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Port Harcourt Int airport resumes operations

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The Federal Airport Authority (FAAN) has restated commitment towards ensuring a zero Coronavirus (COVID-19) transmission as Port Harcourt International Airport resumes operations.

Mr Abayomi Akinbinu, the Regional Manager, South-South and South-East, FAAN, said this on Saturday at the airport during the arrival of the first flight after three months of COVID-19 shutdown.

The first flight conducted by Air Peace 5N EUV from Lagos arrived Port Harcourt International Airport terminal at 7.50 a.m.

Abayomi said that the Port Harcourt airport management was poised at ensuring zero chances of COVID 19 transmission as flight operations kick-starts at the airport

According to him, compliance with the COVID 19 safety guidelines by regulatory bodies in the sector has been well upheld, adding that management will give no room for default.

While commending safety compliance level by service providers and passengers at the airport, he however decried poor adherence to the physical distancing rule.

“To the best of my understanding, I think I’m satisfied with our adherence to safety tips but there could be a few protocols that we need to adjust especially in the area of adherence to physical distancing rule.

“Our markings of 1.5 metres apart are visibly on the floor, but may be because of excitement it’s not being properly followed; so we need to make quick enforcement in that regard,” he said.

On passenger turnout, Abayomi said that being the first COVID-19 flight, low passenger turnout was expected with a gradual increase in the coming days.

“On the departure section, we are gradually getting more passengers and I believe that going forward passengers’ turnout is going to increase.

“My message to prospective passengers is that the Port Harcourt International Airport terminal is safe,” he added.

Dr Nuhu Mwabi, Head of Aviation Medical Clinic of the airport also said that the Port Health is fully on ground conducting mandatory temperature checks on both service providers and passengers before allowing them into the terminal building.

“This is because we want to fish out persons with a temperature of 38 degrees Celsius and above, so that we can isolate such individual.

“Our cardinal objective is to ensure that we contain the spread of COVID-19 as well as other communicable diseases within the airport,” he said.

Mwabi also said that various medical teams and the WHO are also fully ready to professionally handle any suspected case where the need arises.

“We have an isolation centre right here for any person with a high temperature to be examined and if need be, we would then call for further assistance from the State Epidemiological unit,” Mwabi said.

Meanwhile, some passengers have also commended FAAN on its innovations in the COVID-19 era.

Mr Ralph Akinyemi, one of the first passengers who arrived Port Harcourt from Lagos, urged management of the airport and other regulatory bodies to maintain the tempo, which he described as commendable.

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President Buhari suspends Twitter operations in Nigeria

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Federal Government has reportedly suspended, indefinitely, the operations of Twitter, the microblogging and social networking service, in Nigeria.

This was disclosed by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, via a statement issued by the Ministry’s spokesperson, Segun Adeyemi on Friday.

The Minister cited the persistent use of the platform for activities that are capable of undermining Nigeria’s corporate existence.

“The Federal Government has also directed the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to immediately commence the process of licensing all OTT and social media operations in Nigeria,” the statement read.

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Nigeria signs MoU with Niger Republic on petroleum products transportation, storage

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The Federal Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Niger Republic on the transportation and storage of petroleum products.

This was disclosed by the Ministry of Petroleum Resources via its Twitter handle on Thursday.

It tweeted, “Nigeria, Niger Republic Sign MoU on Petroleum Products Transportation, Storage. NNPC Pledges to Support SONIDEP on Capacity Building.”

The MoU was signed by the GMD NNPC, Mallam Mele Kyari and the Director General of SONIDEP, Mr. Alio Toune under the supervision of the two countries’ Ministers of State for Petroleum, Çhief Timipre Sylva and Mr. Foumakoye Gado, respectively with the Secretary General of the African Petroleum Producers Organisation (APPO), Dr. Omar Farouk Ibrahim in attendance.

Sylva explained that the development is another huge step in developing trade relations between both countries.

He said, “This is a major step forward. Niger Republic has some excess products which needs to be evacuated. Nigeria has the market for these products. Therefore, this is going to be a win-win relation for both countries.”

What you should know

Following bilateral agreements between Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari and President Mahamadou Issoufou, talks have been on-going between two countries for over four months – through the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and Niger Republic’s National Oil Company, Societe Nigerienne De Petrole (SONIDEP), on petroleum products transportation and storage.

Niger Republic’s Soraz Refinery in Zinder, some 260km from the Nigerian border, has an installed refining capacity of 20,000 barrels per day. Niger’s total domestic requirement is about 5,000bpd, thus leaving a huge surplus of about 15,000 bpd, mostly for export.

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House of Reps to support full aviation reform

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The House of Representatives has promised to support total reforms in the aviation industry through legislation, as it appeals for active participation of stakeholders in public hearings.

This was disclosed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, via his Twitter handle on Tuesday.

According to him, the House has identified that the aviation industry is a key contributor to the growth of the country’s economy and through legislation it would do all it can to develop the industry.

During the opening of a 3-day public hearing session on six aviation-sector bills by the Committee on Aviation, he explained that the draft legislation would make the sector more effective and efficient.

He said, “It is imperative to note that the development of our aviation industry is an added advantage to the growth of our economy. It is in this vein that the House of Representatives will continue to support total rehabilitation and upgrading of our airports and allied services.

“The consideration of these Bills during this Public Hearing is a testament to our commitment to give new life to the aviation sector and make our airports to be a better non-oil revenue-generating sector as is witnessed in other advanced economies.”

The Speaker appealed to the public and interested parties to honour invitations to House committee public hearings so that they can share ideas on how to make critical sectors deliver optimally.

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