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NCAA Suspends Azman Air over Failure to remit N1.2bn Ticket Sales Charge

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The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), has suspended the Air Transport Licence (ATL) of Azman Air for failure to remit N1.2 billion Ticket Sales Charge (TSC) from passengers.

The Director-General of NCAA, Capt. Musa Nuhu, made this known in a statement issued in Lagos on Thursday.

Nuhu explained that the airline was suspended for failure to also submit security clearance for the renewal of its ATL, which expired in April 2021.

Nuhu said the N1.2 billion debt was the revenue accrued from the five per cent Ticket Sales Charge (TSC) and Cargo sales Charge (CSC) collected from the air travelers by the airline.

Newsmen report that the TSC/CSC is shared among five aviation agencies; NCAA and Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA).

Others are the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB), Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMET) and the Nigerian College of Aviation Technology (NCAT), Zaria.

NCAA gets 58 per cent from the total 5 per cent of TSC/CSC and it is the major revenue earning for the agency, while the other four agencies share the remaining 42 per cent.

Nuhu decried that the regulatory agency had made efforts to recover the debt from the airline over the years, but ”the carrier was recalcitrant in paying back the sum despite collecting it from the passengers.”

Azman commenced scheduled operations in 2014.

However, the withdrawal of the airline’s ATL rendered its Air Operator Certificate (AOC) invalid.

Nuhu told aviation journalists that its management had held series of meetings with Azman Air leadership on how to pay back the debt, but both parties failed to reach an agreement.

He said that the airline’s management had promised to pay back the sum of N10 million monthly as part of the N1.2 billion debt, but said the regulatory body insisted on N50million monthly.

Besides, the D-G said that the airline could not provide its security clearance, which was one of the prerequisites for renewal of ATL.

He said: “We didn’t suspend Azman Air’s Airline Operator certificate, but suspended their ATL, which had earlier expired.

”The ATL earlier expired in April 2021, but we gave the airline extension because of the disruption to aviation activities by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This was what we did for other airlines, too. However, we wrote a reminder letter to the airline six months to the new expiring date, which is statutory.

“Later, the airline requested for another extension of 90 days, but we only granted it 60 days.

”At the expiration of the 60 days, we also gave it 30 days reminder, which elapsed on Wednesday night, yet nothing was done by the airline.”

Nuhu said tha the airline owed us N1.2 billion as TSC/CSC, adding, ”we invited them and set up a committee for that purpose.

”Azman said they would pay the sum of N10 million monthly out of the debt, which we refused.

“They later came up to N20 million, but we insisted on N50 million monthly.

”If we had agreed to the N10 million monthly, it means it will take them about 12 years to repay back the money it had already collected and by then, the money would have lost.”

Nuhu further threatened that the ATL or AOC of any other airline that owed the agency’s five per cent TSC/CSC would not be renewed.

He appealed to other carriers to pay up the backlog of debts. (NAN)

Metro

Lagos-Shagamu Expressway’s Long Bridge Undergoes Repairs March 4 — Federal Controller

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The Federal Government has announced that the Lagos-Shagamu Expressway’s Long Bridge will undergo repairs to its damaged expansion joints from Monday.

The Federal Controller of Works in Lagos State, Mrs Olukorede Kesha, disclosed this in a statement on Friday night in Lagos.

Kesha, who regretted the inconvenience that these repairs might cause motorists, appealed for patience and cooperation by members of the public.

“The Federal Ministry of Works wish to inform the motoring public that repair works for the damaged expansion joints on the long bridge will commence by Monday, March 4, 2024, simultaneously on both bounds of the bridge.

“Consequently, traffic leaving and entering Lagos through the long bridge will be narrowed to two lanes on both sides of the bridge to enable the contractor handling the repair works to commence works on the other two lanes of the carriageways.

“Thus, all road users are advised to be patient and adhere to lane discipline on both approaches to the Long Bridge and around the narrowed sections on the bridge.

“The earth road beside the Shagamu bound carriageway will be made motorable, to serve as complimentary road. Other road users are advised to use alternative routes.

“Motorists are further advised to cooperate with the traffic management officials deployed to manage traffic and ensure hitch-free movements to minimise discomfort during the duration of the repair works,” she said.

According to the notification, the repair, which will begin by 7.00a.m. on Monday, will last till March 25.(NAN)

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Metro

NAFDAC Clamps Down on Illegal Sachet Water Companies in Anambra

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The National Agency for Food Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has shut down some unregistered sachet water production factories in Anambra state.

The companies were said to be producing water in unhealthy environments and operating without subjecting their processes to regulatory standards.

Coordinator of NAFDAC in Anambra, Louis Mmadubuatta, told newsmen in Awka that the exercise was part of the routine surveillance of the agency with the aim of protecting the health of members of the public.

“We have over time visited a number of water factories that do not comply to good manufacturing standards and normally such places are shut until they comply and those we earlier closed have done so.

“Those places are sealed and we are not opening them until they respond to the regulatory action taken against them,” he said.

Mmadubuatta, who did not reveal the locations of the sealed companies for strategic reasons, warned companies engaging in illegal manufacturing of table water and other regulated products to desist from such activities.

He said the companies should go to NAFDAC and register their products and those whose licenses had expired should endeavour to renew them.

“We are still embarking on massive sanction activities against erring companies,” he said.

The Coordinator urged members of the public to assist NAFDAC with information on illegal table water production activities going on in their neighbourhood for swift reaction while assuring them of anonymity.

He further advised that consumers should look out for product name, production and expiry dates, NAFDAC number and batch number and if they had doubts they should reach the agency.

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Metro

Court Sentences Lady to Death by Hanging for Killing Enugu Make-up Artiste

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From Sylvia Udegbunam, Enugu

An Enugu State High Court, sitting in Enugu, has sentenced Chiamaka Ifezue to death by hanging for killing an Enugu-based make-up artist, Ijeoma Nweke.

The court, presided over by Justice Kenneth Okpe, in a two-hour judgement on Wednesday, found the accused guilty of killing the victim by forcing her to drink a poisonous substance.

The corpse of the make-up artist was found in Maryland within Enugu Metropolis on Monday.

The deceased, Nweke had left home on Wednesday November 11, 2020, for a job but went missing afterwards.

Her supposed client, having refused to disclose the location for the job, asked the deceased to stop at the Enugu State Broadcasting Service (ESBS) Bus Stop, where she would then be taken to the venue.

Nweke, having perceived foul play, sent the client’s phone number to her brother via text.

Her phones were unreachable after hours leading to suspicion that she might have been kidnapped.

This led to a frantic search for her by friends and relatives until early on Monday morning when her corpse was found at Maryland in Enugu.

Eyewitnesses said that her corpse was mutilated with a substance suspected to be acid.

While delivering the judgement, Justice Okpe, said every evidence pointed to the fact that the convict lured the deceased to her house where she poisoned the deceased and evacuated her body out of her house.

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