Gang of armed thieves posing as police steal £12m from Johannesburg airport

Robbers posing as police have stolen £12million of cash in an Ocean’s Eleven-style heist at a South African airport.

The money was taken when fake officers stopped security guards who were loading the money onto a flight bound for London on Tuesday night.

No shots were fired during the incident at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, and the thieves were said to have known exactly which boxes to target in a ‘slick’ operation.

A stock picture of OR Tambo International Airport where the heist took place Tuesday night

A stock picture of OR Tambo International Airport where the heist took place Tuesday night

The arrivals hall at OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg, South Africa

A police source at the airport said the heist happened at 7pm when the robbers, masquerading as police, drove into a restricted zone and headed straight to cash-laden containers unloaded from a cargo plane.

‘They told the security that they were carrying out an investigation and the security guards opened the boom gate for them,’ said the source.

The company that operates the airport, South Africa’s largest, confirmed in a statement that an armed robbery had taken place.

Hangwani Mulaudzi, spokesman for the elite police unit the Hawks, also confirmed the ‘robbery’ but refused to divulge details ‘pending investigations.’

Robbers targeted specific boxes of cash at OR Tambo Airport in Johannesburg, South Africa

A statement from the airport stated the suspects were still on the run, according to Times Live, and that the guards who opened the gates were from the Guard Force team.

They are responsible for high risk cargo such as precious metals, diamonds and large amounts of money.

An independent source told the South African newspaper the gang arrived in a van with flashing police lights.

The source, who estimated the stolen money at being worth $15million, said: ‘They went for specific boxes. It’s clear that they knew what they were searching for.’

It was described by a second source as a ‘slick’ operation with individuals assigned to look for and snatch particular containers.

The second informant told Times Live the gang clearly had attained detailed intelligence on how the airport was run and added: ‘They knew how to get into the airport and how to get out’ which exits to use.’

‘Within minutes they were gone clear of the airport.’

The loot was in a number of foreign currencies which was being stored at the cargo section of the airport reserved for high value and high risk goods.

#ABVClosure: Kaduna airport ready for 24-hour operations – NCAA

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has stated that the Kaduna International Airport, Kaduna is now ready for a 24-hour operations.

The General Manager Public Affairs of NCAA, Sam Adurogboye, who made this disclosure in Lagos on Tuesday, added that the airport was ready for local and international flights.

The Federal government had announced that it would today shut the Abuja Airport to enable the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) carry out major rehabilitation of the runway at the airport.

Speaking on the development, Adurogboye explained that all necessary steps to ensure that the status of the airport as an alternative airport to the Abuja International Airport during the closure had been taken.

“The navigational aids have been well calibrated and fully functional to facilitate continuous smooth landings and takeoffs.

“Therefore, towards a seamless flight operations in line with Standard and Recommended Practices (SARPs) all relevant departments and directorates with full complement of staff have been redeployed to Kaduna”, he said.

Adurogboye added that the Regional Managers of NCAA for Abuja and Kaduna offices were on ground to allow for smooth integration of the additional staff coming to Kaduna.

Adurogboye said the Directorate of Consumer Protection (DCP), Directorate of Air Transport Regulations (DATR), Directorate of Aerodrome and Airspace Standard (DAAS) and Aviation Security Personnel were already at the airport.

The official named other agencies deployed as NCAA, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) Nigerian Customs and Exercise (NCS) and Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS).


Source: Daily Post

Only one foreign airline agrees to use Kaduna airport as Abuja airport is closed

Only one foreign airline has agreed to use the Kaduna International Airport, as the Nigerian government officially announced the closure of the Abuja International Airport on Monday.

The Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, told journalists that so far only Ethiopian Airlines has agreed to use the Kaduna airport as an alternative.

The government said the Abuja airport will be closed beginning from 12 a.m. Wednesday.

The closure will last for six weeks to allow a comprehensive maintenance of the airport runway.

The decision to close the only airport in the federal capital has been criticised by aviation experts, and several international airlines warned they will not operate the Kaduna route.

Mr. Sirika said observations made by acting President Yemi Osinbajo who was in Kaduna Airport on Friday had been “taken care of”.


Source: Premium Times

Acting President Osinbajo inspects Kaduna Airport ahead of closure of Abuja Airport

Acting president Yemi Osinbajo is currently inspecting the Kaduna Airport to see its level of preparedness ahead of the closure of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.

Osinbajo, who was accompanied by Kaduna Governor, Nasir El-Rufai and Minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi is at the airport which will serve as an alternative following the planned closure of the Abuja Airport.

The Abuja Airport will be closed for six weeks beginning from March 8, to enable the authorities fix its faulty runway.

Air Peace aircraft suffers burst tyre at Lagos airport

A Boeing 737 aircraft belonging to Air Peace on Monday suffered a burst tyre while preparing for take-off at the Murtala Muhammed Airport, Lagos.

The News Agency of Nigeria gathered that the incident occurred at about 11a.m. forcing the pilot to abort the flight.

The aircraft was to convey 105 passengers from Lagos to Abuja.

The airline’s spokesperson, Christian Iwarah, who confirmed the incident, said no serious damage was done to the aircraft and no passenger was injured.

He said:“The incident happened around 11a.m. as the aircraft was about to take off. The pilot immediately turned around and the passengers were disembarked.

“Another aircraft was provided for them and I can confirm to you that they arrived in Abuja safely a few hours ago.”

Reacting to the incident, the General Manager, Public Relations, Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority, Sam Adurogboye, said he was yet to confirm if the incident had been filed with the regulatory authority.

He, however, noted that the pilot acted according to the standards and Recommended Practices of the International Civil Aviation Organisation.


Source: NAN

Barely 24 hours after Osinbajo’s unscheduled visit, FG Sacks 10 Directors at NCAA

It was a gloomy day today at the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) as the Federal Government approved the sack of all the directors in the regulatory agency.

No fewer than 10 directors were unexpectedly sacked from their duty posts by the government.

Our correspondent learnt from a source in NCAA that the Director-General of the NCAA, Capt. Muhtar Usman conveyed the sack message to the affected directors in a meeting at the agency’s headquarters at the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos.

A source close to the meeting confided in our correspondent that Usman had called for a meeting with all the directors who were in the dark about what was to befall them, but in the course of the meeting, he broke the news of the disengagement to them.

Those affected are Engr. Benedict Adeyileka (Director of Airworthiness), Mr. Justus Wariya (Director of Air Transport Regulation), Alhaji Adamu Abdullahi (Director of Consumer Protection), Capt. Ayodele Sasegbon (Director of General Aviation and Mr. Austin-Amadi Ifeanyi (Director of Human Resources).

Others are Alhaji Salawu Ozigi (Director of Finance and Accounts), Dr. Joyce Nkemakolam (Director of Aerodrome and Airspace Standards), Barr. Aba Ejembi (Director of Administration) and Mr. Emmanuel Ogunbami (Director of Licensing).

The General Manager, Public Affairs, NCAA, Mr. Sam Adurogboye in a telephone interview with our correspondent, confirmed the sack of all the directors but declined to give details when pressed further.He simply said: It is true that all the directors have been disengaged, but I don’t have details of their disengagement.”

However, a source close to NCAA confided in our correspondent that the relationship between Usman and his directors had been frosty in the past one year. The source told our correspondent that most of the directors had overtime complained about his managerial style, which they were not comfortable with and had confronted him severally.

The source alleged that the directors specifically told him to sit more in the office and attend to more safety matters, rather than junketing around the world with the Sirika.

Our correspondent gathered that this did not go down well with Usman who then vowed to ensure their removal through the ministry.

The source said: “The relationship between Usman and his directors has not been rosy in the past one year because they challenged him on his frequent stay out of office. He saw this as an affront and decided to deal with them.

“In fact, he specifically told Sirika that he was no longer comfortable with the directors and feared that if they still remained in the saddle, some of the shady deals perpetuated in recent time with Sirika would come to the open.”

All the sacked directors were political appointees.


Source: Sahara Reporters

Kaduna airport tested and ready, says relocation committee chairman.

Mohammed Joji, chairman coordinating committee on Abuja relocation, has said that the Kaduna international airport is ready for heavy commercial use.

Joji, who is also the secretary general, aircraft operators in Nigeria, made the remark on Friday after inspecting facilities at the airport.

Speaking to reporters in Kaduna, Joji said, “All the equipment were tested and are doing fine. As far as I am concerned, I am comfortable with this one, we are happy about it.”

Joji said the airport had been re-branded with modern equipment in line with international best standard.

He listed some of the items installed at the airport to include lighting system, distance measuring equipment, solar power, and other vital facilities.

Alkali Usman, an assistant inspector general of police, added that adequate measures had been taken to ensure security at the airport and on the Kaduna-Abuja road once flight operations were diverted from Abuja to Kaduna.

“Our level of deployment on the road has been assessed and we have earmarked where we will cover in terms of patrol,” she said.

“We have also made arrangement to protect the airport and equipment, building and everywhere.

“We have also ensured that all hotels and places of interest are protected and guarded, and we are going to increase patrol visibility.”

Amina Salami, the Kaduna airport manager, said the airport was 95 per cent ready for traffic from Abuja.

Baggage Handlers At MMIA Protest Hazardous Conditions Of Service

Baggage handlers at the Muritala Muhammed International airport in Lagos last Thursday staged a protest against their hazardous conditions of service at the baggage hall.

A similar protest was staged six months ago when the workers complained about the heat. The Airport Manager, Mr. Autah, addressed them and promised that the airport management would address the situation but no improvement followed.

Some of the workers, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told SaharaReporters many of them have developed severe health problems because of the intensive heat in the hall. One of them said that some of the men have become physically impotent, unable to perform their conjugal duties at home.

They described the conveyor belts and carrousels as the crudest in the world, with many of them saying they often rely on one carrousel or carry some of the luggage by themselves, often leading to delayed flights.

“The heat is too much,” they lamented.  “You won’t wish it for your worst enemy not to talk of yourself. We stay like five to six hours in the heat.”

The heat, our correspondent learnt, is caused by faulty condensers of air conditioners installed in the hall.

Thursday’s protest, which lasted for about two hours, affected a number of airlines, including Delta, British airways, Lufthansa, and South African.

An eyewitness said Mr. Autah, who was around during the protest, did not address the angry workers, necessitating airport authorities to call on some airline and other managers to persuade the handlers to return to work.

A senior airport official told our correspondent that many of the problems in the airport are attributable to arbitrary decisions by senior authorities who make installations at the airport without consulting with those who really know what is needed.

He cited an example of the tenure of Senator Stella Oduah as Minister of Aviation when air conditioner chillers were installed in the baggage hall but failed to work even once.

Another source offered yet another example concerning fake conveyor belts.

“Mrs. Oduah came with a belt and that belt was fake. They collected millions putting this new belt in, but it did not stand the test of time and it is not matching what is happening in technology.  Corruption has eaten into so many departments.”

The source declared that the massive corruption at the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has also contributed to the awful state of the airport. He added that the airlines charge passengers for the installation and maintenance of the gadgets at the airport, and remit the money to FAAN, but that the money is never used for the purposes intended.”

“Most of the air conditioners at the terminal are not working. So [the] airlines had to buy their own air conditioners and the condensers of the airlines are fixed in the baggage hall.”

Another manager complained about what he described as “favoritism” towards British Airways by the FAAN, as the airline is allowed to screen the bags of their passengers, a duty that is supposed to be that of Nigerian Airport Security.

The protesters were promised again that their demands will be addressed but nobody could guarantee when the chillers will be installed.

Tragedy averted as tyre of Doha-bound plane burst at Lagos airport

Hundreds of passengers on Thursday escaped death when one of the tyres of a Doha-bound Qatar Airways aircraft burst while it was attempting to take-off at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.

According to NAN, the incident occurred around 3pm.

One of the passengers, who spoke to reporters, said the pilot was already cleared for take-off by the air traffic controllers when they suddenly heard a loud sound.

According to her, this prompted the pilot to stop briefly before deciding to taxi the aircraft back to the terminal where it earlier departed.

She said the frightened passengers resorted to prayers.

“We were held in fear for some time. We thank God that the plane had not gathered the full speed for takeoff, we would have been saying something else,” she said.

The aircraft was later parked for repair, while the airline management embarked on alternative arrangement for the affected travellers.

Efforts to get the reaction of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) proved abortive as calls and text messages to its spokesman were not responded to.


Source: NAN

272 touts, thieves, others prosecuted in Lagos Airport in 2016 – Police

The Police Command, Lagos Airport, says that no fewer than 272 persons were prosecuted for various offences at Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, between January and December 2016.


The spokesperson of the command, Joseph Alabi, told the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, in Lagos on Tuesday that the command also made 417 arrests within the period under review.


Mr. Alabi said that some of the suspects were charged with assault, stealing, obtaining by false pretences as well as unlawful entry and touting.


He said the crimes contravened Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria bye-laws.


“The command was able to secure 105 convictions for the period under review while 203 cases were still under investigation and trial,” he said.


Alabi pledged the determination of the command to intensify security at the airport and its environs to guarantee safety of passengers, airline operators and other users.


He appealed to members of the public to abide by the rules and regulations of the airport, especially on the issue of restricted areas.

Mild Drama At Airport As BBOG, Others Depart For Sambisa Tour

A mild drama ensued at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport on Monday as members of the Bring Back Our Girls Group arrived to join other delegates heading for the North East to witness first-hand the military’s ongoing search for the Chibok Girls.

After initially stating certain conditions upon which the it will accept the offer by the Federal Government to join the tour, the BBOG group yesterday rescinded its earlier decision not to join the tour following the rejection of the conditions by the government.

Upon arriving at the airport, members of the group were told that they will be flying in an aircraft with the selected local and international journalists joining the tour, while government functionaries will fly in another aircraft.

But leader of the group and former minister of Education, Oby Ezekwesili rejected the arrangement. She insisted that the members must fly in the same aircraft with the Minister of Information who is also part of the delegation on the trip.

The BBOG members protested mildly until the minister agreed he will fly in the same aircraft that will convey the journalists and others on the trip.

The aircraft conveying the delegation departed the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport at about 9am and they are expected to first arrive Yola from where a select group will join the NAF search mission to Sambisa.

Below are photos of the delegates at the airport.

Abuja Airport Closure: Amaechi, Sirika Appear Before Senate.

The Minister of State for Aviation, Mr Hadi Sirika and the Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, have appeared before the Senate on Thursday, to explain the reason for the planned closure of the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja.

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

According to the lawmakers, closing the airport would bring hardship on local and international travelers.

Mr Sirika, however explained that to continue to operate, the Abuja airport would be unsafe and unreasonable as daily incidents occur on the runway.

Furthermore, the former pilot, stated that every flight plan always has alternate landing routes and Kaduna has always been the alternate for the 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.

Luggage handling process at Lagos airport as “very problematic” – Minister

The luggage handling process at the departure hall of the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, MMIA, Lagos, has been described as “very problematic.”

The Minister of State, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, said this on Tuesday during a one-day tour of the airport by officials of the Ministry of Budget and the Budget office.

Mrs. Ahmed, who expressed satisfaction with the state of the arrival hall of the airport frowned at the condition of the departure hall, noting that the hall needs to be upgraded.

“We need to do a lot of work to upgrade the departure area of the airport. The luggage handling process is very problematic.

“It is largely manual and as a result of that, customers spend hours before getting their luggage. That needs to be addressed.”

Commenting on the purpose of the visit, the minister said the team members were on ground to look at the challenges the airport is facing and check how funds are expended, in order to facilitate further allocation of resources.

“The reason why we are here is to inspect the projects under FAAN. The essence of this is to see how well government’s resources are utilised; to also see and understand the challenges that the airport is facing so that when resources are to be allocated or disbursed, we will do it with the understanding of how they are to be used.”

On the level of on-going projects at the airport, the minister said the team has seen a number of projects at different levels of completion.

“We have seen a lot of good work that has been done. There are some projects that are suffering as a result of number of different challenges. We have also seen the upgrade of the airport that shows an improvement in users experience, especially on the arrival of the

The minister however expressed her disappointment at the progress of some projects.

“On the inspection, we found out that some of the information provided tallies with what we have but some do not.

“We are asking the authority to re-assess them and submit to us the correct state of completion. The completion rate of some of the projects were lower than what was reported in the reports,” she said.

Foreign airlines operating in Nigeria ponder flight suspensions over planned 6-week closure of Abuja airport

Foreign airlines are considering suspension of their services over government’s decision to close down Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja runway for six weeks due to planned construction work.

The Guardian learnt that the option by some of the major European and American carriers was in lieu of the plan to divert air traffic to Kaduna Airport considered as “very unsafe for foreigners.”

And should the airlines carry out their threats, concerned stakeholders said that inbound and outbound travellers would be faced with lesser flight options, hike in fares and loss in revenue to government agencies.

Bankole said instead of foreign airlines suspending operations, the Federal Government should rather divert foreign traffic to Lagos, while domestic operators go to Kaduna airport.

Head of Operations at the Abuja office of a popular European carrier, who preferred not to be mentioned, said their consular office was already working out a better option.

The operator said: “All I can say is that safety is paramount to us and I’m sure it is a primary consideration for our counterparts too. From what I heard from our home country, our aircraft would not fly to Kaduna, come what may.

“In some days to come, the final decision would be taken on the matter. A temporary suspension of Abuja operations is tough, but it will be a sacrifice for the safety of crew and passengers,” the source said.

Aviation Security Consultant, Group Capt. John Ojikutu (rtd.) had said that with the security issues in the northern parts of the country, none of the foreign airlines would want to fly to Kaduna.

Ojikutu said: “For them (FG) to want to use Kaduna for foreign airlines, I have my doubts that the airlines will go there. It is for security reasons. The way security is built in the north is different from how we have built it here.

President of NANTA, Bankole said that the civil unrest in Kaduna worries the foreign airlines and their affiliated travel agencies, leaving none satisfied with the said security arrangement of the Federal Government.

In a related development, Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, has disclosed government’s plan improve on electricity and fully address power outages in all the Nigerian airports with 2017 budget.

This is against the backdrop of the increase power outages witnessed in most of the airports in recent times, disrupting airline operations.

Sirika said that government was exploring alternative power supply for the airports and ensure improved power generation.

Foreign airlines ‘reject’ Kaduna airport

Representatives of foreign airline operators say the Kaduna airport is not an option to them during the period the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja will be under repairs.

On December 19, Hadi Sirika, minister  of state for aviation, said the Abuja airport would be closed for six weeks between February and March 2017 to enable repair on the damaged runway.

Sirika also announced the choice of Kaduna international airport as the alternative.

But according to DAILY TRUST, Osho Joseph, a representative of the international airlines operators, while speaking at a stakeholders meeting on Wednesday, said the Kaduna airport may be a good option for local airlines but not for foreign.

“We believe Kaduna may be an alternative for local operators but definitely not for international airline operators. But we will get back on this,” Joseph said.

Sirika said the federal government would ensure that the foreign airlines are comfortable if they chose to fly to Kaduna.

“On whether some of the international airlines won’t fly to Kaduna, that’s an economic decision.  But we will ensure they are comfortable if they choose to fly to Kaduna. Kaduna has the capacity to take jumbo jets and B777s,” the minister said.

“What I have is not final. We are still open to new knowledge on this matter. At the end of our preparation, stakeholders will be invited to inspect Kaduna to ask further questions.”

He assured stakeholders that security would be guaranteed “within the airport, Kaduna Metropolitan City, en route to railway station and along Kaduna-Abuja road”.

Arik Air: Stranded passengers sleep on floor overnight at Lagos airport.

Despite resuming operations last week Wednesday after workers shut down operations over non-payment of salaries, stranded Arik Airline passengers were yesterday forced to sleep on the floor while waiting at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, MMIA, Lagos State.

Some were said to have slept on the floor overnight as their flights were either not mentioned or cancelled for no cogent reason from the management.

One of the affected passengers, Tonye Ibiama, shared the photos on Facebook and wrote:

“I have not seen this type of wickedness from an airline. After people will say buy Naija to grow the Naira yet the naija is too mean to its own people.




“How do you keep your passengers from 6am to the time of this write up without a word at the Lagos international airport?

“People have slept over night there without answers. I am a victim and this is my last with Arik air. I have tried so much but who send me?

“When you approach Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA to complain, they don’t even seem to have a hold or make this airline to speak to someone.

“Even the consumer protection means nothing in this country. God help us. Arik is a joke,” Ibiama added.




Source: DailyPost

NDLEA Intercepts Record N4b Ephedrine Haul At Murtala Muhammed International Airport

The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) has disclosed that it has intercepted the largest ever quantity of the illicit drug, ephedrine, at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos.

According to the agency, the record haul had a total weight of 83.390 kilogrammes.

The NDLEA also disclosed that two bags, with one containing heroin and arriving in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi, and another bearing cannabis, being exported to London, were abandoned at the same airport by traffickers.

A statement by the NDLEA spokesman, Mr. Mitchell Ofoyeju, said the seized ephedrine has a street value of N4 billion.

The anti-narcotics agency equally disclosed the substance was concealed in artificial female hair by a suspected drug trafficking syndicate and was headed to South Africa.

The statement gave the names of the suspects as Unegbu Daniel Chukwu, 42; Ettah Joseph, 28; and Wopara Bright, 31.

The NDLEA spokesman added that that the agency’s counter-narcotic measures at the airport will intensify on a daily basis.

Also commenting on the seizures, the Chief Executive Officer of the NDLEA, Colonel Muhammad Mustapha Abdallah (retd.), explained that the ephedrine was intercepted at the departure hall during outward screening of a South African Airways flight to Johannesburg, South Africa.

He added that three suspects, including luggage handlers and a clearing agent, are currently being interrogated in connection with the crime.

Colonel Abdallah warned that the agency will frustrate attempts by criminal syndicates to sully the country’s image.

“Anti-narcotic agents have been placed on the alert and will remain vigilant in detecting any act of sabotage. The case is under investigation and anyone found wanting shall be prosecuted in line with the NDLEA Act,” he said.

Preliminary investigation, said the NDLEA, revealed that Unegbu Daniel, an indigene of Anambra State working as a clearing agent, collected the luggage from his client and took it to the airport.

Two luggage handlers, who allegedly worked with him, were identified as Ettah Joseph from Cross River State and Wopara Bright from Rivers State.

The cases, explained the NDLEA, are under investigation aimed at uncovering the cartel behind the illegal shipment.

Drug valued at N14 billion seized at Lagos airport

Operatives of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, have intercepted methamphetamine worth N14 billion.

The seized drug, weighing 45 kilogrammes, was found concealed inside foodstuff in a luggage meant for export to South Africa, the agency said in a statement Friday.

The discovery was made during the outward screening of a Kenyan Airways flight. A 48-year-old cook, Richard Ese, had been arrested in connection with the illegal shipment.

Methamphetamine (also known as meth, chalk, ice, crystal) is a powerful and highly addictive stimulant that affects the central nervous system. It takes the form of a white, odourless, bitter-tasting crystalline powder that easily dissolves in water or alcohol.

Nigeria has so far discovered eleven of such clandestine laboratories where the drug is produced since 2011. Five were found in Lagos State, another five in Anambra State and one in Delta State.

Ahmadu Garba, the NDLEA commander at the Lagos airport, said the suspect is assisting NDLEA’s team of investigators and would be charged to court soon.

Mr. Ese, who hails from Delta State and had worked for a decade in Madrid, Spain, said he was given N1 million to smuggle the drugs to South Africa.

“I was told the bag contains African food but during search, NDLEA officers discovered methamphetamine in the luggage weighing 45kgs,” Mr. Ese said.

“I worked in Madrid for ten years as a Chef and I am married with four children. The man that gave me the job met me in a drinking club.”

In his reaction, Muhammad Abdallah, the Chairman of the NDLEA, described the seizure as a victory over drug barons.

Mr. Abdallah, a retired colonel, said the agency’s efforts in addressing the problem of methamphetamine production and trafficking must be complemented by stakeholders.

He also promised to arrest other members of the criminal group.

“I am very pleased with this seizure,” he said.

“It is a victory for Nigerians over drug barons but the Agency’s efforts in reducing the drug problem must be complemented by other stakeholders.

“Stiffer punishment must be meted out to those involved in methamphetamine production. On our part, the agency must continue to identify more clandestine laboratories and prosecute offenders. I want investigation to be very thorough and at the end of the day, more arrests shall be made. I want other members of the criminal gang arrested.”

The NDLEA boss noted that locally produced methamphetamine is in high demand in Asia and Europe thus making the criminal trade highly lucrative, adding that that it is only logical that such a drug should attract stiffer punishment to discourage its production and trafficking.

“Methamphetamine and similar drugs deserves stiffer punishment to check the proliferation of clandestine laboratories and cases of trafficking,” he said.

“Continued production exposes our youths to the risk of being recruited by drug barons to smuggle it out of the country. It is therefore worrisome that most seizures made are even destined to countries where drug trafficking is punishable by death.”

Aviation unions suspend industrial action against Caverton Helicopters.

Aviation trade unions have suspended their industrial action against Caverton Helicopters over alleged anti-labour practices.


Mr Olayinka Abioye, General Secretary, the National Union of Air Transport Employees, confirmed the development in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Friday in Lagos.


Abioye said the unions had suspended the action following an invitation by the airline’s management to them to come for a meeting.


He said: “Now we are preparing for a meeting with the management and we are looking forward to an amicable resolution of the issues on ground.

“Our main demand is the conclusion of the ongoing discussion on salary increment and conditions of service.


“When we complete that, we will now go to the next one which is the management’s plan to disengage certain numbers of staff.


“We are hoping that we will be able to apply the conditions of service which we would have signed as the benchmark to determine the conditions on which those affected are to go, if they have to go.”


NAN reports that the NUATE and the Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria had on Thursday picketed the airline’s premises at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.

Nigerian airlines delayed 7,722 flights in 90 days.

The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has said domestic airlines operating in the country recorded 7,722 cases of delayed flights in the third quarter of 2016.

This is contained in a document issued by the NCAA’s Consumer Protection Department which was obtained on Monday by NAN in Lagos.

The document indicated that 13,097 flights were operated by eight domestic airlines during the period under review, while 253 flights were cancelled.

It said the airlines in operation were Aero Contractors, Arik Air, Air Peace, Azman Air, Dana Air, First Nation, Med-View and Overland.

Arik, which operated 4,882 flights, topped the chart of delayed and cancelled flights with 2,824 and 128 respectively.

This was closely followed by Air Peace, which recorded 1,383 delayed flights and 16 cancellations out of its 2,754 flight operations.

Dana Air operated 1,665 flights with 1,160 incidences of delayed flights and one cancellation.

The airlines had attributed the delays and cancellations to the lingering scarcity of aviation fuel in the country.

However, in a recent meeting with airline operators, Hadi Sirika, the minister of state, aviation, assured them that the government was working assiduously to end the scarcity of the product.

As part of the move, Sirika also held a meeting with oil marketers who informed him of their challenges regarding the importation, supply and distribution of aviation fuel to the airlines.

Fire outbreak at Lagos airport disrupts operations.

Flight operations at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MMIA), Lagos were yesterday halted when fire broke out in the terminal.

The fire incident, due to electrical faults, engulfed the Avio Bridge E-54 wing, causing panic among the passengers and workers.

Firefighters of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) promptly responded to put off the fire before it caused major damage at Nigeria’s busiest airport.

The outbreak disrupted flights in and out of the airport for close to an hour, with spiral effects still felt till the evening.

General Manager, FAAN Corporate Affairs Department, Mrs. Henrietta Yakubu, said the fire was caused by a spark at the Finger Main Distribution Board, E-Finger of the Airport.

Yakubu said electricity had been restored in the terminal shortly after the outbreak was extinguished, with engineers successfully correcting all defaults to restore normalcy in affected areas.

“While assuring airport users of safety and security at the airports, FAAN wishes to apologise to passengers, airlines and the general public for the inconvenience caused by this interruption,” she said.

One ground sources, however, said that the outbreak might not be unconnected with the recent expansion of the terminal and alleged use of inferior cables by the contractor.

Last month, the D-wing Departure of the international airport was engulfed by fire.

Four days later, another fire broke out, which affected the Skye Bank office at the airport and other tenants at the terminal.

FAAN woos cargo operators, others to Enugu Airport

The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria has urged airline operators, service providers and the business community to take advantage of the new freight opportunities now available at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport, Enugu.

The authority’s invite is on the heels of international cargo operations that has since commenced at the Enugu airport with weekly flight by Ethiopian Airlines.

In a related development, the Managing Director (MD) of FAAN, Saleh Dunoma, has urged workers in airports across the country to rededicate themselves to place FAAN at the highest pedestal and among organisations that have excelled against all odds.

Dunoma said that the new export window provides opportunities for start-ups and cargo related businesses especially in perishable and non perishable produce.

He said: “This will enable our people participate in the export market, earn foreign exchange and contribute to the GDP of the country,” adding that FAAN has put in place, processes and procedures to sustain its commitment to safety, security and passenger comfort.

Speaking at the 2016 annual performance review meeting of the directorate of commercial and business development held in Calabar, Cross Rivers State, the MD noted that the dwindling fortunes arising from the negative impact of the present economic realities is a wake-up call on all to respond to President Muhammed Buhari’s charge to “think outside the box”.

Dunoma said: “There must be a major paradigm shift in our business model. This will provide us the opportunity to collectively carry out a forensic audit of our activities, processes and values in the pursuit of our vision to be amongst the best airport groups in the world.”

He charged participants to evolve new and efficient measures to improve on non-aeronautical revenue sources while attaining best practices in service contract with its stakeholders.

“My expectation is that attention will be given to the critical areas of commercial operations targeted at the urgent optimisation of revenue performance, enhanced work processes, and substantial decline in revenue losses,” Dunoma said.

Acting Director of Commercial and Business Directorate, Tito Okpaise, said the retreat, with the theme, “Fortifying processes for sustained growth” was meant to renew commitment, determination and zeal of staff to deliver beyond expectations.

First Nation Resumes Flight Operations

FirstNation Airways says it will resume operations on Sunday evening, one month after it suspended flights to enable the aircraft fleet undergo engine maintenance.

The airline made the announcement through its Twitter account which stated that it would resume flights by 4 p.m. on Sunday.

NAN reports that the airline announced the suspension of its flights on August 17, a development some people said created panic in the aviation sector.

However, Capt. Chimara Imediegwu, the airline’s Director of Flight Operations, on September 6, told newsmen that a team of engineers were coming to Nigeria to service the planes.

Imediegwu had debunked the claim that the airline was on the verge of folding up, stressing that it voluntarily grounded the aircraft to await the arrival of the manufacturer’s team.

He said “the FirstNation management planned well ahead and kept the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority informed of the progress of the maintenance of its aircraft.

“The airline planned this maintenance action well ahead. We notified passengers and flights are currently loaded online, effective September 15.

“This will ensure that passengers continue to enjoy safe and reliable services that the airline is reputed for.”

It would be recalled that another airline, Arik Air, resumed operations on September 14, after suspending its flight operations for 24 hours over issues relating to aircraft insurance renewal.

Aviation union advises FG to halt airports concession plan

The National Union of Air Transport Employees has urged the Federal Government to immediately halt its plan to concession the four major airports in the country.

The union made this known in an eight-point communique issued at its National Executive Council meeting held in Ilorin, Kwara.

A copy of the communique which was signed by NUATE’s General Secretary, Olayinka Abioye, was made available to newsmen in Lagos on Thursday.

The Minister of State for Aviation, Capt. Hadi Sirika, had on September 6, told newsmen that there was no going back on the concession of the Lagos, Abuja, Kano and Port Harcourt Airports.

Sirika had argued that the move would ensure that the airports were properly managed, while the government would still retain their ownership.

Abioye’s communique faulted the plan to concession the four airports which it described as the cash-cow out of the 22 airports owned by the Federal Government.

Abioye said: “The NEC in-session therefore calls for immediate stoppage of the concession of Nigerian airports to avoid industrial crisis that may arise as the government has failed to carry along stakeholders on this germane matter.”

He urged the aviation agencies, including the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority and the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency to improve the welfare of their workers.

Abioye’ also advised government to appoint a substantive managing director for NAMA and restructure its directorates in consonance with the provisions of the International Civil Aviation Organisation.

On the state of the economy, the communique advised the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to take more concrete steps toward alleviating poverty across the nation.

He also stated: “The NEC in-session sympathises with the government over the continued slide to recession of the nation’s economy but encourages it to remain focused in its quest for nation building.

“This can be achieved by engaging more in social dialogue with critical stakeholders in the country and setting the machinery in motion to deploy experts into freeing our economy from the jaws of economic recession.”

Details of Salkida’s arrest at the Abuja airport by the DSS

The Department of State Services has arrested Ahmed Salkida, a journalist, who was declared wanted by the Nigerian Army last month.

It was learnt that Salkida was arrested at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, on Monday afternoon shortly after his flight landed.

The suspect, who is based in Dubai, is one of the three persons declared wanted for their alleged link to Boko Haram.

Salkida, a female lawyer, Aisha Waliki; and Ahmed Bolori were declared wanted by the military after Boko Haram released a video showing some of the Chibok girls it abducted on April 14, 2014.

A security operative, who spoke on condition of anonymity on Monday, said, “When we declared him wanted, he said he was willing to return to Nigeria but only on the condition that we send him a flight ticket.

“His Nigerian passport had expired but the Federal Government instructed the Nigeria Immigration Service not to issue him a new passport because he could run away after getting the passport. So, he was given an Emergency Travel Certificate, which allows the holder to travel only to his country of citizenship.

“With nowhere to run to, he had no choice but to return. So, immediately he boarded the plane from Dubai, we started waiting for him at the airport.”

It was learnt that the suspect had been taken to the office of the DSS, where he would be debriefed.

It was unclear if he would be transferred to the Nigerian Army’s custody.

The Acting Director, Army Public Relations, Col. Sani Usman, said that he had not got any information that the Directorate of Military Intelligence had arrested Salkida.

He promised to call on the development whenever he got information on the issue.

Meanwhile, no fewer than 1,500 members of Boko Haram have surrendered to Nigerian troops in the troubled North-East.

Investigations revealed that some of the Boko Haram members surrendered to troops at Buni Yadi, Yobe State, last week while others surrendered at various battle fronts in Borno State.

It was learnt that those who surrendered to security forces recently were over 700, bringing the total number of those who had surrendered between April 2015 and August 2016 to 1,500.

The Acting Director, Defence Information, Brig. Gen. Rabe Abubakar, who confirmed the figure on Monday, had earlier said 800 of the insurgents surrendered to security forces in April 2016.

Abubakar said the 700 insurgents, who surrendered recently, were undergoing security profiling and documentation.

He said the military was encouraging the Boko Haram fighters to abandon their struggle and surrender to security forces.

Abubakar said, “In the North-East, the operation is going on well and so many Boko Haram fighters have been suffering.

“For now, over 1,500 have surrendered to troops. It used to be 800 but because of the increasing number of those who are surrendering, we have over 1,500.

“I believe so many of them will come out too and we are encouraging them to come out, they shouldn’t continue to suffer.

“We are encouraging those who are still hiding to come out and abandon their unholy struggle. They are undergoing proper security profiling and documentation.”

Married Airport Worker Dies After Sex With Girlfriend In Her Lagos Apartment

A clearing agent, Mr. Sikiru Olanrewaju, has lost his life after leaving his wife and children at home to have fun with his girlfriend in the Abule Egba area of Lagos State.

PUNCH Metro learnt that 37-year-old Olanrewaju died shortly after having rounds of sex with his lover on Surulere Street.

The lover was said to have raised the alarm which drew the attention of residents, including the landlady, who reported at the Oke-Odo Police Division.

The victim’s corpse was deposited in a morgue pending the conclusion of investigations.

A resident, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the deceased worked with an aviation company at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja.

He said, “The man was married, but he had a girlfriend who lived in Abule Egba. On August 23, he had finished from work when he called her on the telephone that he would be sleeping at her place.

“The girlfriend said she told him not to come because he was married, but he insisted on passing the night at her house.

“The lady said when he got to her place, they ate the same food and drank the same water. They had sex, after which they slept.

“She said around 5am, she woke up to go to work and discovered he was stiff. She said she tried hard to wake him up, but he didn’t respond.

She said she was too confused to know what to do and waited for about three hours before raising the alarm, which drew the attention of people, including the landlady.”

The resident said the landlady reported at the station, and was followed by some operatives to the apartment where the incident happened.

PUNCH Metro was told that there was no mark of violence on the victim.

A source said Olanrewaju’s family were immediately contacted and the police broke the news to them.

She said, “The family said they don’t want the police to investigate anything. They said they had received the news in good faith and that the corpse should be released for burial in accordance with Islamic rites. I am not sure his wife has been informed because she did not follow them to the station. But obviously, she will not receive the news well.”

The Police Public Relations Officer, SP Dolapo Badmos, confirmed the incident, adding that investigations were ongoing.

She said, “The man was allegedly found dead in a room in the Abule Egba area after spending the night with his girlfriend. A team of police detectives from the Oke-Odo Police Division visited, examined, and photographed the scene.

We discovered that there was no trace of violence on the body. The corpse has been deposited in a morgue.”

President Buhari Reopens ABUJA Airport Runway After Renovation.

The federal government has reopened the runway of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja for the landing of all kinds of aircraft.


The minister of state for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, who stated this yesterday, while inspecting the airport, said the runway was opened after the successful completion of the renovation work that had been going on there.


While calling for the return of full business to the airport, the minister noted that with the completion of repairs in the airport, the runway was now open for any kind and size of aircraft to land.


He, however, lamented that the airport runways, which were constructed in 1982 and meant to last for 20 years, were over stretched, and emphasised the need for a second runway which would serve as alternative in the times of repair.


Nnamdi aziikiweee abuja airport


The minister, while speaking on the challenge of aviation fuel, noted that, “I’m sure you are aware that the country is in trying times and part of the challenges that affects aviation as an entity and a business, as a means of transportation is the recent challenge that we are having on aviation fuel popularly known as Jet A1.


“The minister of petroleum is here and he is making every effort and he is on his way to certain negotiations to ensure that the product is very much available for our country and for our use.


“I thank the president and the country for giving us the opportunity to head these aspects of our national calling and I thought it is wise to use this medium to appeal to users and operators within the industry for the situation we find ourselves in. It is not only squarely on the shoulders of the ministry petroleum, they are doing their best to discharge their responsibility but some of the challenges are also domiciled in Central Bank of Nigeria for the scarcity of foreign exchange and that is also being addressed and the CBN governor is doing his best and what affects us also, we are doing our best.


On the way forward, the minister of state, petroleum, Ibe Kachukwu said, “like you know, we have substantially liberalised the sector and in fact, the importation of Jet A1s products are largely in the hands of the private sector, it is not really an NNPC driven thing but given the situation that we find ourselves, we are doing all that we can.


NNPC is doing all it can and the new GMD is working round the clock on this and I am doing all that I can to look at countries where there are immediate availability of JET A1 to just solve the intermittent problem.


“Long term obviously, we are also looking at repairing some of our Jet fuel producing facilities in the refinery and I know that the GD refining and the GMD are working hard to do this. We are trying to put funds to do that quickly but we should be able to try and get solution to this very quickly so that at least we can sort it out in the short term period while looking at the systemic issues of funding, logistics, and all that and seeing how that is impacting on private sector ability to deliver Jet fuel A1. So we are working collaboratively on this.”

FG To Concession Abuja, Lagos, Kano, Port Harcourt Airports

The Minister of State, Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, says the Federal Government will concession the Abuja, Lagos, Port Harcourt and Kano international airports in the first phase of its concession programme.

Sirika disclosed this at the 2016 Aviation Stakeholders Forum on Monday in Abuja.

“The thinking is that just like every other place in the world, we will concession our airports and we are beginning with the big four,
Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Kano.

“It would have been ideal to take them to some level of acceptance for them to attract more.

“But I think we just get those guys who believe that in Nigeria they can create a hub geographically given by God.

“To come and put in their money and create this hub, build these airports, concession them, run them and make money out of them.’’

He said that the current facilities at the airports did not meet international standard and best practices in the aviation industry, adding that private sector involvement was the way forward.

According to him, if the government is able to concession the four airports successfully in the first phase, it will pay attention to
providing infrastructure and developing domestic airports for optimal performance.

Sirika also said that the state of the Abuja airport runway was a source of concern.

He said government may consider closing down the airport as form of safety precaution.

He said that government was committed to upgrading the existing facilities at the airports as well as developing new strategy to repositioning the sector.

The minister also stated that a comprehensive security check and vulnerability assessment of the airports had been carried out to ensure that airports were properly secured.

According to him, every huge major disaster in the world such as the Pearl Habour attack, Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. among others, are aviation related disasters.

“Safety is the main focus in aviation because, the time a passenger arrives airport, when he takes off and land is very important.

“We are developing a new security strategy in partnership with international security organisations and procurement of modern equipments.’’



Ibadan Airport Reopens

Two weeks after it was closed to air travelers because of safety reasons, flights resumed at the Ibadan airport on Wednesday.
The airport was closed to flights two weeks ago following the breakdown of the fire truck at the facility.


The situation resulted in many passengers who had booked on the two scheduled airlines that operate from the airport – ARIK and OVERLAND – having to catch their flights in Lagos.
In an interview with NAN on Wednesday, Mr. Olufemi Awolade, the Airspace Manager, Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, Ibadan Airport, said that the closure of the airspace was in compliance with ICAO regulations.

Awolade said that the safety of air travelers necessitated the closure of the airport to flights, because the fire truck available at the facility had broken down.

“When there is no fire cover, an airport is not supposed to operate and in compliance with ICAO regulations, the airport was closed.
“We consequently sent a “Notice to Airmen’’ (NOTAMN) and closed the airport to air traffic.

“Ideally, there should be a minimum of two fire trucks at an airport like the one in Ibadan, but when the serviceable one broke down; there was no option but to close the airport to traffic.
“Safety is paramount and we do not compromise on it for anything. When Gov. Abiola Ajimobi wanted to fly from the airport two Saturdays ago, we told him it was closed because of the issue of fire cover,’’ the official said.

He said that the intervention of the governor, who provided a fire truck for the airport, has led to the cancellation of the closure order.

Awolade said that a fire truck was sent on Tuesday by Governor Ajimobi, which resulted in the re-opening of the airport.

The airspace manager pleaded with travelers who use the airport not to mind the inconvenience, saying the issue of safety necessitated the closure.

“We don’t want to record any accident or incident at the airport and that is why we give priority to safety issues,’’ he said.

The official said that the Federal Aviation Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) had also started the repair of the broken down fire truck.

An official of ARIK told NAN that flights had resumed at the airport and the airline had a scheduled flight expected to leave for Abuja at 5.00 p.m.

Construction Of Airport Fences To Cost N25bn

If Nigeria decides to build perimeter and operational fences around the 22 airports that are currently partially fenced or without fences, the country would require about N25 billion.

The International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) recommends that countries fence their airports to ensure safety and to check influx of unauthorised persons into the airports.

This is as the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, FAAN, has assured all the airport users of absolute security and safety of humans, cargo and equipment at all times.

A recent survey carried out by FAAN indicated that to properly fence the 22 federal government-owned airports, the authority would need about N25 billion.

According to FAAN’s spokesman, Mr Yakubu Dati, each of the 22 airports is about 50 kilometre long and would require serious investments for all of them to be properly fenced according to the ICAO, recommended practices.

Apart from the four international airports in Lagos, Abuja, Kano and Port Harcourt that are partially fenced, other 18 airports owned by the federal government are not fenced, a situation, which has led to encroachments on the lands by some indigenes.

The 22 airports across the country occupy over 500 kilometres of land mass and ICAO security guidelines prescribe that all airports must be secured with double perimeter fences.

Dati however explained that there are other safety measures FAAN has taken in line with international best practice to boost security and safety within the nation’s airports.

He said, “The agency has introduced the perimeter patrol, built perimeter towers, which enables the Aviation Security, (AVSEC) personnel and other security agencies to have a full overview of the airport environment and installed latest technologies in strategic locations to increase surveillance.

“Most of the leakages observed in the past by analysts and other aviation stakeholders had been closed by FAAN and this has made it possible for FAAN to scale the American Transportation Security Administration (TSA) security audit carried out earlier in the month at the Lagos Airport.”

A team of the Airport Council International (ACI) was in Nigeria to carry out security audit on the airports and they identified some gaps, which Dati said FAAN was able to close the gaps without being specific.

“That is why when TSA came calling about two weeks ago, we were given clean bill of health because all the loopholes have been closed,” he added.

He however identified insider’s threat as another area that the authority is observing and taking action against.

“We profile anybody that works within the terminal or in the terminal in line with global standards. It is after passing that we issue them the On-Duty-Card, ODC. Even at that, the ODC also have some levels of restrictions such that it is not every holder that has access to every part of the terminal. We have different levels and colours based on the level of clearance you have received,” he said.

Dati observed that airport as an enabler to the nation’s economy contributes about $1 billion annually while also providing more than 300,000 jobs, stressing that the government would continue to ensure growth in the sector.

Credit: Leadership

Suspected Drug Trafficker, Evading Arrest, Runs Through Glass Door At Airport

A 31-year old suspected drug trafficker bolted through a glass door at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, to evade arrest after he was caught with banned narcotics.

Michael Nwobodo, a technician, ?was found with 81 pellets of hard drugs that tested positive for cocaine with a total weight of 1.350 kilogramme, the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency said in a statement Tuesday.?

?”He concealed 81 wraps of cocaine in Parker Whisky packs along with boxes of chocolates inside a duty free bag,” the NDLEA said in the statement signed by Mitchell Ofoyeju, its Spokesperson.

“The seizure was made during screening of passengers on an Emirates airline flight from Dubai.”

Hamisu Lawan, NDLEA commander at the Abuja airport, said the suspect was taken to the hospital for further medical test on Tuesday.

“Though the suspect was treated for the injuries he sustained while attempting to escape on Monday, we had to take him for medical examination again,” Mr. Lawan said.

“This is to ensure that he is strong and medically fit to undergo trial. Investigation has commenced into the case.”

Credit: PremiumTimes

Female Passenger Dies Inside Lagos Airport Toilet

A middle aged female passenger billed to travel with Etihad Airways, on Wednesday died inside one of the toilets at the departure hall of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja, Lagos.
Though details about the circumstances that led to her death were sketchy at press time, but she was believed to be traveling for medical treatment to a country yet to be determined.
The deceased was said to have suffered a bout of pain that made her to rush to the toilet where she died.
The Spokesman of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Yakubu Dati, confirmed the incident.
He said the agency was investigating the death and would give details of what happened later.

Abuja Airport Records Low Patronage Of Clients During New Year Celebration

The Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, recorded low movement of passengers as the world prepares to celebrate the New Year on Friday, in Abuja, on Thursday.

Mr Tony Ameh, Manager, Aero Contractors, said observed that both the departure and the arrival sections of both domestic and international wings of the airport were deserted unlike Dec. 24, when there was heavy traffic. that the rush associated with festive period was minimal, adding that the airline had recorded less number of passengers as against the previous years.

Ameh disclosed that the airline had more passengers during the Christmas period, adding that the airline had only five flights today compared to the 11 flights it operated during Christmas,also there was no fare hike during the season, explaining that the difference in ticket price was as a result of online booking and on the counter booking.

According to him, aside the fact that the economy is not too good at the moment, a lot of people that travelled to different parts of the country for Christmas are yet to return.

We have lesser number of passengers this year compared to last year’s and the previous years, and I believe it is due to the present economic situation in the country.

Like today, there is no fare hike unlike during Christmas when there was high demand for seats because if you are buying ticket over the counter you tend to pay more.

But when you buy your ticket online with some days’ interval, you enjoy cheaper fare but as you are approaching the flight, the fare goes up,’’ he said. However, optimism for a better and violence free Nigeria devoid of terrorism as much as better economic improvement in 2016.
I wish our esteem customers safe flights in 2016 as they continue to fly with us and I want to remind them that air is the most secured mode of transportation.

“We promise our customers better services, affordable fares, on-time departure and improved service delivery as we pray that God continues to guide us to maintain good safety records,’’ he said.

Credit: Dailytimes

Union Advises New Minister Of State For Aviation To Rehabilitate Airport Facilities

The National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE) on Friday urged the new Minister of State for Aviation, Capt Hadi Sirika, to concentrate on rehabilitating infrastructure and facilities across the airports in the country.


NUATE’s Acting General Secretary, Mr Olayinka Abioye, in an interview in Lagos said that facilities in some of the nation’s airports were also obsolete and needed upgrading in line with international standard.


He said that the country could not be at par with the international community if the country’s point of entry were in an obsolete state.


“We wish that the new minister of state for aviation will inspect the facilities and infrastructure at all the airports in the country,” he said.


Abioye urged Sirika to ensure the completion of the ongoing construction of new airport projects in the country as a matter of urgency.


According to him, the aviation minister should ensure stability and sustainability of the aviation industry as the industry still remains one of the engine rooms of the Nigerian economy.


He said more foreign direct investment (FDI) would come into the country if Nigeria should put necessary infrastructure in place in the aviation sector.


Abioye also called for the restructuring of the various aviation agencies and parastatals to enable them perform their statutory functions effectively.


He said, “As I speak, there are more support staff than the productive ones in the industry.


“This cuts across the parastatals and we need to look at a way to streamline this critical area for efficient delivery of aviation service to the airport users.”



Bomb Used At World War 2 Found At German Airport

The discovery of an unexploded World War II bomb at Dusseldorf Airport, Germany led to the cancellation of seven flights this morning. The airport spokesman, Christian Hinkel, said that the ordnance, which was found overnight near the runway of Germany’s third largest airport, was safely detonated by bomb disposal experts.

“Two departures and five arrivals were cancelled during the controlled explosion,’’ Hinkel said, adding that the airport operations were otherwise unaffected.

Sandbags were heaped around the site to dampen the force of the blast, he added.

However, unexploded bombs dating back to the aerial bombardments of Germany during World War II are still frequently found. Many local authorities have teams working full-time to detect and defuse them.

The biggest evacuation in Germany since the end of the war took place in 2011, when 45,000 people were forced to temporarily leave parts of Koblenz for the disposal of an unexploded Allied bomb.

Senate Queries Approval Of N63.5bn Contract For Abuja Airport’s 2nd Runway

The Senate, yesterday, queried the approval of N63.5 billion for the construction of the second Runway for the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, saying it was an attempt to ‘steal and rape’ Nigerians of the country’s wealth.
The Senate called on the federal government to reduce the unrealistic cost of construction and for the government to monitor the contract award process.

Presenting the motion, Senator Melaye said that the contract for the construction of the runway was previously cancelled by the last administration after allegation of over inflation of contract.

Melaye, said that the contract was awarded by the Federal Executive Council, FEC, at N64 billion after ratification by the Bureau for Public Procurement, BPP, contended that there was also  the need  for the construction of a second runway since, according to him, “the existing one is not only bad but inadequate.”

He said: “The publication that the contract is already undergoing review and to be awarded at N63.5 billion as published by newspapers is another attempt to steal and rape Nigerians of our common patrimony. Further convinced by the fact that the entire Gombe Airport with 36km runway cost of N8.2 billion; Jigawa Airport cost N12 billion, Enugu Airport was constructed and expanded at 13 billion naira and Akwa Ibom Airport at N18.05 billion .

“This astronomical amount is about four times the cost of constructing a brand new airport in Nigeria. As a representative of the people, we must advise that due process  and strict adherence to Public Procurement Act be observed in the said contract of the Second  Abuja  Airport  Runaway. If this not brought to attention of the government now, there may be another fraud in the making, given the comparative analysis of cheaper cost across  the country. “

The Senate President also complained about the cost and said that  there was the need to stop what he described as the reckless expenditures, while awarding contracts in the country.

Source: Vanguard

Airport Cleaner Who Returned Missing N12m Gets N680k

The airport cleaner,Josephine Ugwu,who found and returned N12 million at the airport has been given the sum of N680,000..The cheque was presented to her by Barrister Monday Ubani of Monday Ubani  foundation.They had earlier promised to give her 10 percent of the money she returned ..Speaking to Encomium,Barr.Ubani said

Yes, it is true. We gave her a cheque of N680,000.It is fulfilling, I am so happy, elated. I am grateful to Nigerians who yielded our call and gave generously.The foundation promised her N1.2 million, 10 percent of what she found and returned. God will help us get there. She was so happy when we presented it. It was when we brought up her case that people started inviting and honouring her. She has been invited by House Of Assembly, CLAM, TREM and so on. We have told the world that she is the face of integrity, she should be celebrated.

Acknowledgingthe money, Josephine said:

I am very happy. God brought him to help poor people. If everybody is like him, Nigeria will be good. I pray God will keep him and his household.
I am grateful. Life is getting better for me, especially when people started coming to my aid. Though everything is not money. At the same time, I am grateful, things have changed for me.I will start a business and at the same time continue with my job. I really want a better job. Please, help me appeal to the Federal Government to come to my aid and get me a better job.She said

President Jonathan Says Airport, Kubwa Expressways Uplift Abuja

President Goodluck Jonathan on Thursday in Abuja said that the Musa Yar’Adua (Airport Road) and Murtala Mohammed (Kubwa Road) Expressways had improved the face of Abuja.

Jonathan said this when he inspected the roads which had been put to use although at about 98 per cent completion.

He said the roads would ease road transportation into the Federal capital City and thanked the contractors and the FCT minister for supervising the project. “Thank you for handling this project for government.

“I also thank the FCT minister for the effective supervision

“These projects have improved the face of Abuja tremendously and people who come to Abuja are full of praises because the roads are really making Abuja to look like a real modern city

“We are quite pleased with the progress of work.

“We will do our best to see that the commitments of government are met.

“You have done well; congratulations.”

The president promised the contractors that the outstanding bills would be sorted out before the end of the administration.

The FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed, described the roads as a flagship in national development which had reduced travel time. “As a politician, we want to really thank you for what you have done in terms of reduction of travel time from the places of work of Nigerians inside the city to the satellite areas of Abuja, Kubwa and Suleja, among others.

“The time has been reduced from two hours before to about 30 minutes.

“This project is driven by your grace with a robust financial plan that you bonded about N150 billion for the project and that is why the time line has been easy to comply with and we have been able to take it to 98 per cent.

“The only remaining portion that is not completed is the bridge behind the Aso villa.

“Otherwise, everything has been delivered and we are trying to look at the challenges of financing because we are owing the contractors about N10 to 15 billion on the two roads.”

The Airport road, handled by Julius Berger, is about 28.5 km while the Kubwa axis, handled by Dantata and Sowoe as well as CCECC of China, respectively covers a stretch of about 39 km.

Credit: NAN

Petrol Tanker Bursts Into Flames At Lagos Airport

A tanker suspected to be carrying aviation fuel burst into flames while in motion at the domestic wing of the Murtala Muhammed Airport in Lagos State. The tanker, which belonged to a petroleum company, Heizol, was reportedly conveying diesel from Apapa to an unascertained location in Ogba, when it suddenly burst into flames in front of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) headquarters.

The fire was immediately put out before it spread by a combined team of the tanker driver, officials from the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria, passers-by and Lagos State Traffic Management Agency officials.

Read More: Thisday

Patience Jonathan Spotted At Abuja Intl Airport Without Usual Entourage

While speculations were rife over the whereabouts of Patience Jonathan since the March 28 presidential election, the First Lady has recently returned to Nigeria’s capital, Abuja. Reports provide that she arrived at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja via Emirates Airlines on April 7, 2015.

An anonymous source could not name the country she was coming from but confirmed that the plane landed at about 5.30p.m. local time. Thus, Mrs. Jonathan’s arrival will put an end to numerous speculations of her whereabouts. However, the reason for the trip is still not clear.

According to airport sources, on arrival, the outgoing first lady was briskly escorted to the presidential wing by security officials where three Mercedez Benz cars and a bus were positioned for her.

The source, who confirmed Mrs Jonathan’s arrival, added that unlike the usual large crowd, which usually accompany her on both local and oversea trips, this time, it was just a handful of close associates.

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Fayose Spotted At The Airport? Says I’m Not Running Away

According to, Gov. Fayose was spotted at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport with his entourage, desperately trying to book a ticket to Madagascar.

They also provide that he was heard saying, “Eh? Aburo no ticket? Ah. Wahala ti de o. Any standing? Joo fun mi standing, mo like e, mo manage. Ah, no standing? Mo ku. Kosi space ninu cargo hold? I will manage it. Ah my broda epp me……epp me……….if this baba wins, mo ku. The suffrin will not be a small something. Epp me”.

Adding that when he was approached  he immediately changed his tune. “What? Me? Running away for fear that Buhari will win? Rubbish. I fear no man. I am only going to Madagascar for vacation.”

This story is probably just another fall out of the electoral jokes that have been trending.

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Ebola Scare in Lagos Airport… Again!!!

Ebola victim, Mr. Theophilus Onnakhinon, who had already been cured of Ebola Virus Disease in Sierra Leone arrived aboard Royal Air Maroc, arrived the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Wednesday, causing another fresh panic among travellers.

On arrival in Nigeria, the victim was immediately handed over to the Port Health officials at the Lagos airport who immediately isolated and quarantined him.

Sources reveal that he is being quarantined in the country so that the Nigerian officials can also check his health status and confirm that he was free of the disease before being released to the public.

However, the Port health services at the Lagos Airport have declined to comment on the issue and directed our enquiry to the Ministry of Health.

Ebola: US Restricts Airport Arrivals from West Africa

New US rules requiring air passengers from the three West African countries worst hit by Ebola to travel via one of five airports are coming into effect.

Travellers from Sierra Leone, Liberia or Guinea must now arrive at O’Hare in Chicago, JFK, Newark, Washington’s Dulles or Atlanta, where they will undergo enhanced screening.

Travellers from these countries will have their temperatures checked as part of screening programmes, despite experts warning such moves are unlikely to have an impact.

The new security measures come as public concern grows in the US, where three people have been infected and one person has died from the virus.