes and believes his marriage would set a “visible example” to other homosexuals within the church. ( Continues below…… )

British Gay Priest Rev. Colin Coward with Nigerian Gay Fiancé Bobby Egbele.

Photo Above: British Gay Priest Rev. Colin Coward with Nigerian Gay Fiancé Bobby Egbele (Photo 1)

Rev. Coward speaking on his proposed gay marriage said: “My goal is for everyone within the church to feel comfortable with the situation because at the moment the majorityof gay Christians marry secretly.

“It is a taboo subject but the church is now under huge pressure to change its stance and that pressure will only increase in the future.

“Clearly the blessing is going to be quite a sensitive issue. I know that many people will see it and view it with horror.

“But we are both deeply committed Christians so it would be unthinkable for me not to do it in church and not to do it with the congregation and with all of our friends.

“I hope my wedding will inspire others and set a visible example to the church that we are not afraid.” ( Continues below…… )

British Gay Priest Rev. Colin Coward with Nigerian Gay Fiancé Bobby Egbele.

Photo Above: British Gay Priest Rev. Colin Coward with Nigerian Gay Fiancé Bobby Egbele (Photo 2)

Coward who found out he was gay when he was a teenager, kept it a secret. He was ordained a priest in 1978 after resigning his job as an architect. He openly declared his homosexuality in 1991 to the surprise of Church of England.

Coward met his Nigerian gay partner, Egbele in 2007 at a Christian conference in Togo, a West African nation. The duo became engaged two years later, last year. They plan a civil partnership ceremony October 9 at the register office in Devizes and later service at St John the Baptist Church. The service would be a communion Eucharist rather than Blessing which is forbidden for homosexual couples.

Coward speaking on the planned Church service said: "Churches are not supposed to bless civil partnerships. It can bless almost anything else; animals, bombs, battleships, armies going to war but gay couples? No. So our church blessing has to be carefully-worded in so far as it does not use the word blessing in the context of the two of us in relationship."

Sex is only permitted for married couples under Church of England laws, but the Church does not recognize same-sex civil partnerships as marriage.

Masterweb will keep you updated as more information becomes available.

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*Tags: Nigerians, British, Gay, Priest, Marry, Man, Wife, Woman, Africa, Masterweb

Map of Nigeria

08/21/10

Permalink 03:17:00 am, by ifeatuagbu, 1167 words   ng-NG
Categories: News
*Nigeria: Skill Acquisition In Post Amnesty Era

By Ifeatu Agbu

Engaging the youths in meaningful ventures after a long spell of militancy in the creeks of the Niger Delta poses a tricky challenge that requires some delicate balancing of reorientation and training. It is an integrated process that will not only change the mindset of the youths but also prepare them to be productive citizens with marketable skills.

The Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Chairman of the Amnesty Committee, Mr. Timi Alaibe, said the final stage of the post-amnesty programme, which is reintegration, is where a lot more work is required. At that point, the ex-combatants are expected to return to normal life and gain sustainable employment. “It is essentially a social and economic process with an open time-frame, primarily taking place in communities at the local level,” Alaibe said.

The Ledum Mittee-led Niger Delta Technical Committee took cognizance of this, when it recommended the creation of a Youth Empowerment Scheme (YES) – where 2,000 jobs will be provided in each local government council in the zone, to keep the youths meaningfully busy and away from the temptations of militancy and other untoward behaviour.

Much as it is critical to change the mindset of the former militants, it is even more crucial to arm them with skills that will give them financial freedom on a sustainable basis. Unfortunately, the Post-Amnesty Programme may not adequately address the challenges of providing comprehensive training for the former militants because of the constraints of time. Yet, skill acquisition programmes and other short-term trainings must be of such quality and duration that would give optimum value to the beneficiaries. ( Continues below..... )

Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) militants

Photo Above: Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) militants

It makes no sense to hurriedly rush the youths through training programmes with little time and facilities to impact the necessary skills. For instance, you need more than a three-month crash programme to train a good mechanic. It is only when the trainees are given sufficient time to master the skills, that they can put it to full use. Adequate training would ensure that the successful ones would utilize their take-off funds or starter packs, where they are provided, and not sell them as is often the practice.

No matter how well the programme runs, chances are that some of the youths may still be irredeemable. Already, some isolated cases of misdemeanours have been reported at the camp in Obubra. First, some personnel at the camp, including Mr. Alaibe, were said to have been manhandled by some aggrieved ex-militants. Again, two of the ex-militants were arrested recently for allegedly smuggling illicit drugs into the camp. This is in spite of the camp rules which say that anyone caught using such drugs risks outright expulsion.

Obviously, it would take some extra efforts to reintegrate youths with this kind of background. This means that the development agencies, such as the oil companies, the federal, state, local governments, the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs and the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, must come up with more imaginative ways of dealing with them. It is not enough to put them through skill acquisition programmes The beneficiaries of the programmes must be empowered to set up their own businesses and given access to micro-credits to enable them take off on solid foundation. They should also be monitored and mentored until they acquired enough confidence to stand on their own. Artisans, such as welders, carpenters, mechanics and bricklayers should be given opportunities to update their knowledge and sharpen their skills through hands-on-training in established workshops. This will enhance their ability to render better services and expand their businesses to employ more people.

It is only then that the maxim of dignity in labour would begin to make sense to the youths who have become accustomed to getting quick money without much sweat. If the training is thorough and the mentoring consistent, the strange scenario where some youths that have benefitted from skill acquisition schemes and were given starter-parks to enable them to be self-employed sell the tools and return to the labour market, would be avoided.

Another strategy for getting around this problem hinges on team efforts. Since it is difficult to get the youths to utilize their start-up capital well, a more effective tactics is urgently needed. One government agency that is currently using a new system to achieve better results is the NDDC. The interventionist agency now insists that the beneficiaries of its skill acquisition programmes must form cooperatives before they could access the micro-credit scheme meant to help them to establish their businesses. To ensure the success of this arrangement, the commission works in partnership with training and financial institutions to not only enhance the skills of the youths but also bring them together to take advantage of the opportunities available in the region, particularly in the oil and gas industry. Of course a key component of sustainable development is to create sustainable livelihoods, because the best form of development is to develop the people. ( Continues below….. )

A Nigerian militant levels his machine gun.

The NDDC has been running skill acquisition programmes since 2005 and no less than 8,000 youths of the Niger Delta have benefitted from the various schemes. In 2008, for instance, 7,732 youths were trained in diverse skills. Out of this number, 2,204 were trained in computer literacy, 1,929 in welding while 3,599 young boys and girls acquired skills in such areas as automobile mechanics, aluminium and furniture works, electrical installation and maintenance, home management skills, outboard engine maintenance, printing, photography as well as refrigeration and cooling technology.

Similarly, a total of 1,920 welders have so far been trained by the NDDC under its Human Capacity Development and Empowerment programme. The commission also donated 15 multi-purpose welding processing equipment and 500 KVA generating set to the Petroleum Training Institute, PTI, Warri. During the flag off of the “Train the Trainer” welding programme at PTI, and commissioning of the welding equipment and generating set, the Managing Director of NDDC, Mr. Chibuzor Ugwoha said that the commission’s target was to produce 5, 000 professional welders certified by the International Institute of Welding in the next three years.

Ugwoha, who was represented by the Director, Commercial and Industrial Development, Mr. Aniete Usen explained that graduates of the “Train the Trainers” programme would further proceed to South Africa Institute of Welding for advanced welding and fabrication programme. According to him the graduating youths would subsequently be deployed to train a large pool of welding apprentices waiting to be trained and employed in the various sectors of the economy, particularly in oil and gas. ”We will leave no stone unturned to ensure that the Niger Delta youths acquire necessary cutting edge skills and education that will give them the competitive advantage, especially in the oil and gas sector of the economy that the region is naturally, endowed,” he said.

Mr. Ifeatu Agbu ( ifeatuagbu@yahoo.com ) writes from Port Harcourt, Nigeria.

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*Tags: Nigerians, Niger Delta, Abuja, MEND, Lagos, Skill, Acquisition, Amnesty, Jobs, Africa, Masterweb

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