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Hospitality industry: Imo hoteliers hail Uzodimma over stoppage of illegal taxation



Imo Hoteliers Association has commended Gov. Hope Uzodimma for stemming the tide of illegal  taxation in the state.

Chairman of the Association, Mr Chima Chukwunyere, gave the commendation at the inauguration of its newly-elected officials in Owerri on Tuesday.

He thanked the Governor for his prompt intervention which had halted the activities of revenue touts who allegedly connived with some personnel of the judiciary to illegally garnishee bank accounts of hotels.

He, however, decried “the deplorable situation of hotels in the state”, adding that challenges such as poor power supply, high cost of diesel and insecurity had forced some hotels in the state to close down.

He called for urgent government intervention, through roundtable discussions with captains of the industry, as a way to revive and sustain the industry.

“We commend the Governor for tackling the issue of illegal and multiple taxation head-on, so that it has become a thing of the past.

“We, however, call on government to intervene to save the industry as we are currently struggling with challenges of epileptic power supply and high cost of diesel, among others.

“We are the highest employers of labour after the State Government, thus the need to revive the industry so as to save the state’s economy from collapse,” he said.

Speaking, the State’s Commissioner for Tourism, Culture and Creative Arts, Mr Uche Ohia, described hotels as the soul of the hospitality industry in the state.

He noted that a collapse of the industry would inevitably lead to the collapse of the state’s economy, hence the need to protect the industry at all costs.

“We have put measures in place to create community tourism which would enable communities in the state to partner with the government.

“Government will remain firm and resolute  in its determination to provide an  environment conducive for the operation, promotion and sustenance of the hotel industry in the state.”

Also,  President of the Association, Eze Patrick Anyanwu, advised the hoteliers to ensure regular payment of their dues and levies.

He assured the hoteliers that  the national body of the association would continue to protect the interests of  its members in the event of multiple taxation and illegal levies.

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Aviation sector to benefit from RIDF



Aviation is set to be part of key economic drivers that will benefit from President Bola Tinubu’s proposed Renewed Hope Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF).

In a statement by Ajuri Ngelale, the fund targets strategic sectors like agriculture, transportation, ports,  energy, healthcare, and education along with aviation.

The initiative plans to inject funds into vital national projects to foster growth, bolster local value addition, generate jobs, and spur innovation.

Efficient use of low-interest loans and financing options will secure advantageous arrangements for project financing and operation.

The focus on aviation enhancement involves modernising major airports nationwide with targeted investments and infrastructure upgrades.

The statement reads, “On aviation enhancement, the focus is on the revitalization and modernization of major airports nationwide. Through targeted investments and infrastructure upgrades, major airports will undergo comprehensive refurbishment, including improvement in terminal facilities, runway expansions, and the implementation of cutting-edge technologies to enhance safety and operational efficiency.”

For agricultural infrastructure, the focus includes developing robust networks like storage facilities and irrigation systems.

In port revitalisation, the goal is to modernise facilities and attract investments to enhance Nigeria’s regional trade hub status.

“By modernizing port facilities and implementing advanced monitoring systems, the goal is to optimize efficiency, attract investments, and bolster Nigeria’s position as a regional trade hub,” the statement read.

Key road projects like Lagos-Calabar Coastal Road aim to enhance connectivity and stimulate economic growth.

Rail projects like Lagos-Kano and Eastern lines will modernise transportation networks for speed and reliability.

President Tinubu’s approval of the RHIDF absorbs the PIDF, expediting project delivery for Nigerians’ benefit.

Projects funded under the RHIDF will have a national spread, reflecting the commitment to equitable development.

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ICAO Aviation security audit team debriefs Nigeria, indicates strong outing



The Team Lead of ICAO Security Audit Programme, Callum Vine, announced Nigeria’s strong performance during a debrief after its Audit.

Nigeria recently concluded the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) Security Audit Programme the continuous Monitoring Approach (USAP-CMA) according to a statement emanating from Director, Public Affairs and Consumer Protection, FAAN, Obiageli Orah.

The USAP-CMA aims to improve aviation security compliance by analysing Member States’ performance and implementation of security standards. It focuses on Annex 17: Security Standards and Annex 9: facilitation compliance, along with associated procedures and security practices.

The event held at NCAA Headquarters saw Vine praise Nigeria’s robust policies and agencies, acknowledging their speed in addressing identified deficiencies without complaints.

He mentioned that the full audit report would be available within 60 days, followed by a 30-day period for comments.

FAAN’s Managing Director, Mrs. Olubunmi Kuku, affirmed using the audit results as a roadmap for continuous improvement.

She urged stakeholders to collaborate closely, share best practices, and uphold the highest security standards in the industry.

The debrief was attended by Dr. Emmanuel Meribole, representing the Minister, and Captain Chris Najomo, Acting Director General of NCAA.

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Arik Air receives Best Sustainable Airline Company award



Arik Air has bagged the award for  Best Sustainable Airline of the Year,  2024 by the World Quality Alliance and Quality Standards Journal.

The airline’s Public Relations and Communications Manager, Mr Adebanji Ola, disclosed this in a statement made available to newsmen in Lagos.

Ola said the award was presented to the airline at the National Quality Summit 2024 held on March 22 in Abuja.

According to Ola, the Award General Committee of the National Quality Order of Merit, said the award was meant to celebrate leadership innovations and creativity in quality management.

Ola noted that Dr Ovie Shaka, Vice Chairman, Organising Committee of the National Quality Order of Merit Awards 2024, explained that the award was aimed at identifying, recognising and rewarding companies.

“The award also aims at rewarding personalities and products that apply quality assurance culture and quality management best practices.”

He said the award was presented by Stanley Ohenhen, on behalf of the Organising Committee and received by Arik Air’s Director of Safety, Capt. Jide Bakare.

Ola quoted Arik Air’s Chief Executive Officer, Capt. Roy Ilegbodu, as saying that the award is another testament of the airline’s fastidious adherence to operational safety standards.

Ilegbodu said Arik Air was committed to continual improvement of the management system and operational performance.

Recall that Arik Air also won the 2023  Best In-flight Service Airline by the Nigerian Aviation (NIGAV) Award.

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