Ramon Oladimeji


Justice Mohammed Yunusa of a Federal High Court in Lagos has restrained the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission from inviting a former Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah, for questioning.Oduah

The judge ordered the EFCC to stay action on Oduah as regards the purchase of two armoured BMW cars at a cost of N160m in 2013 by the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority under her watch.

The order, made on August 26, 2015, is also binding on the ICPC, the Attorney General of the Federation and the Inspector General of Police. Read More →

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Gbenro Adeoye

President Goodluck Jonathan’s government had a number of women but none of them wielded as much power as that of an elite class often referred to as ‘the untouchables,’ GBENRO ADEOYE writes

As President Goodluck Jonathan takes a bow on May 29, 2015 following the expiration of his tenure, so will some women who helped define his government, unless the new administration finds use for them.Jonathan’s-untouchable-women

Whatever is said about President Jonathan’s government thereafter will not likely leave out the roles played by these powerful women. However, an assessment of whether their roles were noble or otherwise would largely depend on the assessor. Read More →

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A Federal High Court in Lagos on Monday fixed June 18 for judgment in the trial of a former Minister of Aviation, Femi Fani-Kayode, charged with money laundering. Justice Rita Ofili-Ajumogobia fixed the judgment following the adoption of final written addresses and arguments by the counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the accused.Fani-kayode

Fani-Kayode, whose trial began in 2008 before Justice Ramat Mohammed, was accused by the EFCC of laundering about N100 million while he was the Minister of Culture and Tourism and later, the Minister of Aviation.

The laundered sum was, however, reduced to N2.1 million on Nov. 17, 2014 after Ofili-Ajumogobia had dismissed 38 of the 40 counts leveled against Fani-Kayode by the EFCC for want of proof.

At the resumed trial of the case on Monday, the EFCC prosecutor, Mr Festus Keyamo, urged the court to uphold the remaining two counts and to, accordingly, convict Fani-Kayode. Read More →

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Femi Makinde, Osogbo

Director of Media and Publicity of the Peoples Democratic Party Presidential Campaign Organisation, Chief Femi Fani-Kayode, has said the candidates of the party will win some seats in the Osun State House of Assembly.

Fani-Kayode said this in an interview with journalists in Ile Ife on Saturday after casting his vote at Unit 03, Ilare ward 10 in Ile Ife.
According to him, the All Progressives Congress will not sweep the poll the way it did during the 2011 general elections, saying people of the state had seen the effect of a legislature exclusively populated by lawmakers from one political party. Read More →

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Press Release


Femi Fani-Kayode, the Director of Media and Publicity to President Goodluck Jonathan’s campaign has issued the statement below to debunk speculations that he had turned against the president just few days after Mr. Jonathan lost the presidential election.femi-fani-kayode

Mr. Fani-Kayode said he continued to hold Mr. Jonathan in high esteem and that the statement being circulated represented his views when he was a member of the All Progressives Congress.
Read full statement below>

FEMI FANI-KAYODE STILL HOLDS PRESIDENT GOODLUCK JONATHAN IN VERY HIGH ESTEEM

Our attention has been drawn to a report titled “Fani-Kayode blasts Jonathan; says President is leaving legacy of ‘destruction and disaster’”, being circulated in the social media, and wish to put the records straight once and for all. Read More →

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By Dele Ogbodo in Abuja

 


Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah, yesterday rolled out a comprehensive and strategic framework of government’s   aviation master plan, which she stated was developed after a wide consultation with stakeholders in the industry with the aim of addressing all the challenges confronting the sector.

The implementation of the master plan according to her, would involve developing the requisite capacity, manpower training of staff of all its six agencies to meet the needs of the 21st century and changing the business model into self sustaining private sector participation in line with international best practice. The minister made the disclosure in Abuja, at an interactive forum with a wide spectrum of industry stakeholders.

Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah

She said the ministry consulted widely for about eight months before the development of the master plan:  “We have also developed a master plan as well as the implementation framework in confronting the sector’s numerous challenges with a view to providing a safe, secure, profitable and self sustaining world class industry with a distinct airport experience for flyers.”

While promising to make the country a hub of aviation activities in line with international standards, she added a privately driven involvement would reduce financial burden on government.

Admitting that some of the nations’ airports were highly underutilised, she stated that 90 percent of the N225 billion revenue earned in 2011 was from the Lagos and Abuja airports.

She said the total amount of ticket sale in the same year amounted to N225 billion while 14.6 million passengers were recorded across the airports.  According to her, the under utilisation of some facilities in the nation’s airports constitute a huge potential loss.
Oduah added that the ministry’s long term plan for the industry was to build a world class provider of safe and comfortable air transport sector that is self sustaining and pivotal to the country’s socio economic growth.

She stated that government had concluded arrangements to commence the operation of a national flag carrier. According to her, the national carrier which would be pride of the nation would also
compete effectively with foreign airlines.

She said: “In 2011, British Airways alone generated a total of N34 billion from operating in Nigeria.  Oduah added that discriminatory pricing by foreign airlines will no longer be allowed. She said government is developing a new template for all Bilateral Air Service Agreements (BASA), adding that all future negotiations will be done to ensure that Nigeria obtains maximum benefit from the deal. “Flexibility clauses will be included to facilitate and protect national interest.” She hinted. According to her, government is reviewing the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority NCAA’s 2006 Act to enhance its institutional capacity to effectively regulate the sector.

According to the Minister the new Master Plan will would involve designation of the Economic Free Zones and agro allied focused airports based on the country’s local endowment and competitive advantage. She said creating economic free zones is one of the strategies for rapid growth, inflow of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), employment generation and maximal utilization of airport infrastructure. Odua admitted that it is regrettable that of the N300 billion Africa generated from agro allied and cargo terminals, Nigeria’s market share was zero. She promised that with the necessary infrastructural facilities in place, Nigeria  will generate over N120 billion which is 40 per cent of the entire market in new  master plan roll out.

 

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By Chinedu Eze

 


The Federal Government has given the British Airways (BA), Virgin Atlantic Airways (VNA) and all international airlines operating in the country a 30-day ultimatum beginning from today to dismantle the regional fare imbalance between what Nigerian passengers pay for international flights and their counterparts in the West African sub-region.

Stella--Oduah

Minister of Aviation, Stella Oduah

The ultimatum was issued in a statement signed by the Federal Ministry of Aviation and signed by Special Adviser to the Minister on Media, Mr. Joe Obi, where it warned that failure to revert the fares would mean that such arlines would face an immediate ban from operating in Nigeria.

The statement recalled that in the wake of the impasse between British Airways and Arik Air regarding the denial of landing slots to the latter at London Heathrow airport, the Ministry had, in addition to facilitating the landing rights of Arik Air in Heathrow, waded into the huge fare disparity in the sub-region and demanded fare parity from BA,VNA and other international airlines operating in the country.

The statement also said BA and VNA had particularly asked for more time to conduct its own study on the alleged fare disparity, promising to report back to the Ministry last December.

“But worried by the obvious delay tactics on the part of the two British carriers, Aviation Minister, Princess Stella Adaeze Oduah, weekend said any international airline operating in Nigeria which fails  to dismantle this fare imbalance, as well as other sharp practices within the next 30 days would be banned from operating in Nigeria.”

The minister said: “We are seriously concerned and worried by the reluctance to restore parity within the region by the foreign airlines. They have been using all kinds of delay tactics; this is unacceptable and will no longer be tolerated. Nigerian passengers do not deserve this kind of exploitation and we are willing and ready to stand up for their rights.”

The minister also said Nigeria remained an important and lucrative route for the international airlines, remarking that anyone not ready to treat Nigerians with equity and dignity would be barred from operating in the country.

“In the interim, we encourage Nigerian travellers to avail themselves of other competitive alternatives while we try to address and resolve this issue once and for all,” she added.

 

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