FG Secures EU’s Commitment on Rebuilding of North East, Niger Delta

The European Union (EU) on Monday pledged its support for the ongoing efforts of the Federal Government to rebuild some parts of the North East and Niger Delta regions by earmarking 20 million Euros for the reconstruction of markets and warehouses in Borno and Delta States.

The EU Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr. Michael Arrion, who gave the pledge during a visit to the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun in her office, said the funds would be offered to the two States in the form of budget support.
“Sometime ago, we talked about budget support but we will be able to do that only at the State level, using a special instrument meant for countries emerging from war, and we can look at States in the North East and look at specific projects in terms of financial support to their budgets,” he said.

However, Mrs. Adeosun said all the financial analysis needed to facilitate support to the States had been put in place, pointing out that the Fiscal Sustainability Plan required a 21-point fiscal reform programme that enhanced transparency, accountability and efficiency.
According to the Minister, the funding arrangement would help in healing the wounds caused by insurgent activities in the North East. She said it would also give hope to the Niger Delta people who have been impacted by pipeline bombings and the attendant environmental problems in the area.

The EU Ambassador said the quest to invest in Africa was largely informed by the need to discourage migration to Europe, pointing out that several thousands of Nigerian citizens have continued to migrate to Europe.

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NYSC Secures N200 Million For Corps Members

Director General of National Youth Corps Service, NYSC, Brigadier-General Johnson Olawumi, has disclosed that the scheme had secured over N200 million bank facilities to be accessed by corps members as a start-up capital in businesses.

Olawumi revealed this shortly after he met with Commander, Guard Brigade, Brigadier-General Musa Sanni Yusuf, to forge collaboration on skills acquisition programme for serving corps members in Abuja.

To this end, the DG directed the NYSC Director, Skills Acquisition and Entrepreneurship Development, SAED, Mrs Mary Dan-Abia, to commence partnership with the brigade’s skills acquisition centre in Keffi, Nassarawa State.

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AIB Secures Audio Recordings Of Conversation Between Pilot, ATC Of Crashed Bristow Helicopter

The Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB) monday confirmed that it had retrieved all necessary documents, recording and fuel samples pertaining to the ill-fated Bristow-operated S-76 helicopter which, last Wednesday, crashed into the Lagoon at the Oworonshoki area of Lagos with six fatalities out of 12 persons board.

According to the spokesman of AIB, Tunji Oketunbi, the Bureau has collected files from the airline, Bristow, that detailed the helicopter’s history, files from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) on the profile and maintenance history of the aircraft and files on the crew members and the audio recording between the Air Traffic Control (ATC) and the pilots’ conversation before the crash.

Oketunbi said: “We have files on the airline, crew members, aircraft; we have retrieved all their files, maintenance manual of the particular helicopter, fuel sample of the fuel in the aircraft and the records of the conversation between the pilots and the Air Traffic Controllers. NCAA has the files on the crew because it licensed them. Every pilot and every cabin crew has files in NCAA.”

In addition, AIB will interview those who dispatched the aircraft to know the airworthiness of the helicopter before it took off for the ill-fated flight, the survivors of the crash, including the engineers in Bristow and those in NCAA that certified the aircraft airworthy.

Oketunbi said that it is the basic thing to do to collect fuel sample of the aircraft involved in accident to know whether it contributed to the crash, adding that so far, the airline was cooperating with the Bureau in its investigation, but noted that by law, the airline must cooperate with AIB.

“We also have the prerogative by law to forcefully impound documents and recordings and other things that are necessary if the airline is not cooperating. We can break into the offices of the company and take whatever we need in the investigation, but the company is cooperating,” Oketunbi noted.

He confirmed that all the materials collected would help the Bureau carry out comprehensive investigation into the crash as it contained a selection of actual audio clips of conversations between ATC facilities and crew members of the aircraft before the accident, adding that the sizes of each file in kilobytes are located next to the ‘Download’ link.

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