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British Airways: Again, Pilots suspend strike 

British Airways Pilots have suspended their third strike planned for the September 27th.

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alex cruz british airways, British Airways Strike: Pilots suspend third strike, Unauthorised flight diversion causes rift between British Airways, FAAN, British Airways to compensate passengers of diverted flights

British Airways’ Pilots have suspended their industrial action, which was to commence on September 27th, the third time.

This is after carrying out an earlier threat of a two-day strike action that cost the airline a total of £80 million over the lingering issue of pay disputes. 

The decision of the Pilots to cancel the strike was communicated by the British Airline Pilots’ Association (BALPA) General Secretary Brian Strutton in a statement. 

“Someone has to take the initiative to sort out this (pay) dispute and with no sign of that from BA the pilots have decided to take the responsible course,” Strutton said. 

What this means: The Pilots are now open for negotiation over the preferred increase in their pay as they have sobered up for the moment in a period of reflection. Knowing fully well the damage strike caused the brand.   

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[READ MORE: British Airways Pilots strike over pay disputes

Finally, a sigh of relief: The previous strike caused more than 1,700 flight cancellations as well as air-ticket refunds. A spokesman for the Airline who reacted to the new development promised to respond soonest while taking their time to weigh the whole situation. 

“We have just received this news. We are considering the implications and we will give updates in due course,” the spokesperson said. 

Prior to this, the Airline had begun cancelling flights scheduled for 27th September since last Thursday (due to fear of another strike); they promised to revoke that line of action and reinstate as many of the cancelled flights as possible, even though flight options for 27 September are still in doubt. They, however, promised to circulate the news to their customers before the date. 

What you should know: The airline was forced to cancel 1,700 flights last week during the pilots’ walkout over pay. Some 200,000 passengers had to change their travel plans because of the strikes. 

A glimmer of Hope: BALPA eagerly anticipates the round table discussion as it expects the Airline to change its approach and negotiate seriously with Pilots in order to dissolve the issue for good. 

BALPA General secretary Brian Strutton stated that the Pilots lifted the strike for common sense to prevail. Although he maintained that they have the right to announce further strike dates if the decision is not favourable with them. 

[ALSO READ: NSE lifts R.T. Briscoe’s shares suspension

The backstory: British Airways Pilots announced a three-day strike action over failure to settle a pay dispute that has persisted for a long time. The strike was expected to take place for three days – 9th, 10th and 27th of September.  

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The two-day mass action on September 9th and 10th cost the airline an estimated £40 million a day which took place for the first time in 100 years of its existence. The strike caused a cancellation of 1,700 flights and a disruption for 195,000 passengers. 

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 acknowledged 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 its hand to grant an astronomical salary increase, alongside juicy welfare packages since the company is now recording profits of £2 billion a year. 

[READ FURTHER: Pilots may ground British Airways in another new strike set to last 10 days

 

Reincarnated as a lover of stocks, Angel investors, seed funds, and anything aligned to tech or startups raising money, Joseph's work at Nairametrics involves following the money to wherever it leads. Before joining Nairametrics, he won an investigative journalism fellowship with ICIR, appeared in several national dallies, with hard-hitting opinions, features and investigative pieces. He has also engaged in content marketing and copywriting for a top e-commerce firm in Nigeria.

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Coronavirus

COVID-19 Update in Nigeria

On the 21st of September 2020, 195 new confirmed cases and 2 deaths were recorded in Nigeria.

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The spread of novel Corona Virus Disease (COVID-19) in Nigeria continues to record increases as the latest statistics provided by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control reveal Nigeria now has 57,437 confirmed cases.

On the 21st of September 2020, 195 new confirmed cases and 2 deaths were recorded in Nigeria, having carried out a total daily test of 1,162 samples across the country.

To date, 57,437 cases have been confirmed, 48,674 cases have been discharged and 1,100 deaths have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory. A total of 480,874  tests have been carried out as of September 21st, 2020 compared to 479,712 tests a day earlier.

COVID-19 Case Updates- 21st September 2020,

  • Total Number of Cases – 57,437
  • Total Number Discharged – 48,674
  • Total Deaths – 1,100
  • Total Tests Carried out – 480,874

According to the NCDC, the 195 new cases were reported from 11 states- Enugu (51), Gombe (40), Lagos (39), Plateau (23), FCT (15), Rivers (12), Kaduna (8), Ondo (3), Bauchi (2), Edo (1), Ogun (1).

Meanwhile, the latest numbers bring Lagos state total confirmed cases to 18,982, followed by Abuja (5,566), Oyo (3,254), Plateau (3,231), Edo (2,612), Kaduna (2,356), Rivers (2,255), Delta (1,799), Ogun (1,767), Kano (1,734), Ondo (1,600), Enugu (1,285), Ebonyi (1,038), Kwara (1,025), Abia (881), Katsina (848), Gombe (839), Osun (817),  Borno (741), and Bauchi (691).

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Imo State has recorded 562 cases, Benue (473), Nasarawa (448), Bayelsa (394),  Jigawa (322), Ekiti (317), Akwa Ibom (288), Niger (254), Adamawa (234), Anambra (232), Sokoto (161), Taraba (95), Kebbi (93), Cross River (85), Zamfara (78), Yobe (75), while Kogi state has recorded 5 cases only.

READ ALSO: COVID-19: Western diplomats warn of disease explosion, poor handling by government

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.

READ ALSO: Bill Gates says Trump’s WHO funding suspension is dangerous

 

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Business

AfCFTA: Nigeria securing approval to ratify agreement – Trade Minister

The Minister revealed that Nigeria has set up a National Action Committee on AfCFTA.

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AfCFTA: Nigeria securing approval to ratify agreement- Trade Minister, FG meets group to access AfCFTA's $650 billion market, UNIDO’s $60m investment programme to boost Nigeria’s industrialisation - FG, FG to strengthen economic ties with Turkey, FG moves to facilitate tax incentives for SMEs, Made-in-Nigeria vehicles gulp N364 billion from FG

Minister of Trade, Niyi Adebayo said Nigeria is currently in the process of securing approval to ratify the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement soon.

The Minister disclosed this during a meeting with the Secretary-General of the African Continental Free Trade Area(AfCFTA), Mene Wamkele on Monday.

Recall that Nairametrics reported last week Mr. Adebayo said that Nigeria is actively working to attract more foreign direct investments into key industries to meet the demands of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

“As we gear up to meet the demands of the enlarged continental market which will be fostered by AfCFTA, we are actively working to attract more foreign direct investments into key industries,” the Minister said.

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In today’s meeting, The Minister told the delegation that Nigeria has set up a National Action Committee on AfCFTA, which would implement Nigeria’s roll-out strategy in a bid to take advantage of the agreement. He added, “Nigeria is currently in the process of securing approval to ratify the agreement within the shortest possible time”.

The African Union announced in August that the first commercial deal of AfCFTA will be taking off on January 1, 2021.

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Business

FG inaugurates Committee on the Commercialization of the Nigeria Film Corporation

The Minister said that the FG is repositioning the NFC for effective service delivery.

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FG increases hate speech fine from N500,000 to N5 million, moves against monopoly and antitrust, Coronavirus, covid-19, Minister of information briefing

The Federal Government inaugurated a Steering Committee on the Commercialization of the Nigeria Film Corporation (NFC), with the aim of making Nigeria’s film industry a continental entertainment power.

This inauguration was performed by the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed in Abuja on Monday. The Minister added that the FG is repositioning the NFC for effective service delivery.

“What we are doing today is to simply reposition the NFC in a manner that will enable it to play the role statutorily assigned to it,” he said.

The Minister added that Nigeria’s film industry is a major boost for Nigerian soft power and entertainment, citing the need for repositioning by the FG as a means to enable effective service delivery for the film industry to grow.

The Minister added that Nigeria lags behind her film making counterparts in the film production value chain, citing Nigeria’s 142 movie theaters compared to 782 in South Africa and 11,209 in India and many others. He urged state governments to invest a part of their infrastructure budgets for the entertainment industry as a means to generate jobs and grow the GDP.

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“It is important to appeal, especially to our state governments, to invest in infrastructure in the industry. I don’t think it will be too much for the state governments to ensure they build at least one cinema house in each local government area of their state. That will give us additional 774 cinema houses, ” he said.

The Minister added that the role of the NFC is to regulate Nigeria’s film industry and organise professional practice in the sector and also addressed challenges facing the NFC like the inability to produce its own films for commercial purposes due to the law establishing the Corporation limits on its operational functions.

Lai Mohammed said the NFC will be repositioned as the FG has engaged the services of a Business Development Consultant to conduct due diligence on the corporation and the sector and recommend a strategy that is suitable for its reform and commercialization.

“Dear members of the SC, your appointment into this committee comes with huge trust and belief in your ability and capacity to make this reform happen. I therefore urge you to consider this a critical national assignment that requires unflinching commitment and zeal,” he stated.

The members of the Steering Committee are: Honourable Minister, Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, Alhaji Mohammed as Chairman; Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Information and Culture, Deaconess Grace Isu-Gekpe; Director-General, BPE, Mr. Alex Okoh; Managing Director, NFC, Dr. Chidia Maduekwe, and Director, Industries and Communications, BPE, Abdullahi Dikko, as Secretary.

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