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Emirates Airline will soon resume flight operations to Nigeria, says Keyamo



Festus Keyamo, minister of aviation and aerospace development, says Emirates Airline will soon announce the exact date of their resumption of flight operations to Nigeria.

The minister made this known on Sunday in a post on his X page.

Keyamo said he spoke with representatives of Emirates Airline regarding their Dubai to Nigeria flights on the sidelines of the Dubai Airshow in Dubai last week.

He said the federal government is working on some details concerning the resumption.

“On the sidelines of the Dubai Airshow in Dubai last week, I met with the top echelon of Emirates Airlines and we continued very warm and fruitful discussions towards the resumption of flights from Dubai to Nigeria, an effort which was championed by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu,” he said.

“We are presently working on the small details and the airline will soon announce the exact date of their resumption of the flights.”

At the biennial airshow event, Keyamo said he also visited pavilions of leading aviation and aerospace industries around the world.

Keyamo added that he took a valuable cue from the event towards ongoing efforts at “organising Nigeria’s own version of the Airshow in 2024 in Lagos, Nigeria in collaboration with the private sector”.

In October 2022, Emirates Airline suspended flight operations to Nigeria over its inability to repatriate funds trapped in the country.

The airline suspended operations twice last year, with the first in August 2022.

Emirates Airline said the suspension in October was due to its $85 million revenue trapped in Nigeria.


Flight diversion to Asaba was not due to bad weather, Keyamo counters United Nigeria Airlines




Festus Keyamo, minister of aviation, has countered a statement made by United Nigeria Airlines over the diversion of its Abuja-bound flight to Asaba, Delta state.

On Saturday, a United Nigeria flight destined for Abuja landed in Asaba.

A passenger on the flight told newsmen that the pilot announced he was given the wrong flight plan.

“People were thinking that there’s something we were not being told. Until the pilot announced to us that he received a wrong flight plan, that’s when calmness was restored,” a passenger said.

But a few hours after the incident, United Nigeria said the flight was diverted to Asaba due to bad weather in Abuja.

“A United Nigeria Airlines flight, NUA 0504, operating from the MM@ in Lagos enroute Abuja on Sunday, November 26, 2023, was temporarily diverted to the Asaba International Airport due to poor destination weather,” the airline said.

However, speaking after meeting with aviation regulators on Monday over safety concerns in the aviation industry, Keyamo said there was no bad weather in Abuja, adding that the diversion was purely an administrative issue in United Nigeria.

He said the ministry listened to the communication between the tower to the pilot, as released by the Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA).

According to Keyamo, the tower kept asking the pilot to confirm again that the plane was heading to Abuja, not Asaba — the pilot replied that he was going to Asaba.

“It was clear that when the pilot was taking off from Lagos, he was headed to Asaba, not Abuja,” Keyamo said.

“Whereas the flight was headed to Abuja. There was no weather problem in Abuja. It was a question of a wet lease where the pilot and the crew were all foreigners, not Nigerians.”


Keyamo said the pilots who flew the United Nigeria Airlines’ wet lease flight were foreigners who were not familiar with Nigerian terrain.

A wet lease is any leasing arrangement whereby a person agrees to provide an entire aircraft and at least one crew member.

To forestall such an incident from repeating, Keyamo said an agreement has been reached by aviation agencies that all wet leases must have a Nigerian pilot for every flight.

He said the incident has opened the eyes of regulators to new steps they must take.

The minister said he has “spoken with them we have all agreed that wet leases coming into Nigeria, you must have a Nigerian pilot seated at least on the jump seat — must be sitted there with the foreign pilot”.

“A Nigerian pilot must be there with them in the wet leases even if it is for a few hours,” he said.

“I have also directed NCAA that within the next 72 hours, they should summon all pilots and crew who are operating wet leases in Nigeria for further briefing because the lives of Nigerians were at stake.

“They are flying Nigerians and our sacred duty is to protect Nigerians.

“On that plane were innocent souls that they took to another destination that they do not have plans to go. There was no weather problem.”

Keyamo said if regulators within the airlines’ fold fail in their aircraft assessment duty, NCAA should withdraw their licences and blacklist them.

The minister said the Nigerian Safety Investigation Bureau (NSIB) is investigating the incident, adding that he has given the bureau 10 days to submit their reports.

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EFCC guides Nigerians on how to avoid financial losses and ATM fraud




The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission says the rate of unauthorised withdrawals from bank accounts of customers has become alarming.

The commission, through its Head, Media and Publicity, Dele Oyewale, stated this in a statement obtained by newsmen on Monday night.

It noted that after some investigations, the commission found that such withdrawals are linked to Automated Teller Machine, Debit Card swapping or fraud.

The statement read, “The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has been inundated with a barrage of complaints from well-meaning Nigerians concerning unauthorised withdrawals from their bank accounts, which investigations by the commission have linked to Automated Teller Machine, ATM, Debit Card swapping or fraud.”

The EFCC added that the “modus operandi of fraudsters involved in this nefarious practice involves keeping a debit card of the same bank, and in the guise of helping a confused bank customer at any ATM point, swaps the card in such a hurry that the customer would not notice and at the same time memorises the pin used in trying the fake cards.

“These cards get stuck in the machine due to a wrong pin and the fraudster quickly abandons the victim, advising him/her to report to the bank while making away with the victim’s card to make immediate withdrawals from the account,” the statement added.

The commission noted that “card swapping typically happens in any service delivery point, such as Point of Sale, POS, terminals, ATM points, among others,” adding that the “banking public is enjoined to be more circumspect in the use of debit cards.”

In view of the preceding, the following tips may be useful in avoiding further financial losses by the banking public.

  1. Cards should be kept in sight or in a safe place. Whenever you get your card back after making any payment, make sure it is actually your card and not just one that looks similar.
  2. Regularly check your bank statements for any unknown transaction.
  3. Set transaction alerts to monitor any activity on your accounts or with your bank card.
  4. Cover the keypad with your hand or body when entering your PIN at POS terminal/ATM machines.
  5. Do not be in a rush to make payments or withdrawals, and request assistance only from officials of the bank.
  6. Call your banks to block your ATM cards immediately when your cards are stuck in the ATM machines or whenever you observe any irregularity.
  7. Ensure you know your bank’s ATM offline blocking code and quickly use it whenever it is misplaced or stolen.
  8. Dial the USSD code 966911# and follow the pop-up instructions to block your ATM card instantly.

“The EFCC will not relent in safeguarding personal, corporate and national finances in its quest to rid our nation of all forms of economic and financial crimes,” the statement assured.

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FG okays $1bn loan from AfDB for budget support




Wale Edun, minister of finance and coordinating minister of the economy, says the federal executive council (FEC) has approved a $1 billion budget support loan from the African Development Bank (AfDB).

Edun spoke to state house correspondents at the end of the FEC meeting presided by President Bola Tinubu on Monday.

The minister said he presented memos on financing that got approved.
Another approval received was the N2 trillion to his ministry to “bring down the rate of interest on the current outstanding”.
Edun said: “First of all, there was an inherited financing, an inherited loan processing, which was to do with the $100 million financing from African Development Bank and $15 million from the Canada-African Development Bank Climate Fund.”
“Essentially, it was processed before this administration came in and, so it has been inherited. Essentially, it is concessional borrowing, around 4.2 percent per annum by Abia State, through the federal government.

“So the funds are to be lent to Abia State and they are for waste management and rehabilitation of roads in Umuahia and Aba, in particular. That was approved.

“Secondly, there was financing of $1 billion, concessional financing, 25 years, eight years moratorium at about the same 4.2 percent per annum, which was approved by the African Development Bank for this administration.

“And really, it was in recognition of the macroeconomic measures that have been taken, the swift movement towards macro stability, restoring revenue, improving the foreign exchange situation, and so forth, that have been taken by this government.

“The reward, as far as the African Development Bank, a concessional financing organisation, was to provide $1 billion in general budget support.

“Finally, in order to keep working hard and maximising the ability of the government to use the markets and to take advantage of different situations and improve situations, the federal executive council approved a total limit of N2 trillion to be available for use by ministry of finance in order to go in and out of the market and essentially to, where possible, bring down the rate of interest on the current outstanding.

“So essentially, it will be refinancing and the view is that there will be an opportunity to save about N50 billion or more in debt servicing over time by giving back expensive debt refinancing with cheaper funding.”

Speaking further on the efforts of the presidential committee on tax reforms and fiscal policy, Edun said the group have been “working very well and very effectively, such that they are in a position to have even impacted the economy by coming up with initial reforms, as well as signposting the way forward in terms of very important targets”.

Edun said some economic measures by the committee, in the short term, are being contemplated and their report was well received by the president and approved by the council.

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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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