ASUU: Flights Affected In Lagos As Aggrieved Students Continue Protest

A combo of NANS protesting the continuous ASUU strike as well as security operatives on standby on Monday 19th September 2022

 

Some flights were affected on Monday when members of the National Association of Nigerian Students blocked a section of the access road to the Murtala Muhammad International Airport in Lagos.

Channels Television gathered that the protesting students carried placards having various inscriptions as they used vehicles to block inbound and outbound traffic from the Ajao to Hajj Camp area of the airport road.

The aggrieved varsity students protesting the seven-month industrial action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities blocked the road around 8 am till press time at 4 pm, a situation that caused gridlock along the axis as the vehicular movement in and out of the airport was stalled.

A spokesperson for Air Peace, Stanley Oliseh in a chat with Channels Television on Monday, said the gridlock affected some passengers of the airline.

When asked whether the road blockade affected the airline’s passengers and flights, he said, “Definitely, they (passengers) can’t access the airport. So, it definitely affects passengers.

“The ongoing protest created traffic and people are finding it hard to be at the airport – passengers, and everybody.

“Some flights have been affected. We are adjusting the flight programme for the day.”

United Nigeria Airlines’ Head, Corporate Communications, Achilleus-Chud Uchegbu, said, “No major disruptions in flight operations, just delays.”

However, the spokesperson for the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, Faithful Hope-Ivbaze, told Channels Television in a telephone interview that security had been beefed up around the airport.

“Our security operatives are at the airport. Security is beefed up. It is a peaceful demonstration; they are just on the road; they are not at the airport,” she said.

Similarly, NANS National Public Relations Officer, Giwa Temitope, told Channels Television that security operatives have been cooperative and no student has been harassed.

As of press time, Temitope told our correspondent that the roads are still blocked and the protest will be terminated “soonest”.

Earlier, the spokesman for the Lagos State Police Command, Benjamin Hundeyin, told Channels Television that police officers were deployed to the scene.

NANS had threatened to ground activities at the local and international airports across the country effective today as part of efforts to drive home their demand that the ASUU strike is called off.

The protesting students had last week blocked the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and the Ibadan-Ife Road.

Public universities in the country have been shut down for seven months since February 14 when ASUU embarked on its industrial action.

The Federal Government had dragged ASUU before the National Industrial Court and the court has adjourned the case to September 21, 2022.

FAAN ‘Takes Full Responsibility’ For Faulty Escalators At Lagos Airport

A file photo of FAAN logo.

 

The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria has apologised over its faulty escalators which injured travelers at the Lagos airport over the weekend.

FAAN Acting General Manager, Corporate Affairs, Faithful Hope-Ivbaze, in a statement on Monday, said the airport authority has taken “full responsibility” for the incident.

“With respect to the above mentioned incident which occurred at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos on Saturday, September 3, 2022, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria takes full responsibility for the unfortunate incident, and we hereby tender our apology to the family involved.

“Accordingly, we have also reached out to actively participate in the care for the injured.”

“FAAN is reviewing the operating procedure for the equipment, to ensure that such sudden mechanical faults do not occur again,” Hope-Ivbaze said.

 

On Saturday, a traveller with the Twitter identity, @elvikioup, released photos and videos, narrating her family and some travellers sustained injuries while trying to use the “death-trap called escalators” at the airport.

The user had also threatened to get to the root of matter legally.

Airline Operators Fault FAAN On Runway Closure, Demand Review

The new terminal at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos is expected handle up to 20 million passengers annually.
A file photo showing the new terminal at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos.

 

The Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) has criticised the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) for the manner in which it shut down the domestic runway (18L) of the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos.

In a letter to the Managing Director of FAAN, the airline operators accused the agency of failing to comply with international best practices in shutting down the runway.

The operators are demanding an urgent meeting between FAAN and stakeholders to develop a process “that limited both the cost impact on airlines as well as disruptions to normal flight operations”.

They said while the effort to install a new runway was welcome, the notice was too short, leading to negative consequences.

“The AON received with surprise the NOTAM of 5th July 2022, for a period of 90 days,” the operators said in their letter dated July 15.

“With such short notice, we note sadly that FAAN went ahead to close the runway, causing unsustainable additional operating costs and severely inconvenience the airlines and passengers.”

The operators believe the difficulties faced and costs incurred would all have been better managed if FAAN had engaged relevant stakeholders.

“International best practice for such critical airfield infrastructure projects is for the airport operator to enter into discussions with all affected parties, to arrive at an optimal arrangement that allows work to be done while limiting the inconvenience, economic impact, and safety implications on all concerned. In this instance, FAAN failed to do this,” they said.

This situation, according to them, worsens an already difficult condition occasioned by the soaring cost of aviation fuel.

“The closure of the main domestic runway of MMA automatically adds an additional 10-15% more fuel costs per sector into and out of MMA, based on the additional flight and taxi time incurred as a result,” they said.

“The airlines have already felt these additional costs within the first week of the closure of the runway. This unnecessary burden is unsustainable for an e-month period on the airlines.”

‘No Sign Of Work Ongoing’

Another implication of the runway closure, identified by the operators, is a chain of direct flight delays on a daily basis, which impacts the entire system of scheduled domestic flights in the country.

The operators believe that there are other options that could have been explored.

They said, “AON contends that in line with international best practices, runways of airports are only closed when there is no other option. For infrastructure projects such as this one on 18L, to limit the impact on flight operations, FAAN ought to have ensured that the contractor does the work at night when the runway is not in use.

“If there is an absolute need for the work to be done during daylight hours, then an agreement should have been reached with the runway users on what time window would allow this.”

The airline operators also identified another sour point to be what they have observed since the closure of the runway.

“For the major airport in Nigeria, AON notes with disappointment that Runway 18L has been closed for a week now with no evidence of any work going on,” they said.

“Yet, the airlines have been burdened with huge but unnecessary additional costs and flight delays. Surely this situation is not in the best interests of the industry.”

It was based on all of the issues raised that the airline operators called on FAAN to convene an urgent stakeholders meeting.

“AON assures FAAN of our commitment to partnering with FAAN to install the long overdue runway lighting on Runway 18L, in line with accepted international best practice,” they said.

FAAN Confirms Death Of Passenger At Abuja Airport

Abuja-Airportttttt
A file photo of the front view of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja.

 

The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has confirmed the death of a passenger on Wednesday at the Abuja airport.

The passenger who is a female was waiting to board a Lagos-bound flight from the domestic terminal of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport when it was observed that she having difficulty breathing at the boarding hall.

In a statement by the Acting General Manager, Corporate Affairs, Faithful Hope-Ivbaze, the passenger later died after frantic efforts made at resuscitating her, including the administration of CPR (Cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and AED (Automated External Defibrillator) proved abortive in the circumstance.

“Although the Authority has processed millions of passengers through the airport without any such incident over the years, we deeply regret that despite spirited efforts by our medical officials to resuscitate her, she was confirmed dead at about 0906hours, and her remains were subsequently taken to the NAF Medical Centre,” Hope-Ivbaze also said.

“The Authority uses this opportunity to express our profound condolences to her family and friends on this unfortunate loss and pray that her soul finds rest with the Lord. FAAN… Committed to her core values of Safety, Security and Comfort”, the statement added.

FAAN Apologises Over Power Outage At Lagos Airport

File photo of airport users at Murtala Mohammed International Airport in Lagos. PHOTO: Sodiq Adelakun/Channels TV

 

The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has apologised over the power outage at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.

The apology was contained in a statement by FAAN’s acting General Manager, Corporate Affairs, Faithful Hope-Ivbaze.

The acting General Manager in the statement which was issued on Saturday said the outage was a result of the rainfall.

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“The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) wishes to apologise to passengers and other airport users that witnessed a temporary power outage at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, at about 2315hours yesterday, April 1, 2022.

“The outage, which was as a result of yesterday’s rain, that came with very fierce winds and storms, a natural occurrence, affected one of our feeders and consequently resulted in the temporary disruption of power supply at the D wing of the airport.

“However, our engineers quickly discovered the fault, and liaised with the Ejigbo duty/area control office of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria and together resolved the problem. Normalcy has since been restored at the affected area.”

The power outage at the airport on Friday night

Many passengers were stranded after a power outage hit a section of the Lagos airport on Friday night.

Many passengers shared videos on social media lamenting the situation.

 

Airlines, Jobs Have Quadrupled In Nigeria Since 2015 – Aviation Minister

Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika (File Photo).

 

Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, has said that the number of airlines and jobs provided in the aviation sector has quadrupled since 2015 when President Buhari assumed office.

He said this on Tuesday, during the commissioning of the new Murtala Muhammed International Airport terminal in Lagos.

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“Mr President, the other name for aviation since you took over in 2015, is growth,” Sirika said while reeling out some of the developments in the sector.

“We have in Nigeria, successfully debunked the gospel truth that aviation doubles every 15 years.

“Currently in Nigeria, the number of airports, including those currently being developed has doubled, the passenger number of has quadrupled, other entrepreneurship including catering and other ground handling has blossomed, number of airlines and jobs have quadrupled and Mr President, thank you for this growth”.

FAAN Confirms Immigration Officers Extorted 14-Year-Old Girl

A file photo of FAAN logo.

 

The Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has confirmed the reports that some immigration officers extorted money from a 14-year-old girl that was en route to Canada.

In a series of tweets via her handle @Imoteda, the mother of the girl, on February 19, 2022, explained that her daughter was travelling on Qatar Airlines when two officials of the Nigerian Immigration Service extorted the sum of eight thousand naira from her daughter.

“They took money from a 14 year(sic) Didn’t even leave her with 1kobo or one thousand naira so she can buy food while she waits,” she wrote. “I am so angry. A child!!!!!!! Why are you stealing money from a child! And you took all of it and didn’t let her call her mother?!!!”

Following the allegations, the FAAN Aviation security officers were however commissioned to investigate the accusations.

In a statement by the Acting General Manager, Corporate Affairs, Faithful Hope-Ivbaze, the accusations were true and officers involved were identified with the help of CCTV footage.

“Upon investigation, they found the allegation to be true, as the officers involved were identified with the help of footages on our CCTV facility, and the cooperation from the Nigerian Immigration Service.

“Consequently, the officers were made to refund the exact amount collected from the passenger.

“Their On Duty Cards were also withdrawn permanently, and they have been banned from working in any Nigerian airport, to serve as a deterrent to others”, the statement read”.

The Ag, GM of the authority commended the mother of the teenage “who has confirmed receipt of the money, for deeming it fit to escalate the case, and assisting us tremendously in the course of our investigation.

“Also, we would like to express our appreciation to the Comptroller of Immigration, MMA, and her team for her cooperation and support in addressing this issue”, she added.

She further added that the Authority will continue to identify and sanction any airport official (including FAAN officials) found to be extorting passengers or perpetuating any act of illegality at our airports.

How Customs Comptroller ‘Forcefully’ Breached Airport Security – FAAN

A file photo of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport.
A file photo of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport.

 

The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has accused officers of the Nigeria Customs Service of breaching the security system at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.

FAAN spokesperson, Henrietta Yakubu issued a statement on Monday, alleging that the Customs Area Comptroller for Hajj and Cargo Terminal and his officers assaulted Aviation Security officers on Thursday and forcefully took over Gate 3 of the airport.

According to her, such security breaches were becoming recurrent and must cease.

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“At about 17.45hrs on Thursday, January 20, 2022, while the AVSEC officers on day duty at Gate 3 were profiling a NAHCO vehicle that wanted to access the Security Restricted Area via Gate 3, the Customs Area Comptroller for Hajj and Cargo Terminal suddenly emerged and pulled off behind the NAHCO vehicle that was being attended to,” the statement said.

“And CSC Agunbiade, a Customs officer on the area comptroller’s entourage later shoved aside the AVSEC officer at the gate, forcefully took over the gate and opened the gate for the comptroller and his escorts to forcefully access the Security Restricted Area via the gate.

“While accessing the gate, the armed escorts to the comptroller threatened to beat up the AVSEC officers at the gate if they dare resist their assault and breach of security.

“This blatant abuse of the privilege of bearing firearms by the NCS has become a recurrent threat to the safety and security of our staff and our operations.”

While pledging to keep working to resolve all its challenges decisively, FAAN appealed to all stakeholders to respect its mandate by being disciplined and professional in the interest of national security and operational safety.

90 Airport Staff, Others Arrested For Fake COVID-19 Results, Other Crimes

A file photo of travellers at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja.

 

Ninety airport staff have been arrested for fake COVID-19 results as well as engaging in other criminal activities.

The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria disclosed this via a statement issued on Monday, titled ‘Faan Arrests Over 90 Touts; Hands 89 Over To Police.’

FAAN General Manager, Corporate Affairs, Henrietta Yakubu, said the suspects were nabbed in both Lagos and Abuja for touting, unauthorised entry, trespass, illegal facilitation, forgery, loitering, Theft, public nuisance and arguments, amongst others.

READ ALSO: NASS Workers Protest, Demand Minimum Wage Implementation

According to her, some of those arrested are staff of Patovilki Nigeria Limited, Lakewood Services, and the Nigerian Aviation Handling Company (NAHCO) Plc.

“Of the total arrested, 59 were handed over to the airport police command in Abuja for prosecution, while 30 were handed over to the police force in Lagos for same,” the statement read.

“FAAN will like to use this opportunity to warn those that do not have any legitimate business at the airports, as well as airport staff carrying out illegal duties to desist from such acts, as the Authority will not hesitate to arrest and hand over such individuals for prosecution.”

FAAN Beefs Up Security At MMIA Car Park

A file photo of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport.
A file photo of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport.

 

The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has beefed up security at the car park facility at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.

FAAN disclosed this via a statement issued on Wednesday by its General Manager, Corporate Affairs, Henrietta Yakubu.

The agency noted that contrary to social media reports, the car park managed by Messrs Seymour Nigeria Limited is safe for travellers and vehicles.

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“With respect to a story making the rounds on social media and other traditional media on the above subject, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) wish to state that the car park facility at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, being managed by Messrs Seymour Nigeria Limited is safe for travellers and vehicles, as additional security measures have been put in place to forestall the re-occurrence of such act,” the statement read.

“The unfortunate incident, which has been thoroughly reviewed and addressed, is an isolated case in the history of the Management of the facility.

“While we have reached out to the victim of the incident, we will like to assure our esteemed customers that the airport, as well as its parking facility is safe and secure.”

No Explosion At Maiduguri Airport – FAAN

 

The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has debunked reports that an explosion rocked the Maiduguri airport in Borno State.

The General Manager, Corporate Affairs, Henrietta Yakubu, in a statement on Saturday said the information was false as there was neither an explosion nor any attack at the airport.

“The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) hereby wishes to notify passengers and the general public that there was neither an explosion nor intrusion at the Maiduguri airport,” the statement read in part.

“The airport was not targeted, and is not under any attack whatsoever”.

Read Also: Explosion Rocks Residential Area In Maiduguri

FAAN, therefore, assured air travellers that it remains committed to its core values of safety, security and comfort.

While there was indeed an explosion early Saturday, Channels Television confirmed that the incident occurred at a residential estate in Maiduguri.

The mortar bomb was said to have exploded at the 1,000 Housing estate, located along the Maiduguri-Damaturu expressway.

At least 12 houses were affected, but no loss of life has been recorded.

FAAN To Close MMIA Departure Drop Off Zone Temporarily

A file photo of the FAAN logo.

 

The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has announced the temporary closure of the regular Drop Off Zone at the departure frontage of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.

The closure, which takes effect from Wednesday, October 6, is to allow for the completion of the ongoing canopy installation works at the concourse of the old international building.

A statement by the General Manager, Corporate Affairs, Henrietta Yakubu says to ease vehicular and human facilitation around the area, the authority has temporarily opened the Drop Off Zone of the new international terminal to serve airport users, while the project would last.

Also, covered walkways have been put in place to link the old and the new terminal. FAAN will also open the new departure bridge to serve as an exit to motorists.

The agency appealed to airport users to bear with them while the project is completed.

“We will like to appeal to passengers and other stakeholders to please comply with directives from security and traffic agents that have been deployed to ensure orderliness,” FAAN added.