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Nigeria Air: Airline Operators Hail suspension

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Following the suspension of Nigeria Air on Wednesday by the Federal Government, Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) have commended them for taking bold step to suspend the planned National Carrier Project in the interest of the nation.

 

The Chairman of AON, Capt. Nogie Meggisson, said that the move was in response to cries for reason put forward by the operators.

 

Meggisson said that the operators had continued to call for a rethink by the Federal Government regarding the project.

 

The Minister of State for Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, had on Wednesday announced that the Federal Government had decided to suspend the Air Project in the interim.

 

Meggisson said that suspension of the carrier was in the light of the tough economic situation in the country today and the fact that it was a moribund idea.

 

He said: “We thank President Muhammadu Buhari and the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for listening to our many calls for the suspension of the idea.

 

“In our opinion, we believe the process was neither transparent, nor did it clearly define the role of private investors in the entire process.

 

“At this time of our national limited resources and struggle to recover from recession, AON will like to state that there are private Nigerian airline investors ready to invest.

 

“They are already investing heavily in the sector and only asking for a more friendly operational environment and infrastructure support.”

 

According to him, putting the issue into perspective, setting up of National Carrier will cost Nigeria at least three billion dollars because a single B777 Aircraft as of today costs about 320 million dollars.

 

“Is it wise and our priority as a nation to take three billion dollars from the Nigerian coffers today and put into a venture that will for sure go down the drain within a maximum of five years to establish a `National Carrier’?

 

“This is bearing also in mind that the National Carrier will need an additional cash injection of 500 million dollars subsidy per year on average for the next 10 years to keep the airline afloat,” he added.

 

Meggisson noted that majority of Nigerian masses today were grappling for the basic necessities of life like food, shelter, electricity, water, education and good roads.

 

He said Nigeria had overtaken India as the country with the largest number of people living in extreme poverty according to recent reports in the media.

 

The AON chairman said that the national carrier was only an idea driven by pride, because most airlines earlier owned by governments such as Lufthansa and British Airways had been privatised.

 

He said: “Just about 10 days ago, on Sept. 12, was a clear indication of what obtains in the true world.

 

“Boeing financed a private Nigerian airline, Air Peace, for purchase of 10 Boeing 737-8MAX airplanes in a deal valued at 1.5 billion dollars.

 

“This is much more than the Nigeria National Carrier and a clear indication of the future and where the world is today.”

 

Meggisson maintained that Nigeria needed strong private airlines allowed to operate in a friendly operational environment with a level playing field and policies that ensure their survival.

 

“Nigeria is a natural Hub for Africa. However, airlines don’t make a hub; but it is world-class infrastructure that makes a hub. Then, the airlines and airplanes will come in.

 

“Government should go back to the drawing board and engage the private sector with transparency on how to position Nigeria as the hub for Africa to take advantage of our God-given gift of geographical location,” he said.

 

Meggisson said that this would make aviation a major economic contributor to the Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (Product) and a serious replacement of the country’s dependence on oil alone.

Ugo Onwuaso is an ICT enthusiast. He believes technology should be used for general good. He holds a Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree from the Lagos state University.

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ACSIS Urges President Buhari to Sign Digital Rights Bill

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The African Civil Society for the Information Society (ACSIS), a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to give presidential assent to the Digital Rights and Freedom Bill.

Mr Peter Akinyemi, ACSIS West Africa Regional Coordinator, made the appeal in an interview in Abuja on Friday.

The bill was transmitted to the president on Feb. 5, by the National Assembly.

Akinyemi said timely assent to the bill would protect rights of every Nigerian on the internet and strengthen the security within the nation’s cyber space.

According to him, this digital rights and freedom bill will effectively protect the rights of Nigerians on the internet and in the digital environment.

“It will also attract investments when the investors see that the environment is safe.

“The bill will provide a comprehensive framework for the advancement, protection and enjoyment of human rights on the internet.

“This is very necessary in consistence with Nigeria’s regional and international obligations under various international human rights instruments,’’ he said.

Akinyemi also called on the Federal Government “to priotise ICT, come up with workable and inclusive framework and policies and strive for more PPP engagements.”

According to the regional coordinator, this will create enabling environment for the technology sector and ensure that government services are driven in a digital economy.

He said ACSIS, which was established in 2003 as a Pan-African civil society organisation, has membership of over 500 around the world.

It would be recalled that the bill, which has been in the National Assembly since 2016, was passed by both Senate and House of Representatives in 2018.

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Heineken Makes Dream Come True For Football Fans

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World’s most international beer brand, Heineken®, has revealed that it will be delighting football fans across Nigeria with unique, premium viewing experiences for the rest of the UEFA Champions League Campaign, while also giving consumers an opportunity to watch the semi-finals and finals matches live in Europe.

The announcement of these exciting new plans by Heineken was made on Tuesday, the 5th of March 2019 during one of the premium viewing experiences hosted at Farm City Lounge, Lekki, Lagos.

The UEFA Champions League is one of the most followed sports competition in the world with with an audience of about 1.1Billion.

With the 2018/2019 season approaching the final stage in the next few months, Heineken is set to back up its 25-year sponsorship of the prestigious tournament by providing fans with exciting and entertaining ways to enjoy the football matches.

As part of this commitment to providing fans and consumers with the most remarkable and unmissable moments from this year’s Champions League, Heineken has partnered with hundreds of outlets across Nigeria to deliver premium viewing experiences to consumers nationwide.

The premium viewing experiences have kicked off as the UEFA Champions League resumes the second leg matches of the second round fixtures. These viewing experiences will see fans in across Nigeria experience the UEFA Champions League in a new and exciting way as Heineken seeks to give fans a truly premium and unmissable experience.

Speaking on the announcement of the UEFA Champions League Trophy Tour, Marketing Director, Nigerian Breweries Plc, Emmanuel Oriakhi had this to say; “The UEFA Champions League is the most coveted trophy in club football competition, and one of the most followed sporting spectacles in the world.

“Heineken’s rich history with UEFA has brought us some of the most iconic and unmissable moments in the history of football.

“From the unforgettable volley by Zidane to seal the 2001 Champions League final to the miracle of Athens where Liverpool overturned a 3-goal deficit.

“These are the moments that make football such a passionate sport and we want to share these moments and experiences with fans across Nigeria.

“This campaign will see Heineken provide hundreds of experience centers where fans can view the Champions League matches in a premium ambiance that only Heineken can deliver.

We also plan to reward lucky fans with opportunities to watch the UEFA Champions League Semi-finals and finals. We’ve had a tremendous relationship with our consumers and we want to share in the passion for the game.”

Heineken has been proud sponsors of the UEFA Champions League since 1994. This illustrious relationship with UEFA has seen Heineken become one of the most recognizable brands in sports, particularly in European football.

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Dangote Cement Expects London Listing in 2020

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Nigeria’s biggest listed firm Dangote Cement said over the weekend it has been in talks with several banks over a stock market flotation in London which it expects to be in 2020.

The cement company, owned by Africa’s richest man Aliko Dangote, said the plans were under consideration but that banks had not been selected yet, it said.

 

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