Abuja Airport Closure: Amaechi, Sirika Appear Before Senate

Abuja Airport Closure: Amaechi, Sirika Appear Before SenateThe Minister of State for Aviation, Mr Hadi Sirika and the Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi have appeared before the Senate to explain the reason for the planned closure of the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport Abuja.

The Senate invited both ministers on Tuesday to explain the reason for the closure and rather explore other options besides closing the airport.

Lawmakers are opposing the closure of the airport which they say would bring hardship on local and international travellers.

The Minister of State for Aviation Hadi Sirika, explained that to continue to operate, the Abuja airport will be unsafe and unreasonable as there are daily incidents on the runway.

Captain Sirika said that every flight plan always have alternate landing routes and Kaduna has always been the alternate for Abuja airport.

He also pointed out that most of the sections of the runway have collapsed and if multiple sections have collapsed, it means the entire runway has collapsed.

The runway in the Abuja airport was constructed in 1982 with a lifespan of 14 years which had been exceeded.

FG Commits To Closing Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport

Nnamdi Azikiwe International AirportThe Nigerian Government has restated its resolve to shut down the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja from March 8.

The government also reassured international and local airline operators, as well as air travellers of adequate security at the Kaduna airport.

The Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, made the assertion on Thursday at a special stakeholders’ meeting on the temporary closure of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport.

He emphasised the importance of the closure, pointing out the security and safety measures put in place to ease air transportation to and from Kaduna airport.

The Minister, who addressed all the concerns raised by the stakeholders, said that the closing of the airport was a painful decision taken in the interest of all stakeholders.

He said that the Federal Government remained committed to the safety of air travellers, stressing that the airport runway would be rehabilitated within six weeks.

In their separate remarks, the chairmen of Airline Operators of Nigeria and international airline operators, Mr Noggie Maggison and Mr Osho Joseph, expressed objections over the closure of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport.

The British Deputy High Commissioner, Harriet Thompson, also raised concerns about the movement of passengers from Abuja to Kaduna.

The runway of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport was built in 1982 with a life span of 20 years.

Fourteen years after its lifespan expired, the airstrip has been adjudged unsafe for air travellers.

UK Launches E-Learning Platform In Nigeria

Richard Hurst
Mr Richard Hurst, is hopeful broadband penetration will continue in Nigeria to ensure interested persons have access to the platform.

The United Kingdom (UK) has launched its E-learning Africa Programme in Nigeria, aimed at supporting workforce development for organisations and government.

The overseer of the programme, Mr Richard Hurst, said the programme was coming to Nigeria better and in a flexible manner.

Reliance of the e-learning on the internet is something that most Nigerians are worried about, as broadband penetration is still an issue.

But Mr Hurst said he had seen drastic improvement within the last few years, something that had given them the confidence to make the e-learning platform available to Nigerians.

“Our courses are specifically built for online. You can do our courses online from mobile phones, tablets, laptops and desktops.

“Network is very important, but I have seen that Nigeria is moving forward with internet and WiFi,” he said.

Also at the event was the Ogun State Commissioner For Health, Olaokun Soyinka and he said “penetration is increasing rapidly”.

“When we look at areas that did not have any kind of connectivity just a few months or years ago, they are fully wired-up as you might say. Not just with expensive and advanced hardware.

“Now, smartphones are becoming ubiquitous and people can access quite high bandwidth even just through smartphone.”

He said that the government or private sector could make investments in internet service provision.

The e-learning platform is a one-stop provider of technology enabled training and skills solutions designed to support workforce development for organisations and government in Africa.

The British Deputy High Commissioner, Ray Kyles, who was at an event organised to launch the e-learning platform, said education was one of the key components that Nigeria needed the most to develop.

He said that UK wanted to see how best they could support in that regard.

“We want to what extent we can bring that skill set to Nigeria to help skill people to take them from school level to work and see what support they need education in.

“It is combining British recognised certificates, with a process of learning that takes advantage of all the developments in ICT.

“Individuals can do it themselves, they can monitor the process through continuous assessment,” he explained.

The different courses offered through the platform could be found at www.ukelearningafrica.com.

British Government Confident Of Buhari’s Administration

Single Account-buhariThe British government has said that it is confident that the anti-corruption war being driven by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration will reignite investment confidence and allow investors to venture in other sectors outside oil and gas.

The British Deputy High Commissioner, Mr Ray Kyles told Channels Television at an event in Lagos, South-West Nigeria, that a level-playing field is needed to actualise the gains of economic diversification.

The British envoy also said that the government of President Muhammadu Buhari is ready to engage in policy dialogue that will strengthen trade relations of both countries through the opportunities that abound in other sectors of the nation’s economy.

Chibok Girls: US, UK Still Supporting But Not At The Forefront Of Search

Chibok girls videoWhile the search continues for the missing girls, international experts are yet to come forth with any findings on their efforts at helping the Nigerian military.

The U.S and U.K Government representatives in the country insist they are very much in the mix of efforts at finding the girls but explain that they are not at the forefront of the campaign.

The US Ambassador to Nigeria, James Entwistle, said “our troop is here to support the Nigerian Government in the Nigerian Government’s efforts to get these girls back.

“We are supporting your Government; we are not here to do this for you; that’s the definition of partnership. We’re here to help you do something that’s difficult and help you as best we can but we are not in the lead on this.

British Deputy High Commissioner, Peter Carter, said, “Clearly it’s a matter of great concern that none of the girls have been found but we are working very closely with the Nigerian authorities and with our American partners to provide assistance and support to the Nigerian authorities in their efforts to bring the girls home as quickly as possible.

“We fully support all the efforts that the Nigerian authorities are making, we want to see those efforts redoubled, we need to see them reinforced and we are here to help and provide support.”