BUSINESS NEWS

NEWSMAN, Abuja – Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria says it has unveiled bird equipment, also known as wildlife management equipment, at its headquarters annex.

FAAN said it inaugurated the equipment in its Lagos officer in a bid to improve safety flight operations and manage bird hazards at the nation’s airports.

According to a statement issued by the authority on Monday, the bird equipment will help regulate the occurrences of bird strikes at various airports.

The Managing Director, FAAN, Captain Rabiu Yadudu, represented by the Director of Commercial and Business Development, Sadiku Rafindadai, who described the equipment provided by the agency as some of the best around said the equipment were procured based on the recommendation by the International Civil Aviation Organization.

Deployment of these equipment will usher in an era of safe flight operations, as incidents relating to bird strikes will now be a thing of the past.

The Director of Airport Operations, Captain Muktar Muye, in a statement said, “What is being commissioned is not just the equipment but a complete package that also includes the recommended storage facility, patrol vehicle and trained personnel in line with ICAOs Standards and Recommended Practices”.

According to the statement, some of the equipment inaugurated include three different models of bird scaring gas canons, day boxes for carrying pyrotechnics during operations for safety, 15,000 rounds of 12G (heavy caliber bird scaring pyrotechnics), and Hi-tech bird laser, Punch reported.

Others include personal protective equipment for staff dealing with wildlife, purpose-built TYPE IV explosive storage magazine, and a brand-new Hilux jeep for Runway wildlife patrol.

BUSINESS NEWS

NEWSMAN, Abuja – President Muhammadu Buhari has approved four Nigerian airports as special economic zones (SEZs).

SEZs are areas in a country which offers economic advantages such as tax incentives and the opportunity to pay lower tariffs, to businesses.

The approved airports are Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos; Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano; Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja and Port Harcourt International Airport, Rivers state.

minister of aviation, Hadi Sirika, disclosed this in a post via his Twitter handle on Thursday.

“I am very glad to announce that Mr President has approved our four International Airports as Special Economic Zones. These are Lagos, Kano, Abuja & Port Harcourt. Our roadmap working,”

He said.

On Wednesday, Sirika announced that the new national carrier will commence operation in the first quarter of 2022.

He said the COVID-19 pandemic had forced postponement of the planned date for the establishment of the national carrier which was initially slated for the end of 2021.

The airline is potentially poised to cater to millions of travelers in Nigeria and Africa, he added.Advertisement

In 2018, the minister had unveiled the name and logo of the new national carrier, Nigeria Air, at the Farnborough International Airshow in London. The project was later suspended indefinitely.

NEWS

NEWSMAN, Abuja – Federal Government, yesterday, raised the alarm over planned attack on some major airports across the federation.

Ministry of Aviation, in a memo to airport security chiefs, stated that criminals were planning to strike gateways in Lagos, Abuja, Kaduna, Maiduguri, Sokoto, and Kano.

The notice dated April 9, 2021, and signed by FAAN’s Deputy General Manager, Administration, and Logistics, S.M. Mamman, read: “I am directed to convey a warning from the Ministry of Aviation regarding security threats by criminal elements against airports in Nigeria and to request the immediate enumeration of appropriate counter measures for the safety of airports/facilities under your purview.

“Airports in Kaduna, Maiduguri, Sokoto, Kano, Abuja, and Lagos are at the top of the list for which criminals are considering carrying out attacks. Both airports, however, are being notified and asked to operate at a higher threat level”.

“Submit a list of current and additional countermeasures to combat the risks, along with their cost consequences where applicable.”

They are also required to call an emergency meeting of airport security committees to “study the current state of airport security, jointly recommend corrective steps and share responsibility for successful implementation.”

GlobeNews NEWS

NEWSMAN, Abuja – Murtala Mohammed International Airport Command of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), has revealed that it arrested 60 suspects and made a total seizure of 3413.463 kilograms of illicit drugs with Khat leaves, tramadol, cocaine topping the chart in its 2020 year-in-review.

The command also said that it has made several arrests and seized 13kg, 7.8kg and 117grams of illicit drugs in 2021.

Commandant of the NDLEA Airport Command, Ahmadu Garba, disclosed that the agency’s partnership with the UK border force, the British National Crime Agency, paved the way for the creation of Joint Border Task Force Project (JBTF).

Garba said: “During the year 2020, the command made a total seizure of 3413.463 kilograms (kgs) of illicit drugs comprising of cocaine, methamphetamine, cannabis sativa, khat leaves, ephedrine as well as psychotropic substances. A total number of sixty (60) suspects were arrested. After due investigation, these suspects were charged to the Federal High Court and arraigned for prosecution, forty-four (44) were convicted”.

The annual summary of the drug seizes in 2020 showed that khat leaves with 2993.350kg, tramadol 158.632kg, cannabis Sativa 103.84kg, cocaine 51.404kg, methamphetamine 19.935kg, which represented 87.70 percent, 4.65 percent, 3.04 percent, 1.51 percent, 0.58 percent of the seizures respectively. Others includes; ephedrine 19.811kg, diazepam 42kg and nitrazepam 24.491kg, ThisDay reported.

He also said that “on January 6, 2021, operatives of the NDLEA at Murtala Muhammed International Airport Lagos arrested one Okeke Uchenna Aloy Pascal with 13kg of cocaine cleverly concealed in packet shirts. The said Okeke is a second time drug offender and also fugitive wanted by Federal High Court Lagos for jumping bail for a drug related offence in 2014.

“In a similar fashion, Azubuike Jeremaih Emeka was also arrested on January 8, 2021, with 7.8kg of cocaine neatly concealed in an embroidery (tailoring) material. Both suspects were apprehended during the inward clearance of passengers on Ethiopian Airline from Brazil.

“Also, Abdul Musa a freight forwarder was arrested on January 8, 2021 with 117grams of cocaine destined for India at SAHCO export cargo shed. The hard drug was wrapped and concealed in a hair relaxer labeled Ozone”.

One of the suspects, Okeke, said: “One of my friends told me if I am traveling, I should help him and take the bag to his brother”.

GlobeNews NEWS

NEWSMAN, Abuja – Federal Government has declared that the Aminu Kano International Airport in Kano State and the Port Harcourt International Airport in Rivers State would resume international flight operations soon.

Representing the aviation sector at Thursday’s briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19, Director-General, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Musa Nuhu, said the government was getting set to open the two facilities to international flights.

“Efforts are ongoing to reopen both Aminu Kano International Airport and Port Harcourt International Airport to international traffic.

“The reason why we are opening these airports is to decongest both the Lagos and Abuja airports and also to facilitate passenger travel as travellers will now arrive much closer to their destinations”, he said.

He added, “This will make travel much more convenient for passengers. Instead of coming to Lagos and taking another mode of transportation to Port Harcourt or Enugu, when the international airport in Port Harcourt is opened, you may land there directly.”

On the issues to be resolved before the facilities would be reopened for international flights, Nuhu stated that the Information, Communication and Technology infrastructure at the airports were being worked on.

He said, “The issue of ICT infrastructure, which the CA-COVID is working on and are providing is one of them. And at this point I will like to express our gratitude to CA-COVID for the full support they’ve given to PTF and the aviation industry”, PUNCH reported.

“The second item has to do with the port health services. They are working and getting adequate number of staff to man these two airports every day and that should be completed soon.

“So once those two items are taken care of, both the Aminu Kano International Airport and the Port Harcourt International Airport will resume operations.”

The two airports were shut to flight operations by the Federal Government in a bid to halt the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.