Connect with us

General

UK denies airline landing permit to evacuate Nigerians

Published

The planned evacuation of Nigerians stranded in the United Kingdom has suffered a delay as British authorities denied a Nigerian airline, Air Peace, landing permit.

But in a swift reaction, the federal government yesterday said it would review all its existing bilateral air service agreements with other countries including its BASA with the United Kingdom.

The evacuation flight which was earlier scheduled to depart London Heathrow airport today is now billed for Gatwick airport tomorrow.

The spokesman of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr Ferdinand Nwonye, who disclosed this in a statement in Abuja yesterday, revealed that a UK airline, Air Partner will now operate the flight.

Following the refusal of the UK to grant diplomatic landing clearance to Air Peace, the federal government said it appealed to Air Peace to engage the services of an alternative airline to airlift the stranded citizens instead of refunding their payments.

Air Peace engaged Air Partner, one of the Global Air Charter companies advised by the British authorities.

“It is pertinent to note that Air Peace gracefully contracted Air Partner to operate these charter flights on its behalf at a much higher cost than the ticket fares paid by the prospective evacuees.

“In the light of the foregoing, the Federal Government wishes to extend its appreciation to the chairman and management of Air Peace Limited for their commitments and patriotism in ensuring that our stranded nationals in the United Kingdom return home safely,” the statement said.

Meanwhile, the federal government has said it will review all its existing bilateral air service agreements with other countries including its BASA with the United Kingdom.

MORE READING!  Pastor who placed curse on man to suffer for 600 years receives house gift

The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Geoffrey Onyeama, made this known in a statement via his Twitter handle shortly after the announcement that the British authorities refused a Nigerian airline, Air Peace, landing permit to operate a repatriation flight scheduled to depart London Heathrow airport.

In his reaction to the action of the UK authorities, the minister said, “Having been allowed to carry out one very successful evacuation of Nigerians from London at very low fares, @flyairpeace in coordination with the @NigeriaGov and full knowledge of the UK authorities scheduled two additional flights.

“All the arrangements were made including payments, only for the UK authorities to withdraw landing rights close to departure despite strong representations by the Nigerian Government including pointing out the hardship that would be caused to hundreds of Nigerian evacuees.

“Air Peace could have just refunded the passengers but exceptionally, patriotically and altruistically agreed to find an alternative carrier acceptable to the UK authorities to carry out the evacuation a day later than scheduled but for much higher fares.

“These higher fares could legitimately have been passed on to the evacuees but Air Peace bore this huge cost itself. This is to let the aggrieved evacuees know that the objects of their grievance should neither be Air Peace nor the Nigerian Government.

“They should rather be eternally grateful to Air Peace. The Nigerian Government will review its Air agreements with various countries as a result of the unacceptable treatment of Nigerian carriers during this pandemic.”

NCAA Investigates Alleged Violation of International Flights’ Ban by Emirates

MORE READING!  JUST IN: Veteran Ghanaian actor, Osofo Dadzie is dead

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has said it will investigate the alleged violation of the ban on international flight services by Emirates’ Airlines.

The Dubai-based mega carrier has allegedly been operating scheduled flights from Nigeria, claiming the flights were evacuation flights.

The airline is said to be planning to operate scheduled flights on July 14 and 19 tagged evacuations, where it will allegedly airlift Nigerians that wish to travel from the country and connect them to other international destinations from Dubai.

In one of the advertisements by the airline’s ticket sales agent, Tour Brokers, titled, “Fly Emirates Airline from Lagos to Dubai, London, and many more destinations” sighted by THISDAY, the message said:

“Fly Emirates Airlines from London on the 19th of July, 2020 to Dubai, London, New York, Toronto, Paris and many more destinations. Contact us now for your ticket – Limited seats available.”

Evacuation flights are usually organised by the embassies and airlines are contacted to airlift evacuees.
But Emirates was said to have been organising and selling tickets.

It was gathered that in the inbound and outbound flights, it is largely Nigerian citizens that are airlifted from Lagos and Abuja to Dubai and from the United Arab Emirates via Dubai to the two Nigerian major cities.

Another sales agent of Emirates, wakanow.com also advertised for the July 14 flight and had the message;

“Travel update! Dear Customer, We are pleased to inform you that Emirates will operate an evacuation flight from Dubai to Abuja on 14th of July, 2020,” the message stated.

A top official of NCAA explained that following the ban on international flights, approvals for flights are secured from only the Ministry of Aviation – through the Minister or anyone so delegated by him.

MORE READING!  New photos of mum and kids abandoned for having blue eyes

According to him, it is after the approval is received that the NCAA and the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) will be informed.

The source also noted that according to regulation, it is the NCAA that should be informed first to review the request and then advise the ministry to give approval or not.

“Maybe the approval came from the ministry. The regulation gives the minister the powers but the ministry should have to liaise with NCAA instead of dealing with the airlines directly. But it is after the approval has been received that NCAA and NAMA are informed,” the source said.

Spokesman of NCAA, Sam Adurogboye, however, said that the flights would be investigated, noting that the regulatory authority ought to earn revenue from such flights.

According to him, such revenue is lost now that NCAA is bypassed, if the flight operations are true.

We will investigate it further to know what is happening. We will definitely investigate it because if they are doing that it means they are denying us revenue,” Adurogboye said.

However, the spokesman of the Ministry of Aviation, James Odaudu, when contacted, denied that the ministry approved such flights.

“No airline has been given any approval to run scheduled international flights,” Odaudu said.

General

Oluwo of Iwo loses mother

Published

on

Oluwo

The Oluwo of Iwoland, Oba Abdulrasheed Adewale Akanbi is currently in a state of mourning as he has lost his mother, Suebat Amope Akanbi.

The Chief Press Secretary to the Oluwo, Alli Ibraheem made the sad announcement via a signed statement.

Read the statement below:

“Rest on Iya Oba, Your Death is Regrettable But Deserves Celebration – Oluwo

I mourn the death of Iya Oba, Suebat Amope Akanbi nee Alimi “Iya Onigold”. Your passing was regrettable but we dare not question God. As a nonagenarian, I will celebrate your passing to a greater glory because your glory shined in your lifetime.

You were an achiever. You witnessed the glory of your child becoming Oluwo. You felt fulfilled. You felt the joy and died joyfully.

May your continue to rest in peace good mother. I felt the loss but still celebrating it. You came, you saw, you conquered.

Alli Ibraheem, Chief Press Secretary to Oluwo”

MORE READING!  Banditry: Monarch urges govt to adopt new strategies
Continue Reading

Coronavirus

India’s Covid-19 tally crosses 2.3m as deaths surge past 46,000 mark

Published

on

The number of COVID-19 cases in India rose to 2,329,638 on Wednesday as the deaths crossed the 46,000 mark, reaching 46,091, said the data released by the Federal Health Ministry.

Over the past 24 hours, as many as 60,963 new cases were recorded across the country, while 834 deaths due to the virus were registered.

There are a total of 643,948 active cases in India presently and 1,639,599 people have been cured and discharged from hospitals.

MORE READING!  Two killed as Ekiti monarch moves to enforce ban on festival

Wednesday is the 13th consecutive day when over 50,000 COVID-19 cases have been recorded in India.

The recent surge in fresh cases is due to ramping of samples testing.

A total of 733,449 samples were tested on Tuesday alone, bringing total samples tested to 26,015297.

According to the federal health ministry, the recovery rate amongst the COVID-19 patients has reached almost 70 per cent.

MORE READING!  U.S. decries Russia’s decree targeting VOA, others

Also, the fatality rate presently stands at two per cent and is steadily declining.

On Tuesday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that there was an urgent need to increase testing of samples to curb COVID-19 in 10 states, which account for nearly 80 per cent of fresh cases across the country.

MORE READING!  Pastor who placed curse on man to suffer for 600 years receives house gift

These states are Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Maharashtra, Punjab, Bihar, Gujarat, Telangana, and Uttar Pradesh.

Interacting with the chief ministers of all the 10 states through video-conferencing, Modi stated that if the virus was defeated in these states, the entire country would emerge victorious in the battle against COVID-19.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

NAN

Continue Reading

General

UK in recession for the first time in 11 years

Published

on

Boris Johnson

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has confirmed the UK’s nosedive back into recession after nearly 11 years, and there are fears of worse yet to come.

Fresh figures show the pandemic sent the economy plunging by a record 20.4% between April and June – with hospitality singled out as the worst-hit industry.

The stark announcement has been declared a ‘tragedy for Britain’ by Labour – coming just a day after it was revealed nearly one million jobs had already been lost during the UK’s Covid-19 lockdown.

Alarm bells are ringing warning of another spike in job losses as firms have to begin paying towards furloughed workers’ wages as the scheme ends altogether in October.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak today issued a stark warning that ‘many more’ will lose their jobs as the recession is officially declared, but he has urged Britain not to lose hope.

His statement read:

“I’ve said before that hard times were ahead, and today’s figures confirm that hard times are here.

“Hundreds of thousands of people have already lost their jobs, and sadly in the coming months many more will.

“But while there are difficult choices to be made ahead, we will get through this, and I can assure people that nobody will be left without hope or opportunity.”

Shadow chancellor Anneliese Dodds tweeted criticism of Boris Johnson’s handling of the crisis: “We’ve already got the worst excess death rate in Europe – now we’re on course for the worst recession too.

“That’s a tragedy for our country and it’s happening on the PM’s watch. A downturn was inevitable after lockdown – Johnson’s jobs crisis wasn’t.”

The ONS confirmed the official recession declaration on Wednesday, in a major milestone for a flailing UK economy.

MORE READING!  Obasanjo COVID-19 test result released

The statistics agency said the UK economy had contracted by 20.4% in the second quarter of 2020, as the Covid-19 lockdown pushed the country into an unprecedented slump.

A recession is defined as two successive quarters of decline in gross domestic product (GDP), which has not been seen in the UK since 2008 and 2009 during the financial crisis.

It comes after ONS data showed around 730,000 UK workers have been removed from the payrolls of British companies since March when the lockdown began, in a sign of the pandemic’s toll on the economy.

Chief nurse urges pupils getting A Level results to join NHS coronavirus fight
The numbers do not include the vast amount of people at risk of redundancy but still technically employed for now as the furlough scheme continues for just over another month,

Employment also dropped by the largest amount in a quarter since 2009 between May and June.

But monthly figures showed the economy bounced back by 8.7% in June, following upwardly revised growth of 2.4% in May, as lockdown restrictions eased.

The ONS said the economy is still a long way off from recovering the record falls seen in March and April after tumbling into “the largest recession on record”.

MORE READING!  UK in recession for the first time in 11 years

TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady said:

“The best way to get our economy back on its feet is to keep people in work. The more jobs we protect the faster we’ll recover from this crisis.

“Ministers cannot afford to dither. They must do everything possible to stop mass unemployment.

“That means extending the job retention scheme for companies that have a viable future but need support beyond October.

“And it means investing in the decent jobs we need for the future in green industries, social care and across the public sector.”

How coronavirus has ravaged the globe as cases surge past 20 million worldwide
Economic uncertainty caused by the pandemic means Chancellor Rishi Sunak may delay his autumn Budget, according to the Financial Times.

The paper said fears of a second wave of Covid-19 had led Mr Sunak to consider delaying major public spending decisions until after the crisis, most likely until the spring.

Jonathan Athow, deputy national statistician at the ONS, said the economy was beginning to whir back into action- but explained the GDP remains in the doldrums.

He said:

“The recession brought on by the coronavirus pandemic has led to the biggest fall in quarterly GDP on record.

“The economy began to bounce back in June with shops reopening, factories beginning to ramp up production and housebuilding continuing to recover.

“Despite this, GDP in June still remains a sixth below its level in February, before the virus struck.

“Overall, productivity saw its largest-ever fall in the second quarter. Hospitality was worst hit, with productivity in that industry falling by three-quarters in recent months.”

The statistics agency said there had been record quarterly falls in services, production and construction output in Quarter 2.

MORE READING!  U.S. decries Russia’s decree targeting VOA, others

The falls have been particularly prevalent in those industries that have been most exposed to government lockdown restrictions.

This week, Britain’s high street bloodbath continued this week with more jobs being put on the line.

Department store Debenhams axed 2,500 jobs in branches and warehouses.

It comes the day after the Government reported the highest daily Covid-19 cases – 1,148 – since June 21.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned Brits on Tuesday that the economy will have more “bumpy months” ahead.

He added:

“We always knew this was going to be a very tough time for people.”

Speaking during a visit to a construction site at The County Hospital in Hereford, he said: “What we are going to have to do is to keep going with our plan to ‘build, build, build’ and build back better, and ensure we make the colossal investments we can now make in the UK economy to drive jobs and growth.”

Continue Reading




Trending