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Minister Appeals To Foreign Airlines Over Cash Crunch

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Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, has appealed to foreign airlines to bear with the country over difficulties in repatriating funds that are still stuck in the economy.

Sirika, in response to fresh call for government to come to the airlines’ aide, said the situation is generally dire and demand understanding of all parties concerned.

In a related development, travel agencies in the country have urged the Federal Government to consider a merger of the ministries of aviation and tourism, as one of the strategies to promote efficiency and bail Nigeria out of recession.The agencies, under the aegis National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies (NANTA), said there are many countries that already have aviation-driven tourism as the mainstay of their economy and Nigeria should take a cue from their exploit.

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It would be recalled that about $600million belonging to the foreign airlines was stuck in Nigeria prior to the introduction of the foreign exchange flexible policy of the Central Bank of Nigeria last June. With the policy and attendant devaluation of naira, about 40 per cent of the stuck funds were lost by some airlines that have repatriated till date. It was, however, gathered that part of the funds still remain trapped with the dollar hike and scarcity.
Addressing members of NANTA, Sirika said the airlines must understand and support Nigeria in this “trying time”. While he admitted that their exit (Iberia, United among others) from the country might be due to commercial consideration, rather than a show off with Nigeria, the minister said the airlines should also give Nigeria a chance to get out of recession since they have had it good in the past.

He said: “You will know your friends when you are in difficulty, so the foreign airlines should now bear with Nigeria at this trying moment which will not last forever.”

Expressing the travel agencies’ position to the minister, President of NANTA, Bernard Bankole, said that Nigeria can quickly get out of economic recession if tourism is married to aviation, a progressive partnership and policy decision that has helped other nations in the world to rebound on all indices of development.

Bankole said: “NANTA is embarrassed by the look of our airports and the situation of our aviation sector today because Nigeria never has truly paid attention to the huge benefits that bound in tourism, hence we urge you to please do all you can to bring the tourism portfolio to the aviation sector so that Nigeria can power domestic tourism and grow the huge potentials of Nigeria as a global tourism destination.”

He observed examples of African countries like Ethiopia, Egypt and Kenya that have powered their tourism economy through key attention and support to their national airlines. In addition are Asian tourism economic powers of United Arab Emirates (UAE), Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan and China that have pushed aviation cum tourism infrastructure to the front burner of their economic aspiration.

Continuing, he said: “We are tired of the lip service paid to tourism and aviation development in Nigeria. As key players in Nigeria aviation downstream sector, we have seen what aviation powered tourism agenda has done for other countries and Nigeria cannot allow other Africa countries to overshadow us and use our failings to gain ground ahead of us in this business,” Bankole said.
The agencies also tasked the aviation minister to look into the issues of repatriation of trapped funds of foreign airlines, the state of Abuja and Muritala Mohammed International airports, Aviation Bank to help domestic airlines and the NANTA Act to address issues of professionalism in the travel trade business.
Sirika assured the travel agencies that aviation is dear to the heart of President Buhari, nothing that the committee for Nigeria Airways was the first national assignment pushed forward by his administration.

He said: “I totally support your call for aviation to drive tourism and it is not because I want to add the portfolio of tourism to what we were appointed to do here but the truth must be said that air transportation opens up a nation to many positive developmental indices to which tourism is a major issue.”‎

Source: Guardian

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Offa Polytechnic Student Union Government Gives Merit Award To Cultist Groups

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Offa State Polytechnic student union government gives merit award to cultist groups in the school.

According to a Twitter user, Ifemosu Michael wrote;

“When you think you have seen it all… Student Union Government of Offa Polytechnic gave merit Awards to Secret Cults in the school. Hey Lawd!!!”

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Man Excited As Davido Gifts Him 1M After Making A Video On His Birthday

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Man gets excited as Davido gifts him 1M after making a video on his birthday.

Taking to his Twitter handle to share the gist, DJ Peejay wrote;

“DAVIDO JUST SENT ME 1 MILLION cos of the video I made on his birthday”

Watch the video below;

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Water tank driver accuses Duncan Mighty of assaulting him in Rivers

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Self-acclaimed Port Harcourt First Son, Duncan Mighty is currently trending on social media for the wrong reasons.

A water tank driver, Okabam John has accused singer, Duncan Mighty of assaulting him in Port Harcourt, Rivers state.

It was gathered that the incident reportedly happened on Saturday, November 21, 2020 at about 9:40am when the driver was on duty.

Narrating his ordeal to some Civil Rights Activists on Tuesday November 24, after he was allegedly discharged from the hospital, John, a native of Elele Town in Ikwerre Local Government Area of the state and an employee of Julius Berger Nigeria Limited, claimed that the musician struck him on the head with a traditional staff made of elephant tusk.

According to the driver, while on duty a private car was parked close to his water filling spot. He tried notifying the driver who refused to wind down. He reportedly bent his head to talk to the driver only to discover it was Duncan Mighty.

John said that before he could speak, the singer allegedly struck his head using a traditional staff. He said the second strike was blocked with his hand. He claimed that he could not see when the singer drove off as his eyes were covered with blood.

Confirming the incident on Tuesday, one Ndubueze Obodowhuo, accused Duncan Mighty of using his VIP status to intimidate his people. He also shared a ‘medical report’ stating that John was treated for “shoulder dislocation and scalp laceration.”

Mr John is now calling on his employer, the management of Julius Berger, Security Agencies and Human Rights Organisations to help him get justice. His post below:

“This is Mr. OKABAM JOHN a native of Elele town in Ikwerre LGA of Rivers State, he’s currently employed by JULIUS BERGER NIG.PLC in Port Harcourt and his service engagement is within Judges quarters elelenwo-street, GRA Port Harcourt.

“According to Mr. OKABAM JOHN a Water-tank driver with Julius Berger, Tanker number – B8751, On Saturday 21st of November 2020 at about 9:40am while he was on duty. A private car was parked close to his water filling spot, he tried notifying the driver who refused to wine down, he bent his head to talk with the driver surprisingly, it was Duncan mighty.

“Before he could explain, his head was struck by Duncan mighty using a traditional staff(Elephant tusk), the second strike was blocked with his hand. He(Okabam John) didn’t see how the artist drove off because, blood covered his eyes at that moment.

“Mr. Okabam John narrated this incident after being discharged from the hospital. Duncan doesn’t show up when he’s publicly needed, rather he uses his VIP influence to undo his people. Celebrities should be celebrated by their positivity, their influence shouldn’t pose danger to the society rather it should serve as liberation to the people.

“Mr. OKABAM JOHN is calling on the management of Julius Berger, Security Agents and Human Rights Organisations for justice to be done in his case, to avoid a re-occurance.”

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