Killings: Plateau Govt Seeks N10bn From FG For Victims

Plateau State Commissioner for Information, Mr Yakubu Dati.


The Plateau State Government has asked the Federal Government to release N10billion from the Victims Support Fund (VSF) to the state.

Commissioner for Information in the state, Mr Yakubu Dati, made the request on Wednesday during his appearance on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily via Skype.

Killings: It Is Injustice To Blame Me, Says Buhari

The request is coming on the heels of the weekend attack on some villages in Barkin-Ladi Local Government Area of the state, where several persons were killed by suspected herdsmen.

The commissioner explained that the fund would help the government address the issues of compensation after the deadly attack rendered many other residents homeless.

According to him, the VSF is needed so that “Those who have been affected will be supported or compensated to reduce the human suffering and also feel that justice has been done to a level because, sometimes, most of these things lead to reprisals.”

Dati’ further decried a situation whereby security operatives allegedly receive directives from their headquarters in Abuja, rather than from the state governor who is considered as the Chief Security Officer.

He claimed the security situation would have been better managed if there was a better synergy between the state government and the agencies.

“The military (personnel) do not report to the governor, They report to the Commander-in-Chief (President),” the commissioner affirmed.

“If they (the residents) report (a situation), there has to be that process of taking clearance before they (the military personnel) can move.”

At least 100 people were killed and many others displaced by the attack on six villages of Xlands, Gindin Akwati, Ruku, Nhgar, Kura Falls and Kakuruk, all in Gashish district.

President Muhammadu Buhari and the National Assembly leadership, as well as prominent Nigerians and groups, have condemned the incident.

During his condolence visit to the state, the President met with traditional rulers, community and religious leaders, representatives of youth, women and trade union groups in Plateau.

He also appealed to Nigerians to live in harmony and avoid inflammatory utterances that can endanger peace or promote conflicts.

President Buhari had consequently ordered the security chiefs to be vigilant and ensure that the lives and property of the people were protected.

FAAN Officials Avert Fire At MMA

MMA, Airport, Fire, FAANA quick response team of the Airport Fire and Rescue Services Department has averted a fire incident at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMA) in Lagos, southwest Nigeria.

The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) made the incident public in a statement by its General Manager, Corporate Affairs, Yakubu Dati.

FAAN says that the incident, which occurred at the E-Wing did not affect flight operations.

The agency apologised to all travellers and airport users for the inconveniences caused and assured them of their safety and security.

“Preliminary investigation indicates that the fire emanated from the electrical control panel.

“Our engineers who have restored power at affected areas are working round the clock to restore normalcy.

“Members of the public are therefore advised to disregard nay-sayers who may want to exploit the situation to create unnecessary panic,” FAAN said.

The statement disclosed that the incident occurred on Thursday, July 28 at about 11:00pm.

Aviation Agencies Never Stopped APC From Landing In Gombe – Dati

The spokesman of Nigerian’s Federal Airports Authority, Mr. Yakubu Dati, has described as unfounded the allegation that a chartered plane carrying officials of the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) was denied landing at the Gombe airport on Thursday. 

Speaking to Channels Television, Mr Dati explained that the airport was closed to enable a routine test of fire tenders at the airport.

“All airports were duly informed about it. The routine test was scheduled since there was no scheduled flight on Thursday,” he said.

The plane, which took off from Abuja, was reportedly conveying the party officials to Gombe for the inauguration of the state’s Interim Executive Committee of the party.

The pilot was said to have diverted the plane to Bauchi when he noticed that there was a fire truck on the runway, which the party said was aimed at scuttling their planned engagement in Gombe.


Crashed Associated Airline Plane Was Airworthy – FAAN

The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, has revealed that the Brazil made Embraer 120 plane which crashed in Lagos, on Thursday morning, was air worthy.

Speaking during a telephone interview on Channels Television’s flagship breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, on Friday, the agency’s General Manager, Corporate Communications, Yakubu Datti, said that the aircraft “had a current certificate of air worthiness till October 2015” as well as “an insurance policy till June 2014.”

Mr Datti further disclosed that the 30 passenger capacity aircraft which was registered in Nigeria on the 22nd of May, 2007, last operated on the 22nd of August, 2013 before the ill-fated flight which led to the loss of lives  on the 3rd of October.

“The aircraft was certified fit for flying by one of the airlines aircraft maintenance engineer prior to the fatal flight,” he said. The engineer was also on board the plane.

Speaking on conflicting reports of the number of survivors, which has been pegged at 7, Mr Datti explained that “survivors were rushed to three different hospital locations”

As at yesterday, we were able to confirm that seven persons survived, though 6 are responding to treatment, one is still unconscious”.

He admitted that the agency’s fire fighters had a major challenge of crowd management but they were still able to extinguish the fire within two minutes of arriving at the scene.

He further attributed the ability to save some lives to the fire fighters’ efforts at the scene of the crash.

However, “one must commend the Lagos state government and also the Nigerian police and Air force who were able to ensure that the road was free to convey the surviving victims to the hospital location”.

Following speculations that the aircraft may have attempted to return to the airport after take-off, Mr Dati said information available to the agency revealed that the plane crashed barely two minutes after.

“It was actually in the process of taking off”.

He confirmed that there were no ground casualties as the “plane actually landed on the fence of Joint Users Hydrant Installation (JUHI) premises”.

FAAN’s spokesman said the agency “has contacted some of the families of the victims and we are making concerted efforts to reach other families”.

He commended the rescue efforts of all agencies as well as Lagos state officials involved in the rescue operation.

Commenting on the response time to the accident, Mr Datti said it took just two minutes to get to the crash site, adding that, “immediately it happened, our control tower activated the crash alarm and immediately the relevant agencies moved to the site”.


Stowaway Teenager Didn’t Breach Security – FAAN

The General Manager of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Yakubu Dati, on Saturday said that the recent event which led to a teenage boy, Daniel Ihekina, hiding in the wheel well of a plane from Benin to Lagos is not the first of its kind, as such was recorded in 1928 for the first time.

“It is not a breach of security,” he said, while speaking on Sunrise, adding that “security is not a destination. It’s a process.”

He countered claims that the young boy carried out the act, undetected. “We need to get the issue in proper perspective and the case has been made clear. He was detected at the Benin airport.”

However, he admitted that “along the line, somebody did not play his role” which forms the basis of on-going investigation into the case.

He disclosed that a passenger had notified the cabin crew of strange movement when the plane was at take-off point and blamed the pilot for not aborting the flight for a proper check.

“It did not happen at the terminal” he said.

He assured that the authorities are looking into the situation but “in aviation, we don’t try to lay blames. What we try to see is find out what happened” as well as who did not play his role well and to ensure that there is no repeat.

He said the boy could have found his way through the 22 kilometer airport as well as through the perimeter fence which had broken down.

He added that not all Nigerian airports have complete perimeter fences, a situation the aviation minister, Stella Oduah, is working to change through the aviation master plan.  

Why Akande, AIC Can’t Stay On Airport Land – FAAN

The General Manager of Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Yakubu Dati has said that the authority had secured a judgment in June that rescind the lease of the disputed land at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos from AIC Limited.

On Tuesday, personnel of FAAN and some officials of AIC Nigeria Limited, engaged in a free for all over the said piece of land.

FAAN had taken possession of the land ceded to AIC for the construction of a hotel following a court ruling and yesterday deployed its workers to clear the land with two tractors.

The Chairman of AIC, Harry Akande, guarded by armed policemen and some of his workers invaded the land to prevent FAAN officials from working on the land, even as he said the court ruling did not direct FAAN to take possession of the land.

The scuffle which lasted for several hours attracted the attention of travellers and airport users. Some Policemen from the MurtalaMuhammed Airport led by Assistant Commissioner of Police (Operations), Chucks Enwonwu were around to restore peace while appealing to the parties to settle the matter amicably.

Speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s breakfast show, Sunrise Daily, Mr Dati said that the disputed 15 Hectares of land has been overgrown with grass necessitating FAAN officials to move in to clear the weed and that in the process they were accosted by thugs led by the Chairman of AIC, Harry Akande.

He said for security reasons third parties are not allowed to go near the terminal and that FAAN staff tried to protect the terminal from being invade by Mr Akande and those with him.

Mr Dati said in 1998 under the government of Sani Abacha, the land which is about 15 hectares was given as concession to AIC to build and manage a hotel facility for 50 years.

He said the area concessioned was supposed to be for expansion claiming that due to lack of expansion most people miss their flights and the facilities are breaking down.

He said due to that fact that the land had not been used for over 15 years, FAAN decided to terminate the contract and a sum of $48 million was proposed by arbitration as compensation to AIC but that FAAN lawyers rejected the proposal stating they can’t pay for a land that had been laying fallow.

FAAN Insists They Have No Business Dealings With Rivers Government

The spokesman of Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Yakubu Dati has responded to issues surrounding the private jet owned by the Rivers state governor Rotimi Amaechi, which was claimed to be grounded; stating that theyhave no business dealings with the Rivers state government because they are in talks with the owners of the plane, Bank of Salt Lake City, Utah.

While speaking on Channels Television’s Breakfast Show Sunrise Daily, Dati explained that the private plane applied to come into Nigeria from America and was given clearance on the 27th of March to leave on the 2nd of April; the application was made by the owners of the aircraft.

He added that it was wrong for a foreign registered aircraft to fly into the country and embark on domestic shuttles without notifying the aviation authorities.

Dati also said the authorities had no information that the Rivers government was operating on the said aircraft.

He said investigations show that the aircraft had flown to airports beyond Owerri and Akure that were not captured in the documentation they submitted while coming into the country even after the expiration of the permit.

FG To Buy 30 New Planes To Cushion Airfares

The federal government says it would soon acquire 30 aircrafts to boost domestic airlines in Nigeria and to also cushion the high cost of air fares in airline business in Nigeria.

The General Manager, Corporate Communications, of the Ministry of Aviation, Yakubu Dati stated this in Benin City shortly after a tour to check the extent of remodelling and reconstruction work at the Airport in Benin City.

Answering questions on the safety of airplanes in Nigeria, Mr Dati said concerns in this area has led to removal of tariffs on aviation spare parts and that plans to purchase airplanes for the operators.

He said the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) was bent on removing abandoned aircrafts across the country as it does not fit into the aviation Master Plan.

Explaining how the fund needed for the new aircraft would be sourced, Mr Dati said the federal government would purchase the airplanes through the aviation fund being managed by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Bank of Industry (BoI) as direct disbursement of funds was being abused

“This is to help domestic airlines operate profitably and make it attractive for investors because spare parts are a major cost component in the aviation industry.”

He reiterated government’s commitment to making the country’s aviation industry a hub in the African continent. On abandoned planes across airports in the country, he said: “We have given the ultimatum for the owners of abandoned aircraft to remove them because they constitute menace to our airspace and airports.

“They are dangers to the flying publics because they may be places where these birds could hide. We have also discovered that some of the aircraft have litigation issues around them, some of them were used as collateral for loans.

“Such things are being handled by our legal department and as soon as those issues are resolved, the planes will be moved. We also try to advise owners that there are several creative ways in which they can use them. We are in the age of recycling and they are built with plastics and metals and that can be done profitably.

“But definitely, when the period we give elapses, FAAN will take action to ensure that we clear our spaces of abandoned aircraft because it does not fit into the aviation master-plan.”



FAAN commends Jonathan over removal of duties on air plane spare parts

The recent removal of tariff on airplane parts by the federal government has been described as a welcome development that will further boost investment in the aviation industry.

Speaking to Channels Television in Abuja, the Communications and Public Affairs Manager of the Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, Mr. Yakubu Dati says the action of the federal government will further encourage investors and also reduce the financial burden on airline passengers.

Mr. Yakubu further added that the challenge of security at the nation’s airports is being addressed with the re-modeling exercise embarked upon by the ministry of aviation and the new terminals being constructed.

President Goodluck Jonathan had in his budget proposal speech announced the removal of levies and import duties on spare parts of aero planes and other related materials.