Connect with us

Headline

Seven suspended over stolen lighting at Lagos Airport runway

Published

on

Seven people have been suspended over the stolen lighting systems at the domestic runway 18/36L of Murtala Muhammad Airport.

The disappearance of the approach lighting systems had raised security concerns in Nigeria’s busiest airports.

According to a source who spoke on condition of anonymity, those who carted away the lighting systems took advantage of the closure of the runway for over three months.

The source alleged that some FAAN workers connived with outsiders to steal the airport lighting equipment.

“The criminal took advantage of the closure to commit the crime. I cannot give the actual worth of the theft, but almost all the lighting was removed. The permanent secretary came around to see for himself the huge damage done. A lot of FAAN officials have been suspended,” the source confirmed.

According to Punch, some heads of relevant departments at FAAN have been suspended over the missing lighting equipment on the directives of the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Aviation, Dr Emmanuel Meribole.

The source also disclosed that investigations had since commenced to unravel those responsible for the missing safety equipment.

According to the source, the regular incursion and stealing of safety components at the airports are carried out by a syndicate, consisting of some workers of the agencies, who have access to the restricted areas and accomplices from outside.

A top official with FAAN, who did not want his name in print, said the agency’s Managing Director, Mr Kabir Yusuf, was displeased with the development.

He stated that FAAN MD had also ordered the suspension of security personnel who were in charge of guarding critical airport facilities.

Reacting to the latest development, a former Military Commandant at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, Group Capt. John Ojikutu (retd.), said, “This is not new at MMA. I wish the FAAN management could go back to 1990 when similar things happened in the airport. I was convinced that it was an ‘insiders threats’. What did I do? I positioned soldiers on the runways and ensured that no FAAN maintenance staff went near the runways for anything without my approval; otherwise, it was shoot at first sight. It stopped completely.

Runway lightings were being stolen and my conclusion then was that runway lightings can only be useful for runways and not roads or houses.

“Those stolen were being sold to FAAN by the same workers. That is why I am not in support of the unions carrying the picketing of their employers to the airport’s security controlled areas.”

The Director of Public Affairs and Consumer Protection, FAAN, Mr Yakubu Funtua, told The PUNCH stated that investigations had been launched and that the agency would do all within its powers to avoid a reoccurrence.

He said, “FAAN is doing all it can to get to the bottom of this. You are very aware that there are many agencies within the airport, including the different ones that are supposed to be taking care of security there. So, it would be unfair to put this (the theft) on our (members of) staff and I don’t think there is any FAAN (member of) staff that wants the agency to crash.

“Note that most of our revenue comes from Lagos. So, what kind of staff will ‘kill the goose that lays the egg?’ However, we can’t say exactly who did it, but we are doing all that we can to recover what is lost. We are going to recover it because we are going to find out those people who did it and then block all those loopholes.”

For 15 years, the Lagos Airport domestic runway 18L was shut down to night operations due to the absence of airfield lighting.

Domestic airlines were forced to use runway 19 at the international airport, which consumes more aviation fuel because of the longer distance.

The equipment, which aids aircraft to take off and land at the domestic airport at night, was installed on the 2.7 kilometres long runway last November.

Advertisement

Headline

Job Losses, Factory Closures Loom As Unsold Goods Pile Up — MAN

Published

on

AGAINST the backdrop of sustained pressure in the foreign exchange market and high cost of production, the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, MAN has indicated that inventory of unsold goods is escalating to levels now threatening the existence of companies operating in the production sector of the economy with attendant job losses.

Findings show that as of the weekend the foreign exchange market had recorded over 254 per cent plunge in the value of the naira since flotation of the currency by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in June 2023.

Recall that the naira traded for N471 per dollar in the official I&E market on June 13, 2023 before the floatation of the currency, but exchanged for N1,665.50 to a dollar as at February 23, 2024 on the Nigerian Foreign Exchange Market (NAFEM), indicating a depreciation of more than 253.6 per cent over the eight-month period. The forex crisis is also stoking inflation, and coupled with high energy costs, purchasing power has continued plummet, stifling demand for goods.

Speaking on the impact of this development on the manufacturing sector, Director General, MAN, Segun Ajayi-Kadir, said: “There are reports that across the board, many warehouses and plants of many manufacturing firms are stockpiled with unsold goods manufactured last year. “The development is as a result of the devastating effects of the exchange rate crisis, inflation, fake and sub-standard goods, smuggling and other macro-economics challenges.”

Continue Reading

Headline

CBN Lifts Ban On BDCs, Introduces New Operational Mechanism

Published

on

In a major development aimed at financial stability and strengthening the naira, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) plans to resume its weekly intervention in the country’s foreign exchange (FX) market through the Bureau de Change (BDC) operators.

In 2021, the central bank, in a bid to achieve its mandate of safeguarding the value of the local currency, ensuring financial system stability, and shoring up external reserves, announced the immediate discontinuance of foreign currency sales to Bureau de Change (BDC) operators in the country.

However, the resumed intervention, which would reportedly commence today for funding as well as Tuesday for collection, will see the apex bank inject FX into the subsector in a bid to rescue the naira from further depreciation against major currencies, particularly the US Dollar. The collection will be at designated CBN branches in Lagos, Abuja, Kano, and Awka, while details of the naira accounts to be credited for funding bidding will also be made available today.

CBN is also expected to publish the list of eligible BDCs to benefit from its funding using certain compliance criteria.National Executive Council of Association of Bureau De Change Operators of Nigeria (ABCON) hinted on the latest developments through a memo to its members over the weekend.

The association also warned members that it will no longer be business as usual under the new supervisory regime of the central bank, as any infringement or infraction would result in outright revocation of license and prosecution.

ABCON said through the association’s various engagements with the central bank, in conjunction with ABCON’s strategic partners, CBN had agreed to its request, under the bank’s supervision, to inject liquidity into the market through a weekly intervention beginning today.

CBN assured ABCON that the new circular on the Revised Regulatory and Supervisory Guidelines to BDCs, which was introduced over the weekend, was only a draft exposure that required the association’s inputs before the release of the final guidelines by the apex bank.

To that effect, the letters of the guidelines were not cast in stone, the association’s leadership told its members, who had been worried over the sweeping reforms in the document, which, among other things, prescribed N2 billion and N500 million minimum capital for national and state BDCs, respectively.

Continue Reading

Facebook

Trending