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Multiple destination: FG must review commercial agreements — Expert



By Seun Ibiyemi

The Chief Executive Ofiicer (CEO), Centurion Aviation Security Safety Consults and Secretary General of the Aviation Safety Round Table Initiative (ASRTI), Group Captain John Ojikutu has said that government needs review Commercial Agreements that give multiple destinations to foreign airlines and give no commercial benefits to the domestic airlines.

Captain Ojikutu speaking exclusively with Nigerian NewsDirect on his expectation in 2023 said that Federal Government needs to come out boldly with at least 2 flag carriers.

He said, “We need to do away with the idea of a government carrier that is being sold to Nigerians as national carrier.

“However,  we must support this with a very clear policy for flag carriers that the benefits must be national and not only to the operators.They must sell shares to the public in the Capital Market.

“Secondly, government must review the commercial agreements that gives multiple destinations to foreign airlines and give no commercial benefits to the domestic airlines,” he said.

Ojikutu added that “the review could give multiple frequencies to the foreign airlines not to Lagos and Abuja but to Lagos or Abuja and any other airport not to the same geographical zone with the airport of first choice.

“Concessions of the airports to investors, foreign and local is very necessary and should be fast tracked to remove  pressure on the government intervention funds for the sector.

“With over 5m international passengers traffic and 80 air trafficalone, the international airports can earn substantial earnings to sustain their operations and development.

“However government can from time to time provide intervention funds for projects development but such funds must be recoverable.”

He also said that “the idea of Aerotropolis development within any airport especially the planned development of the FAAN and NAMA headquarters in Lagos can only complicate the traffic on the only terminal service road that has been turned to a public road for transiting traffic between Ikeja and Apapa and return.

“Aerotropolis are developed between the airports and the urban development area.

“There are sufficient air MMA land of over 5,000 hectares on the western end that can be developed for Aerotropolis which can also provide land for the relocation of the Cargo Terminals and the General Aviation Terminals from their present locations to provide land for the future development of the domestic and international passengers terminals.

“Finally, government administration is more of Policy Development and Regeneration Enforcement of the sector and not about businesses participation in the sector which bring government into competition with the people it is elected to promote and protect.

“Yes, government can invest in public market but such market must allow the Nigerian people access into the same market to monitor how their taxes too are being used.

“That is why the flag carriers are airports concessions must be publicly sold in the Capital Market for the Nigerian People and not to few on the tables of those in the administration of our government and agencies.

“Please include that the movement of the Cargo terminals to the Western end of the airport must include the movement of the EPZ and the other associated commercial facilities,” he said.

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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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