Keyamo Rebukes Former Aviation Minister over Return of Emirates

Stories ByChinedu Eze

Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo has responded to the statement by the former Minister of Aviation, Osita Chidoka, who condemned the return of Emirates Airlines to Nigeria after two years hiatus.

In condemning the return of the airline to Nigeria, Chidoka chided the federal government for showing so much excitement that the airline would be resuming flights to Nigeria by October 1, as it announced.

Chidoka said: “The gleeful announcement of the return of Emirates Airline to Nigeria by the Hon. Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Festus Keyamo, SAN, on X is a sad reminder of the deepening lack of national pride and the growing irrelevance of Nigeria in the World.”

He also wrote: “The audacity of Emirates Airlines to even consider returning to Nigeria reeks of contempt and disdain towards our nation. The actions of the government of UAE and their airline, Emirates, from the unwarranted visa ban on all Nigerians to the suspension of flights, have been nothing short of a blatant attack on the dignity of Nigerians.”

Responding via his verified X handle, Keyamo said: “Thank you, @osita_chidoka for your opinion. However, to demonstrate your patriotism, sincerity and fidelity to the touted ‘Nigerian Pride’, the big puzzle is, why did you fail to similarly advise your boss, principal and mentor Atiku Abubakar @atiku to immediately relocate from Dubai to Nigeria and sell off all his assets there in protest when the ban on visa and flights were announced? Hypocrisy has never been this audacious.

“Again, it is curious that, as a member of the think-tank of the PDP, your election strategy at a time (popularly dubbed ‘the Dubai Strategy’) was hatched in the same Dubai and not in Nigeria before the ban was announced. Why export a purely Nigerian project to Dubai if you loved Nigeria so much? 

“For the avoidance of doubt, this government is focused on fostering healthy relationships with major partners around the world for the ultimate benefits of Nigerians. Considering the huge investments and interests of Nigerians in the UAE, should we continue to engage in ‘Bolekaja’ (motor park) diplomacy capable of hurting the interests of Nigerians? Will the imminent return of Emirates to Nigeria and in reciprocal manner, Air Peace returning to operating that route, not lead to better competition which will ultimately crash the present high fares on that route? Who will benefit more? How many Emiratis visit Nigeria and invest here as much as Nigerians visit the UAE and invest there? Have you bothered to ask about the lifting of the visa ban before issuing your warped statement? For your information, that has been resolved too and the announcement is imminent.” 

Aviatrix Hub Graduates Flight Dispatchers, Urges Professionalism

A leading Approved Training Organisation (ATO) in the Nigeria aviation industry, Aviatrix Hub has graduated a new set of batch Five flight dispatchers who recently completed the Advanced Flight Dispatch course.

They were trained for six weeks at the institution’s centre located in Lagos.

Speaking at the graduation ceremony, Chief Executive Officer of Aviatrix Hub, Mrs. Victoria Adegbe, urged the dispatchers to deploy the skills and knowledge learnt to improve the image and safety of the aviation industry.

Adegbe said: “The aviation industry is a global village therefore; you must continue to maintain the highest form of discipline, professionalism and good conduct wherever you find yourself in order to remain relevant in the sector”

She admonished them to cultivate friendly disposition while interacting with aircraft crew affirming that the safety of any flight rest on their shoulders hence they must not give room for mediocrities neither should they allow personal emotions becloud their sense of judgment.”

According to her, “The pilots and the airline companies relies on the flight dispatcher to ensure the safety of the aircraft and passengers right from when the plane is on ground, during passengers facilitation up until when it is been prepared for take-off to when it arrived at its destination.

“Your role is critical to ensuring safety in the airspace. You must be patriotic to the country when you find yourself on a foreign airline and must always maintain a cordial and friendly relationship with colleagues, the crew and airport authorities” she told the graduates.”

Also speaking, Aviatrix Hub Director of Training, Mr. Olatunde Oyewo, urged them to be good ambassadors in the aviation industry, adding that the sector is in dire need of competent flight dispatchers as a result of their important roles in any flight operation.

FAAN Begins Awareness Campaign on New Access Gate Fees

The Managing Director, Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Mrs. Kuku, has initiated a comprehensive public awareness campaign to ensure that all airport users are well-informed about the new policy on access gate fees.

The agency said the awareness campaign was in response to the recent directive from the Minister of Aviation and Aerospace Development, Mr. Festus Keyamo, mandating that all citizens pay access gate fees at all 24 airports nationwide.

The FAAN MD affirmed that implementing the mandate immediately would address one of the key revenue leakages the new management is determined to eliminate.

Speaking on the new policy, she commended President Bola Tinubu and the Minister for their proactive roles in helping to give vent to the use of technology in order to shore up revenue, prevent leakages, and reduce the abuse of privileges by very important personalities (VIPs). 

She said: “FAAN is currently poised to leverage technology to intensify its revenue drive. The new mandate also provides some protection for FAAN staff, who are often bullied and railroaded by VIPs and military personnel.”

She further said: “The good news is that all government organisations, the military and VIPs are fully in support of Mr. President on this directive. FAAN is, therefore, guaranteed of maximum support from all sides.”

Max, Spiro Collaborate to Drive Innovation in Electric Mobility

Max, the leading tech platform that democratises access to vehicle ownership and Spiro, an innovative electric mobility company, have announced a strategic collaboration aimed at accelerating the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) and advancing sustainable transportation solutions across Africa.

Both companies signed a partnership deal at Max head office in Lekki, Lagos, recently.

CEO and Co-founder of Max, Adetayo Bamiduro, said: “Max is committed to offering our customers innovative and sustainable mobility solutions. We are excited to partner with Spiro to integrate their advanced electric vehicle technology into our subscription platform, thereby providing our customers with access to a wide range of electric vehicles and helping to drive the transition to a greener future.”

Co-founder of Max, Chinedu Azodoh, explained that the collaboration was in line with the bid to make mobility more accessible to Nigerians, especially with the move towards more sustainable transportation.

Speaking about the collaboration, CEO of Spiro, Kaushik Burman, stated that in the near future more charging stations would be made available Pan Nigeria, so as to ensure seamless mobility for users of MAX’s electric vehicles.

“We are delighted to collaborate with Max to accelerate the adoption of electric mobility. By combining Max’s drive towards simplifying ownership of transportation assets and Spiro’s advanced electric vehicle technology, we aim to make electric transportation more accessible and convenient for transporters, ultimately contributing to a more sustainable future,” Burman said. 

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