Two days ago, British Airways flight operations were grounded as a result of an industrial action organised by British Airlines Pilots’ Association (BALPA) over pay disputes. The pilots have now resumed flight operations to various destinations affected by the strike action, Nigeria inclusive.
This was made known by the British Airways General Manager in Nigeria, Kola Olayinka, who confirmed the decision of the pilots to sheath their swords and resume flight operations in earnest. He stated that the strike ended yesterday by 5pm and normalcy was expected to return today, fully.
“The strike by BALPA ends today (Tuesday, September 10) by 5pm, so all flights would commence with immediate effect. All flights are operating tonight (September 10) out of Lagos by 10.30pm and out of Abuja tomorrow (September 11) morning,” Olayinka said.
Economic effect: The two-day mass action cost the airline an estimated £40 million a day which took place for the first time in 100 years of its existence. Recall that Nairametrics reported that the strike would last two days – September 9 and 10, causing a cancellation of 1,700 flights and a disruption for 195,000 passengers.
Crux of the matter: In their defence, the Airline offered a pay rise of 11.5% to the aggrieved pilots for three years and promised a raise of £200,000 for captains, however, these offers were met with dissatisfaction as the Pilots felt they deserved better, asking for an even bigger chunk of the company’s profits.
British Airways noted the pilots’ past sacrifice of taking pay cuts for the good of the company including salary cuts, pension cuts and total forfeiture of leave allowance. Notwithstanding, the Airline believes the strike action was BALPA’s way of forcing it to grant an astronomical salary increase, alongside juicy welfare packages since the company is now recording profits of £2 billion a year.
“We understand the frustration and disruption that the BALPA strike action have caused our customers. After many months of trying to resolve the pay dispute, we are extremely sorry that it has come to this.
“We remain ready and willing to return to talks with BALPA. Unfortunately, with no detail from BALPA on which pilots would strike, we had no way of predicting how many would come to work or which aircraft they are qualified to fly, so we had no option but to cancel nearly 100% of our flights.”
A fight to the finish: British Airways Pilots are still not done with their threats of industrial action that grounded the airline and forced it to lose £80 million in two days as a final strike has been scheduled for 27 September.
In conjunction with the BALPA, the pilots have called the airline to address their complaints immediately through negotiating before 27 September, approximately two weeks from now.
BALPA General Secretary, Brian Strutton, said, “Surely any reasonable employer would listen to such a clear message, stop threatening and bullying, and start working towards finding a solution.”
A statement from British Airline read: “The nature of our highly complex, global operation means that it will take some time to get back to a completely normal flight schedule however, we plan to fly more than 90% of our flights today.”
COVID-19 Update in Nigeria
On the 22nd of October 2020, 138 new confirmed cases and 2 deaths were recorded in Nigeria
The spread of novel Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria continues to record significant increases as the latest statistics provided by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control reveal Nigeria now has 61,805 confirmed cases.
On the 22nd of October 2020, 138 new confirmed cases and 2 deaths were recorded in Nigeria, having carried out a total daily test of 4,648 samples across the country.
To date, 61,805 cases have been confirmed, 56,985 cases have been discharged and 1,127 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. A total of 595,283 tests have been carried out as of October 22nd, 2020 compared to 590,635 tests a day earlier.
COVID-19 Case Updates- 22nd October 2020,
- Total Number of Cases – 61,805
- Total Number Discharged – 56,985
- Total Deaths – 1,1127
- Total Tests Carried out – 595,283
According to the NCDC, the 138 new cases were reported from 13 states – Katsina (44), Lagos (35), Kwara (15), Kaduna (13), Plateau (7), Imo (6), Adamawa (5) Rivers (4), Yobe (3), Ogun (2), Oyo (2), Osun (1), FCT (1).
Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 20,768, followed by Abuja (5,944), Plateau (3,594), Oyo (3,423), Rivers (2,746), Edo (2,648), Kaduna (2,585), Ogun (1,989), Delta (1,812), Kano (1,741), Ondo (1,659), Enugu (1,314), Kwara (1,065), Ebonyi (1,049), Katsina (948), Osun (919), Abia (898), Gombe (883). Borno (745), and Bauchi (710).
Imo State has recorded 613 cases, Benue (484), Nasarawa (478), Bayelsa (403), Ekiti (329), Jigawa (325), Akwa Ibom (295), Anambra (277), Niger (274), Adamawa (257), Sokoto (162), Taraba (122), Kebbi (93), Cross River (87), Yobe (82), Zamfara (79), while Kogi state has recorded 5 cases only.
Lock Down and Curfew
In a move to combat the spread of the pandemic disease, President Muhammadu Buhari directed the cessation of all movements in Lagos and the FCT for an initial period of 14 days, which took effect from 11 pm on Monday, 30th March 2020.
The movement restriction, which was extended by another two-weeks period, has been partially put on hold with some businesses commencing operations from May 4. On April 27th, 2020, Nigeria’s President, Muhammadu Buhari declared an overnight curfew from 8 pm to 6 am across the country, as part of new measures to contain the spread of the COVID-19. This comes along with the phased and gradual easing of lockdown measures in FCT, Lagos, and Ogun States, which took effect from Saturday, 2nd May 2020, at 9 am.
On Monday, 29th June 2020 the federal government extended the second phase of the eased lockdown by 4 weeks and approved interstate movement outside curfew hours with effect from July 1, 2020. Also, on Monday 27th July 2020, the federal government extended the second phase of eased lockdown by an additional one week.
On Thursday, 6th August 2020 the federal government through the secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 announced the extension of the second phase of eased lockdown by another four (4) weeks.
Breaking: Senatorial, State House of Assembly bye-elections postponed – INEC
Senatorial and State House of Assembly bye-elections slated to hold on October 31 in 11 states have been postponed by INEC.
The 6 Senatorial and 9 State House of Assembly bye-elections slated to hold on October 31 in 11 states of the Federation has been postponed by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC). The vacancies were as a result of death and resignation of previous members.
According to the statement issued by its National Commissioner & Chairman, Information and Voter Education, Festus Okoye Esq., INEC said the decision was taken after meeting with the 37 Resident Electoral Commissioners (RECs) on Thursday.
— INEC Nigeria (@inecnigeria) October 22, 2020
Though the commission did not categorically state the reason for the postponement, feelers are that it may not be unconnected with the raging #EndSARS protests across the nation.
#EndSARS: President Buhari issues stern warning to hoodlums
The President has issued a warning to hoodlums who have hijacked the #EndSARS protest to promote unrest.
President Buhari, in his state of the Nation address to Nigerians this evening has warned hoodlums and the conflict entrepreneurs who have hijacked the #EndSARS protest to promote unrest.
The President explained that the choice to demonstrate peacefully is a fundamental right of citizens as enshrined in Section 40 of the Constitution and other enactments.
“I must warn those who have hijacked and misdirected the initial, genuine and well-intended protest of some of our youths in parts of the country, against the excesses of some members of the now-disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS),” he said.
President Muhammad Buhari frowned against the desperate and inhumane actions of mobsters, arsonists and hoodlums which has led to the loss of human lives, sexual violence, attacks on correctional facilities, as well as public and private properties which were completely destroyed or vandalized.
He explained that these bad actions will not be tolerated, as it is not in line with the legitimate expression of grievance of the youth of the country. He reiterated that the Government shall continue to ensure that liberty and freedom, as well as the fundamental rights of all citizens, are protected.
What you should know from the President’s State of the Nation address
The President reiterated that the government has the obligation to protect lives and properties, and ensure that the citizens go about their daily businesses freely and protected from acts of violence.
However, he appealed to protesters to note and take advantage of the various well-thought-out initiatives of this administration designed to make their lives better and more meaningful, and resist the temptation of being used by some subversive elements to cause chaos with the aim of truncating our nascent democracy.
The President, however, warned the youth that doing otherwise will amount to undermining national security as well as law and order, which under no circumstances will be tolerated.
President Buhari thus called on the youths to discontinue the street protests and constructively engage the government in finding solutions, as their voices have been heard loud and clear.