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Tinubu leaves for Qatar For Business Forum Thursday

President Bola Tinubu will depart Lagos State and embark on a two-day official visit to the State of Qatar on Thursday.

The media aide to the President, Ajuri Ngelale, in a statement on Wednesday, said the visit which is on invitation of His Highness, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, Emir of the State of Qatar, is to further strengthen cooperation between the two nations in several areas, including security, cultural exchange, and economic development.

He said that during the visit, President Tinubu will witness the signing of several agreements focused on boosting Nigeria’s real sector and creating value-additive investments across the fields of trade, education, culture, solid minerals, digital economy, agriculture, and gas, as well as fostering cooperation on counter-terrorism.

The President will also participate in a business and investment forum that will bring together top-level executives in both the private and public sectors of Nigeria and Qatar to advance cross-sectoral opportunities for mutually beneficial growth and development.

The President will be accompanied on the trip by senior government officials for the signing of agreements.

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FG in talks with UK on Air Peace Lagos-London flight

The Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Barrister Festus Keyamo, was in London on Friday to discuss with the United Kingdom officials in the transport department, on how to overcome the issue of direct flights from Lagos to London.

According to a statement by the Ministry on Saturday, the minister had the meeting with the management of NORSE Atlantic Airways, led by its CEO, Ben Boiling, in London on Friday.

The discussions centred on the partnership of NORSE Atlantic Airways with Nigeria’s domestic carrier, Air Peace Airline, emphasising that NORSE Atlantic Airways is a major carrier in the UK and Europe.

The statement quoted the Chief Operating Officer of Air Peace Airline, Oluwatoyin Olajide, who was also present as saying, “We are hopeful that the fallout of the meeting would achieve its purpose of enabling Air Peace Airline to commence its flight operations into the United Kingdom, which Nigerians have been yearning for.”

According to the statement, Keyamo made it clear that one of his main goals in office was to help Nigeria’s domestic airlines grow and improve, supporting President Bola Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda.

Boiling told Keyamo that NORSE Atlantic Airways was ready to start the partnership with Air Peace Airline the moment the final authorisation was granted to the airline for the commencement of direct flights into Gatwick Airport in London from Lagos, Nigeria.

Air Peace has since been permitted to fly into the UK but has been having trouble getting time slots at the Gatwick Airport in London.

“Since securing its authorisation to fly into the UK, after satisfying all the requirements, the issue of slot allocation at Gatwick Airport has been the major obstacle preventing the Airline from commencing the direct flight into London,” the statement read in part.

However, the Department for Transport told Air Peace at the meeting that the UK government has no authority over the allocation of slots needed.

“The officials of the Department for Transport at the meeting made it known that the Government of the UK had no authority over the allocation of slots at the eight primary airports in the UK.

“However, they agreed to raise the concern of the Federal Government of Nigeria with the relevant authorities on the three major issues presented on behalf of Air Peace Airline which were the staggering departure time; restrictive turnaround time; and approval for the 2024 summer schedule,” the statement added.

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NCAA confirms Ibadan Airport incident, suspends Mattini Airline permit

UAE

The Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has confirmed the runway excursion involving a Challenger CL 601 aircraft, operated by Mattini Airline Services Limited, with registration marks N580KR at Ibadan Airport on 26th January 2024 and has suspended the PNCF of Mattini Airline Services Limited with immediate effect.

According to the regulatory agency, Mattini Airline Services Limited holds a valid Permit for Non-Commercial Flights (PNCF).

The suspension is in accordance with Sec 32 (4) of the Civil Aviation Act 2022.

Already, in line with statutory provisions, the Nigerian Safety Investigation Bureau (NSIB) has launched an investigation into the occurrence.

While the NSIB is conducting the safety investigation, the NCAA said it has initiated an economic inquiry into the operation of the aircraft viz-a-viz the terms and conditions of the PNCF as detailed in its Annexure.

The suspension, NCAA said will subsist until the determination is made that the conditions of the PNCF have been adhered to.

NCAA has further initiated a safety and economic audit of all private jet operations in Nigeria.

NCAA however assured the travelling public of its utmost commitment to safety and the entrenchment of global best practices.

 

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Business

FAAN: We Relocated Our Headquarters To Lagos In Nigerian’s Best Interest

The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) on Thursday said that it relocated its corporate headquarters from Abuja to Lagos to reduce expenditures.

This is contained in a statement in Abuja, by Mrs Obiageli Orah, Director, Public Affairs and Consumer Protection, FAAN.

According to her, Mr Festus Kayamo, the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, gave the order for the relocation, with a view to stopping the waste of public resources.

She said that the FAAN management, alongside stakeholders, which also involved the unions, agreed that the action was in the best interest of the authority and the country for now.

“Those affected by the decision to move the headquarters to Abuja have since returned to Lagos as there is no office space for them in Abuja.

“It was ill-advised in the first place to move the headquarters to Abuja when there was no single FAAN building in Abuja to accommodate all of them at once.

“Having returned to Lagos, the Authority will be liable to pay them DTA because technically they are working out of station as their official posting is to Abuja,” she said.

She noted that more than 60 per cent of the FAAN activities was in Lagos, given the huge passenger volume of the Lagos airports.

“The Minister has rolled out plans to get concessionaires to build befitting offices for the Authority in Lagos and Abuja.

“Until that is done, the authority will continue to manage its old building in Lagos that can accommodate all its directors and senior officials for now”, she added.

She stated that Abuja would continue to have full operational offices as FAAN had not scaled down operations in Abuja one bit.

“It is just the technical decision of where the authority has its ‘corporate headquarters’ that has been taken without affecting the structure of operations as they are for now in both cities.

“⁠In the near future, when befitting corporate buildings have been built for the authority in both Lagos and Abuja, a final decision will be taken as to the location of the permanent headquarters.

“This will depend on the exigencies of the time,” she said.

The director stressed that the FAAN was determined to continue to act in the best interest of the public and the country.

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