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Air Peace takes delivery of new Embraer aircraft

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  • Airline boss laments delay, huge cost

Air Peace has increased its fleet of new aircraft with the delivery of Embraer E195-E2 aircraft to the airline at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

The aircraft 5N-BYG, named Nnenna Onyema, arrived at the airport by 1.55pm on Thursday and was received by the airline officials led by its Chairman of Air Peace, Chief Allen Onyema, and other key stakeholders with the usual water cannon salute.

Onyema however expressed disappointment at what it took to clear aircraft despite government signing into law the removal of Value Added Tax on importation of aircraft and spares.

Onyema, who thanked President Muhammadu Buhari for the gesture, said the Nigeria Customs Service was going contrary to the signed law.

He lamented that the delay and heavy cost on the airline to clear the aircraft, which it said was amassing debt in insurance and other overhead after it arrived.

He said, “I want to thank the minister of aviation for the revolution he has brought into the industry. I want to thank the President for removing VAT from the importation of aircraft; for removing custom duties from the importation of aircraft and removing VAT from ticket fares.

“This President has done very well for the aviation industry by signing into law these demands that we presented to him. He didn’t waste time. It shows that the President is desirous and ready to support indigenous investments in this country. This is something that we are very proud of.

“I plead with the Federal Government to talk to the Customs to try and feel the pulse of the President of this country and his regime. We must always do things that will reduce the name calling or bad-mouthing of a particular regime. The Customs know very well that waivers have been signed into law yet I have aircraft on the ground for over one month; aircraft I pay over one million dollars for insurance, whether it flies or not.

“I pay over N490 million with a staff strength of over 3,000 people; our spare parts and engines will come into this country and the Customs will keep on keeping them and giving us all manner of reasons and bills to pay, even though the President of the country in his wisdom has signed into law these waivers. It does not depend on the whims and caprices of anyone anymore.”

He said an engine which should be cleared in one day had taken over one month to clear, adding, “In the neighboring Republic of Benin, it takes 48 hours to clear goods.”

Business

I sold about N70,000 bread daily to bandits when Kaduna students were abducted – Baker

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Hassan Magaji, a baker in the Galadimawa area of Kaduna State, has confessed to supplying bread to bandits.

Magagi, who was recently arrested by the Intelligence Response Team of the Inspector-General of Police, said he sold bread worth N70,000 to the bandits during the time that some university students were abducted.

It is not clear if he was referring to students of Greenfield University, Kaduna, who spent over a month in captivity.

“I observed that whenever they kidnapped many people, like during the kidnap of those university students, the quantity of bread that they bought increased. During that period I delivered up to N70,000 worth of bread everyday until recently when it dropped to N50,000 again.”

“I have not benefitted much except that I married a new wife and I was able to save money to take care of two wives. To stop banditry, government should recruit more security men. We prefer police because they know the job.”

Bandits have been terrorising residents of Kaduna and its environs.

On Saturday, angry residents blocked the ever-busy Abuja-Kaduna highway to protest incessant attacks.

Despite repeated assurances from government, armed gangs have been making life a hell for people.

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Aviation

Rains: NiMet warns of severe turbulence, flight cancellations

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The Director-General, Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NiMet), Prof. Mansur Matazu, has said airlines will encounter severe turbulence, flight delays and cancellations during rainfall.
He therefore called on pilots and airline managements to adhere to the weather forecast as the likely severe turbulence could cause discomfort, injury to passengers, instability and even loss of control for small aircraft.
Matazu was quoted in a statement on Friday as saying, “Heavy rains could also lead to skidding of aeroplanes due to surface wetness and impaired horizontal visibility.
“Thunderstorms could also lead to accidents, incidents, flight delays, flight cancellation, death, damage among others.
“Windshear could lead to accidents, incidents, aircraft nosedive, discomfort, aircraft lost control and death.”
The NiMet boss urged airline operators to take weather forecast seriously, stating the turbulence usually would cause poor visibility.
He also called on passengers to be patient with the airlines as flight delays, flight cancellations and flight diversion will be experienced within this period.

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Navy arrests 10 vandals with smuggled 210,000 litres of diesel

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Operatives of the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Beecroft have arrested 10 suspected vandals with 210,000 litre of stolen diesel.
The suspects were alleged to have attempted to smuggle the products concealed in water tanks to neighbouring Benin Republic through a wooden boat when they were intercepted around the Lagos anchorage.
A statement released on Friday by Base Information Officer, Sub-Lieutenant Veronica Effiong, said the suspects with the seized products had been handed over to the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, after preliminary investigations.
She said, “The vandals and seized products were on Tuesday, June 15, handed over to the Lagos Command of the NSCDC for further investigation and prosecution.
“The Commander NNS BEECROFT Commodore Bashir Mohammed reiterated the NNS BEECROFT`s commitment to the protection of critical national infrastructure and the eradication of all illegal activities in its area of responsibility in line with the Chief of the Naval Staff`s mission statement and strategic directive of 2021-5.
“As partners for a safe maritime environment, members of the public especially our host communities are enjoined to kindly furnish the base with credible information to assist in curbing the activities of criminal elements and economic saboteurs.”

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