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Evacuation of Nigerians abroad to commence this Wednesday May 6 – Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffery Onyeama

Evacuation of Nigerians abroad to commence this Wednesday May 6 - Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffery Onyeama

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Geofferey Onyeama, Nigeria’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, says the evacuation of Nigerians from abroad due to the Coronavirus pandemic, will commence on Wednesday May 6th with the first evacuation from Dubai. 

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The Minister disclosed this when he spoke at the daily briefing of the Presidential Taskforce on COVID-19 today May 4. According to Onyeama, an Emirates flight from Dubai is expected in Lagos on Wednesday May 6, this will be followed by a BA flight from the UK on Friday May 8.

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From Wednesday by God’s Grace, we will start the process of evacuation of our Nationals from outside the country. There are almost 4000 Nigerians wishing to come back home. If we had our way, we will bring them  back home all at once but there are various constraints and the biggest constraint is where to quarantine them., particularly the bed.

So we have done everything we can to get beds in Abuja and in Lagos.

In Lagos we have about 300 bed available. 

The first flight that we hope to have on Wednesday  is Emirates and it will be to Lagos. Then we are hoping that soon after that, a British Airways  flight that is coming to Nigeria to evacuate some British citizens will help bring Nigerians coming back. So we are hoping that on Friday, we will be able to evacuate from the UK anything up to 300 or less Nigerians.

We have also told our mission in the US that if there are any flights available, they should do a deal with them and get them to bring our people back.   Our missions in New York, Atlanta and Washigton have told us that Ethiopian airline does have a regular commercial programme out of the US.  So we are hoping that Monday next week, we can do a deal with Ethiopian airline to bring back a significant number of our people.

AirPeace has been chartered for a medical evacuation by a couple based here in Nigeria to London, so we are trying to also do a deal with them to have another UK flight coming in probably on Saturday.

China of course is a huge crisis and we are trying to see if we can get a plane to go and evacuate. There is a large number of our people there who have additional challenges so we are also working to bring them back. We are hoping to have an agreement with one of the carriers so maybe by a week or two, we can move into China to bring our people home.

South Africa, India, they are all also waiting. There are about 4000 of them so we will have to be patient. It is not easy but we are doing everything possible to bring our people back ” he said

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News

Oil price crashes below $0 a barrel

Oil price crashes below $0 a barrel
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Oil price took a negative dive in the late hours of Monday April 20, as it plunged further to below $0 a barrel for the first time as the coronavirus pandemic lingers. 

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In a historic crash which came barely a month after experts warned oil prices could dip into negative territory, oil futures opened at their lowest level since 1983.

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MarketWatch reported that the soon-to-expire May contract for the U.S. oil benchmark finished deeply in negative territory of $-37.63 a barrel. This implied that investors will need to pay buyers to take delivery of crude oil, reflecting a growing glut of crude and a lack of storage space.

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With hundreds of millions of people around the world staying at home to stop the spread of COVID-19, travel by car or plane is nearly nonexistent. Factor in a major lag in manufacturing and other economic activity that requires oil and the reasons for the dramatic crash become apparent. For those still traveling, it’s not uncommon to see gas prices under $1 per gallon at stations across the US these days, though it’s left those businesses hurting.

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While the OPEC Plus countries reached an agreement to slash production by more than 9 million barrels of oil per day, the latest crash shows it won’t be enough to overcome the surplus of oil currently out there today.

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The one-day plunge is the largest on record going back to 1983, and also the lowest level for a contract on record, according to Dow Jones Market Data.

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Oil storage facilities are still at risk of overflowing, raising the chance that some oil producers in the United States and Canada could start paying customers to take crude off their hands, according to Staunovo. Investors are particularly worried about storage reaching capacity in Cushing, Oklahoma, the main US hub.

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CNN reported that the June contract CLM20, 4.70%, which is the most actively traded ended down $4.60, or 18.3% at $20.03 a barrel.

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Edward Moya, senior market analyst at Oanda said; 

“The collapse…is mostly a reflection of traders rolling contracts to June as no one wants to take delivery because storage capacity is getting close to being reached. 

“The ever-widening discount for May versus the June contract reflects all the bearish supply and demand drivers that remain permanently in place.”

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Travel agencies in Nigeria are on the verge of being thrown into debts as customers demand refund of unused tickets

Travel agencies in Nigeria are on the verge of being thrown into debts as customers demand refund of unused tickets

Travel agencies in Nigeria are having a hard time and are on the verge of being thrown into debts as customers demand the refund of tickets they didn’t use due to the Coronavirus lockdown, though the requests are being declined by many foreign airlines.  

The airlines would not refund customers’ money due to cash crunch, however, about 1000 top-rated travel agencies in Nigeria are caught in-between paying customers’ refund and settling airlines’ mandatory remittances, both estimated to reach a total of N100 billion.  

According to The Guardian, so far only three airlines – British Airways, Emirates and Lufthansa – have pledged to issue refunds to “interested customers” in accordance to the 50 days rule.


 
To make matters worse, the foreign airlines, through the International Air Transport Association (IATA), have mandated all travel agencies to pay up all tickets issued to date, whether used or unused, or risk being cut off from the business because of default.


 
The international air travel business is such that the travel agencies issue, sell tickets and collect fees on behalf of the airlines and their representative, IATA, in a Bill Settlement Plan (BSP).


 
Under the BSP arrangement, all enlisted agents must remit the payment for all issued tickets (which airlines had given on credit) every 15 days to the airlines through IATA. The consequence is that defaulters will be struck out of the selling platform and their bank collateral forfeited.

In the light of this payment schedule, the current restriction of all flights – local and international – and lockdown over coronavirus pandemic have plunged the travel agencies into difficulties.

Some of the agencies told The Guardian that they were owed by bulk-buying organisations and companies that have temporarily closed down. Other agencies are being troubled by customers who are insisting on ticket refunds.


 
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Finchglow Travels, Bernard Bankole, said the nature of the business put many travel agencies in the middle of the global crisis and made them bear the brunt.


 
Bankole said the losses for travel agencies would be about N180 billion should the crisis last till July. This is going by last year’s N360 billion that the agencies raked in as total ticket sales revenue from international travels.


 
As at April, he said, unused ticket refunds and payments to airlines had already cost travel agencies over N100 billion.

Bankole said: “We (travel agencies) are stuck in the middle. As it stands, we have to keep encouraging our members to pay the airlines on schedule. We have a lot of clients that have not paid us. Yet, we have to protect the integrity of the BSP, just like IATA also wants.

“But while we are keeping to our end of the bargain, the airlines are not. They don’t have money to pay and they are not even ready to push money into Nigeria to settle our customers, who cannot fly because the airspace is shut.


 
“The challenge now is for IATA to protect the travel agencies from these airlines because not all of them will survive this crisis. Yet, IATA is not doing much of that, putting us in heavy losses,” Bankole said.

The president of the National Association of Nigerian Travel Agencies (NANTA), Susan Akporaiye, confirmed the dilemma of many top-tier travel agencies, saying the main loyalty was to the customers.

Akporaiye said talks were ongoing with airlines and IATA to strike a balance between cumulative ticket refunds and remittances to the airlines, to ensure that the travel agencies do not suffer unduly.

She explained that the crisis had left many airlines without cash for settlement of refunds as required by some of the loyal customers.  

A Lagos-based travel agent, Lola Adewole, said all agencies were indebted and had had to lay off staffers lately.

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European Union donates €50 million (21 billion Naira) to Nigeria to fight Coronavirus

European Union donates  ?50 million (21 billion Naira) to Nigeria to fight Coronavirus

The European Union has donated €50 million, (N21 billion), to Nigeria towards the fight against the Coronavirus pandemic in the country.

The donation was announced when President Buhari received in audience an EU Delegation at the State House, Abuja today Tuesday April 14th. 

”Nigeria welcomes the European Union’s contribution of the sum of N21 billion (50 million Euros) to support our efforts at controlling the spread of the #Covid19 pandemic. The EU is channeling the donation through the United Nations (UN) #COVID19 Basket Fund for Nigeria” the Presidency’s Twitter handle wrote online

European Union donates  ?50 million (21 billion Naira) to Nigeria to fight Coronavirus
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News

Petrol to sell at N123.50 beginning from today April 1st

Petrol to sell at N123.50 beginning from today April 1st

The Federal government through the Petroleum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), has announced a reduction in the pump price of petrol. 

A statement signed by the PPPRA Executive Secretary, Abdulkadri Saidu, says the new retail price of petrol would be N123.50 beginning from today April 1st.

The new price is N1.50 lower than the N125 per litre announced on March 18th.

“The PPPRA, in line with the government approval for a monthly review of premium motor spirit (PMS) pump price, hereby announces guiding PMS pump price of N123.50 per litre. The guiding price, which becomes effective April 1, 2020, shall apply at all retail outlets nationwide for the month of April, 2020. The PPPRA and other relevant regulatory agencies shall continue to monitor compliance to extant regulations for a sustainable downstream petroleum sector. Members of the public and all oil marketing companies are to be guided , accordingly.” he said

Recall that on March 18, the Federal Executive Council had approved a reduction of petrol pump price from N145 to N125. After the slash of petrol pump price was announced, PPPRA announced that the federal government approved a monthly review of petrol price to reflect global crude oil market trends.

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14 gay men, 12 rapists and 200 prostitutes arrested by Sharia Police in Jigawa

14 gay men, 12 rapists and 200 prostitutes arrested by Sharia Police in Jigawa

14 suspected gay men and 12 rapists were reportedly arrested by officials of the Jigawa Hisbah Board across the 27 local government of the state in 2019. 

Speaking at the Board’s headquarters in Dutse, the state’s commandant Ibrahim Dahiru Garki said the arrests were made between January to December 2019. 

Asides discovering 14 abandoned new born babies in 2019, Garki also revealed that over 200 prostitutes and 20 persons allegedly engaging in fornication were also arrested by the Hisbah officials in 2019. 

The suspects have been handed over to the police for prosecution in relevant court of law

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News

JAMB says it will now use drones to monitor examinations

JAMB is going to be using CCTV and drones to catch cheats in examinations.

A JAMB test center (Guardian)
A JAMB test center (Guardian)

If you intend to cheat your way through the next JAMB tests, you may want to have a rethink.

The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) says it will be deploying drones and Closed Circuit Television (CCTVs) cameras to check examination malpractices in its 700 centers going forward.

JAMB Registrar, Prof. Ishaq Oloyede, made the disclosure during a two-day meeting with Computer Based Test (CBT) Centre Operators, State Coordinators of the Board, Financial Institutions and Internet Service Providers on Thursday, December 19, 2019 in Zaria, Kaduna State.

“All CCTV must be wired, all cameras must cover verification areas, coding areas, walk ways, examination hall, server room, entrance and exit in all centres,” Oloyede said.

“We will use drones to monitor the centres to check registration and examination scandals.”

Prof. Is-haq Oloyede is Joint Admission and Matriculation Board Registrar (Punch)

Prof. Is-haq Oloyede is Joint Admission and Matriculation Board Registrar (Punch)

Prosecuting exam cheats

Oloyede added that JAMB will be prosecuting persons caught cheating during tests. “100 candidates caught red-handed are under prosecution – 20 jailed and 80 others are under investigation.

“Last year was for the prosecution of candidates. By the grace of God, it is the turn of CBT centres to be prosecuted. If you do work well, it will reduce the cost of running from one court to the other,” he added.

JAMB is the body tasked with conducting entrance examinations for candidates seeking placement in tertiary institutions across Nigeria.

It was founded in 1978 to harmonise and standardise tests into Nigeria’s universities and polytechnics.

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Government News

BREAKING: Kogi Assembly confirms Onoja as Yahaya Bello’s deputy

The Kogi State House of Assembly, on Monday, confirmed Chief David Onoja, as the Deputy Governor of the state.

This followed the impeachment of Elder Simon Achuba last week by the House.

DAILY POST gathered that Onoja was confirmed at exactly 8:27 am.

Onoja was the immediate past Chief of Staff to Governor Yahaya Bello.

When he appeared before the 25 lawmakers, he was asked to take a bow and go.

The Speaker of the House, Prince Mathew Kolawole, charged the new deputy governor to support the vision of Alhaji Yahaya Bello towards bringing more development in the state.

Prince Kolawole directed the Clerk to convey this development to the Judiciary by swearing in Onoja as the new deputy governor.

The House, however, adjourned sitting to Tuesday 3rd December, 2019.

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Photos/Video: Aisha Buhari returns after two months abroad, confirms authenticity of viral video of her shouting in the villa

Photos/Video: Aisha Buhari returns after two months abroad, confirms authenticity of viral video of her shouting in the villa

First lady, Aisha Buhari this morning returned to the country after spending two months abroad. Mrs Buhari left the country early August to Saudi Arabia, where she performed Hajj (Muslim Pilgrimage) before going to the UK and has been there all along.

She landed at the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja via a British Airways flight around 4:30am.

Mrs Buhari also confirmed the authenticity of the viral video of her shouting in the villa. The video made rounds on Friday as Nigerians speculated that she was prevented from entering the villa as her husband, the president, was planning to pick a second wife.

Chatting with newsmen at the airport this morning, Mrs Buhari said the video is an old video and that the incident did happen. Watch the video of her speaking below

Photos/Video: Aisha Buhari returns after two months abroad, confirms authenticity of viral video of her shouting in the villa
Photos/Video: Aisha Buhari returns after two months abroad, confirms authenticity of viral video of her shouting in the villa
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Government News president

2023: Presidency speaks on Buhari extending his tenure

The Presidency has reacted to the report making the rounds that he may seek to amend the constitution in order to stay on beyond 2023.

One of the President’s support groups had last week staged a protest calling for his tenure to be extended.

The Presidency, however, in a statement signed by Garba Shehu, said he wishes “to correct internet-based gossip and un-informed media commentary regarding presidential term limits, given credence by so-called support groups, staging street demonstrations asking President Muhammadu Buhari to do a third term.”

The statement added that “There are no circumstances – nor set of circumstances – under which President Buhari may seek to amend the Constitution regarding the two-term term limit on holding office as President.

“President Buhari intends to serve his full second elected term in office, ending 2023 – and then there shall be a general election in which he will not be a candidate.

“There is not even the faintest possibility that this will change.

“It is important to note that there was a past attempt to change the Constitution to allow for the-then incumbent president to stand for a third term. That attempt was wrong, unconstitutional – and rightly rebuffed. No such attempt will happen under this President.

“President Buhari is a democrat. He respects the Constitution. Any activity aimed at altering the two-term limit will not succeed and shall never have his time nor support.”