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Nigerian Airforce To Acquire 50 Aircraft, Including 24 Fighter Jets

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Last Updated on June 20, 2024 by Fellow Press

The Nigerian air force said Tuesday it will acquire 50 new aircraft to strengthen its capabilities against armed gangs and terrorists in northwest Nigeria.

Nigerian Chief of Air Staff Marshal Hassan Bala Abubakar made the announcement at the opening of new military facilities, including two aircraft hangars in northwest Katsina state.

Abubakar said the aircraft would include 12 AH-1 attack helicopters, 24 M-346 combat planes, 12 AW109 multipurpose helicopters and a pair of Casa 295 transport aircraft. He did not disclose the cost, nor did he say who would provide the aircraft.

He said Nigeria is expected to receive them by next year.

The aircraft will be used to bolster offensives against jihadist groups and armed gangs that have terrorized northwest and central states in recent years, Abubakar said.

But security analyst Mike Ejiofor says acquiring 50 aircraft is overambitious and possibly misdirected.

“I know it will bolster the fight against terrorism, but I believe that we should concentrate more on land than air. We’re not at war,” [/b]Ejiofor said.

The money, he said, should [b]“have been channeled to training and provision of welfare for the ground troops. I think we would’ve achieved more results.”

Abubakar’s announcement came as Kaduna state authorities announced Tuesday a partnership with the military to set up three new operational fronts within the state.

Kaduna state Governor Uba Sani said, “We concluded with the military to set up forward-operating bases in southern Kaduna, and another one in the Giwa and Birnin-Gwari axis. All the arrangements are being concluded.”

The Nigerian air force came under heavy criticism in December after more than 80 people were killed and dozens wounded during an airstrike in Kaduna state that was intended to target gangs.

Nigerian authorities have promised to operate with more precision to avoid future accidents.

Nigerian Chief of Defense Staff General Christopher Musa told journalists in Abuja, “The armed forces of Nigeria are highly professional. We’re here to protect innocent citizens, not to harm them. Whatever it was that happened there was a mistake, but we’re addressing such issues.”

Ejiofor said authorities should focus more on boosting the ability of the air force to gather and process accurate information about the activities of armed groups.

“These strikes are intelligence-driven, so we must get the intelligence before they’re guided to the areas,” he said. “I think what we should’ve done is to deploy more drones that will be sending this data.”

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Minimum Wage: Let’s cut our coat according to our clothes, Tinubu tells labour

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Last Updated on July 12, 2024 by Fellow Press

President Bola Tinubu says a new minimum wage will be fixed after reviewing the “structure” of the wage bill.

Tinubu spoke on Thursday while addressing the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) during a meeting at the State House, Abuja.

Tinubu told the labour leaders that his administration prioritises the welfare of workers, adding that “society depends on the productivity of happy workers”.

“You have to cut your coat according to the available cloth. Before we can finalise the minimum wage process, we have to look at the structure,” Ajuri Ngelale, presidential spokesperson, quoted Tinubu as saying in a statement.

“Why must we adjust wages every five years? Why not two? Why not three years? What is a problem today can be eased up tomorrow.

“There is much dynamism to this process if we are not myopic in our approaches.

“We can take a surgical approach that is based on pragmatism and a deep understanding of all factors.”

On his part, Joe Ajaero, NLC president, said things are difficult for Nigerian workers, adding that there must be a balance between the living wage and the minimum wage.

Festus Osifo, TUC president, said the rising inflation in the country has eroded the value of the naira.

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Tinubu appoints Jega on Livestock Reform committee

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Last Updated on July 10, 2024 by Fellow Press

President Bola Tinubu has offered a fresh appointment to former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Attahiru Jega.

The appointment was announced when Tinubu inaugurated the Presidential Committee on Implementation of Livestock Reforms at the presidential villa in Abuja, on Tuesday/

He named Jega as co-Chairman of the Committee established to address obstacles to agricultural productivity and open up new opportunities which benefit farmers, herders, processors, and distributors in the livestock-farming value chain.

President Tinubu emphasized that the implementation of the reforms will require the collective efforts of members of the committee, drawn from the public and private sectors, state governors, and all Nigerians.

“From here, I will appeal to everyone to remove every iota of partisan politics from this. I will assume the chairmanship of the committee as President and appoint Professor Attahiru Jega as my deputy or co-chair.

“This is not about politics; this is about opportunity. This is about our nation. While I may be absent, Jega will preside and continue to promote our objectives,’’ the President said.

Inaugurating the committee in the Council Chamber at the State House, the President thanked the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr. Abdullahi Ganduje for his efforts in assembling experienced and reputable experts to ensure the activation of opportunities in the livestock sector.

“When we have great opportunities in our states, why should Nigerians continue to experience conflicts?

“With the calibre of people that are here, this presents a unique opportunity also to delineate and establish a centric ministry called the Ministry of Livestock Development. It will give us the opportunity so that our veterinary doctors can have the necessary access to research and cross-breed. We can stop the wanton killings,’’ President Tinubu stated.

The President noted that the traditional method of livestock farming will need to be reviewed and repositioned with the support of stakeholders, which include state governments, in order to open up new opportunities for growth and prosperity.

President Tinubu said the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Mr. Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), will ensure the removal of all legal obstacles to the implementation of the reforms, while the Minister of Communication, Innovation and Digital Economy, Dr. Bosun Tijani will provide support with automation.

“Modern technology is available to us. We are ready to work. I said at the beginning, with you, all of you, the solution is here, and we must run with it. Any law that might inhibit the promotion and actualization of our objectives, the Attorney-General is here, please give it a priority; and the Minister of Budget and Economic Planning is here; create a budget for it to grow, and the Minister of Finance is here as well to work out the money,’’ the President stated.

The President also said the reforms will be comprehensive and collective, urging the support of all stakeholders.

“We need to provide the incentive to enable Nigeria to finally take advantage of livestock farming; dairy products and cold-chain logistics collectively offer substantial commercial and economic advantages. We have seen solutions and opportunities. With these adversities that have plagued us over the years, I believe that prosperity is here – in your hands.”

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