EFCC Takes Anti-Corruption War To Nigeria’s Airports

EFCC Takes Anti-Corruption War To Nigeria’s Airports
File photo

 

Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr Ibrahim Magu, has called for improved collaboration between the agency and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).

Magu, who spoke on Thursday in Abuja during an anti-corruption sensitisation programme organised for the staff of FAAN by the EFCC, was hopeful that such cooperation would help to check the free movement of criminals and brazen laundering of illicit funds through the nation’s airports.

According to him, the education and sensitisation campaign was designed for employees of public and private institutions, to encourage them to have a buy-in into the anti-graft mandate of the EFCC.

“Our presence here today is to bring the message of anti-corruption to the management and staff of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN and other aviation workers”, he said in a statement signed by the EFCC spokesman, Mr Wilson Uwujaren.

Commending FAAN for inaugurating its Anti-Corruption and Transparency Unit (ACTU), the EFCC boss said: “the workshop was structured in line with Section 6 of the EFCC Act, which requires the commission to, in addition to its enforcement responsibilities, take measures to prevent the commission of economic and financial crimes”.

He said it was cheaper and better to prevent corruption than to fight it and called on participants to embrace the values of integrity and transparency in the discharge of their duties.

Magu, however, warned them that the anti-graft agency would not spare anyone involved in corrupt practices and asked all stakeholders to familiarise themselves with the EFCC Act and other relevant laws guiding their duties.

“The Commission is determined more than ever before to rid all government Ministries, Departments and Agencies of all forms of fraudulent activities,” he said.

Earlier in his opening remarks, the Managing Director, FAAN, Mr Saleh Dunoma, commended the EFCC for driving the sensitisation programme towards the aviation sector, and also solicited for more support, especially in the crime unit.

He said: “The aviation sector is the right choice in campaigning for the fight against corruption, the EFCC support is what we need; I want you to consider us in the crime unit.

“We interface with international passengers and by liaising with the EFCC, we can sensitise the airport community so that we can rid Nigeria of corruption.”

The event, which held at the Pilot Lounge of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, featured participants from various agencies, including the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), and the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) among others.

Nigeria’s Infrastructure: Obasanjo Advocates Strong Public-Private Partnership

Olusegun Obasanjo, Nigeria, Public-Private Partnership, infrastructureFormer President Olusegun Obasanjo has identified the public and private sector as the two legs for Nigeria’s socio-economic development, hence one cannot work effectively without the other.

He lamented that both the present and past governments in the country have not paid sufficient attention to work together with the private sector to develop the sector.

The former president made the remark at a seminar organised by the Kaduna Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture at the International Trade Fair Complex in Kaduna State.

The audience at the one-day seminar cuts across the business community, students, academia and political class.

Obasanjo, who was the chairman of the occasion, decried that Nigeria has not been able to harness her natural potentials in order to be at the same pace with other nations.

He faulted the reversal of the sale of refineries by the Umaru Yar’adua administration, which he said was largely responsible for the instability in the oil and gas sector.

The former president further stressed the need for government at all levels to collaborate with the private sector, in order to get Nigeria out of its present economic recession.

Need To Concession Critical Assets

A former Minister of Finance and National Planning, Dr. Shamsudeen Usman, also presented a paper with the theme: ‘Promoting Public-Private Partnership (PPP) as Panacea for Accelerated Growth and Development’.

Dr. Usman emphasised the need for government to concession some of its critical assets like the sea port terminals, airports and roads to enable them work effectively and also reduce financial burden on government.

He explained that a smooth public-private collaboration must have the highest political support, credible reward sharing formula and transparency.

The former minister added that most of the successful PPP projects were done during the Obasanjo-led administration, due to strong political will.

The host governor, Mr Nasir El-Rufai, on his part, highlighted some of the collaborative efforts of his administration with the private sector to be able to finance its multi-year plan in the major sectors of the economy.

Participants at the event noted that infrastructure in Nigeria is poor, due to old age, overburden or poor management, to meet the needs of over 170 million population.

They added that the competing needs of the economy have placed a huge burden on the government which they said cannot solely provide all the services required.

Senate Seeks New Strategy On Corruption Fight

Senate on Corruption FightMembers of the Nigerian Senate have called on the executive to re-strategise on its war against corruption.

The lawmakers made the call on Thursday as the Senate continued the debate on the state of the economy at the National Assembly in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

They argued that some measures taken by the Federal Government so far were driving away investors.

While Senator Ben Bruce observed that the government’s approach to fighting corruption was doing the country more harm than good, Senator Olusola Adeyeye called for a total restructuring of the economy.

One after the other, they suggested solutions which they said would get Nigeria out of recession and put it on a course of economic recovery and growth.

 

Sale Of Government Assets

The lawmakers were also divided on the suggestion to sell the country’s assets to generate revenue.

Senators Ovie Omo-Agege, Abdulahi Adamu and Adeola Olamilekan, opposed the recommendation of the sale of government assets.

They also questioned the reluctance of the Federal Government to make use of funds in several intervention agencies to stimulate the economy.

The debate follows the called on the executive by the Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, to raise capital from the sale of government assets and other sources to shore up reserves.

Senator Saraki had recommended part sale of the NLNG Holdings, reduction of government share in upstream oil joint venture operations and sale of government stake in financial institutions.

He also proposed several other measures to address Nigeria’s economic challenges, including the privatisation of major and regional airports and refineries.

Saraki Recommends Sale Of Government Assets As Senate Resumes

SarakiThe Senate President, Dr. Bukola Saraki, has asked the executive to raise capital from the sale of government assets and other sources to shore up reserves.

Senator Saraki made this recommendation as the Senate resumed plenary after a seven weeks’ recess.

Addressing lawmakers, Senator Saraki said that the sale of assets would calm investors, discourage currency speculation and stabilise the economy.

He recommended part sale of the NLNG Holdings, reduction of government share in upstream oil joint venture operations and sale of government stake in financial institutions.

Senator Saraki also recommended several other measures to address the country’s economic challenges, including the privatization and concessioning of the major and regional airports and refineries.

The Senate has resolved to engage in a two-day debate on these recommendations and submit to the executive.

Air Force Shows Readiness To Resist Terror Attacks On Nigerian Airports

Air-Force-Nigeria-Simulation-exercise-in-Abuja-Airport The Nigerian Air Force says it is fully prepared to respond to possible terror attacks across Nigeria’s airports, just as it assured air passengers of their safety at all times.

The Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshal Sadique Abubakar, expressed the readiness of the force while addressing naval officials after a simulation exercise at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.

The simulation appeared like a real life situation, showcasing the Nigerian Air Force’s combat readiness to counter terrorism at the airport.

It began with troops taking vantage position at the airport while others are deployed into the terminal building of the airport to arrest the terrorists.

Under the command of the regiment commander, the troops stormed the airport to arrest some suspected terrorists.

With the arrest of the terrorists which brought the mission to an end, the Chief of Air Staff gave his observation on the exercise.

Air-Force-simulation-exercise
Nigeria Air Force officials in simulation exercise to counter terror attack

“I am very happy that we have been able to test the plans we have for this airport and whatever gaps there are, we will be able to quickly go back and debrief and see where there are areas of difficulties,” he said.

The Air Chief reaffirmed that there was no threat of terrorist attack on any airport in Nigeria.

“We are not anticipating anything. Like I said, this is just an exercise. It is very important that you evaluate your plan from time to time. If not you might have some gaps in what you have put together. If you have to wait till there is anticipation, then it might just be too late,” Air Marshal Abubakar stressed.

He further explained that the simulation exercise was aimed at testing the combat readiness of the troops to counter terrorism and would be replicated across the country.

Air Marshal Abubakar noted that the air staff were fully equipped to counter terrorists attacks on any airport within Nigeria.

He appealed to law abiding Nigerians to go about their lawful activities, saying that the Air Force remained committed to supporting other security agencies in reducing the activities of insurgents and militants in Nigeria.

Chinese Investors Consider Airport Construction In Ogun State

airplaneSome Chinese investors have shown interests in partnering with the Ogun State government on the construction of airport roads, light rails and mass transit in the state.

This expression of interest was made known by both parties at a meeting held at the executive chamber of the Governor’s office in Abeokuta,the state capital.

The state government had continued to reiterate its commitment to creating an environment where investments could thrive, a move aimed at drawing more investments to the state.

Addressing the meeting, the state governor, Ibikunle Amosun, further assured the investors and business owners operating in the state of conducive atmosphere for their businesses to thrive.

He also assured them of adequate security and friendly government policies.

FG approves N106 billion for construction of 11 more airports

The Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah on Thursday said that the Federal Government has approved the sum of N106 billion for the construction of 11 new international airport terminal buildings in Nigeria.

Mrs Oduah, who disclosed this at a news conference in Abuja, said that the amount was approved at the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting on Wednesday.

She said the new international terminal projects were different from the on-going remodelling and reconstruction of 11 airports in the country.
The Minister said the 11 new projects would include five international terminals for commercial flights and six for perishable cargoes.

She said that the FEC had given approval for the award of contracts for the “immediate take off of construction work on the five terminals for international flights.
“They are Lagos, Kano, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Enugu.”

The six perishable cargo terminals will be in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Enugu, Kano and Asaba.

Mrs Oduah said that the projects were part of the government’s plans to achieve its transformation agenda in the aviation sector.

“The second phase in our implementation strategy of the Road Map which falls under the medium term programme of action is the construction of five new international terminals in Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Kano and Enugu.

“Only yesterday (Wednesday), we achieved a significant milestone in this regard when Mr President and the FEC graciously granted approval for the award of contract for the immediate take-off of construction work on these terminals.

“For us as a ministry and government, we consider this development a huge opportunity to put to practical effect, the present administration’s Transformation Agenda,” Mr Oduah said.

The minister said that the first phase of the remodelling and construction of 11 airports would be completed in the next 90 days, while the contract for the second phase of another 11 airports would take two years before completion.

She said the projects were to be executed with a concessionary loan from China Nexim Bank in 22 years with 5 years moratorium at an interest rate of 2 per cent adding that mobilisation to site by the contractors was expected to commence in the next 90 days.

“What this means is that before the end of the lifespan of this administration, we would have been able to bequeath to Nigerians the airports of their dreams.

“Our dream is to also strive to transform Nigeria’s aviation sector into a major contributor to the nation’s GDP and the airports are pivotal to the actualisation of this dream.

“The award of contracts for the construction of the new international airport terminals will, therefore, be a significant first step in this direction,” she said.

Eleven airports are currently undergoing reconstruction nationwide. These airport include: Murtala Muhammed International Airport and the General Aviation Terminal (GAT), Lagos; the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja; Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa; the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu and the Malam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano.

Others are Margaret Ekpo International Airport, Calabar, Yakubu Gowon Airport, Jos; the airports in Yola, Kaduna and Sam Mbakwe Airport, Owerri.

Reinstatement of Dana airline

The Minister reacted to the recent lifting of the suspension imposed on Dana airline over the 3 June 2012 air crash which killed over 153 people in Lagos.

Mrs Oduah said the federal government lifted the suspension of the airline following the report of a technical audit of the operator which did not indict the company.

Although she expressed pain over the unfortunate incident, the Minister said the government was not under any pressure to restore the airline’s operating licence as she assured Nigerians and the travelling public that safety remains a major priority of the federal government.