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Ministry of Health approves COVID-19 protocols for aviation sector, as airports prepare to resume

Flight attendants would be required to undergo mandatory COVID-19 test every fortnight, at the expense of their employers.

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NCAA, Ministry of Health approves COVID-19 protocols for aviation sector, as airports prepare to resume

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.

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(READ MORE: COVID -19: Nigerian companies have records of innovation to turn pandemic challenge to gold)

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.

Aviation sector to contribute over N1.2 trillion to Nigeria's GDP by 2020, Nigerians might be hit with higher ticket price as airlines battle fuel scarcity, fuel price increase , Aviation: Aviation sector gasps for stimulus in worst ever crisis, Ministry of Health approves COVID-19 protocols for aviation sector, as airports prepare to resume

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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”.

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(READ MORE: Air Peace to evacuate stranded Indians from Lagos to Kerala)

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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.

Airlines want more women stakeholders in aviation sectors , Ministry of Health approves COVID-19 protocols for aviation sector, as airports prepare to resume

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.

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“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.”

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Ruth Okwumbu has a MSc. and BSc. in Mass Communication from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, and Delta state university respectively. Prior to her role as analyst at Nairametrics, she had a progressive six year writing career. As a Business Analyst with Narametrics, she focuses on profiles of top business executives, founders, startups and the drama surrounding their successes and challenges. You may contact her via [email protected]

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ENDSARS

House of Reps to make Youths globally competitive

House of Representatives is determined to make the Youths globally competitive.

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Closing of Nigerian-owned shops in Ghana must be dealt with decisively - Femi Gbajabiamila, Lagos State needs N1 trillion for reconstruction - Femi Gbajabiamila
Lawmakers in the House of Representatives have assured Nigerian youths that they are committed to make them globally competitive.
This was disclosed by the Speaker of Nigeria’s House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, on Wednesday.
 In a tweet, which the speaker shared after a meeting with a group of young lawmakers under the aegis of ‘Young Parliamentarians Forum‘, he  reiterated that some of the demands of the youths following the #EndSARS protests would be addressed constitutionally, as part of the decision was to reform the Police, in a quest to accommodate a better Police Force.
On youth empowerment, the Speaker said that a lot still needs to be done, while pointing out that no government had done more than what the present administration has done.
What they are saying
He said, “All of us, every segment of the government, especially the House of Representatives, before the protests took the initiative, debated motions and took far-reaching decisions on the floor. We gave ourselves 30 days, and since then, we’ve been working night and day, especially with the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA).
“We thought the best way to go about it is that we amend the Police Service Commission Act, and that has been done and the report has been concluded and soon, it will be published and be on the floor.
“We are determined to resolve the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) matter, and if we can resolve two out of three issues, I think we would have gone a long way to help the lecturers who are on strike.
“There’s a bill on vocational education, I think from the 8th Assembly that was even my bill. We’ll pick it up again and pass it to you (Young Parliamentarians Group) to polish it up and add it to whatever ideas you have.”
While speaking on the giant strides by the current administration in terms of youth empowerment, the Speaker said:
“I make bold to say that no government, in Nigerian history from inception, and I stand to be corrected, has put in as much in youth empowerment as this present government.”

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.

 


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Coronavirus

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.

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Coronavirus: Ogun State bans cinemas, night clubs, restaurants, other businesses from operating, COVID 19: Ogun State launches digital classes for students

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.

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“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.”

What you should know

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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.

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Financial Services

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.

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CBN reveals framework for the N75 billion Youth Investment Fund, Economic Growth, CBN, Governor, Emefiele, CBN releases new capital base, sanctions for Microfinance Banks, Nigerian Banks broadly positive after naira devaluation, Naira hits N465 to $1, Central Bank begins disbursing $100million to hit at currency speculators

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.

READ: #EndSARS: FG creates new N25 billion Youth Fund, to increase to N75 billion in 3 years

The N-YIF aims to financially empower Nigerian youths to generate at least 500,000 jobs between 2020 and 2023.

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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

What you should know
Recall that on the 22nd of July, 2020, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) approved the sum of N75 billion for the establishment of the Nigeria Youth Investment Fund for the period of 2020 – 2023.
The fund was created to support the innovative ideas, skills and talents of Nigerian youths, and to institutionally provide Nigerian youths with a special window for accessing much-needed funds, finances, business management skills and other inputs critical for sustainable enterprise development.
  • 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.

READ: CBN raises alarm over fraudulent loan offers, investment schemes with charged fees

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As a huge percentage of youths are engaged in the informal sector, the NYIF will facilitate the transition of informal enterprises owned by youths into the formal mainstream economy, where they can be supported comprehensively, build a bankable track record, and be accurately captured as active participants in economic development.

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