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FG Lifts Suspension on Emirates Airline

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The Federal Government has lifted the ban it placed on Emirates Airline from flying into Nigeria without conditions.

The Minister of Aviation , Sen. Hadi Sirika, disclosed this on Saturday in Abuja in a statement by Mr James Odaudu,  Director Public Affairs in the  Ministry of Aviation.

The Federal Government had barred Emirates from flying into Nigeria over discriminatory policies on Nigerians as regards to COVID-19 protocols by the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

According to Sirika, the move came in response to the yearnings of Nigerian travelers and after painstaking negotiations with the UAE, the Emirates Airlines home country.

The minister further said that the UAE had also removed all travel restrictions on Nigerians.

“We have received communication from UAE removing some of the conditions of travel of which we had concerns about. Having done so, we feel we should lift the ban on the suspension of Emirates Airline.

“All the impediments on Emirates have been lifted and that the airline can now operate in Nigeria,“ he said.

Sirika lauded the understanding of Nigerians in spite of the hardships experienced as a result of the spat between the two countries.

Also speaking, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyema, noted that Nigeria recognised that UAE had a responsibility to protect the lives of her citizens.

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He added that whatever measures the UAE had taken was for the best interest of her citizens.

He said that the negotiation that led to the renewed relationship was a balanced one and was a win-win for both countries.

Onyema, who reiterated that though Nigeria had always had an excellent relationship with UAE, added that the negotiations had made the relationship even stronger.

On his part, the National Incidence Manager of the Presidential Steering Committee on Covid-19, Dr Muktar Mohammed, commended the leadership provided by members of the Committee in ensuring resolution of the impasse.

Mohammed also disclosed that the Committee was watching closely the developments within the Southern African regions with regards to the discovery of a new variant of the virus.

He added that necessary measures to prevent its entrance into Nigeria would be done. (NAN)

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Metro

Police Arrest Three over Murder of Ibe, Friend in Abuja

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The Police in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) have arrested three persons over the death of Dr Obisike Ibe and his friend.

Commissioner of Police, Babaji Sunday made the announcement on Tuesday in Abuja.

Ibe was a staff member of Zenith Lab and Kidney Centre, Abuja. He and his friend, Ezekiel Edoja, resided in House D2, 24 Street, Games Village Estate.

The suspects stole an envelope containing about $1,000, Abe’s phone, ATM card and a vehicle.

The card was used to withdraw N2million from Ibe’s account on December 13, 2021. Sunday said the gang confessed to have plotted and committed the offence.

Similarly, a 22-year-old man was on January 14 arrested over the death of Mohammed Usman on his farm in the Karu area.

“Thorough investigation led to the arrest of the suspect, who voluntarily confessed in a written statement, to have stabbed the deceased and taken flight for fear of apprehension.

“The suspect told the investigation team that he stabbed the deceased during the fight that ensued between them”, the CP added.

The cutlass used to cause injuries to the leg of the deceased before his rib was stabbed has been found.

The command also arrested a security man with a construction company in the Utako area over alleged theft of a car.

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The black Toyota Camry, with registration number: BDG 356 BH, was reported stolen on January 9.

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Metro

FEC Approves N56bn for Kuje Road Dualization, Abuja Light Rail

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Car Park

By Laide Akinboade, Abuja

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved two projects for the Federal Capital Territory to the tune of N56.2 billion.

Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Minister, Malam Muhamad Musa Bello disclosed this to newsmen at the end the meeting of the Council which held on Wednesday, January 19.

In a statement issued by FCT and signed by the Chief Press secretary of FCT Minister, Anthony Ogunleye on Wednesday, the minister said the projects are for the full scope development of the FCT Highway 105 (Kuje Road) from Airport Expressway to Kuje Junction (Stage 1) at the cost of N54,946,909,160.

04 and the construction of access road and car park for the Abuja Light Rail Gbazango Station (Lot 7) at the sum of N1,291,568,845.33.

The statement read in part, “While providing insight into the justification for the two projects, the minister explained that the construction of the road from Kuje to Airport Expressway became necessary because the existing two-lane single carriage way road is grossly inadequate to carry the current traffic and presently in a deplorable condition requiring frequent rehabilitation”.

He said when fully constructed, the road will open up for development, parts of Phase V of the Federal Capital City (FCC) as well as open up the Kuje Satellite town, while connecting the Airport Expressway to the future Outer Southern Expressway (OSEX) in line with the Abuja Master Plan.

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 The project the minister added will also decongest the vehicular traffic originating from the Federal Capital City (FCC) to Kuje and provide free traffic flow along the route as well as provide an alternative route to Gwagwalada road.

He said the 9Km road with a spur to Kyami District, is one of the key regional roads of the Federal Capital Territory that traverses the FCT from the North to the South that is planned to link other future Federal Roads to the FCT and other parts of the Country.

On the access road and car park for the Abuja Light Rail Gbazango Station, the minister said the public attraction to the completed Gbazango Train Station in the area has necessitated need to provide immediate access to-and-from the train station and to further enhance maximum functionality Abuja Rail Mass Transit System (ARMTS) of the Federal Capital City (FCC) due to commenced operation.

According to him, “The project, when completed, will help to create access and open up the area to allow for physical development to be realized. It will further reduce traffic pressure being experienced on the existing roads within the area as well as link up with the Outer Northern Expressway-ONEX (Murtala Muhammed Expressway)”.

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 He added that the facility will improve the security situation in the area, create job opportunities as well as the enhancement of socio-economic activities of the FCT.

The Gbazango Station located within Gbazango area of Kubwa Satellite Town is planned to start from the existing Arab Road and connect the train station through a service facility corridor in Gbazango and Kubwa areas.

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Labour

NDE Flag off Agricultural Extension Training in Abuja

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Blessing Bature-Akpakpan, Abuja

The National Directorate of Employment, Federal Capital Territory, Abuja on Monday Commenced a five-day Agricultural Extension Training for 50 beneficiaries of the Rural Employment Promotion (REP) scheme to upskill them on agro value chain businesses as a strategy to catalyze employment opportunities in the country and boost economic development in the long run.

Speaking during the Flag off, the Director General, NDE Mallam Abubakar Nuhu Fikpo who was represented by the Chief Rural Employment Promotion Officer, NDE,  Mr.

Joshua Fagbemi said the scheme was to complement the unrelenting efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari in fighting poverty in the land through rural employment promotion, adding that about 83 beneficiaries of REP disbursed loans had also been given  orientation to ensure that the N100,00 loan given to them are put to use judiciously.

Also speaking, the NDE State Coordinator, FCT, Mallam Hassan Isa Koto represented by the Head Finance, FCT-NDE, Mr. Noble Chimezie said federal government is not leaving any stone unturned in encouraging Nigerian youths , men and women to see and embrace agriculture as a very profitable business and a key to long term economic growth, employment and wealth creation and encouraged the beneficiaries to count themselves lucky of such golden opportunity.

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Koto said the training is very rich, exposing participants to agribusiness ideas aimed at generating rural employment and improving income through agribusiness engagement amongst others and advised them to take every step of the training seriously.

In the same vein, the Head of Department, Rural Employment Promotion, REP, NDE-FCT Mr. Jinanwa Chukwuma said the training and disbursement of loans was a strategy to boost employment.

“Today 50 participants of agricultural extension training scheme AET will commence training while 108 already trained persons by NDE in sustainable agricultural development empowerment scheme, graduate agricultural empowerment scheme and community based agricultural empowerment scheme will be resettled with loans to enhance their agricultural activities.”

One of the beneficiaries, Mr. Zalo Christopher thanked the leadership of president Muhammadu Buhari for this intervention, through the NDE, saying the loan will go a long way in reducing unemployment in the country and promised to put the loan to good use.

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