Press focuses on declaration by Southeast governors to stop sit-at-home order, others

The declaration by Southeast governors that they would do everything to end the ‘sit-at-home order of the proscribed Independent Peoples…

The declaration by Southeast governors that they would do everything to end the ‘sit-at-home order of the proscribed Independent Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) is one of the trending stories in Nigerian newspapers on Wednesday.The Guardian reports that Southeast governors rose from a meeting in Enugu, yesterday, and declared that they would do everything to end the ‘sit-at-home order of the proscribed Independent Peoples of Biafra (IPOB).

The declaration was contained in a communiqué issued at the end of their meeting with stakeholders and made available to newsmen.

The meeting was convened by the Ebonyi State governor, Dave Umahi, and hosted by Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State.

Reading the communiqué, Umahi said the governors were worried by the spate of insecurity in the region and condemned the continued ‘sit-at-home order. Umahi, also Chairman of Southeast Governors’ Forum, said the governors, Southeast leaders and security chiefs condemned the spate of killings in the region.

He assured that the regional security outfit put together by states in the region, ‘Ebubeagu’, would be launched to give it teeth and laws passed in all the states to that effect before the end of 2021.

The newspaper says that following the devastating effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the aviation industry, the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), yesterday, said its low revenue earning has put its operations in difficulty.

Managing Director of FAAN, Capt. Rabiu Yadudu, said despite the slow recovery of air transports, FAAN revenue has remained pegged 30-35 per cent, with losses in excess of 65 percent.

Meanwhile, members of the Nigeria Union of Pensioners (NUP), FAAN branch, yesterday, barricaded FAAN headquarters in protest against management’s inability to pay them their Consequential Pension Adjustment (CPA).

The ex-workers, in their numbers, have threatened to stage a nationwide protest should FAAN fail to pay up this October. Yadudu, who spoke in Abuja at the maiden edition of an award ceremony for best performing staff in 2020, said the management was, however, working hard to cushion the effects of the shortfall.

Yadudu said: “For a significant part of 2020, the aviation industry was grounded to a halt. Travel was down to almost zero. Our revenue was down for about 10 months to about three to five per cent.

The Punch says that airfare hikes by international airlines operating flights into Nigeria and other countries may be imminent as airport and air navigation services providers in the United Kingdom, South Africa, European Union, Ethiopia and United States have concluded plans to increase their charges by at least $2.3bn (N950bn).

As a result – the International Air Transport Association – the global body representing over 290 international carriers, has warned that the planned increases in charges by airports and air navigation service providers will stall post the COVID-19 recovery in air travel and damage international connectivity.

According to IATA, confirmed airport and ANSP charges increases have already reached $2.3bn (N950bn).

It said further increases could be 10 fold this number if proposals already tabled by airports and ANSPs were granted.

Speaking at the 77thn Annual General Meeting and World Air Transport Summit in Boston on Tuesday, the Director-General, IATA, Willie Walsh, said it was wrong for airports and air navigation services providers to increase their charges at a time the industry was seeking to recover from the devastating effects of COVID-19.

The Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry has said that the Central Bank of Nigeria’s effort to save the naira is only redirecting forex transactions to third parties, increasing pressure on the exchange rate. President of LCCI, Mrs Toki Mabogunje, said this during the chamber’s ‘

The state of the economy’ address on Tuesday. She said, “It is however noted that whenever there is a free fall of naira exchange rate at the parallel market segment, as we are currently witnessing, the CBN applies demand containment and/or price control measures as seen from the 43 items ban and quest to peg the exchange rate of the Naira.

The Sun reports that in a bid to boost local shipping in Nigeria, the Federal Government has granted zero import duty on vessels and ship parts.

The Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety (NIMASA), Dr. Bashir Jamoh, disclosed this yesterday at the maiden edition of Nigeria International Maritime Summit (NIMS), said that the approval is currently before the Ministry of Transportation and waiting for the official announcement of the development.

“When I assumed office as the Director General of NIMASA, I deliberately worked on two incentives for the maritime sector and one of them is fiscal incentives for the shipping industry.

“Today, the incentive has been granted and I have the memo with me but we are still waiting for the announcement from the Ministry of Transportation, which we believe it will happen soon,” he said.

However, he said that the fiscal policy is long overdue, adding that the Federal Government has made similar incentives for trial, transport, manufacturers, airline operators among other sectors. In her welcome speech, the Chairperson of the NIMS, Barr. (Mrs.) Mfon Usoro, stressed the need to bring all necessary Ministries together in a bid to get them in sync to adopt a holistic maritime national strategy.

The newspaper says that the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) is set to auction five slots of spectrum for deployment of the Fifth Generation (5G) technology. Prof. Umar Dambatta, NCC Executive Vice-Chairman, disclosed this in Abuja on Tuesday during the public hearing and inquiry on the proposed draft regulations on telephone subscriber registration, Sim replacement and spectrum allocation, 2021.

Dambatta stated that the commission had put everything in place to auction five slots of 5G spectrum.

“When I appeared before the Senate on our readiness for 5G deployment, I said we were 95 percent but right now we are 97 percent,” he said.

Mr Adeleke Adewolu, NCC Executive Commissioner, Stakeholders Management, in his welcome address, said that the public hearing and inquiry on the spectrum trading guidelines, sim registration guidelines and telephone users guidelines would help the commission to improve the industry.

Adewolu appealed to the commission to look into the N200,000 penalty for active unregistered line and review it upward so that it could serve as deterrent. “This spectrum trading guidelines, telephone users guidelines and SIM replacement guidelines will help to guarantee growth in the industry,” he said.