By Adedapo Adesanya
In order to reduce traffic congestion, the Rivers State Government has announced plans to open up marine transportation in the state.
This came as the state government shutdown Creek Road in old Port Harcourt Township owing to vehicular and human traffic since last Monday.
Equally, the state government has also barred boat operators from using the Bonny-Bille Jetty.
Explaining the lines of action, the Rivers State Commissioner of Transportation, Mr Osima Ginah, said this will allow a proper cleanup of the area and completion of the construction work in multi-million naira ultra-modern Bonny-Bille jetty.
Mr Ginah said the state government has provided alternative jetties for water travellers using the Bonny-Bille jetty. These include – the Abonnema Wharf jetty, Tourist Beach, Borokiri Sandfill and Marine Base jetty.
He said ultimately, the government will improve facilities in jetties across the state and ensure the smooth running of the jetties.
“The closure is necessary to carry out this operation. The Bonny-Bille and Nembe jetty was in a very bad shape. The riverine communities that are using that jetty cried out and the governor intervened, awarded the contract and then rebuilt that jetty.
“The jetty has not been inaugurated; the people, traders and boat operators using the jetty are therefore not keeping it in good order.”
FG Denies Planning to Stop Youths from Travelling Abroad
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
The federal government has said it has no plan to prevent youths from travelling abroad, stressing that reports insinuating such are totally untrue.
A statement issued by Towoju Raphael on Saturday on behalf of the Director Press at the Ministry of Interior said the reports quoting the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Interior, Mr Shuaib Belgore, as saying so purely misinterpreted him.
The Presidential Committee from the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (OSGF) had recently visited the ministry and Mr Belgore welcomed them on behalf of the Minister of Interior, Mr Rauf Aregbesola.
In the statement issued yesterday, the ministry advised Nigerians to be cautious of manipulative misrepresentation of the federal government’s intentions, statements or activities.
It emphasised that any Nigeria willing and ready to follow the legal channels to travel around the world are allowed to do so.
In its clarification, the ministry said Mr Belgore only told his guests that the committee should work with the Citizenship and Business Department of the Ministry to facilitate opportunities for youths to benefit from the local content prospects of its expatriate quota program, thereby creating decent job opportunities for youths in Nigeria.
The statement further said the Permanent Secretary said the Ministry of Interior, with its associated agencies, remain committed to ensuring the security of lives and property of Nigerians, public safety and citizenship integrity of all.
“Among the presidential deliverables of the Ministry is full automation of services in the Ministry and its agencies, which includes the new passport regimes and sweeping nationwide reforms witnessed with the Nigeria Immigration Service; aimed at delivering swift and seamless access to citizenship services for Nigerians,” the statement further quoted Mr Belgore as saying during the meeting.
Customs to Revalidate All Private Jets from June 7
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
All owners of private jets in the country have been advised to prepare for a revalidation exercise expected to commence next Monday.
This information was disclosed today by the National Public Relations Officer of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), Deputy Comptroller Joseph Attah.
At a briefing in Abuja, Mr Attah said the verification exercise was necessitated by the rise in insecurity in the country at the moment.
Some days ago, it was alleged that one of the small planes owned by a retired military officer was used to supply food items and others to terrorists in Niger State.
The spokesman of the customs informed reporters that the government found it necessary to revalidate all privately owned aircraft in the country so as to checkmate these issues.
He said the exercise will begin on Monday, June 7 and end on Tuesday, July 6, 2021.
The venue of the verification exercise, according to Mr Attah, is the headquarters of the agency in Abuja.
The spokesman of the service said private aircraft owners are expected to visit the tariff and trade department of the NCS with their aircraft certificate of registration, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA)’s flight operations compliance certificate, the NCAA’s permit for non-commercial flights and temporary import permit where applicable.
Meanwhile, he disclosed that the customs generated N799.0 billion as revenue in the first five months of this year, higher than the N226.1 billion generated in the same period in 2020.
Dana Air, Ibom Air Sign Agreement to Benefit Passengers
By Adedapo Adesanya
Dana Air and Ibom Air have signed the first-ever domestic codeshare/interline agreement in the country as parts of plans to offer more route options, schedule options and easy connectivity for air passengers.
The deal indicates that the two airlines would work together to ensure that passengers are taken to their destination on time and there would be flexibility in the use of ticket of both airlines.
The signing took place recently at the Victor Attah International Airport, Uyo, between the Chief Operating Officer and Accountable Manager of Dana Air, Mr Obi Mbanuzuo and the Chief Operating Officer of Ibom Air, Mr George Uriesi.
The airlines explained that the partnership was a significant milestone for Nigeria’s aviation industry, which would afford Dana Air and Ibom Air a business arrangement whereby both airlines jointly offer flights to common destinations while operating services to places that are not within each airline’s regular routes.
By so doing, both airlines expand their market presence and competitive footprint in the interest of the flying public.
The airlines also said the codeshare alliance would commence full service in June.
Speaking at the ceremony, Mr Mbanuzo noted that the plan to sign the contract started a year ago, adding that it is a partnership for sustainable growth.
“The discussion started about a year ago and we are happy to be here today, formalising it. This is the first of its kind for domestic airlines in Nigeria and a huge step in the right direction for both Dana Air and Ibom Air.
“It is a partnership for sustainable growth and connectivity for the flying public as Ibom Air passengers can now fly Dana Air to Owerri and all other Dana Air destinations while our guests can now fly to Calabar and other Ibom Air destinations.
“Dana Air, like Ibom Air, is committed to the growth of the aviation industry and both airlines have shown great commitment to customer satisfaction, schedule reliability, operational efficiency, passion and innovation.
“We do hope that this partnership between Ibom Air and Dana Air will set a positive precedent for the greater good of the industry,” he said.
Also, speaking at the event, the COO of Ibom Air, Mr Uriesi, said the alliance would offer increased frequencies into common destinations as well as codeshare flights into destinations each airline does not operate into, providing more options for passengers and businesses retention for both airlines.
According to him, “With the initiation of this business alliance, both airlines have embraced a key global best practice. At Ibom Air, our business model and unwavering commitment remain schedule reliable, on-time departures and excellent service.
“Hence, we are constantly on the lookout for better and more effective ways to serve our customers.”
The code-share agreement helps the passengers by providing them clearer route options and allows them to book travel from one to three through point two under one carrier’s code.
This proves beneficial if the customer books from point one to two under one code and then from two to three under the other code.
Ibom Air operates multiple daily flights to Uyo, Lagos, Abuja, Calabar and Enugu and would be launching the Port-Harcourt destination from June 7, 2021.
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