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Tinubu has approved upgrade of Ibadan airport to international status, says Makinde

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Seyi Makinde, Oyo state governor, says President Bola Tinubu has approved the upgrade of Ibadan airport into international standard.

Makinde spoke on Wednesday when he received Hassan Baba Abubakar, the chief of air staff of the Nigeria air force (NAF), at the governor’s office in Ibadan.

The governor said the upgrade, which would commence in the next three weeks, would include the construction of a new terminal, runway and other structural features.

He said the project would be handled by experts and delivered to standard.

The politician said his administration had spent the last five years turning around the state’s economy and has identified the need for the upgrade of the Ibadan airport as being central to its economic expansion agenda.

“Since I came into office, this administration has focused on education, agriculture, health and expansion of our economy,” Makinde said.

“We have been talking to the Presidency and we got a response from them early this week that the President has graciously approved my request for Ibadan Airport to be upgraded.

“I will be in Abuja soon to get the documents relating to the approval. And within three weeks, we will start the project. We will expand the runway and build a new terminal.”

Makinde said his government’s resolve to build infrastructure that targets the economic expansion agenda has also seen it investing resources on the 110 kilometres Ibadan circular road.

He said his administration would consider the air force’s request for land for its post-retirement housing scheme on the circular road corridor.

The governor appreciated Abubakar for his officers’ effort in working with sister security agencies to secure Oyo state, urging that the cordial relationship between the force and the people of the state be maintained.

He said the air force has been a major contributor to maintenance of internal security in the state as its personnel have been working closely with Operation Burst.

Makinde reaffirmed his administration’s commitment to collaborating with the air force to complete its base in Ajia and assured that the road leading to the base would be completed promptly as promised.

He said the government is fixing multiple roads around the air force base to facilitate the easy movement of personnel and equipment, including the Ajia-Airport road with a spur to Amuloko and the Amuloko-Dagbolu-Ijebu Igbo roads.

In his remarks, Abubakar described the governor as a visionary leader, thanking him for his support to the air force.

He acknowledged the governor’s focus on economic development and enhancing security in the state.

The chief of air staff commended the governor for acquiring 60 hectares of land for the air force base at Ajia and providing security operational vehicles.

Abubakar, however, urged the governor to expedite action on the ongoing 10 kilometers Ajia-Airport road so as to ease movement of his force’s activities.

He assured that the force would maintain its support for the state and strengthen the mutual relationship.

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Nigerians can now obtain UAE visas, says FG

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Mohammed Idris, minister of information and national orientation, says Nigerians can now apply for and obtain visas to the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Idris said the federal government has reached an agreement with the UAE to allow Nigerian passport holders to obtain visas for travel to the Arab nation starting today, July 15.

The minister spoke with the State House correspondents in Abuja on Monday, shortly after the weekly federal executive council (FEC) meeting.

He said the agreement includes updated controls and conditions to be fulfilled before the issuance of a UAE visa.

On December 13, 2021, the UAE issued a travel restriction on passengers from Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, citing a surge in the countries’ COVID-19 cases among passengers from the two African nations.

However, TheCable reported the travel ban might not be unconnected with the diplomatic row between Nigeria and the UAE over Air Peace’s flight frequency to the Arab country.

Air Peace had requested a slot of three weekly flights from Nigeria to Sharjah Airport in the UAE, but only one was granted by the country’s General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA).

GCAA said Air Peace should not expect to retain its flight frequency after pulling out of Sharjah Airport; the Nigerian airline, however, denied the claim.

In retaliation for Air Peace’s treatment in the UAE, the federal government dropped Emirate’s slots from 21 to one, leading to the Dubai-based airline suspending all its flights to Nigeria.

In September 2023, the federal government said the airline would resume services in Nigeria, signaling a resolution of the dispute.

The assurance followed a meeting between President Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Mohamed bin Zayed, president of the United Arab Emirates.

But since the meeting and the federal government’s announcement, Emirates has yet to begin scheduled flight operations.

In April, Festus Keyamo, minister of aviation and aerospace development, said Emirates Airlines is prepared to resume flight operations to Nigeria.

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Lagos state government designates 5 operational parks for trucks in Lekki-Epe corridor ahead of e-call up system launch

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The Lagos State Government has designated five operational parks for trucks in the Lekki-Epe corridor in anticipation of the e-call-up system’s launch on August 1, 2024.

This strategic initiative aims to regulate truck movements and prevent the traffic congestion previously seen at Apapa and Tin Can Ports.

According to Lagos State Commissioner for Transportation Oluwaseun Osiyemi, the designated parks for articulated trucks in the Lekki-Epe corridor are Hog Marketing Limited in Okorisan, Epe; Nilmage Two4Seven in Poka, Epe; Goldspeed Freight Agency Ltd. opposite Dangote Refinery on Lekki Coastal Road; Diamond Star Ports and Terminal Ltd. in Abule Panu, Lekki-Epe; and Tal Concept Ltd. at HFP Brick Industry on Lekki-Epe Expressway.

“Five operational parks for trucks: Hog Marketing Limited (Okorisan, Epe), Nilmage two4seven (Poka, Epe), Goldspeed Freight Agency Ltd (Opp. Dangote Refinery, Lekki Coastal Road), Diamond Star Ports and Terminal Ltd. (Abule Panu, Lekki-Epe), Tal Concept Ltd (HFP Brick Industry, Lekki-Epe Expressway),” the statement read in part.

Furthermore, the Lagos State Government has mandated that all articulated trucks operating in the corridor must be equipped with Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) tags. This requirement aims to streamline and automate the management and tracking of truck movements once the system goes live next month.

Additional initiatives in the implementation plan include the separation of wet and dry cargo and the deployment of vehicle inspection services at parks for vehicle certification.

These measures are designed to eliminate traffic congestion, address environmental concerns, and reduce accidents caused by trucks along the corridor. They will also help manage the increased activity expected from the Dangote Refinery, Lekki Port, and other entities.

The Lagos State Government provided additional details on the e-call up system, clarifying that it will officially launch on August 1, 2024, through the platform mycallup.com, with full enforcement beginning on August 7, 2024.

Compliance with this system is mandatory, and trucks that fail to comply will be impounded to ensure strict adherence to the new regulations.

The government emphasized the necessity of cooperation from all stakeholders for the success of this initiative. This includes truckers, organizations, security agents, and local communities, all of whom must work together to prevent a recurrence of the severe traffic congestion and logistical issues previously experienced at Apapa and Tin Can Ports.

The active participation and commitment of these groups will be instrumental in ensuring a smoother and more efficient transportation process along the Lekki-Epe corridor.

The state government emphasizes that by adhering to these regulations and fully cooperating, stakeholders can contribute to a more organized, safer, and environmentally friendly transport environment in Lagos.

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Nigeria’s inflation rate increases to 34.19% amid rising food prices

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Nigeria’s inflation rate rose to 34.19 percent in June 2024 — up from 33.95 percent in May.

The data is captured in the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) in its consumer price index (CPI) report for June, released on Monday.

The CPI measures the rate of change in prices of goods and services.

According to the bureau, food inflation also surged to 40.87 percent in the month under review as prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages continued to surge.

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