Flight crew members will now be required to wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and observe Infection, Prevention and Control (IPC) measures for the duration of their flights.
They would also be required to undergo mandatory COVID-19 test every fortnight, at the expense of their employers.
This is part of the mandatory COVID-19 protocols approved by the Federal Ministry of Health for the aviation industry, as the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) prepares to gradually ease the lockdown on its operations on June 7.
NCAA Director-General, Captain Musa Nuhu, stated this at a virtual event organised by the Aviation Safety Round Table Initiative (ART) titled COVID-19: The Challenges and Opportunity for Nigeria’s Aviation Value Chain, During and Post.
According to Nuhu who sent letters to airline operators, airports, and other service providers, these new protocols override existing practices where the international flight crew members are quarantined for 14 days upon their return to Nigeria.
In addition, the airlines must also conduct orientation and sensitisation of their crew on Infection, Prevention and Control (IPC) measures, in addition to having adequate stock of PPE, minimum 70% alcohol-based hand sanitizers, and Universal Precaution Kits (UPK) on board every aircraft.
The letter reads; “Onboard the flight crew will request passengers wash their hands after using the lavatory, apply disinfectant spray in lavatory every 60 minutes during the flight and maintain a safe distance between passengers and themselves; avoid direct physical contact and serve only pre-packed meals to passengers.
“Flight deck crew must wear non-medical face masks and gloves but can remove face masks when the cockpit door is closed. They must also ensure safe removal of gloves after performing specific tasks and avoid touching their face and eyes with unclean hands.”
The new protocols according to Nuhu, are a result of a proposal earlier sent by the NCAA to the Ministry of Aviation for approval.
Recall that on March 13, President Muhammadu Buhari had announced a shutdown of airport operations for one month. The shutdown was initially extended by two weeks and then later extended by four weeks; all part of measures to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.
The decision to commence flights at the airports on June 7, according to the NCAA, is to avoid chocking the “system”.
The airports where operations will commence are the Murtala Mohammed Airport, Ikeja; Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport, Abuja; Aminu Kano Airport, Kano and the Port Harcourt Airport, Choba, Rivers State.
“We may resume domestic operations with four or five airports and we hope to expand as we get better. We don’t want to rush everything at the same time and get it choked up,” he said.
On the issue of physical distancing…
The issue of a 2 metre physical distance has, however, not been concluded in the newly approved protocols, as the NCAA has stated that airlines may not be able to adhere to it.
“Every money is important and we cannot achieve the two-meter physical distance. We are hopeful in the next few days we can resolve those issues and allow the airlines to commence operations,” he said.
In his presentation, Air Peace Chairman, Mr Allen Onyema, also disagreed with plans to leave the middle seats of aircraft free as that could further affect the revenue of the airlines.
He suggested instead that the government provide intervention for local carriers to enable them retain their workers as the pandemic has bored a deep hole in their pockets.
“We should be asking the government for specific things that would help retain jobs. Job retention should be first and foremost. These people’s livelihood are endangered and we must do everything possible to keep their jobs.”
House of Reps to make Youths globally competitive
House of Representatives is determined to make the Youths globally competitive.
“Facts don’t lie, a government that has devoted N500bn to youth empowerment every year. There’s Trader Moni, N-Power, and several others, they are all there,” he added.
Gbajabiamila added that the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration has done a lot about youth empowerment and is ready to do more.
COVID-19: Ogun orders full reopening of churches, mosques, hotels
Religious centres and other public places have been reopened following the success recorded in flattening the curve of COVID-19.
The Ogun State Government has ordered the full reopening of churches, mosques, businesses, hotels, and entertainment centres across the state.
This was disclosed by the State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Kunle Somorin, via the state’s Twitter handle on Wednesday.
Abiodun stated that the religious centres and other public places had been reopened, following the success recorded in flattening the curve of COVID-19.
According to him, the government is aware that many people are just recovering from the economic hardship imposed by COVID-19, as their activities had been affected by the lockdown, while necessary measures had been put in place to combat the pandemic.
He stated, “In the process of rebuilding the economy, the State Government was irrevocably committed to the successful implementation of the “Building our Future Together” agenda, and would ensure everything possible for people to have increased prosperity that would place the State on a sound footing towards continued development.
“Government would improve on testing, just as it continues to monitor the development and not hesitate to do selective lockdown should there be any flagrant disobedience to the set COVID-19 protocols.”
COVID-19: Ogun orders full reopening of churches, mosque, hotels
Pleased with the drop of COVID-19 infections in Ogun State, @dabiodunMFR, has announced that all hotels, viewing centres, marquees, event centres, suites, guest houses, motels, and establishments providing…. pic.twitter.com/sMiUe3DUt5
— Ogun State Government – OGSG (@OGSG_Official) October 28, 2020
What you should know
Governor Abiodun had closed religious centres, businesses and schools in March, as part of moves to flatten the curve of the coronavirus.
He later announced the reopening of only worship centres and schools in August.
Abiodun pegged the number of worshippers for each service at 200, and insisted that services must not exceed one and a half hours.
CBN reveals framework for the N75 billion Youth Investment Fund
The Nigerian Youth Investment Fund will be funded through the NIRSAL MFB window of the CBN.
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has revealed the implementation framework for the Nigerian Youth Investment Fund.
This was disclosed in a publication by the Development Finance Department under the auspices of the Central Bank of Nigeria.
The CBN stated that the Nigerian Youth Investment Fund (N-YIF) would be funded through NIRSAL MFB window, with an initial take-off seed capital of N12.5 billion.
The N-YIF aims to financially empower Nigerian youths to generate at least 500,000 jobs between 2020 and 2023.
Objectives of the scheme:
Improve access to finance for youths and youth-owned enterprises for national development.
Generate much-needed employment opportunities to curb youth restiveness.
Boost the managerial capacity of the youths, and develop their potentials to become the future large corporate organizations.
Explore Data on the Nairametrics Research Website
The fund targets young people between the ages of 18 and 35 years.
Beneficiaries of NMFB, TCF and AgSMEIS loans, and other government loan schemes that remain unpaid are also not eligible to participate.
Individuals (unregistered businesses) shall be determined based on activity/nature of projects subject to the maximum of N250,000.
Registered businesses (Business name, Limited Liability, Cooperative, Commodity Association) shall be determined by activity/nature of projects subject to the maximum of N3.0 million (including working capital).
The tenor of the intervention is for a Maximum of 5 years, depending on the nature of the business and the assets acquired, of which interest rate of not more than 5% under the intervention shall be charged annually.
The Federal Ministry of Youth and Sports Development (FMYSD) will collaborate with relevant stakeholders to identify potential training for training/mentoring.
The youths that are duly screened (and undergo the mandatory training where applicable) shall be advised to login to the portal provided by the NMFB to apply for the facility.