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Nigeria Air will fly before May 29, Project is 98% completed, says Sirika

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The federal government says Nigeria Air, the country’s proposed national carrier, would begin operations before the end of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.

Hadi Sirika, the minister of aviation, spoke at the national aviation stakeholders forum 2023 in Abuja on Thursday.

In October 2022, Buhari had said the national carrier would commence flight services by December 2022, but that did not happen due to controversy surrounding the airline’s ownership structure, leading to a court order stopping the federal government from implementing the project.

Speaking at the stakeholder forum, Sirika said the latest deadline is another proposed date for the take-off of Nigeria Air.

He said the project is 98 percent completed.

“All of the roadmap items except, perhaps the airline which in my opinion is at 98 percent completion, and we will fly within these remaining two months by the grace of God,” the minister said.

“We will also finish the concessions. So, all those things we said we would do when we came in, we did them.

“Before the end of this administration, before May 29th, we will fly.”

Speaking on the bidding process of the Nigeria Air project, Sirika said he had hoped Emirate, Lufthansa, and Qatar airlines would emerge as the preferred bidders.

However, he said he was pleased that the Ethiopian Airlines (ET) consortium eventually emerged the winner.

The minister explained that, except for Overland Airways, he approached international and domestic airlines about partnering with Nigeria Air.

“When we were setting up Nigeria Air limited, my gut feeling is to partner with airlines that I think will add value, with financial experience and high profile such as Emirate, Qatar, Lufthansa, and the rest of them,” he said.

“Those who worked closely with me know that this is my forecast and what I wanted because I believe if you partner with Lufthansa for example, automatically you will have license to fly.

“I thought we would do that, and I made attempts to reach them and invite them, as I did with all airline owners in Nigeria, except Overland.

“I reached out to them personally to come and partner to create a strong airline but fast forward, we had a bidder, Ethiopian airline.

“I was very happy that we got them (Ethiopian) to come. It was not my choice but I am happy now knowing what I know.

“They are a household name, strong, and they have been in business for 70 years unbroken and they have over 200 aircraft.

“So, I am very glad we are partnering with them and it is a reality.

“Some airlines are in court and their grouse is that it can be any airline in the world but not Ethiopian because, in their own way, they think Ethiopian is a competitor.”

Business

You’re hired! How to dress for a job interview

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As crucial as skill set and qualification for a job opening are, interview candidates should also bear in mind the importance of dressing right.

The first thing an interviewer takes note of is how a candidate is dressed.

And while the issue of dressing formally might be debatable for certain job structures, it is still important to dress smartly as no one ever goes wrong doing so.

It should, however, be noted that a candidate must understand what the hiring company requires of them in terms of dressing, taking into consideration the location, company type and the industry.

The question now becomes, how can one be best dressed for a job interview?

For women
As women are likely to have more styling complications than men, the number one rule when dressing for a job interview in any industry is minimalism. Every clothing item should be kept simple and smart with simple accessories.

Generally, the choice of a blouse should be one that is well coordinated, simple and mostly sticking to basic colours.

Matching skirts, dresses, trousers or suits should also stick to basic colours.

When accessorising, it is important to keep it simple. Opt for studded earrings, simple shoes, necklaces, and bags that are big enough to contain important documents.

Hairstyles should be kept simple and neat while makeup should be light and as natural as possible.

Nails should be well-groomed and very importantly, smell nice.

Smelling nice does not mean chocking your interviewer with heavy cologne.

For men
Some HR experts believe men should stick to suits for interviews but depending on the company and industry, wearing a shirt might be sufficient.

Try as much as possible to stick to basic solid colours like white, blue, and grey as opposed to heavily-patterned shirts.

Make sure your outfit is well-ironed and your shirt is properly tucked in. Also make sure to go for trousers in basic colours.

For men sporting elaborate hairstyles and beards, it is important to schedule a barber’s appointment before the interview to get properly groomed.

Ties and socks should also stick to solid basic colours. Make sure your nails are properly manicured and use little or no jewelry.

Carrying a briefcase, portfolio or backpack might be a plus.

Note: An advantage of dressing correctly for an interview is that it boosts your confidence and presents you as a serious candidate.

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Business

Naira depreciates marginally at parallel, official markets

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The naira depreciated to N1,495 per dollar at the parallel section of the foreign exchange (FX) market on Friday.

The current rate represents a drop of 0.33 percent from the N1,490/$ traded on June 19.

Speaking to TheCable in Lagos, currency traders, also known as bureau de change (BDC) operators, quoted the buying rate of the greenback at N1,460 and the selling price at N1,495 — leaving a profit margin of N35.

At the official window, the local currency depreciated marginally to N1,485.53/$ on Friday — from N1,485.36/$ on June 20.

According to FMDQ Exchange, a platform that oversees the official FX trading in Nigeria, the dollar exchanged for as high as N1,505 and as low as N1,401, during trading hours.

The daily FX market turnover stood at $193.50 million.

On June 14, 2023, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) announced the unification of all segments of the FX market.

Owing to the devaluation of the naira, there have been consistent fluctuations in the FX market.

The FX situation, according to Timi Bomodi, comptroller of Seme command, Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), on June 9, has made Nigerian goods affordable for African countries.

However, Mojisola Adeyeye, director-general, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), on May 29, said the devaluation of the naira accounted largely for the high cost of local medicine production.

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‘To promote trade, tourism’ — Zamfara begins construction of international airport

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Dauda Lawal, governor of Zamfara, says the state has started constructing its international airport to promote trade and tourism.

Lawal spoke on Thursday when Festus Keyamo, minister of aviation and aerospace, officially unveiled the construction work on the Gusau International Airport, according to a statement issued by Sulaiman Bala Idris, the governor’s spokesperson.

He said the project is intended to be a smart airport designed to accommodate domestic and international flights.

The governor said the airport project would include the construction of a 3.4 kilometre primary runway suitable for large commercial aircraft, installation of runway lighting, and navigational aids.

Lawal said his administration is determined to transform the state into a compelling investment destination that would attract both local and international investors.

“Honourable minister, guests, ladies, and gentlemen, the airport will have a modern terminal building with passenger facilities, including check-in counters, automated baggage handling systems, waiting areas, and customs and immigration services buildings,” the governor said.

“This is in addition to an air traffic control tower equipped with state-of-the-art communication and surveillance systems.

“Further, it will include the construction of maintenance hangars, fire and rescue stations, fuel storage facilities, and other ancillary buildings, access roads to the airport, parking facilities for passengers and staff, water supply, sewage, electrical systems, and telecommunication infrastructure.

“There will also be a cargo wing and the landscaping of the airport surroundings to enhance the project’s aesthetic appeal.

“It will have the capacity to land most aeroplanes. It is intended to facilitate more accessible and more efficient travel to and from Zamfara state, promoting social interaction, business and tourism.”

Lawal said the project will be handled by Triacta Nigeria Limited with JBI Tech Consult serving as the consulting firm and will be completed within 30 months according to the contractual agreement.

Speaking on the project’s economic benefits, Lawal said it would provide direct air access to the state, eliminating the difficulties businessmen and women face when exporting and importing goods and services.

In his remarks, Keyamo said the state had previously been disadvantaged in terms of facilities.

He said while other parts of the north-west have good airports, Zamfara has lagged despite being an agricultural hub of the zone.

“But it is better late than never. An international journalist called me and asked whether Zamfara needed an airport. I firmly believe that having an airport in Zamfara is more than just a matter of commercial viability; it is a crucial social amenity for the people,” Keyamo said.

“Looking around today, I am convinced that the state is fully ready for this development.

“I want to come here next year to flag off the Hajj operations. Intending pilgrims from Zamfara have suffered for many years in other states to board a plane to the Holy Land. It will never happen again.”

The minister reiterated his commitment to making the airport project a reality.

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Bodex F. Hungbo, SPMIIM is a multiple award-winning Nigerian Digital Media Practitioner, Digital Strategist, PR consultant, Brand and Event Expert, Tv Presenter, Tier-A Blogger/Influencer, and a top cobbler in Nigeria.

She has widespread experiences across different professions and skills, which includes experiences in; Marketing, Media, Broadcasting, Brand and Event Management, Administration and Management with prior stints at MTN, NAPIMS-NNPC, GLOBAL FLEET OIL AND GAS, LTV, Silverbird and a host of others

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