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NAAPE Decries Non-Payment of Pensions, Tackles AMCON

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sack pilots NAAPE

By Ahmed Rahma

The National Association of Aircraft Pilots and Engineers (NAAPE) has called on the Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) to pay no fewer than 50 of its members in Aero Contractors redundancy benefits, having declared them since 2016.

This call was made by the president of NAAPE, Mr Abednego Galadima, during a chat with newsmen over the weekend in Lagos.

He said some of the challenges in the industry include non-remittance of pension deducted from its members, explaining how these will become thorny issues in the not too distant future.

Mr Galadima decried how the staff of Aero have suffered and how whatever was accrual to them since 2016 may have lost value having gone through recession twice and inflation countless times.

“The issue of the redundancy benefit payment of Aero Contractors has lingered too long, as you may recall, Aero is under receivership and they rendered people redundant since 2016.

“We are still battling to see that our members are paid their benefits. The time value for money has already been lost; I want to call on AMCON to see that this money is immediately paid so that these Nigerians would go home and get on with their lives,” he said

“To be fair with you, we know we have over 50 workers but the total money so far is still being calculated.

“The Aero management reneged on their commitment to giving every worker a letter communicating to him what is due to him so we can’t provide that figure.

“The airline itself has done its calculation but they have not communicated what each category is entitled to, based on what the union agreed with those affected since 2016,” the president stated.

On issues of non-remittance of deducted pension funds, the NAAPE president drew the attention of employers in the aviation industry to the negative trend explaining that if these funds are not remitted, it would amass and the employers would not be able to pay, stressing that it is another challenge waiting to rear its head in the no distant future.

He said, “We also want you to publicize some of the challenges NAAPE is having, particularly in the areas of pension. Employers, most of the operators in this industry do not pay deducted pensions of their staff as at when due. And you know as a worker, you always look forward to retirement and that is what we normally fall back on.

“Most of the private operators still owe staff, especially our members’ pensions; they deduct and not remit. We want them to be sensitized to know that this is not right, and by the time they accumulate it, it becomes very difficult for them to pay.”

AMCON took over Aero Contractors in February 2016 and in March 2017, the airline issued redundancy to over 60 per cent of its staff which saw endless days of union activities and according to NAAPE, up till now, no staff declared redundant has been paid.

Ahmed Rahma is a journalist with great interest in arts and craft. She is also a foodie who loves new ideas. She loves to travel and would love to visit other African countries someday. She is a sucker for historical movies and afrobeat.

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Travel/Tourism

Akwa Ibom Wants Modular Refinery for Aviation Fuel

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Modular Refinery for Aviation Fuel

By Adedapo Adesanya

As part of continued efforts to get an increased share of Nigeria’s oil and gas revenue, the Akwa Ibom State Government has sought for a partnership with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Limited for the refining of aviation fuel in the state.

Governor Udom Emmanuel made a request for a license from NNPC Limited for the establishment of a modular refinery for aviation fuel to service the state’s growing aviation industry and the country at large.

Mr Udom said the request was imperative as the state was currently constructing an international airport with a smart airport terminal, which when completed would make the state a major aviation gateway.

Speaking while playing host to the management of NNPC Upstream, led by the Group Executive Director, Mr Adokiye Tombomieye, recently, the Governor decried that despite having the largest crude oil and gas reserve in the country, Akwa Ibom State lacks significant oil and gas presence.

He maintained that in line with his administration’s industralisation drive, the state cannot wait for the license for a big, conventional refinery but a modular refinery just for aviation fuel.

“We are looking at all the gateways that can promote tourism and development and we need the support of NNPC and everybody including product marketers. Right now, we are building the smartest terminal building in Africa that will process one million passengers every year.

“We need a depot there for aviation fuel we might not wait for a big refinery, just license for a modular refinery. We don’t have a single presence of the oil and gas in Akwa Ibom,” the Governor disclosed.

Business Post had earlier reported that the Governor also appealed to NNPC to relocate the corporate headquarters of some of its subsidiaries to occupy a smart office accommodation at the Dakkada Towers in the state.

“We are appealing to NNPC to relocate the headquarters of some of its subsidiaries to occupy the smart office accommodation at the Dakkada Towers. Four floors are there for the entire group, NUPRC, NAPIMS, NNPC,” he had said.

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Emirates’ Resumption of Flights to Nigeria Delights Passengers

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Emirates Resumption of Flights to Nigeria

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

The resumption of flights to Nigeria by Emirates is already thrilling passengers, who have waited for a long time to have this happen.

On Sunday, two planes flew from Dubai to Nigeria and touched down at the Murtala Mohammed Airport, Lagos and the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja and were received with a spectacular water cannon welcome.

The arrival of the flights signalled the restart of daily services to Nigeria from Dubai. Both flights from Dubai, EK 785 to Abuja and EK 783 to Lagos, upon arrival, witnessed a cake cutting ceremony.

“We are delighted to resume operations to and from Nigeria and are pleased to see strong interest from our customers, reflected in robust forward bookings from the time of our announcement, as well as today’s full flights from Dubai to Abuja and Lagos.

“The services will also give our customers the opportunity once again to safely experience Emirates’ superior product and service, offering them convenient travel options to Dubai, an already popular destination for Nigerian travellers, as well as seamless connectivity other key cities across our network,” Paulos Legesse, Country Manager Nigeria said.

The aircraft being deployed to both Nigerian cities is the three-class Boeing 777-300ER which offers 8 luxurious First Class suites, 42 generous Business Class seats, and over 300 seats in Economy Class.

Customers across all classes were able to enjoy the airline’s regional delicacies onboard, as well as its renowned in-flight entertainment system, ice, featuring over 4,500 channels of on-demand entertainment, including Nollywood films and content.

Emirates operates to Abuja with EK 785 and 786. EK 785 departs Dubai at 1100hrs, arriving in Abuja at 1540hrs.

The return flight, EK 786 takes off from Abuja at 1900, arriving in Dubai at 0435hrs the next day. Emirates flight EK 783 to Lagos departs Dubai at 1030hrs, arriving in Lagos at 1540hrs. The return flight EK 784 departs Lagos at 1810hrs, arriving in Dubai at 0415hrs the next day.

Ensuring the safety of travellers, visitors, and the community, COVID-19 PCR tests are mandatory for all inbound passengers arriving to Dubai, including UAE citizens, residents and tourists, irrespective of the country they are coming from.

Travellers coming from Nigeria must hold a negative COVID-19 PCR test certificate for a test taken no more than 72 hours before departure.

Additionally, the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has specified designated laboratories for passengers departing Nigeria and travellers must obtain their certificate from one of the labs listed here to be accepted on the flight. Travellers coming from Nigeria will also need to take another Covid-19 PCR test on arrival at Dubai International Airport.

Since it safely resumed tourism activity in July 2020, Dubai remains one of the world’s most popular holiday destinations, especially during the winter season. The city is open for international business and leisure visitors. From sun-soaked beaches and heritage activities to world-class hospitality and leisure facilities,

Dubai offers a variety of world-class experiences. It was one of the world’s first cities to obtain the Safe Travels stamp from the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) – which endorses Dubai’s comprehensive and effective measures to ensure guest health and safety.

Dubai is currently hosting the world for Expo 2020, happening between October 2021 and March 2022. Through the theme of Connecting Minds, Creating the Future, Expo 2020 Dubai aims to inspire people by showcasing the best examples of collaboration, innovation and cooperation from around the world.

Its programme is packed with experiences to suit all ages and interests, including a rich line-up of themed weeks, entertainment, and edutainment. Art and culture fans, as well as food and technology enthusiasts, can explore exhibits, workshops, performances, live shows and more.

Emirates continues to lead the industry with innovative products and services and recently took its customer care initiatives further with even more flexible booking policies which have been extended to May 31, 2022.

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FG Lifts Suspension on Emirates Airlines

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Emirates extends baggage allowance

By Adedapo Adesanya

The federal government has lifted the ban it placed on Emirates Airlines from flying into Nigeria without conditions.

This was disclosed over the weekend by the Minister of Aviation, Mr Hadi Sirika, in Abuja in a statement signed by Mr James Odaudu, the Director of Public Affairs in the  Ministry of Aviation.

Business Post had reported that the federal government barred Emirates from flying into Nigeria over discriminatory policies on Nigerians as regards COVID-19 protocols by the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

According to Mr Sirika, the move came in response to the yearnings of Nigerian travellers and after painstaking negotiations with the UAE, the Emirates Airlines home country.

The Minister further said that the UAE had also removed all travel restrictions on Nigerians.

“We have received communication from UAE removing some of the conditions of travel of which we had concerns about. Having done so, we feel we should lift the ban on the suspension of Emirates Airlines.

“All the impediments on Emirates have been lifted and that the airline can now operate in Nigeria,” he said.

Mr Sirika lauded the understanding of Nigerians in spite of the hardships experienced as a result of the spat between the two countries.

Also speaking, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr Geoffrey Onyema, noted that Nigeria recognised that UAE had a responsibility to protect the lives of its citizens.

He added that whatever measures the UAE had taken was for the best interest of her citizens.

He said that the negotiation that led to the renewed relationship was a balanced one and was a win-win for both countries.

Mr Onyema, who reiterated that though Nigeria had always had an excellent relationship with UAE, added that the negotiations had made the relationship even stronger.

On his part, the National Incidence Manager of the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19, Mr Muktar Mohammed, commended the leadership provided by members of the Committee in ensuring resolution of the impasse.

Mr Mohammed also disclosed that the committee was watching closely the developments within the Southern African regions with regards to the discovery of a new variant of the virus.

He added that necessary measures to prevent its entrance into Nigeria would be done.

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