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FG To Shut Abuja Airport For 6 Weeks
Hadi Sirika, minister of state for aviation, says the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport (NAIA), Abuja, will be closed for six weeks between February and March 2017.

Addressing reporters on Monday, Sirika said the closure was to allow Julius Berger carry out total re-construction on the badly damaged airport runway.

He said while the runway would still be put to use under the six months of rehabilitation, the six weeks would allow the mid-section of the runway to be reconstructed.

Sirika said President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the reconstruction through the emergency procurement procedure for work to commence.

This, according to him, is because of the centrality, economy and the importance of Abuja to the general administration of the country.

He said government could not afford to close down Abuja airport for a long time as palliative repairs had been ongoing at the runway in the last three months.

“From start to finish of the runway, it will take six months. However, we will be using the runway almost throughout the period except for about six weeks when the runway will be closed,” he said.

“That is when we are going to do the mid-section of the runway.

“The government has accepted the design done by the contractor. The runway will last for than 10 years on completion early next year.”

Sirika said Abuja bound passengers from any part of the world will use Kaduna airport as alternative during the six weeks closure to passengers.

He said arrangement had been finalised with Kaduna, adding that while the federal government will provide buses to convey the passengers to Abuja, the state government will provide security.

According to him, it will cost government substantial amount of money “but we think that palliative approach is wrong because three years down we will come back to do the same repairs.

“Therefore, we decided to go for the bigger option which is to do structural repairs if the runway which will take about six months to complete.”

On the bilateral air agreement with other countries, Sirika said government had signed BASA with 18 countries that Nigerians frequently visit and do business with.

The MOUs, he said, would give Nigeria the opportunity to operate air services with 18 countries.

“With this, we have the freedom to fly and land safely in other air space and this will assist in opening our market,” he said.

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United Kingdom Accepting Naira Payments from Nigerian Business Owners

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United Kingdom Accepting Naira Payments from Nigerian Business Owners

United Kingdom Accepting Naira Payments from Nigerian Business Owners

Former President of the Nigerian-British Chamber of Commerce (NBCC)Dapo Adelegan, has announced that the British Government will henceforth begin accepting Nigerian currency from Nigerian business owners in the UK.

Adelegan made the assertion in an interview on Wednesday in Lagos.

The British Government on February 9, through its export credit agency, UK Export Finance (UKEF), said it will accept Naira payments from Nigerian business owners trading with the UK.

Adelegan said that the initiative was a monumental step that will deepen trade, open more opportunities, expand patronage and market scope of products from both countries.

“If we look at the quality of manufactured equipment and technology; Made-in-Britain is number one.

“Through this, we will access technology transfer, boost the capacity of workforce and impact on our outputs of consumables and products in the market.

“It is a win-win situation that will go beyond procurement, as there are multiple layers of benefits that this will bring to the economy,’’ Adelegan said.

Joyce Akpata, Director-General, Nigerian-American Chamber of Commerce (NACC), also said the initiative will ease importation of goods from the UK to Nigeria and strengthen economic ties.

“The UK has the largest concentration of Nigerians in the diaspora and given cultural ties, it is something that should have happened before now,’’ Akpata said.

The director general said the initiative would improve knowledge sharing and technology transfer.

“We will see a lot of businesses in the UK supplying equipment and machinery backed by this finance to their Nigerian counterparts.

“This will enhance the activities of manufacturers, especially the growing SMEs that are into processing.

“It will also take off issues of foreign exchange challenges and instability in the market,’’ she said.

Akpata noted that the scheme would be a welcome opportunity for most Nigerian businesses that could not access financing locally.

She urged other countries, especially the United States, to take a cue from the UK to evolve initiatives that will assist businesses to maximise opportunities and strengthen trade ties.

Trade experts put the value of trade between Nigeria and the UK at about £8 billion, with oil and gas making up 60 per cent of the figure.

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South Africa’s Embattled President Jacob Zuma resigns

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President Zuma must face corruption charges - Supreme court rules

South Africa’s Embattled President Jacob Zuma resigns

The embattled President of South Africa, Jacob Zuma has resigned his office with immediate effect.

Zuma made the announcement in a televised address to the nation on Wednesday evening.

Earlier, Mr Zuma’s governing ANC party told him to resign or face a vote of no confidence in parliament on Thursday.

The 75-year-old has been under increasing pressure to give way to Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa, the ANC’s new leader.

Mr Zuma, who has been in power since 2009, faces numerous allegations of corruption.

His resignation came at the end of a long speech in which he said he disagreed with the way the ANC had acted towards him.

He said he did not fear a motion of no-confidence, adding: “I have served the people of South Africa to the best of my ability.”

According to President Zuma, violence and division within the ANC had influenced his decision to step down.

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I Have no Candidate for 2019 Elections : Obasanjo

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Obasanjo denies attending PDP convention committee inauguration

I Have no Candidate for 2019 Elections : Obasanjo

Nigeria’s former President Olusegun Obasanjo has claimed that he has no candidate for any political office in the 2019 general elections.

The outspoken politician made the statement while speaking to a group of political group paid him a visit at his home in Abeokuta yesterday February 7th, Obasanjo said he would remain an elder statesman with a passion for a greater Nigeria.

According to Obasanjo, his statement on President Muhammadu Buhari was not meant to disrespect the office of the president or embarrass him, but rather to articulate his views about the situation in the country and offer his candid advice. In his words;

‘In the year 2015, I said I would no longer participate in partisan politics. And I still stand by my decision.

Everybody, irrespective of his or her political affiliation is free to come here for advice. I will gladly do that.

I have no candidate, whatsoever, for any political office. I just believe that things must be done differently in Nigeria to get a different result.

If you study our transitions since the colonial era, they have all taken place without taking the people of the grassroots into consideration. So, CNM is about the people at the grassroots.

It is a socio-economic movement where youth and women, especially, will be given the opportunity to appreciate their interests and power.

Unlike before, I believe we must put the horse before the cart. If the system and the platform sync, I believe Nigeria will get there. And like I said, the moment the coalition gets involved in candidate sponsoring or participates in partisan politics, I will opt out of it.”he said.

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