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Operators kick as Nigeria opens skies to more African airlines



Airline Operators suspend planned services withdrawal, over Jet A1 price hike

…APC NEC set for stormy meeting today with opposing groups fine-tuning strategies over Oyegun’s seat***

More airlines from African countries are expected to begin frequent flights into Nigeria in the coming months following the inauguration of the Single African Air Transport in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Industry sources stated that the restrictions on frequency of flights, capacity, route and ports of entry, and the 5th Freedom Traffic Right had been lifted.

“These are some of the areas that were negotiated before under normal bilateral agreements but as soon as a country signs the open skies agreement, the restrictions are reviewed,” the source explained.

Under the frequency clause, airlines of member states will no longer be restricted as long as they have traffic on their chosen routes, while the restrictions on capacity, which placed emphasis on the type of aircraft that should be used on certain routes, have been lifted.

On route and ports of entry, member states airlines’ now have the freedom to fly into one another’s countries through any viable city.

The 5th freedom traffic, on the other hand, means that within Africa, member state airlines can fly into one another’s countries and proceed to another without much restriction. For instance, a Nigerian airline can fly from Lagos to Accra, Ghana and proceed to Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire if it finds traffic.

SAATM was inaugurated on the margins of the 30th African Union Summit and under the treaty, member states are expected to abolish any provisions in their Bilateral Air Services Agreement for intra-African air services that are contrary to the provisions of the Yamoussoukro Decision, and will operate without the need for such agreements to enhance the objectives of the treaty.

“The Yamoussoukro Decision had its own template, which member states are now implementing under SAATM; they are about 18 articles. For those 23 champion states, that template has become the automatic template, especially those integrating clauses such as unrestricted freedom,” an industry source stated.

“This will encourage competition and help the airlines to grow, although there will still be designation if there was no airline operating on a particular route. And despite these unrestricted movements, there will still be eligibility criteria for airlines through diplomatic channels,” another source explained.

SAATM is a flagship project of the African Union Agenda 2063, an initiative to create a single unified and liberalised air transport market on the continent.

It was adopted by the AU Assembly in 2015 as a way of implementing the Yamoussoukro Decision of 1999 that provides for full liberalisation in terms of market access between African states, the free exercise of traffic rights, the elimination of restrictions on ownership and the full liberalisation of frequencies, fares and capacities.

Nigeria was among the champion states that declared their solemn commitment to establish SAATM upon the adoption of the declaration by the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the AU.

The 22 other states are Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Egypt, Ethiopia, and Gabon.

Others are Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Liberia, Mali, Mozambique, Niger, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Swaziland, Togo and Zimbabwe, while Burundi and Uganda are also reportedly gearing up to becoming members.

Meanwhile, the National Executive Committee of the All Progressives Congress will today (Monday) at its meeting take a final decision on the tenure of the Chief John Odigie-Oyegun-led National Working Committee.

Ahead of the meeting, which from all indications will be stormy, governors and state chairmen of the party arrived in Abuja on Sunday.

NEC will review the decision it took in February, when it said the tenure of the party’s officials had been extended.

The tenure of Oyegun and other NWC members will come to an end on June 28, 2018.

But NEC, at its meeting on February 27, 2018, approved a one-year tenure extension for the party’s officials.

However, at its meeting on March 27, President Muhammadu Buhari opposed the tenure extension, saying it was illegal.

Following the President’s objection, the party set up a 10-member committee to advise it on the issue.

Last week, the APC governors, who initially supported the tenure extension, backed Buhari’s call for fresh congresses.

On Sunday in Abuja, it was gathered that members of the NEC, including governors and state chairmen, who were opposed to tenure elongation for the Oyegun-led NWC,   met   to perfect their strategies ahead of the Monday meeting.

Also, Oyegun’s supporters, including the Kaduna State Governor, Nasir El-Rufai, had reportedly been mobilising support for the chairman.

It was gathered that some governors, who on February 28 backed tenure elongation, had changed their position.

It was learnt on Sunday that the Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun; and his Kogi State counterpart, Yaya Bello, had started pushing for fresh congresses.

Apart from Amosun, governors in the anti-tenure elongation group are Abdul’aziz  Yari of Zamfara State, Rochas Okorocha of Imo State, Abdullahi Ganduje of Kano State, Jibrilla Bindo  of Adamawa State,  Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State and Abubakar Badru  of Jigawa State.

Besides El-Rufai, it was gathered that Governor Abdullahi Mohammed (Bauchi) and Aminu Tambuwal (Sokoto) were in the pro-Oyegun group.

A chieftain of the APC in Ogun State, who declined to be identified, said it was not true that Amosun was still backing tenure elongation for Oyegun.

He said although the governor was one of those that ensured victory for the tenure elongation group on February 27, he had changed his position after listening to the President’s argument on March 28.

The pro-tenure elongation group had on February 27 emerged victorious with 104 votes against four recorded by opponents of tenure elongation.

The party chieftain said the Ogun State governor changed his position when he realised that the President would not support tenure elongation.

He stated, “When it became obvious that the President is against tenure elongation, Amosun as a loyalist of Buhari is duty bound to support him  to realise his vision for the party and the country.”


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MWUN Congratulates PTML Management On Acquisition Of MV Great Lagos



*MV Great Lagos

…Describes ship as a marvel of modern engineering

The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) under the leadership of its President-General, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju, has congratulated the Managing Director of Grimaldi Shipping Company, Mr. Ascanio Ruso, and his management for acquiring “MV GREAT LAGOS”, noting that it is the first of its kind in Nigeria.

The ship is described as a marvel of modern engineering with functions of environmental consciousness built to meet the challenges of modern-day technology in the maritime industry.

“This suffices to say that Ascanio Ruso is one of the best maritime administrators in Nigeria, who treats workers in his employ with humane and dignity for labour,” Adeyanju, a Prince of Ibaan further stated.

NLC: MWUN President-General, Adeyanju, to vie for Deputy National President post

“I wish to categorically state here again that Mr. Ascanio is a wonderful Managing Director with a human face and one of the foremost employers of labour in the industry. Your blood flows with genuine intentions of fair treatment to workers’ welfare in the maritime space.

*MV Great Lagos

“We in the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria Congratulate you on this laudable milestone achievement. Once again, we say congratulations to Mr. Ascanio Ruso and your management team,” Prince Adeyanju said.

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Immigration Service Receives 9 Stowaways From The Gambia



Odili passport seizure: Court vacates orders against NIS lawyer

The Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS) on Tuesday in Ikeja received nine repatriated Nigerians who attempted to stow away to Europe through The Gambia.

Comptroller of the NIS at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Mrs Adesola Adesokan, advised Nigerians against stowing away to Europe.

Speaking with newsmen on the development, she described stowing away as a death trap into which many Nigerians had fallen and had lost their lives.

Adesokan said the nine stowaways received on Tuesday were handed over to immigration officials by officials of the Gambian Immigration Service.

She noted that two of the stowaways almost drowned in their bid to evade arrest, but were rescued and taken to the Nigeria High Commission in The Gambia.

She added that the High Commission processed emergency travel documents for the nine stowaways to be repatriated to Nigeria, but were reluctant to return home.

“Nine Nigerians were sent back by The Gambian Immigration Service after attempting to stow away through the sea.

“Two of them almost lost their lives because they could not swim after jumping into the sea to evade arrest.

“Security officers were able to rescue them; put them in the boat and took them to a hotel where they were given food but, they vehemently resisted plans to return them to Nigeria,’’ she said.

Adesokan added that the stowaways demanded money from the Gambian immigration service as a condition to return to Nigeria.

“They were eventually taken to the Nigeria High Commission in Banjul, which persuaded them and issued them emergency travel documents so they could return to Nigeria,’’ she said.

She advised those planning to engage in irregular migration to desist and follow the right channel and also called for value reorientation.

She stressed that irregular migrants eventually got caught and deported, adding that some ended up doing odd jobs.

Adesokan noted that the stowaways were young Nigerians between the ages of 21 years to 30 years.

Also speaking with newsmen, the returnee stowaways expressed regret at their action and claimed that they were lured into the voyage by friends who luckily made it to Europe through the same route.

One of the stowaways, Abdul Yakubu, said that he was selling noodles and fried eggs on Lagos Island before he was cajoled to embark on the trip.

Yakubu said he lost N70,000 which he paid to the man who introduced and boarded him on the ship.

Another stowaway, Daniel Vincent, said they did not take any food or water when they boarded the ship at Tin Can Port in Lagos because they thought Europe was a three-day journey by sea.

Vincent said he was shocked to realise that he had not left the shores of Africa when they were detected by the ship’s crew members and handed over to the Gambian immigration service.

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Zoe Maritime Resources Holds Maximizing Gas Utilization Roundtable



Edodo= Emore

The Zoe Maritime Resources Ltd, a foremost networking and capacity-building institution in the maritime industry has announced its Maritime Business Roundtable Breakfast Meeting on Maximizing Gas Utilization.

The event is scheduled for Thursday 14th December 2023 at 9 am at the Lagos Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island. 

The theme of the Maritime Business Roundtable Breakfast Meeting  [MBRBM]  is “Maximizing Gas Utilization in  Nigeria’s Blue Economy“.

According to the press release signed by the conference convener, Oritsematosan Edodo-Emore stated that the aim of the Maritime Business Roundtable Breakfast Meeting [MBRBM] is to develop the use of Gas as the driving energy for the maritime industry in Nigeria and to bring providers, users and suppliers of Liquified Petroleum (GAS), LPG together to share ideas and explore opportunities in Nigeria’s Blue Economy.

Zoe confirmed that the following panelists will bring to bear their practical knowledge and industry experience into the arena. They are Dr. Ubani  Nkaginieme, MD – Total Support Energy Ltd; President Virtual Gas Integrated Association of Nigeria, VGIAN, Wilson E A Opuwei- CEO Dateline Energy; Rear Admiral Abolaji Oredru -Admiral Superintendent -Naval Dockyard Ltd; Rear Admiral Hamza Ibrahim, , Managing Director-Admiralty Maritime Services Ltd,  Hannah Omeje -Chairperson, WEOG Committee On Gas.

Edodo= Emore
*Edodo- Emore

The Roundtable will deal with *The relevance of gas in powering Nigeria’s Blue Economy: *The challenges and opportunities of the use of Liquified Petroleum Gas in Coastal Communities.*

The development of gas infrastructure for maritime use, Consequences of lack of optimal utilization of gas, Way forward: What the Federal and state governments must do to drive the gas agenda.

The Maritime First learnt that the proposed participants include: Maritime Stakeholders, Downstream and Midstream Oil and gas Value Chain, Government Agencies, Banks (with maritime desk), Insurance companies, Ship-owners, Boat operators, Logistics companies, Freight Forwarders, Foreign entities *

The benefits of the Maritime Business Roundtable Breakfast Meeting include:  *Visibility, Growth, Networking, Impartation, and exchange of knowledge Solutions 

The  event comprises of lead lecture, panel discussion, interactive  session, and networking  accompanied by a full breakfast,

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