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United Nigeria Airlines suspends flight dispatcher

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United Nigeria Airlines (UNA) has suspended with immediate effect its flight dispatcher who gave the wrong dispatch code on its flight NUA 0504 departing from Lagos to Abuja on Sunday.

A source close to the airline confided in our correspondent on Wednesday that the flight dispatcher (names withheld) who had been working with it since its inception about three years was issued the suspension letter on Tuesday.

The source who declined to be quoted told our correspondent that the suspension was to allow non-interference in the ongoing investigation into the incident, which she said was embarrassing.

It was gathered that the suspension order would remain in place until after the conclusion of the ongoing investigation into the incident.

When contacted, Mr. Achilleus-Chud Uchegbu, Head of Corporate Communications, at United Nigeria Airlines, confirmed the suspension to our correspondent.

He, however, declined to comment further on it saying that the suspension didn’t mean the dispatcher was already found guilty.

  • He said: “The suspension was not an indictment, but an action to enable investigation.”

However, the Flight Dispatcher Association of Nigeria (FLIDAN), the association of flight dispatchers in the country, had called for an investigation into the incident.

FLIDAN in a statement by Victoria Adegbe, Secretary General, insisted that the flight dispatcher followed the Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations, Part 8-Operations in its conduct.

Adegbe said that the flight dispatcher filed a flight plan with the Aeronautical Information Service (AIS) which was transmitted to the control tower.

The flight plan according to the association indicated Lagos as a departure, while Abuja was the destination.

Enugu and Port Harcourt airports were also given as first and second alternates, respectively.

The body further said that the weather folder given showed that Abuja weather was good as at the time of the departure from Lagos, but regretted that the pilot called the Air Traffic Control (Tower) for clearance to depart to Asaba, rather than Abuja.

FLIDAN regretted that the tower granted the pilot’s request against the legal flight plan submitted by the flight dispatcher, maintaining that the pilot and air traffic controller team seemed not to follow what was filed, which by implication, meant that they disregarded “Operational Control ” of the flight dispatcher, which empowers a 50 per cent Joint and Equal Responsibility of the Safety of the flight to the Flight Dispatcher.

  • The body added: “The Airlines’ Operational control, which allowed a pilot to generate his own Operational Flight Plan (OFP), thereby taking full responsibility for the dispatch release is an outright breach of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations, NCAR Part 8.
  • “The Airlines’ Operations Control further contravened the NCAR, which states that an airline pilot shall take to the destination airport a copy of the flight plan, dispatch release and load manifest. By implication, if the pilot had the flight plan on him, he would have gotten his destination right, the dispatch release if it was with him summarises the departure and destination, which was clearly disregarded.
  • “The ATC should not have granted a scheduled flight clearance to depart to a destination that was not as filed by the flight dispatcher. The airline in a show of absolute disregard for aviation law went ahead to suspend the flight dispatcher who upheld the licence issued by the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and carried out his job as required by law.”

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FG invites heads of AEDC, IBEDC over poor power supply

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The federal government has invited heads of Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) and Ibadan Electricity Distribution Company (IBEDC) over poor power supply in their service areas.

Adebayo Adelabu, minister of power, also invited Sule Abdulazeez, managing director of the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), for the same reason.

Since the turn of the year, electricity supply to the nation’s capital and across the country has gone from bad to worse, with distribution companies citing gas constraints to generating companies (GenCos) as reason for the prolonged, agonising blackout.

In a statement, Bolaji Tunji, special adviser on strategic communications and media relations to the minister, said power supply should have improved because of the pressure mounted on GenCos to increase their output.

“These two DisCos have been summoned due to the worsening power supply situation in their regions despite improved supply from TCN,” Tunji said.

“So, we expect power supply to have improved across the country, unlike what we are experiencing in some regions presently.

“Findings revealed that some distribution companies were deliberately not taking up power supply from TCN, while some power lines were also damaged by vandals in Abuja, Benin, Port Harcourt and Ibadan regions.”

The aide said the minister has threatened non-performing DisCos nationwide with “outright licence revocation”.

Tunji said the minister also directed TCN to commence repair work on the damaged transmission lines.

The aide added that despite the shortage of gas, power generation has been ramped up to over 4000MW in recent days.

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Ghana’s electricity company cuts power supply to parliament over $1.8m debt

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The Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) on Thursday disconnected the power supply to the country’s parliament over a debt of 23 million Ghanaian cedi, approximately $1.8 million.

The power outage disrupted the parliament’s deliberation on the state of the nation speech delivered by Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo.

The blackout occurred when Abena Osei-Asare, the outgoing deputy minister for finance, was defending the president’s speech.

Videos showing the dark scene of the parliament in which some lawmakers were shouting “dumsor”, a Ghanaian word for “power outage”, have appeared on social media.

During the incident, some lawmakers and staff were stuck inside elevators.

ECG had earlier warned that it would disconnect the electricity supply to the parliament over the GH¢23 million debt.

Over the past few weeks, residents have been complaining about erratic power supply in the Gold Coast country.

Speaking about the incident, John Jinapor, a lawmaker and minority spokesperson on mines and energy, complained over the persistent load shedding being carried out by power companies.

The lawmaker attributed the power outages to the inability of the government to purchase fuel for the country’s thermal plants.

“Indeed, the load-shedding is getting worse by the day. The very day His Excellency the President was delivering the state of the nation address and boasting, up that very period, the utility companies were shedding the load,” the lawmaker said.

Later in the day, the power company restored the electricity supply to the parliament after a part of the debt was settled.

In Nigeria, the management of the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) recently issued a 10-day notice to 86 government ministries, departments, and agencies (MDAs) to pay up the N47.1 billion electricity debt they owe or risk disconnection.

The presidential villa was listed among the debtors.

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CBN revokes licences of 4,173 BDCs

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has revoked the licences of 4,173 bureau de change (BDC) operators for failing to observe regulatory provisions.

In a statement signed by Sidi Ali, CBN’s acting director, corporate communications, on Friday, the apex bank said the BDCs failed to observe at least one of its regulatory provisions, such as payment of all necessary fees, including licence renewal, within the stipulated period in line with the guidelines.

“The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), in exercise of the powers conferred on it under the Bank and Other Financial Institutions Act (BOFIA) 2020, Act No. 5, and the Revised Operational Guidelines for Bureaux De Change 2015 (the Guidelines), has revoked the licenses of 4,173 Bureaux De Change Operators,” CBN said.

Other provisions not adhered to are rendition of returns, compliance with guidelines, directives and circulars of the CBN, especially anti-money laundering (AML), countering the financing of terrorism (CFT) and Counter-Proliferation Financing (CPF) regulations.

The apex bank said it is revising the regulatory and supervisory guidelines for BDC operations in Nigeria.

“Compliance with the new requirements will be mandatory for all stakeholders in the sector when the revised guidelines become effective,” CBN said.

The financial regulator advised the public to take note.

Some of the affected BDCs are;

Mountaintop BDC LTD
Movement BDC
Pointless FOREX BDC LTD
Protected BDC LTD
Reading BDC LTD
Roundtable BDC LTD
Shares OF Time BDC LTD
Stop Over BDC LTD
Surging BDC LTD
Valid BDC LTD
Unical BDC LTD
Turnover BDC LTD
Couple BDC LTD
Happy Ends BDC LTD
Village WAY BDC LTD
Welcome BDC LTD
Oyinbo BDC LTD
Oyoyo BDC LTD
Lamshade BDC LTD
Internal Curry BDC LTD
Give And Collect BDC LTD
Give and Take BDC LTD


The full list of the affected BDCs can be found here.

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