Tuesday, 8 April 2014
The Supervising Minister of Aviation, Dr. Samuel Ortom has assured Nigerians that the new international terminal being constructed at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu would be commercially viable when it becomes operational. Dr. Ortom gave this assurance yesterday April 7, 2014 when he was responding to questions by journalists during his inspection tour of new projects at the airport. He said sufficient economic survey was made before the project was initiated by the Federal Government apart from the fact that Nigerians from the South East geo-political zone of the country, who are well known for their business enterprise would be of capable of generating sufficient passenger and cargo traffic on that international route.The Supervising Minister undertook an inspection tour of the airport to assess the stages of completion of some major projects there, including a General Aviation Terminal, Pilots Lounge, Pilgrims Terminal and the new International Terminal, one of the five being constructed in Lagos, Kano, Abuja, Port-Harcourt and Enugu, under President Goodluck Jonathan’s Transformation Agenda in the Aviation Industry.Dr. Ortom who expressed satisfaction with the rate of work on the projects will also visit other airports in the country, in continuation of the inspection tour of airport projects. He was accompanied on the inspection tour by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Aviation, Dr. Jamila Shuára, Directors in the Ministry and heads of parastatals under the Ministry.It will be recalled that the Akanu Ibiam International Airport Enugu officially commenced international flight operations late last year with Ethiopian Airlines, the first from the South East geo-political zone since the county’s independence.
There were 48 persons onboard the aircraft that had the cracked windshield.A domestic flight 1170, operated by Overland Airline with ATR-42 aircraft enroute Abuja from Ibadan, diverted to Lagos on Sunday following a reported cracked windshield.This is contained in a statement signed by the General Manager and Public Relations Officer of Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, NAMA, Supo Atobatele, on Monday in Abuja.The statement said that the pilot, while airborne, noticed some cracks on the windshield and subsequently requested to divert the aircraft to Lagos to allow for change of plane for the passengers.“Forty two passengers and six crew members were onboard the aircraft as at the time of the incident.“There is no cause for alarm as the diversion was precautionary and this conforms with the basic safety norms of the industry,” the statement said.
The government also rejected the merger of the EFCC and ICPC.The Federal Government has accepted the recommendation for the scrapping the National Poverty Eradication Programme, NAPEP, and the Fiscal Responsibility Commission, FRC.This is contained in a Government White Paper on the recommendations of the Presidential Committee on the Restructuring and Rationalisation of Government Parastatals, Commissions and Agencies in Abuja on Monday.The committee headed by the former Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Stephen Orosanye, had in its report submitted on April 16, 2012, recommended the reduction of federal statutory agencies from 263 to 161.The Federal Government accepted the scrapping of FRC and directed the Attorney General of the Federation to initiate necessary action for the abolition.The White Paper directed the merger of Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, and Nigerian Meteorological Agency into a body called Federal Civil Aviation Authority.It said their respective enabling laws should be amended accordingly to reflect the merger. It directed that the Revenue Mobilisation, Allocation and Fiscal Commission, RMFAC, should perform the functions of the FRC and the National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission and their enabling law repealed.It stated that the enabling laws of RMFAC be amended to accommodate the functions of the FRC and the National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission, with the latter to also be scrapped.The Federal Government also accepted that the enabling law of the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology be amended and the college restructured,It accepted the stoppage of the practise of certain categories of retirees opting out of contributory pension scheme and directed that only the military may withdraw from the scheme.The Federal Government accepted the stoppage of the bill for the establishment of NEPAD as an agency of government, contending that there were already laws relating to activities of NEPAD.The Federal Government accepted the abolition and repealing of the enabling law of the Utilities Charges Commission and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation should initiate the process.It further accepted that the National Agricultural Insurance Corporation be fully commercialised and the passed bill on the Nigeria Agriculture Quarantine Service should not be assented to by the president.It accepted that the Veterinary Research Council of Nigeria should as a professional body be self-funding and that further budgetary allocation of the council should cease.The white paper accepted the partial commercialisation of NIPOST and the sell off its major shares in NIGCOMSAT as well as retention of minority shares in the agency.It directed that the functions of NIGCOMSAT that relates to space development be reverted to the National Space Development Agency.The Federal Government accepted that JAMB should continue to exist as the central examination body for admissions into Nigerian universities.It directed that JAMB must play its regulatory role to ensure that all students for undergraduate admissions into Nigerian universities must pass through JAMB including direct entries.The white paper accepted the merger of the function of the Nigerian institute for Education Planners and Administrators with those of the National Teachers Institute.It however rejected the merger of WAEC with NECO and NABTEB.The Federal Government further accepted that the Nigerian Film Corporation be commercialised from 2013 fiscal year but with government seed funding.It accepted that all offices of the Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies outside Lagos and Abuja be closed to ensure judicious use of available resources in line with government policy.The Federal Government accepted the merger of National Council of Arts and Culture with the National Troupe and the National Theatre into one agency called National Council of Arts and Culture.It accepted that the Nigerian Financial Reporting Council ceases to be funded by government from 2015 and that the Industrial Training Fund be self-funding from 2014.It accepted that the allegation made by the National Boundaries Commission against the office of the Surveyor General of the Federation over the funding of two non-existent boundary demarcation be investigated.