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Air Peace Lagos-London tickets sold out till September, says Onyema



Air Peace Lagos-London tickets sold out till September, says Allen Onyema

Chief executive officer of Air Peace, Allen Onyema, says his company has sold out tickets for the Lagos-London flights until September 2024.

Air Peace, Nigeria’s flag carrier, on March 30, commenced its Lagos-London flight services.

Speaking during an interview with Arise TV on Monday, Onyema said the airline owns over 30 planes and has made orders for 33 additional aircraft.

“At the end of the day, Air Peace will be owning over 60 aircraft,” he said.

“When you say what has it been like, right from the day we published our fares, even that inaugural flight got sold out within days.

“It got sold out in days and even up to September. So, the traffic is there; however, the last 48 hours has not been easy.”

According to Onyema, Air Peace was told by Gatwick Airport to deposit over £2 million before starting operations.

“Are British Airways and Virgins paying that amount of money to Nigeria airports as security deposits? And when you ask them when you will get this money back, they would tell you until you stop flying to Gatwick,” he said.

He said Air Peace and the airport started negotiations and “they brought the amount down to some level”.

Onyema had also said the airline faced internal and external obstacles before it could commence the Lagos-London operations.



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Obasanjo visits Nigeria’s First Lady 48 hours after wearing ‘Tinubu cap



Obasanjo visits Nigeria’s First Lady 48 hours after wearing ‘Tinubu cap’

Former President Olusegun Obasanjo, on Monday met with the First Lady, Oluremi Tinubu.

Obasanjo’s meeting Mrs Tinubu was made public by the First Lady’s Media Aide, Busola Kukoyi via X.

Sharing photos of the two individuals, Kukoyi wrote: “Former President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and the First Lady of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Senator Oluremi Tinubu after receiving the Former President who came felicitating on the Sallah Celebration on Monday 17th June.”

This is coming barely 48 hours after Obasanjo was seen donning a cap with President Bola Tinubu’s insignia.

DAILY POST reported a video of Obasanjo wearing a cap branded with Tinubu’s insignia at an event attended by some African dignitaries.

Obasanjo and Tinubu are known to belong to different political affiliations despite coming from the same Southwest geopolitical zone.

During the 2023 presidential election, the former President supported the Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi.

Before the election, Tinubu had visited Obasanjo at his residence in Abeokuta, Ogun State, while seeking an endorsement, but the former President opted for Obi.

The former President had criticised the Tinubu’s administration’s handling of its ongoing reforms and the coup d’etat in Niger Republic.

Source: Daily post

READ ALSO  Presidency counters New York Times, says Tinubu inherited dead economy
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Multichoice succumbs, readjusts subscription prices for Dstv, GOtv



A Competition and Consumer Protection Tribunal sitting in Abuja has granted an application for substituted service of the interim order,

Following a court order mandating it to halt the move to hike prices, MultiChoice has readjusted its subscription rates for DStv and GOtv users in Nigeria.

The company had vowed to challenge the order of the Competition and Consumer Protection Tribunal’s ruling in Abuja after reporting a decline in its subscriber base in Nigeria, leading to the loss of over a million subscribers.

MultiChoice has reflected the readjustment on its company’s apps as at Sunday, June 16, 2024.

Due to the adjustments, DStv subscribers will now pay N29,500 instead of N37,000 for the Premium package, while Compact+ package subscribers can now pay N19,800 instead of the new price of N25,000.

The readjustment now have Compact Bouquet subscribers paying N12,500 previously being charged instead of N15,700, while Confam package subscribers will pay the old price of N7,400 instead of N9,300 per month.

For the Yanga package subscribers, old rate of N4,200 will be paid against N5,100 placed as new rate; while Padi subscribers will pay the former price of N2,950 instead of the N3,600.

Same goes for GOtv subscribers who are now required to pay the old rates of N12,500 for the Super+ package instead of N15,700.

GOtv Super users are required to pay N7,600 from N9,600, which the company charged; GOtv Max subscribers are to pay N5,700; GOtv Joli, N3,950; and N2,700 for GOtv Jinja.


READ ALSO  Minimum Wage: Consider economic realities, Tripartite Committee tells Organised Labour
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Minimum Wage: Consider economic realities, Tripartite Committee tells Organised Labour



Meeting on the ongoing negotiations on new minimum wage has been adjourned till Wednesday after the organised labour

The Tripartite Committee on National Minimum Wage said at the weekend that organised labour should reconsider the amount it was demanding as national minimum wage, based on current realities.

Chairman of the committee, Goni Aji, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja that labour should exercise more flexibility in its negotiation, based on current economic considerations and non-monetary incentives, which the federal government had so far provided for workers.

However, a chieftain of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Sunny Onuesoke, berated labour, claiming Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) have been selfish in their negotiation for minimum wage for workers.

Onuesoke said at the weekend in Asaba that the labour unions had ignored the effect of their wage demand on private sector workers and people in the informal sector, who he said formed the largest workforce in the country.

Aji listed government’s recent incentives for workers to include N35,000 wage award for all treasury-paid federal workers, N100 billion for the procurement of gas-fuelled busses, and conversion to gas kits.

He stated that the others were N125 billion conditional grant, financial inclusion to small and medium scale enterprises, and N25,000 each to be shared to 15 million households for three months.

According to him, the N185 billion palliative loans to states to cushion the effects of fuel subsidy removal and the N200 billion to support the cultivation of hectares of land to boost food production, should also be taken into consideration by organised labour.

READ ALSO  Presidency counters New York Times, says Tinubu inherited dead economy

The tripartite committee chairman said there was another N75 billion to strengthen the manufacturing sector and N1 trillion student loans for higher education. He also cited the release of 42,000 metric tonnes of grains from strategic reserves and the purchase and distribution of 60,000 metric tonnes of rice to the millers’ association.

Aji urged organised labour to consider the recent salary increase of 25 per cent and 35 per cent on all consolidated salary structures for federal workers and the 90 per cent subsidy on health costs for federal civil servants registered on the health insurance programme and accept the N62,000 being offered by the federal government.

He maintained that the light rail commissioned in Abuja was to relieve transportation costs until the end of the year, stating that it is a landmark achievement that would cushion the effect of the removal of fuel subsidy.

Aji said in addition to “the freedom of civil servants to engage in agriculture, the federal government has approved the inclusion of ICT services for alternate sources of income”.

He said the committee agreed that where major and small businesses were closing down with the consequent loss of jobs, the outcome of a new minimum wage should be such that it would not trigger further massive job losses.

He further said linking the strike due to electricity hikes with the wage determination was not fair to the negotiating parties.

Organised labour had demanded N250,000 as minimum wage per month. However, the federal government and Organised Private Sector (OPS) offered N62,000 per month.

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Labour also faulted a recent statement by President Bola Tinubu during a meeting with some governors and members of the National Assembly on the occasion of the country’s 25th Democracy Day anniversary. Tinubu had said the government would only be able to pay its workers what the country could afford.

The president said, “Senate President, Deputy Senate President, you will get a notice from me if I have changed my mind on minimum wage. We are going to do it — what Nigeria can afford, what you can afford, what I can afford. They ask you to cut your coat according to your size if you have size at all.”

Organised labour began the minimum wage negotiation with a demand for over N615,000, which it later slashed to N250,000. But the federal government initially said it could only pay N48,000, an amount that was increased to N62,000, and now awaiting presidential decision.

Onuesoke accused labour of selfishness in their negotiation for minimum wage for workers.

The former Delta State governorship aspirant told journalists that organised labour had engaged in reckless agitation by trying to force the federal government to succumb to their terms.

He alleged that organised labour acted like politicians, stressing that their obnoxious demand would hurt the common man, who does not earn a salary or wage, and those in the private sector, including traders, artisans, and those in the rural areas, which constitute the largest labour force in the country.

Onuesoke stated that labour should review their demand by considering the plight of the larger percentage of Nigerians who were not on the payroll of government. He said this percentage constituted the largest population of the workforce in Nigeria compared to those working for the government, who were less than one per cent of the entire Nigerian population.

READ ALSO  Obasanjo visits Nigeria’s First Lady 48 hours after wearing ‘Tinubu cap

The PDP chieftain stated that organised labour should have focused their agitation on how the federal government could reduce inflation and the prices of goods and services.

Onuesoke stated, “TUC and NLC are selfish. They are the same thing with the political leadership. They are agitating for the increment of their wage. What happens to the private sector, the traders, artisans and even the unemployed Nigerians roaming our streets? Who is going to increase their wages? They forget that once there is wage increase there will be hyperinflation.

“Why are they agitating for themselves salary increment, like the way our lawmakers are agitating for their own salaries and allowances increase? How many salary increases did they agitate for traders, private sector, artisans and the unemployed among others?

“I expected them to agitate on how the federal government can reduce inflation or how the prices of goods and services should be reduced, instead of agitating for wage increment for themselves alone at the expense of the larger population of Nigerians.”

Source: This Day


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Presidency counters New York Times, says Tinubu inherited dead economy



On the invitation of the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, Mark Rutte, President Bola Tinubu will on Tuesday, April 23,

The Presidency stated, on Sunday, that President Bola Tinubu inherited a dead economy but was determined to resolve the nation’s economic crisis.

It was reacting to a New York Times feature story titled “Nigeria Confronts Its Worst Economic Crisis in a Generation,” published on June 11.

The feature,authoured by Ruth Maclean and Ismail Auwal, highlighted the severe economic challenges facing Nigeria.

It noted that soaring inflation and the plummeting national currency contribute to the economic crisis, with millions struggling to feed.

“The pain is widespread. Unions strike to protest salaries of around $20 a month. People die in stampedes, desperate for free sacks of rice. Hospitals are overrun with women wracked by spasms from calcium deficiencies.

“The crisis is largely believed to be rooted in two major changes implemented by a president elected 15 months ago: the partial removal of fuel subsidies and the floating of the currency, which together have caused major price rises,” the New York Times article said.

But in a statement on Sunday, the Special Adviser to the President on Information and Strategy, Bayo Onanuga, said the feature reflected “the typical predetermined, reductionist, derogatory, and denigrating way foreign media establishments have reported on African countries for several decades.”

“Most significant about the report was that it painted the dire experiences of some Nigerians amid the inflationary spiral of the last year and blamed it all on the policies of the new administration. The report, based on several interviews, is at best jaundiced, all gloom and doom, as it never mentioned the positive aspects in the same economy as well as the amelioration policies being implemented by the central and state governments.

READ ALSO  Minimum Wage: Consider economic realities, Tripartite Committee tells Organised Labour

“To be sure, President Tinubu did not create the economic problems Nigeria faces today. He inherited them. As a respected economist in our country once put it, Tinubu inherited a dead economy. The economy was bleeding and needed quick surgery to avoid being plunged into the abyss, as happened in Zimbabwe and Venezuela,” Onanuga argued.

The presidential aide said the situation that Tinubu met on the ground necessitated his policy decisions in May/June 2023, which included ending the fuel subsidy regime and unifying the multiple exchange rates.

Onanuga said for decades, Nigeria had sustained a fuel subsidy system that consumed $84.39bn from public funds between 2005 and 2022, despite the country’s significant infrastructural deficits and the urgent need for improved social services for its citizens.

He said, “The state oil firm, NNPC, the sole importer, had amassed trillions of naira in debts for absorbing the unsustainable subsidy payments in its books. By the time President Tinubu took over the leadership of the country, there was no provision made for fuel subsidy payments in the national budget beyond June 2023.

“The budget itself had a striking feature: it planned to spend 97 per cent of revenue servicing debt, with little left for recurrent or capital expenditure. The previous government had resorted to massive borrowing to cover such costs. Like oil, the exchange rate was also being subsidised by the government, with an estimated $1.5bn spent monthly by the CBN to ‘defend’ the currency against the unquenchable demand for the dollar by the country’s import-dependent economy.

READ ALSO  Obasanjo visits Nigeria’s First Lady 48 hours after wearing ‘Tinubu cap

“By keeping the rate low, arbitrage grew as a gulf existed between the official rate and the rate being used by over 5,000 BDCs that were previously licensed by the Central Bank. What was more, the country was failing to fulfil its remittance obligations to airlines and other foreign businesses, such that FDIs and investment in the oil sector dried up, and notably Emirate Airlines cut off the Nigerian route.”

Onanuga said it was only necessary for Tinubu to address the critical issues in public finance from day one by eliminating the subsidy regime and curbing the benefits that extended to neighboring countries.

“After some months of the storm, with the naira sliding as low as N1,900 to the US dollar, some stability is being restored, though there remain some challenges.

“The exchange rate is now below N1,500 to the dollar, and there are prospects that the naira could regain its muscle and appreciate to between N1,000 and N1,200 before the end of the year. The economy recorded a trade surplus of N6.52tn in Q1, as against a deficit of N1.4tn in Q4 of 2023. Portfolio investors have streamed in as long-term investors. When Diageo wanted to sell its stake in Guinness Nigeria, it had the Singaporean conglomerate, Tolaram, ready for the uptake.

“With the World Bank extending a $2.25bn loan and other loans by the AfDB and Afreximbank coming in, Nigeria has become bankable again. This is all because the reforms being implemented have restored some confidence.

“The inflationary rate is slowing down, as shown in the figures released by the National Bureau of Statistics for April. Food inflation remains the biggest challenge, and the government is working very hard to rein it in with increased agricultural production,” Onanuga said.

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He added that the Tinubu administration, along with the 36 states, was diligently working to increase food production to lower costs.

According to him, certain state governments, including Lagos and Akwa Ibom, have established retail shops to sell raw food items to residents at prices lower than those in the market.

He added, “The Tinubu government, in November last year, in consonance with its food emergency declaration, invested heavily in dry-season farming, giving farmers incentives to produce wheat, maize, and rice. The CBN has donated N100bn worth of fertiliser to farmers, and numerous incentives are being implemented. In the western part of Nigeria, the six governors have announced plans to invest massively in agriculture.

“With all the plans being executed, inflation, especially food inflation, will soon be tamed.

“Nigeria is not the only country in the world facing a rising cost of living crisis. The USA, too, is contending with a similar crisis, with families finding it hard to make ends meet. US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen raised this concern recently. Europe is similarly in the throes of a cost-of-living crisis. As those countries are trying to confront the problem, the Tinubu administration is also working hard to overturn the economic problems in Nigeria.”


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Eid-el-Kabir: Sanusi leads durbar activities in Kano despite police ban



Eid-el-Kabir: Sanusi leads durbar activities in Kano despite police ban

Muhammadu Sanusi, Emir of Kano, participated in the traditional Sallah durbar activities in the state on Sunday.

Sanusi earlier led the Eid prayer at the Kofar Mata Jumu’at mosque, attended by Abba Yusuf, governor of Kano, and other government officials.

After the Eid prayer, Sanusi was seen riding a horse surrounded by many of his followers, including those blowing “Kaakaki,” a local trumpet, and playing drums.

A durbar is a festival held during Eid-el-Kabir and Eid-el-Fitri celebrations. It begins with prayers, followed by a parade of the Emir and his entourage on horses.

On Thursday, the police command in Kano banned all durbar activities during the Eid-El-Kabir celebration.

Abdullahi Kiyawa, police spokesperson in Kano, said the ban was to ensure the safety of lives and properties in the larger community during the celebration.

Meanwhile, Aminu Ado Bayero, the deposed Emir of Kano, observed his Eid prayer at the Nassarawa palace.

The Daily Trust reported that Bayero had announced the cancellation of durbar activities during the Eid-el-Kabir celebration.

Sanusi and Bayero are currently laying claim to the position of Emir of Kano.

The controversy began in May after Sanusi was reinstated as Emir by the governor of Kano.

Sanusi’s reinstatement followed the repeal of the law that Abdullahi Ganduje, the former governor of Kano, used to depose and exile him in 2020.

On May 23, a federal high court in Kano ordered the state government not to enforce the Emirate Council Repeal Law 2024.

Bayero returned to Kano from a trip to Ogun and moved into a palace in Nassarawa LGA.

READ ALSO  Eid-el-Kabir: Sanusi leads durbar activities in Kano despite police ban

But the Kano governor ordered Bayero’s arrest “for creating tension” in the state.

Source: Dailytrust


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Senator Adeola Solomon sets for battle of his political career



Senator Adeola Solomon Sets for Battle of His Political Career

Those who know Senator Adeola Solomon will agree that the man, fondly called Yayi, is an intelligent man who possesses all the qualities of a good politician. He understands politics very well like the back of his hands and has not achieved anything without adequate preparation.

A deep pocket, Adeola is an incurable dreamer. And luckily, most of his dreams have come true, as evidenced by his current position. Aside from his huge financial war chest and mammoth followership, he is also known for his strategy.

However, if you ask the lawmaker about his most cherished ambition, he would tell you; the number one job of Ogun State. This is no more news to many familiar with the political situation of the South-west region of Nigeria.

Many would recall that he tested the waters in 2019 but failed to realise this after his collision with the then-governor of the state, Ibikunle Amosun, who never hid his abhorrence for him.

Initially, he remained unfazed. But when reality dawned on him, the Yewa-born member of the National Assembly chickened out from the race; and he hurriedly ran back to Lagos to retain his seat as Senator representing Lagos West as the odds against him grew. Thank God he followed the saying of the wise that says only a fool tests the depth of water with both feet. He was able to fight and run away to come back another day.

As part of his stratagem, in 2023, Society Watch gathered from reliable sources close to the senator, that he relocated and contested representing his ancestral district of Ogun West Senatorial District on the platform of the All Progressives Party, APC.

READ ALSO  Presidency counters New York Times, says Tinubu inherited dead economy

This was never easy at the beginning, it was tough. But for someone like Yayi, he has envisaged this: he beat and pummelled his opponents. That signified the beginning of a new chapter of his political trajectory. But the battle is not yet over for Adeola even as he aspires to take over the number one seat in 2027.

A source revealed that he is about to face the battle of his political career as he has so many Herculean tasks to surmount. Another source hinted there is a planned gang up against his goal, even from those that he has trusted and worked with in the past. However, betrayal and treachery are not strange to the lawmaker considered as one of the most experienced politicians since Nigeria returned to democracy 25 years ago. As a source disclosed, he is likely ready to face the battle.

Source: Thisday


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