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.

Unkempt Man Found On Parked Aircraft, Arrested In Lagos Airport

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

 

An unkempt man has been found at a parked aircraft in Lagos, the nation’s commercial capital.

The man, said to be middle-aged and unconscious, was found on Sunday morning during a pre-flight inspection at the Murtala Mohammed Airport 2.

Channels Television gathered that the suspected stowaway was arrested and taken in for interrogation.

In a statement issued by the airline, the aircraft last operated Abuja-Lagos at 7.30 pm on September 3, 2022 and was securely parked at the apron following a post-flight inspection.

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“During preflight inspection this morning, a stowaway was found in one of our aircraft parked at MMA2 Ikeja,” the airline’s spokesman, Achilleus-Chud Uchegbu, said.

“The middle-aged man, who looked unkempt and is suspected to be unconscious, was arrested and taken in for interrogation.

Uchegbu stated that FAAN AVSEC and Bi-Courtney security services are on the ground and an investigation has opened into this security breach at MMA2.

The affected aircraft is being screened and prepared for service in accordance with United Nigeria Airlines’ strict security and operating standards.

Meanwhile, the development will result in the rescheduling of some flights to accommodate the investigations.

See the full statement issued by the airlines below:

PRESS STATEMENT

During a preflight inspection this morning, a stowaway was found in one of our aircraft parked at MMA2 Ikeja. The middle-aged man, who looked unkempt and is suspected to be unconscious, was arrested and taken in for interrogation.

The aircraft last operated Abuja-Lagos at 7.30 pm on September 3, 2022 and was securely parked at the apron following a post-flight inspection.

FAAN AVSEC and Bi-Courtney security services are on the ground and an investigation has opened into this security breach at MMa2.

The affected aircraft is being screened and prepared for service in accordance with United Nigeria Airlines’ strict security and operating standards.

Meanwhile, the development will result in the rescheduling of some flights to accommodate the investigations.

We regret the delay this incident will cause our esteemed customers whose scheduled flights will be affected. United Nigeria Airlines remains absolutely committed to your safety at all times.

Achilleus-Chud Uchegbu

Head, Corporate Communications

NDLEA Intercepts N4.5bn Heroin In Baby Food As Man Excretes 90 Pellets Of Cocaine

 

Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), have intercepted 22 blocks of heroin weighing 23.55kilograms concealed in packs of Nestle Cerelac baby food at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Ikeja, Lagos.

In a statement on Sunday, the NDLEA explained that the consignment with a street value of over N4.5billion came from Johannesburg, South Africa on board South African Airways flight on Wednesday 29th June as part of a consolidated cargo that arrived the SAHCO import shed of the Lagos airport.

After series of follow up operations that led to the arrest of two freight agents, the actual receiver of the drug consignment, Chike Okeke Eweni who distributes the substance for his South Africa based partner was arrested the following day, Thursday 30th June at a logistics warehouse in Ajao Estate, Ikeja. Chike who hails from Anaocha LGA, Anambra state claims during preliminary interview that he’s also into fish farming.

Before the arrest of Chike, NDLEA officers at the airport had on Monday 27th June arrested a former driver with a public transport company, BRT, Muyiwa Babalola Bolujoko for ingesting 90 pellets of cocaine. He was arrested at the screening point before boarding a Qatar Airways flight enroute Doha to Sharjah, with his trip expected to terminate in Dubai, UAE.

The 39-year-old from Ijebu South LGA, Ogun State, was placed under excretion observation after body scan result confirmed drug ingestion. While in custody, the suspect excreted all the 90 pellets in four excretions.

He claimed he left his N60, 000 per month job as BRT driver in February and decided to work as drug courier to raise funds to buy a shuttle bus popularly called ‘Korope’ in Lagos to continue his transport business.


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Operatives also on Thursday 30th June intercepted an inbound consignment of khat leaves, which arrived the NAHCO import shed of the Lagos airport on Royal Air Maroc flight from the Middle East. A total of 71 cartons of dried khat leaves with a gross weight of 2,434.3 kg were discovered in the cargo.

In the same vein, anti-narcotic officers of the Agency also last Thursday seized 36 parcels of Colorado, a variant of cannabis with a total weight of 19.30kg which arrived the NAHCO import shed from Los Angeles, US on a Delta Airlines flight.

After series of follow up operations in which four persons were arrested, the actual owner of the drug consignment, Abibu Afis Sola was eventually nabbed on Friday 1st July in Gbagada area of Lagos.

Meanwhile, in Rivers state, NDLEA operatives on Wednesday 29th June arrested a 68-year-old woman, Mrs. Celina Ekeke at Obunku community, Oyigbo LGA with 231.2kg cannabis, while one Shedrack Eze, was arrested the following day Thursday 30th June at Yankarfe, Zaria, Kaduna state with 250,000 tablets of Exol 5, weighing 75kg. In Borno state, Usman Haruna, 27, was arrested at BCG checkpoint in Biu on Saturday 2nd July with 19.7kg cannabis.

Chairman/Chief Executive of the NDLEA, Brig. Gen. Mohamed Buba Marwa (Retd) has expressed satisfaction with the exemplary performance of the officers and men of the MMIA command in the past week while also commending those of Rivers, Kaduna and Borno for being vigilant. He charged them and others across the country to remain steps ahead of the tricks by the desperate drug cartels.

Air Peace Commences Operations At New MMIA Terminal

 

Air Peace Airline has announced that it will be commencing its international flight operations at the new terminal of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Ikeja, Lagos.

The airline will be the first to begin operations at the new terminal.

The new terminal was commissioned nearly a month ago, built by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).

A statement from its spokesperson, Stanley Olisa, notified the public that, from April 19, 2022, its international and regional flight departures would be at the Terminal 2 of the Lagos Airport.

 

Fast-Track Planned Concession Of Four Major Airports, Buhari Tells Sirika

(L-R): The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika; President Muhammadu Buhari, Governor of Lagos State, Bbabjide Sanwo-Olu, and others during an inspection tour of the new terminal of the MMIA in Lagos on March 22, 2022.

 

President Muhammadu Buhari has directed Senator Hadi Sirika, the Minister of Aviation to fast-track the planned concession of the four major airports in the country.

The President also asked the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning Zainab Ahmed to source funds for the immediate construction of a second runway for the Abuja Airport.

Buhari gave the directive on Tuesday during the commissioning of the new terminal of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos constructed by the China Civil Engineering and Construction Company (CCECC).

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

He also directed the Ministry of Finance to work with the Aviation Ministry in ensuring the delivery of the two projects.

According to him, the concessioning of the four terminals; Lagos, Kano, Port Harcourt and Abuja would further propel development to the sector and grow the country’s economy.

The President also lauded the Ministry of Aviation and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) for the completion of the new terminal, stressing that it would further create more jobs for qualified Nigerians, especially the youth.

Beyond that, the President said that the new terminal would create an additional 3,000 direct and indirect jobs, while the sector’s contributions to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) would further be enhanced.

“This event showcases our strong commitment to the growth of the Nigerian economy despite the challenge of finance facing the country. The commitment of this administration includes agriculture, aviation and infrastructure development,” he said.

“Our aviation roadmap developed in 2016 has been consistent with infrastructure development. We have designated Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Kano airports as free trade zone, while we also removed Valued Added Tax (VAT) from air transport.”

In his speech, Sirika said that the commissioning was a testament to the fact that President Buhari meant business for the aviation industry.

Sirika insisted that the aviation industry remained the only way by which the 2063 agenda of the African Union (AU) could be realised.

The minister declared that one of the aims of the Ministry was to grow aviation contributions to the GDP to 5 per cent at $4.7 billion from its present 0.06 per cent in the next few years.

He explained that there would be air-rail connectivity between the domestic and international airports to shorten the traffic time between both terminals.

Besides, Sirika mentioned foreign exchange and Jet A1 as some of the challenges confronting the aviation industry, lamenting that these had led to numerous setbacks for the sector.

He appealed to President Buhari to direct the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to import Jet fuel in good quantity for operators in the industry.

“It is pertinent to mention that we stand to gain significant benefits in restoring and maintaining connectivity within, to and from the country. Analysis from IATA shows that aviation sector provides N341bn GDP contribution, 160,000 local jobs created and N535bn expenditure from visitors will be solely generated from restoring and maintaining this connectivity,” Sirika said.

“Consequently, Sir, these are the numbers at risk if that connectivity is threatened by the continuous travel restrictions due to current pandemic. Mr. President, aviation business suffers from issue of access to foreign exchange by local and foreign airlines and the ability to repatriate blocked funds.

“Nigeria currently holds $283m of foreign airlines funds blocked in the country. I would like to humbly request the support of the Central Bank, through the directive of Mr. President, to prioritise access to forex for all carriers both local and foreign and to work out a mechanism to clear the existing backlog urgently and prevent subsequent build up.”

Also speaking, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the Governor of Lagos State lauded Buhari for giving infrastructure priority in its government.

He noted that the three projects commissioned on Tuesday; Fertiliser, Lekki refinery and the new terminal would change the status of the country.

According to him, they would not only create jobs for the teeming populace but will also open up the country for foreign investments and opportunities.

The new Lagos terminal has the capacity to process 14 million passengers per annum and built on a land mass of approximately 56,000 square metres with 66 check-in counters.

Other facilities in the terminal include five baggage collection carousels, 16 Immigration desks at arrival, 28 Immigration desks at departure, eight security screening points, six-passenger boarding bridges (out of which two have already been installed), two food courts, four premium lounges and 22 guest rooms and spa.

Other facilities are 16 airline ticketing offices, visa on arrival and port health facility, as well as praying area, more than 3,000 square metres of duty-free space and approximately 5,000 square metres of lettable utility space.

CCECC had commenced construction of four new terminals at Lagos, Abuja, Kano and Port Harcourt airports in 2013 with the completion period fixed for 20 months.

The Nigerian Government had secured $500 million loan deal from the Exim Bank of China for the projects, while additional counterpart funding of $100 million was added by the Nigerian Government.

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”.

NEMA Receives 159 Nigerian Returnees From Libya

The Nigerian returnees at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport Lagos on February 23, 2022.

 

The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has received 159 Nigerian returnees from Libya at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, on Wednesday.

NEMA Director-General, Mustapha Habib, who was represented by the Lagos Territorial Office Coordinator, Ibrahim Farinloye, made this known via a statement issued to Channels Television.

Farinloye said the returnees were assisted back to the country and arrived at the Cargo Wing of the Lagos airport aboard Al Buraq Air with registration number 5A-DMG.

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Giving a breakdown of the figures, he said the Nigerians comprise 80 adult females, 67 adult males 11 children, and two infants.

The NEMA boss called on Nigerians to adopt a positive attitude towards life challenges, warning youths, who may think there is greener pastures elsewhere, against irregular migration.

“It is normal in life to struggle for better and improved livelihoods but in the struggle, we must avoid endangering our lives,” he said.

“I wish to state that there is nowhere in the world that its citizens will not have to strive in attaining good life within the limited resources available in that country.

“Nigeria is well endowed, far more than most countries that young Nigerians are travelling to in seeking greener pastures that are no longer there. What we need to do is for all of us to look inward and avail ourselves of the countless opportunities in Nigeria.

“The present government has been providing an enabling environment for us to thrive and will continue to cooperate with development partners in creating level playing grounds for all Nigerians in the country.”

See photos below:

 

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.

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.”

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.

 

AIB Investigates Plane Collision At International Airport, Lagos

A file photo of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport.
A file photo of the front view of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos, south-west Nigeria.

 

The Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) has launched an investigation into a collision involving two planes at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos.

The General Manager of Public Affairs at the Bureau, Tunji Oketunbi, confirmed this in a draft statement on Thursday.

He explained that the accident which occurred on Wednesday involved two planes operated by the Middle East and Turkish Airlines.

The Turkish cargo plane was said to have been parked at the international apron when the Middle East airbus was taxing before it ran into it.

According to Oketunbi, the plane on motion cut through the tail cone of the other aircraft and damaged part of its right horizontal stabiliser.

He added that all passengers on the Middle East plane, thereafter, disembarked from the aircraft without any injury or fatality.

AIB
A logo of the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB).

 

The Bureau’s spokesman warned against pre-empting the cause of the incident until a formal report was issued.

Wednesday’s incident was said to have sparked an uproar at the airport.

Read the full statement below:

DRAFT PRESS RELEASE ON TURKISH AIRLINE AND MIDDLE EAST AIRLINE GROUND COLLISION OCCURRENCE

Accident Investigation Bureau has been notified and has commenced investigation into a serious incident involving an Airbus A330-243 with the Nationality registration Marks OD-MEA operated by Middle East Airline and a Boeing 777 with Nationality and registration Marks TC-LJC operated by Turkish Airline, which occurred on the 29th July 2020 at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.

The Turkish cargo aircraft was parked at the international apron when the Middle East airbus was taxing before it ran into it, cutting through the tail cone and damaged part of the right horizontal stabilizer of the Turkish aircraft.

All passengers on the Middle East Airline had to disembark with no injury or fatality.

The Bureau will appreciate that the general public and press do not pre-empt the cause of the serious incident until a formal report is issued.

Kindly contact us on our official communication channels:Mobile App: AIB-NWebsite: www.aib.gov.ngTwitter: @aibnigeriaInstagram: @AIB_NigeriaFacebook: AIB NigeriaEmail: [email protected]/WhatsApp: +234807 709 0900, 0807 709 0928

Tunji Oketunbi

General Manager, Public Affairs

Accident Investigation Bureau.

FG Investigates Impounded British Aircraft

A file photo of the Minister of Aviation. Photo: [email protected]

 

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has begun an investigation into the reason why an aircraft belonging to a British company was operating commercial flights into the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.

The aircraft, a legacy 600 with registration G-PRFX, was impounded by the Federal Government for flouting the country’s ban on airspace amid COVID-19 pandemic.

The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika during Presidential Task Force briefing on COVID-19 in Abuja, on Monday, said the pilot of the aircraft will be subjected to 14 days of quarantine.

He also disclosed that the company operating the aircraft is based in Westminister in the United Kingdom.

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The Minister had earlier announced on Sunday that the company, Flair Aviation, was given the approval to conduct humanitarian flights but was caught operating commercial flights.

Sirika, who made the announcement via his official Twitter handle said that in addition to the confiscation, a “maximum penalty” would be imposed on the company.

The NCAA has, consequently, stressed that the country’s airports remain under lockdown to commercial flight operations as part of measures to curb the spread of COVID-19.