As part of concerted efforts to facilitate direct air connectivity between Nigeria and Pakistan, the Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, has led a delegation to Islamabad, Pakistan, to hold talks on the commencement of direct flights.
The move was also targeted at fostering economic and trade relations between the duo countries.
The mission which was facilitated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Nigeria in collaboration with the Africa Center for Asia +B Studies made it possible for the Minister to engage with the Acting Secretary of Pakistan’s Ministry of Aviation, President of Islamabad Chamber of Commerce, and Industry, and the Minister of Commerce of Pakistan.
At the meeting with the Acting Secretary of Aviation of Pakistan, Mr. Hassan Nafir, the Honourable Minister and his host agreed to take concrete steps towards the commencement of direct flights between Nigeria and Pakistan, in order to promote trade and tourism.
They also agreed that the subsisting Bilateral Air Services Agreement (BASA) between Nigeria and Pakistan be revitalized within the shortest possible time.
To actualise the plan, a directive was given to officials of both countries present at the meeting to immediately meet to review the BASA and come up with a workable Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that would ensure early commencement of direct flights.
They both expressed the view that the volume of passenger traffic should quadruple from the 7300 recorded last year, as it was noted that the two countries have the advantage of population towards making it happen.
Receiving the Honorable Minister of Aviation and his delegation, the President of Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr. Ahsan Bakhtawari, expressed delight for the Honourable Minister’s visit as it would provide the latitude to lay a solid foundation for the promotion of trade relations between Nigeria and Pakistan.
He decried the volume of trade between Nigeria and Pakistan, valued at $210M, and stated that efforts should be made towards improving it, through the promotion of business-to-business talks, the establishment of the Nigeria-Pakistan Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines & Agriculture, and visit of trade delegations from both sides.
The President of the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce was of the view that trade between Nigeria and Pakistan could only be bolstered if there was a direct flight linking Pakistan and Nigeria and urged the Honourable Minister to facilitate it.
Responding, the Minister stated: “No doubt, flight connectivity had a greater role in cementing bilateral and economic relations between friendly nations of the world, and promised to facilitate the process before the end of the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari, whose government had done so well to promote the development of civil aviation in Nigeria.”
At the meeting with Mr. Syed Qamar, the Minister of Commerce of Pakistan, Senator Sirika and his host agreed that efforts should be made to improve the level of trade between both countries, and air link was identified as one of the major catalysts.
Furthermore, the need for both governments to look at the issue of visa restrictions was stressed for the purposes of boosting trade, tourism, and commerce.
Specifically, Senator Sirika urged the business leaders of Pakistan to leverage the opportunities that abound in all sectors of Nigeria to invest, as Nigeria was the best destination for investment in Africa.
He informed the Pakistani Minister of Commerce that there were avalanches of business opportunities in the Aviation Sector in Nigeria, emphasizing that the four international airports in Nigeria have been designated as Economic Free Trade Zones with all the advantages that goes with such designations.
Speaking at the occasion, the Director, Economic, Bilateral and Trade Relations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Bolaji Akinremi, urged both countries to set up a Joint Committee for the purpose of reviewing the subsisting Trade Agreements between them.
He equally urged Pakistan to sign the Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (IPPA) and the Avoidance of Double Taxation (ADT) Agreement with Nigeria.
The Minister of Commerce of Pakistan noted the requests and promised to work with Nigeria in the three areas in order to enhance trade relations between the two countries.
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NLC, TUC Suspend Planned Strike For 30 Days
NLC, TUC Suspend Planned Strike For 30 Days
… .FG To Pay Workers N35,000
.. Sign 15-point agreement with FG
Organised labour have suspended its planned nationwide indefinite strike action for the next month.
This was contained in a memorandum of understanding signed Monday by the NLC President, Joe Ajaero, and General Secretary, Emmanuel Ugboaja; as well as the TUC President, Festus Osifo, and Secretary General, Nuhu Toro.
The three-page document was also signed by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Simon Lalong; Minister of State for Labour and Employment, Dr Nkeiruka Onyejeocha; and Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris.
“The NLC and TUC accept to suspend for 30 days the planned Indefinite Nationwide strike scheduled to begin, Tuesday, the 3rd of October, 2023,” the MoU reads in part.
“The Federal Government grants a wage award of N35,000 (thirty-five thousand
Naira) only to all Federal Government workers beginning from the month of
September pending when a new national minimum wage is expected to have
been signed into law.”
The decisions come at the end of an hours-long meeting between the Federal Government, NLC, and the TUC on Monday.
See the full MoU below:
MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING REACHED BETWEEN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT OF NIGERIA AND THE NIGERIA LABOUR CONGRESS (NLC) AND TRADE UNION CONGRESS OF NIGERIA (TUC) AS A RESULT OF DISPUTE ARISING FROM WITHDRAWAL OF SUBSIDY ON THE PRICE OF PREMIUM MOTOR SPIRIT (PMS) ON MONDAY, THE 2ND DAY OF OCTOBER, 2023
Arising from the withdrawal of subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) by the Federal Government and the resultant increase in the price of the commodity, the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) issued a strike notice which had elapsed and they were poised to embark on a strike billed to commence on Tuesday, the 3rd of October, 2023. Consequently, a meeting was called by the Federal Government to avert the strike and after much discussion, the following agreements were reached:
The Federal Government grants a wage award of N35,000 (thirty-five thousand Naira) only to all Federal Government workers beginning from the month of September pending when a new national minimum wage is expected to have been signed into law.
A minimum wage committee shall be inaugurated within one month from the date of this agreement.
Federal Government suspends collection of Value Added Tax (VAT) on Diesel for six months beginning from October, 2023.
Federal Government accepts to vote N100 billion for the provision of high capacity CNG buses for mass transit in Nigeria. Provisions are also being made for initial 55,000 CNG conversion kits to kick start an auto gas conversion programme, whilst work is ongoing on state-of-the-art CNG stations nationwide. The rollout aims to commence by November with pilots across 10 campuses nationwide.
The Federal Government plans to implement various tax incentive measures for private sector and the general public.
On the leadership crises rocking the NURTW and the purported proscription of RTEAN, the Federal Government commits to handling Labour matters in line with relevant ILO Conventions and Nigerian Labour Acts. A resolution of the ongoing impasse is expected by or before October 13.
The issue of outstanding Salaries and Wages of Tertiary Education workers in Federal-owned educational institutions is being referred to Ministry of Labour and Employment for further engagement.
The Federal Government commits to pay N25,000 per month for three months starting from October, 2023 to 15 million households, including vulnerable pensioners.
The Federal Government will increase its initiatives on subsidized distribution of fertilizers to farmers across the country.
The Federal Government should urge State Government through the National Economic Council and Governors Forum to implement wage award for their workers. Similar consideration should also be given to local government and private sector workers.
The Federal Government commits to the provision of funds as announced by the President on the 1st of August broadcast to the Nation for Micro and Small Scale Enterprises. The MSMEs beneficiaries should commit to the principle of decent jobs.
A joint visitation will be made to the refineries to ascertain their rehabilitation status.
All parties commit to henceforth abide by the dictates of Social dialogue in all our future engagements.
The NLC and TUC accept to suspend for 30 days the planned Indefinite Nationwide strike scheduled to begin, Tuesday, the 3rd of October, 2023.
This Memorandum shall be filed with the relevant Court of competent jurisdiction within one (1) week as consent judgment by the Federal Government.
Comrade Joe Ajaero
Comrade Emmanuel Ugboaja, mni
Comrade (Engr) Festus Osifo
Comrade Nuhu A. Toro
H.E. Simon Bako Lalong
Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment
Hon. Dr Nkeiruka Onyejeocha
Honourable Minister of State for Labour and Employment
Mallam Mohammed Idris
Honourable Minister of Information and National Orientation
Nigeria At 63: Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodima Calls For Peace & Unity
Hope Uzodima Calls For Peace & Unity
IMO state governor, Hope Uzodima has called for peace and unity among the people of Nigeria in a statement he made to commemorate Nigeria’s 63rd independence anniversary.
“Today, we commemorate not just a historic event, but the unyielding spirit, resilience, and unity of our people in the face of numerous challenges and triumphs. Therefore, it is both an honor and a privilege to address you on this auspicious occasion of our great nation’s 63rd Independence Day anniversary.
This day, 63 years ago, marked the beginning of our journey towards independence and since then, we have made significant strides in various aspects of our nation’s development. As a diverse and vibrant tapestry of cultures, traditions and aspirations, we have weathered storms and celebrated victories together as a nation, always standing tall in the face of adversity.
I commend the indomitable spirit of our people who have shown resilience in the face of adversity and I want to assure you that my administration remains committed to addressing the pressing issues that affects the State, in collaboration with the Federal Government. We are working tirelessly to improve healthcare, education, infrastructure and security, among other vital sectors, to ensure a better quality of life for all.
As we raise our flags and sing our national anthem, let us do so with pride, knowing that our best days are yet to come. Let us use this Independence Day as an opportunity to renew our commitment to the ideals of unity, peace, and progress. Together, we can overcome any obstacle and realize the full potential of Nigeria.
Happy 63rd Independence Day, Nigeria! May our nation continue to flourish and may our State prosper.”
– Hope Uzodimma
Tinubu’s Minister Poisoned In Abuja
Popular Tinubu’s Minister Poisoned In Abuja
Nigerian tourism minister has been hospitalised in Abuja after suffering acute poisoning from unknown origins, her family members fear time was running against their efforts to save her life.
Tinubu’s Minister, Lola Ade-John, 60, was rushed to the Federal Medical Centre, Jabi, shortly after she started manifesting symptoms of her poisoning, according to family sources familiar with her ordeal. She has spent four days at the facility as of Friday morning.
Ms Ade-John, a career banker and tech investor, has been on a machine to aid her breathing, our sources said. The specifics as to what substance she ingested and how could not be immediately established. The police and the State Security Service did not immediately return a request on whether or not any investigations had been opened into the matter.
Her worsening situation has further set the family against the government, with the permanent secretary of her ministry said to be in disagreement as to whether she should continue receiving treatment at a public hospital or be moved to a better-equipped private facility downtown.
The permanent secretary, Ngozi Onwudike, was said to have insisted that the minister should not be transferred because the FMC is a public hospital and its services wouldn’t attract substantial charges to the government, a position her family rebuffed. But they remained with her as they could not raise funds to move her to a private hospital, our sources said. A phone number for the permanent secretary did not connect on Friday morning.
Ms Ade-John was appointed as a minister by President Bola Tinubu in August. She was immediately touted as one of the few cabinet members appointed from outside the political beltway. She was based in London for years before she was asked to return to the country to serve by the president.
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