The international wing of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, was temporarily shut in the early hours of Thursday after the mangled body of a dead man was found on Runway 18R of the nation’s flagship airport.
The identity of the corpse could not be ascertained as of press time. Also, it could not be established whether the dead man was knocked down by an aircraft taking off or landing on the runway.
However, airport officials told our correspondent that the runway was temporarily shut down while a team of officials from the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria and the Nigeria Police Force evacuated the corpse from the runway.
During the temporary shutdown of the runway, international flights were prevented from landing and taking off from the airport’s international terminal.
Among the flights that could not land due to the shutdown was an Ethiopian Airlines flight 3907, a Boeing 77F aircraft with registration number ETAVN, which was coming from Lome, Togo to Lagos, Nigeria.
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The flight was later diverted back to Lome after holding for a while.
Airport officials said the corpse was suddenly found on Runway 18R during a routine runway inspection by FAAN personnel.
The spokesperson for FAAN, Mrs. Faithful Avokerie Hope-Ivbaz, could not immediately confirm the incident, saying she had yet to be briefed on the development.
Also, the Police Public Relations Officer, Airport Command, Mr Olayinka Ojelade, said he had yet to get the requited signal on the incident.
He promised to get back. As of the time of filing this report, he had yet to do so. However, a top police official at the MMIA confirmed the development.
He said the command was called upon in the early hours of Thursday to evacuate the corpse from Runway 18R.
According to him, the police are still investigating the identity of the dead man and how he got to the security area of the international airport.
However, an aviation security expert and former Military Commandant of the MMIA, Group Captain John Ojikutu,retd, said there was a need to investigate how the unidentified man found his way into the sensitive area of the airport, describing the incident as a major security breach.
According to him, the perimeter fence of the MMIA is not a security fence, adding that this has exposed the airport to various security breaches.
Ojikutu said, “The authorities need to investigate how the man got to the airport. Nobody can say much now; but he may have been knocked down by the wingspan or undercarriage of a jumbo jet but it is too early to say anything like that now. But we need to examine the issue of houses that have been built too close to the Lagos airport. The rule says no building should be situated less than six metres to the airport structure or fence. However, we have seen cases of people crossing the runway before.
“The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority and FAAN need to investigate this to ascertain what really happened. They need to find out the flights that landed before that incident. The current airport perimeter fence is not a security fence and we need to do something about it.”
Meanwhile, there have been a couple of airport security breaches in recent times.
A mishap was averted at the airside of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos some months ago when a speeding vehicle had a near collision with a Dana Air plane taxiing to take off on Runway 18L of the airport.
The unfortunate incident, which happened on December 21, 2021, occurred barely one week after a landing Max Air jet almost rammed into a malfunctioning car being tested on Runway 18L.
Also, there was pandemonium at the airside of the Lagos airport on December 27, 2019 when an unidentified man found his way into the airside mysteriously and mounted a moving Air Peace plane.
The man was later arrested by security operatives who were notified by the pilot of a private jet coming behind the Air Peace plane.
The incident happened barely six months after a man found his way into the Lagos airport and climbed a Port Harcourt-bound Azman Airlines plane.
The man, believed to be mentally ill, was later identified as Usman Adamu from the Republic of Niger.
The Police said the Nigerien could not speak or understand English Language.
The authorities said then that investigation was still ongoing to ascertain how Adamu gained access to the restricted area at the airport.
NAICOM revokes licences of Niger Insurance, Standard Alliance, appoints liquidators
The National Insurance Commission (NAICOM) has revoked their licences of Niger Insurance Plc and the Standard Alliance Insurance after failing to recapitalise.
The insurance regulator has also appointed two liquidators to prepare their rites of passage.
The two insurance firms had been in poor financial state and several efforts to resuscitate them had proved abortive.
Nasdaq ‘Salami Head, Corporate Communications and Market Development
NAICOM notified insurance stakeholders and members of the public of the commission’s action
“This is to notify all insurance stakeholders and members of the public that the National Insurance Commission, NAICOM has cancelled the certificates of registration of Standard Alliance Insurance Plc, RIC – 091 and Niger Insurance Plc, RIC – 029 with effect from the 21st day of June 2022.”
Salami also announced that Sanya, Ogunkuade Esq of Plot 217, Upper Grace Plaza, 3rd Floor (Left Wing), Shetima Munguno Crescent, Behind Julius Berger Equipment Yard, Utako, Abuja as the Receiver/Liquidator for Niger Insurance Plc and, Kehinde Aina Esq of Aina Blankson LP, 5/7, Ademola Street, SW Ikoyi, Lagos as the Receiver/Liquidator for Standard Alliance Insurance Plc.
He advised all stakeholders to forward their enquiries to the respective receiver/liquidator for each company for their necessary action.
The commission assures all stakeholders of the safety and protection of their interests.
As Mercedes cuts dealerships, Nigerian traders may be axed
There is uncertainty over the fate of some Mercedes-Benz dealers in Nigeria operating through Weststar Associates Limited (the authorized distributor of Mercedes Benz in the country) as there are speculations that they may be sacked.
This follows international reports that Mercedes-Benz plans to reduce its dealerships by 10% worldwide, and up to 20% in the home market, Germany, by 2025, as it targets direct sales.
The prolific car manufacturer plan to hit 25 per cent online sales by 2025 as well as secure 80 per cent of European sales through its new direct sales model by 2025.
“We want to have more proximity to the customer and therefore have better control over pricing,” Mercedes chief financial officer Harald Wilhelm recently said.
“That’s why we are moving from the current dealer role.”
Weststar Associates Limited dealers in Nigeria who may be among those that may be affected by this new policy of Mercedes Benz include Skymit, Sunny Motors, Barbedos Cars, Mercedes Benz Centre and Tetralog.
However, when an official of Weststar Associates Limited was contacted by Transport Day, he promised to get back with an official position of the company concerning the matter, but Transport Day was yet to get the feedback as at the time of filling this report.
Mercedes-Benz currently has approximately 6,500 Mercedes and Smart sales and service outlets worldwide, and roughly 1,000 dealerships in Germany.
According to Bettina Fetzer, Vice president of communications and marketing, cuts to its global dealership will take place by 2025 while cuts in the German market will take place by 2028.
Founded in 2007, Weststar Associates Limited came into being after the official exit of Mercedes Benz representative office in Nigeria, following the disinvestment of the German company from Anambra Motor Manufacturing Company (ANAMMCO), Enugu.
Source: Transport Day
Latest seven-seater Range Rover SV unveiled for Nigerian market
Coscharis Motors has rolled out the all-new Range Rover SV, a seven-seater, for the Nigerian market.
The unveiling of the luxury sport utility vehicle, courtesy of Coscharis Motors, was done at the company’s office at Awoyaya, Lekki-Epe Expressway, Lagos.
General Manager, Marketing/Corporate Communications, Coscharis Group, Abiona Babarinde, said the Range Rover SV is one of the most desirable models ever created by Land Rover.
The vehicle is said to have a distinctive design detail resulting in a form that speaks to modernity and the pinnacle of progressive luxury.
Giving specific special features of the new Range Rover, Marketing Manager, Jaguar Land Rover, Cletus Aregbesola, says the vehicle is well defined by aesthetic grace, sophistication and refinement.
According to him, Range Rover would not have anticipated designing a Range Rover with seven seats four years ago but that milestone has been successfully achieved with the new Range Rover.
Having seven seats, the marketing manager said, had not affected both the driver’s legroom and rear legroom.
He said, “It has a choice of Standard or Long Wheelbase body designs provides elevated luxury for five or seven adults, all delivered while retaining the unmistakeable Range Rover profile and Command Driving position.
“Range Rover’s imposing face communicates a character of unparalleled. And, for the first time on Range Rover, 23” wheels enhance the vehicle’s presence and supreme stature, contrasted by its reductive, modern detail”, he added.
Jaguar Land Rover Service Manager, Masimba Joseph Gwetsuro, speaks on the driving dynamics, saying the vehicle is provided with new 530PS (390kW) 4.4-litre V8 that produces maximum torque of 750Nm.
Gwetsuro says that it takes the Range Rover from 0-100km/h (0-60mph) in 4,6 (4,4) seconds.
The new 530PS (390kW) 4.4-litre V8 produces maximum torque of 750Nm.
He says, “With Dynamic Launch engaged, he declared that the vehicle has cleaner, more efficient mild hybrid technology available with a range of diesel and petrol engines.
“Range Rover features a modern and sophisticated interior, underpinned by its impeccable reductive nature, tactile materials and an intuitive approach to relevant technology. No detail has been overlooked. Nothing is for show.”
He says the new Range Rover is now available in all Coscharis showrooms across the country with prices ranging between N70 million and N200 million.
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