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The Nigerian government has approved the resumption of domestic flight as soon as practicable inline with existing international and local guidelines on COVID-19.

The Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, Boss Mustapha, who made this known at its bi-weekly briefing on Monday, said Nigerians should expect a hike in airfare.

“The domestic aviation services is allowed to resume operations as soon as practicable in line with existing international and local guidelines on COVID-19,” he said.

He said the resumption of flight operations would come with an increase in airfare.

He explained that the increment of products and services was not peculiar to the aviation sector.

According to him, prices of things have surged since the coronavirus outbreak.

“Prices have increased generally. The prices of things prior to COVID-19 is different from what it used to be.

“Even in the market, things have increased. That is the difficult thing that is going to confront us as a people and because of the protocols that are going to be introduced in the whole aviation business, you will definitely expect an increase in the prices,” he said.

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Nigeria shut its airports, except for essential flights, in March as the country began to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic which has caused over 500 deaths in the country.

The Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 had earlier announced that some domestic flights would resume on June 21.

The aviation ministry, however, said it needed more time to prepare.

The ministry on Saturday conducted a test run of airports facilities to determine their readiness for the resumption of domestic flight operations.

Hike

Mr Mustapha said the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has already increased its customer service fare by hundred per cent.

He said this review in fare is expected in government institutions responsible for managing the aviation industry.

“Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) has already increased its customer service fare with a hundred per cent.

“It used to be a thousand naira for customer service but I think it has increased to N2000 and that is even before the operation starts. So, it is not only the airlines.

“Even government institutions who have the responsibility of managing the aviation industry will review their charges because that is the nature of what COVID-19 has thrust on the people of the country and all over the world,” he said.

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He also said the social distancing measures have an influence on the airfare increase.

“There is also going to be the maintenance of social distancing in the aircraft. If an aircraft has a capacity of 150 people, they might now be restricted to about a 100 or 75 passengers.

“Flying comes with a component of costs. Aviation fuel is one of it, salaries for the pilots, services that are paid for to the aviation industry institutions are also things to consider.

“Every time you see a plane take off, there is an attendant cost to that. Who will bear the cost? It will be shared; the passengers will take part of it and the business owners will also take part in the cost and you know that nobody runs a business at a loss,” he said.

Intervention

The PTF chairman said the federal government will assist the aviation industry “at a time the world is fighting this pandemic.”

“I believe that the aviation industry is one of the industries that is hard hit by this COVID-19 because it is an industry that is designed for moving people up and down and for the last three months, they have not done anything.

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“So, I think as part of the intervention of government through either the Central Bank of Nigeria or the stimulus package in the economic sustainability plan of the (N) 2.3 trillion, I believe the aviation industry will have a part of it.

“How is it going to be administered? The minister for aviation will be in a better position to say how,” he said.

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Abass Sulaiman Adegoke, well known as Adegoke is a student of Federal Polytechnic Ede studying Civil Engineering, He is a media enthusiast, loves traveling, and has a special interest in personal development.

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News

Nigeria’s COVID-19 Cases Hit 30,249 As NCDC Confirms 460 New Infections

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The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has confirmed 460 new cases of COVID-19 in the country, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 30,249.

The centre disclosed this on Wednesday night via its verified Twitter handle.

“On the 8th of July 2020, 460 new confirmed cases and 15 deaths were recorded in Nigeria. No new state has reported a case in the last 24 hours.

“Till date, 30249 cases have been confirmed, 12373 cases have been discharged and 684 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.

“The 460 new cases are reported from 21 states; Lagos-150, Rivers-49, Oyo-43, Delta-38, FCT-26, Anambra-20, Kano-20, Plateau-18, Edo-14, Bayelsa-13, Enugu-13, Osun-12, Kwara-10, Borno-8, Ogun-7, Kaduna-6, Imo-4, Bauchi-3, Gombe-3, Niger-2, Adamawa-1.”

See the breakdown of cases by state below;

States Affected No. of Cases (Lab Confirmed) No. of Cases (on admission) No. Discharged No. of Deaths
Lagos 11,670 9,839 1,698 133
FCT 2,348 1,614 699 35
Oyo 1,573 743 811 19
Edo 1,503 536 910 57
Delta 1,323 838 454 31
Kano 1,291 210 1,029 52
Rivers 1,284 404 836 44
Ogun 1,057 372 663 22
Kaduna 889 288 589 12
Katsina 628 164 441 23
Borno 563 75 453 35
Ondo 550 406 124 20
Gombe 524 116 387 21
Bauchi 519 9 497 13
Ebonyi 503 -3 500 6
Plateau 478 223 241 14
Enugu 431 163 256 12
Abia 400 179 218 3
Imo 356 287 61 8
Jigawa 318 308 10
Kwara 307 136 162 9
Bayelsa 282 124 141 17
Nasarawa 234 113 113 8
Osun 210 119 84 7
Sokoto 153 2 135 16
Niger 124 30 87 7
Benue 121 80 35 6
Akwa Ibom 112 38 71 3
Adamawa 100 22 71 7
Anambra 93 27 57 9
Kebbi 86 16 63 7
Zamfara 76 71 5
Yobe 61 2 51 8
Ekiti 45 3 40 2
Taraba 27 16 11
Cross River 5 1 3 1
Kogi 5 3 2
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EFCC picks Director of Operations, Mohammed Umar to replace Magu

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Director of Operations, Mohammed Umar, has been picked to oversee the affairs of the commission in the absence of its suspended acting chairman, Ibrahim Magu.

This was disclosed to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) by a top official of EFCC on Tuesday.

NAN reports that the source, who wished to be anonymous, claimed Umar was chosen by the “EFCC’s hierarchy” after Magu was suspended.

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The source, however, disclosed the commission had not received any official communication on Magu’s suspension.

A presidential committee is currently probing the activities of EFCC under Magu.

This followed an indictment by the Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami.

On Monday, Magu was picked up by security operatives said to be from the Department of State Services, DSS, and taken to the Presidential Villa, Abuja as part of the ongoing investigation.

READ ALSO  BREAKING: Oyetola extend lockdown by 2 weeks, Gives people grace of two days to re-stock.

EFCC’s Head of Media and Publicity, Dele Oyewale, however, said Magu was only invited for questioning.

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