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NAF resilience hinges on proactive maintenance culture, logistics support – CAS

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NAF resilience hinges on proactive maintenance culture, logistics support – CAS

The Chief of the Air Staff (CAS), Air Marshal Hassan Abubakar, has reiterated the commitment of the Nigerian Air Force (NAF) to bolster the serviceability rate of its operable platforms, to meet current and emerging security challenges.

Abubakar said this while addressing officers and men during his maiden operational visit to Air Training Command and co-located NAF units in Kaduna.

This is contained in a statement by the Director of Public Relations and Information, NAF, Air Commodore Edward Gabkwet, on Wednesday in Abuja.

The CAS said that NAF would enhance resilience in the conduct of its air operations within a joint and multi-agency setting.

According to him, “to be resilient in our operations, we must proactively address maintenance and logistics support for all our fleet.

“We all have a part to play in ensuring that the NAF surpasses the current average serviceability of over 78 per cent”.

Abubakar commended the efforts of NAF personnel participating in Operation Whirl Punch for upholding the mandate of bringing activities of criminal elements to an end.

He added that their sacrifices and efforts had continued to make positive impacts in parts of the North West and North Central geopolitical zones including the Federal Capital Territory.

The air chief charged all personnel to key into his command philosophy which is “to transform the NAF into an agile and resilient force that effectively meets the airpower demands of national security in all operational environments”.

He promised to leverage on technology, innovation, lessons learnt as well as the personnel and fleets to effectively checkmate the security threats confronting the country.

On safety, the CAS charged personnel to imbibe a safety culture and persistently abide by all safety standards and regulations to prevent mishaps in all air operations.

He noted that accidents occurred due to a chain of events and therefore, they should always be vigilant to break the chain.

In the area of manpower development, Air Marshal Abubakar gave assurance that overseas and local training would be deliberate and targeted to address deficiencies in needed skills and capabilities.

According to him, course nominations will be merit-based to ensure that only the most qualified are selected to give the NAF value for money.

He assured personnel that all their entitlements would be promptly paid as well as intervene in priority areas to make their training and operations more efficient and ensure that personnel and their families lived more comfortably, considering the economic situation in the country.

Abubakar charged them to embrace efficient management of scarce resources in their care.

He said his administration would identify and prioritise the most critical needs and objectives and allocate resources where they could have the greatest impact.

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

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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.”

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CBN Lifts Ban On BDCs, Introduces New Operational Mechanism

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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.

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