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Presidency reaffirms July delivery of six A-29 Super Tucanos

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The war against insurgency in the country will be revved up soon with the expected arrival of six Super Tucano light attack aircraft from the United States (U.S.) mid-July.

Already, 14 Nigerian Air Force (NAF) personnel are in  Georgia, U.S. for training on how to deploy the jets.

Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu, disclosed this on his Twitter handle, @GarShehu, on Tuesday.

According to him, another batch of six fighter aircraft would be delivered shortly after the mid-July date of the first batch.

Shehu also posted a short video of the NAF personnel in test flight operations with the combat jets.

He tweeted: “Test flight operations for @NigAirForce newly acquired Super Tucano combat aircraft.

“Six of the 12 Super Tucanos are on track to arrive in mid-July 2021. With the remaining six shortly after that.  There are 14 Nigerian pilots currently training at Moody Air Force Base in Georgia.”

SNC and Embraer Defense & Security received a contract from NAF in December 2018 to deliver the  12 A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft.

The contract included ground training devices, mission planning systems, ground equipment, spares, and other related support.

The A-29 Super Tucano will support flight and combat training, close air support operations, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR), armed overwatch, counterinsurgency and irregular warfare scenarios.

According to a report on the webpage of Airforce Technology, an Air Force news site covering developments in air defence technology and related issues, “currently, the aircraft has been chosen by 15 airforces worldwide.

In April last year, Embraer and SNC announced the completion of the inaugural flight of the first of 12 A-29 aircraft.

The full fleet of A-29 Super Tucano aircraft is being manufactured by SNC and Embraer at the Jacksonville facility in Florida, U.S.

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JUST IN: Old naira: IMF asks FG, CBN to extend February 10 deadline

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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has called for the extension of the February 10 deadline to phase out the old naira notes.

The International monetary body made the call just after the Supreme Court had restrained the Federal Government and Central Bank of Nigeria(CBN) from enforcing the deadline.

The IMF, in a statement in Abuja on Wednesday by Laraba Bonet, said the plea was on the hardship Nigerians were exposed to over the issue.

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It said: “in light of hardships caused by disruptions to trade and payments due to the shortage of new bank notes available to the public, in spite of measures introduced by the CBN to mitigate the challenges in the banknote swap process, the IMF encourages the CBN to consider extending the deadline should problems persist  in the next few days leading up to the February 10, 2023 deadline”.

The IMF is the first international financial organisation to openly call for extension of the deadline for the deposit of old Naira notes.

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Cash crunch: Protesters defy police in Abeokuta, make bonfires on major roads

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Residents of Abeokuta, Ogun State, took to the streets on Tuesday protesting the scarcity of cash and the attendant pains.

Major streets affected by the protests are Aladesanmi, Fajol and Somorin in Obantoko area of Abeokuta as the protesters made bonfires and chanted anti-CBN songs
The Sapon branch of First Bank was also vandalised and the protesters tried to set it ablaze.
Ogun Police spokesman, Abimbola Oyeyemi, confirmed the protest, saying police officers were on the ground to monitor the situation and prevent the destruction of property and loss of lives.
He said some group of boys were involved in the crisis.
The police later came to disperse the protesters but they regrouped as soon as the operatives withdrew from the scene.
The situation affected vehicular movement as motorists and pedestrians ran in different directions to avert being caught up in the chaotic situation.

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Court frees Diezani associate Omokore of $1.6bn fraud

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An Abuja federal high court on Tuesday discharged and acquitted Jide Omokore, chairman of Atlantic Energy Drilling Concepts Nigeria Limited, of $1.6bn fraud allegations.

Omokore, an associate of former Minister of Petroleum Resources, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) with Victor Briggs, Abiye Membere, and David Mbanefo on a 15-count charge on July 4, 2016.

They were accused of fraudulently diverting the $1.6bn said to be part of proceeds of sales of petroleum products belonging to the Federal Government.

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