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NCAA meets airlines over N22 billion debt, to implement payment plan

The NCAA has met with airlines in the country over debt owed the agency and worked out a payment plan.



The management of the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has met with airlines in the country over the N22 billion debt owed the agency and decided on a payment plan.

This was disclosed by the Director-General, NCAA, Captain Musa Nuhu, according to a source in the agency that prefers anonymity.

He said, “We had a meeting with the operators on the issue of the debt collection and agreed to notify each airline on the level of debt that they have.

“We will sit down with them and do the reconciliation. We will then implement a payment plan. We do not expect everyone to pay all their money at a go because of the difficulties in the industry and economic downturn.”

According to him, the agreement would be a win-win for all parties by the time it was sorted.

Highlights of the debt

  • Domestic carriers owe the agencies $6.9 million and N19.6 billion respectively.
  • This includes 5% charge from the NCAA, passenger service charge, landing and parking fees to the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and overflight charges to the National Airspace Management Agency (NAMA).

The NCAA boss assured that the regulator understands the difficulty brought by the pandemic and will institute a payment plan that will be favourable to both the agency and operators.

What you should know

Last November, the Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika stated that the debts of Nigerian airlines over the last 10 years to aviation agencies is worth over N22 billion.

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Immigration: UK approved Study Visas to Nigerians rises by 347% in 2021



Nigerian nationals saw the largest increase of approved study visas for the year ending 2021, rising 347% to 36,783 in 2021 and 386% in the past 2 years.

This is according to immigration data from the UK Government accessing student migration numbers to the United Kingdom.

The report also stated that Nigeria makes the largest increase amongst the top 5 nationalities which includes China, India, the United States and Pakistan.

The UK government said Chinese nationals were the most common nationality granted sponsored study visas in the year ending September 2021, with 135,457 visas granted, an increase of 13% compared to the year ending September 2019.

They accounted for 32% of the total Sponsored study visas granted, a slightly smaller proportion than the peak of 43% granted in the year ending September 2019

“In the top 5 nationalities, Nigerian nationals saw the largest relative increase in Sponsored Study grants compared with the year ending September 2019, increasing by 28,923 (+368%) to a record high of 36,783, making them the third largest nationality group this year,” the report stated.

The report stated that for the year ending september 2019, 7,860 Nigerians were granted study sponsored study visa, compared to 8,229 in 2020 and 36,783 by 2021

The report also added that Sponsored Study visas bring relatively few dependants, with 90% of the visas issued being to main applicants, compared with 68% for Work visas, adding that sponsored study grants to dependants almost trebled, increasing to 44,605.

It said, “the year ending September 2021, two nationalities accounted for the majority (63%) of Sponsored study dependants: India (33%) and Nigeria (31%).”

However, despite having more Sponsored study visas granted than any other single country, China only had 355 dependants granted a visa in this route, just 0.8% of the total dependants granted.

What you should know

Recall It was reported last year that British Government  announced that the new Graduate route will resume for applications on July 1, 2021,

The route is for international students who want to work, following completion of a course of study at the UK bachelor’s degree level or above.  Students on the Graduate route will be able to work or look for work after their studies for a maximum period of 2 years, or 3 years for Doctoral students.

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FG denies banning passengers without proof of Covid-19 vaccination



The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has denied media reports alleging that the Federal Government through the agency has issued a directive banning travellers without proof of Covid-19 vaccination from travelling both local and international flights.

The aviation sector regulator said there was no iota of truth about such action which was allegedly supposed to take effect from December 1, 2021, and asked the general public to discountenance such news.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria, this disclosure is contained in a statement issued by the General Manager Public Relations of NCAA, Mr Sam Adurogboye, on Thursday in Lagos, saying that no such directive emanated from the agency.

What the Spokesman of NCAA is saying in the statement

Adurogboye said, “We want to state categorically that no such directive emanated from the government through NCAA. Therefore, the Authority is calling on the public to discountenance such news as there is no iota of truth in it.

“On the other hand, we want to enjoin purveyors of such unfounded news to cross-check facts before publishing.’’

The general manager expressed NCAA’s continuous support for all government initiatives to curb the spread of the Delta variant.

He added, “However, we expect strict adherence to safety protocols in and out of the airports by wearing our facemask, washing our hands periodically, using alcohol-based hand sanitiser, maintaining social distance and avoiding crowded space.’’

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What air passengers should expect as NiMET predicts 3 days downpour from Monday



The recent announcement by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) which predicted three days of thunderstorms, cloudiness and downpour from Monday to Wednesday this week, across the country, may have sent jitters through air travellers, particularly those who plan to travel by air for the upcoming Muslim holiday on Tuesday and Wednesday.

Although flying in the rain can sometimes create long-lasting impressions of fear and flying apathy in passengers, it is not as hazardous as people may think. Here are a few things that air travellers should know about flying in the rain.

It is safe to fly when it is raining/windy

It is important to note that flying when it is raining or windy is safe, as it does not always mean the flight will be a rough one. Since you are likely going to arrive at the airport and remain on the ground prior to any boarding and take-off, there is no cause for fear.

The air traffic controllers (ATC) will not clear an aircraft for take-off if the weather conditions are dangerous. In the worst case, a flight may get delayed and passengers would need to be patient as the delay is to ensure their safety.

Expect a bumpy flight

The flight could get bumpy but that is not to say that the aircraft will crash. Flying through monsoon clouds, especially the curly, rainstorm type, will mean bumps, thuds, sudden drops and inexplicable ‘lifts’ of the aircraft.

Think about it somewhat like manoeuvring a car through potholes and road bumps. As irritating as these things are, they will not necessarily tear a vehicle apart.

Lightning will not affect the aircraft

Lightning accompanying rainfall could hit an aircraft but this hurts neither the aircraft nor the passengers as aeroplanes are built to absorb over eight times the energy carried by a bolt of lightning.

More crucially, in the event of a strike, the energy is dissipated through tiny, pin-like devices on the wings, and does not affect the passengers or the aircraft’s electronics.

Your pilot may choose to land after a strike but that is most likely to be as a safety precaution and not because the aircraft is in a distress situation. There are many incidences that warrant a pilot terminating a journey (making an air return) as a precautionary measure.

Aircraft are built to withstand rough weather

It is also important for passengers to know that aircraft are conceptualised, designed and built to withstand the roughest of weather conditions, including rain. Therefore, a heavy downpour will not tear the plane apart. The wings of an aircraft can withstand extreme pressure, as can the cabin. Advanced aviation navigational aid equipment that are now installed at airports and built into aircraft can facilitate the landing of an aircraft in low visibility without fuss, even if it’s raining cats and dogs, as they say, and no one can see the runway.

Look up to the cabin crew

It’s not uncommon for nervous flyers to imagine the cockpit crew working the controls trying to negotiate a rough patch. The truth, however, is that your pilot is probably worrying about keeping the coffee in his (or her) cup.

Turbulence is common, and in several cases, is negotiated by the aircraft’s autopilot. Also, flight attendants have been trained to handle all worst-case scenarios.

When your aircraft is tossing about and you are trying to figure if it’s safe or not, always pause and observe the flight attendants. They don’t want to die either. Observe how they seem completely unaffected and draw confidence from them that all is well with the flight.

Take a seat right on the wing 

If you have a phobia for flying and you know you are bound to get nervous due to inclement weather, then take a seat right on the wing, closest to the aircraft’s centre of gravity, and you will have a relatively calm flight no matter what happens in the sky. But on an aircraft, just like a long bus, if you sit at the back of the aircraft, you’re bound to have a bumpy ride.

Keep to the instructions of the crew

This is by far the most important thing to do. Turbulence is the number one cause of injuries to air passengers in the sky and most often, it’s because some passengers won’t obey the simple instruction to fasten their seat belts.

You may think it’s okay to ignore the seat-belt sign when the goings have been good and it’s nice and sunny outside, but once the weather changes and the seat belt signs come on, it’s best to obey and get the belt buckled.

In case you missed it

The NiMet’s weather outlook released on Sunday in Abuja predicted chances of thunderstorms over parts of Kebbi, Kano, Bauchi, Borno, Taraba, Kaduna, Adamawa and Yobe States in the morning hours on Monday.

NiMet said, “Thunderstorms are expected over the entire Northcentral region in the afternoon and evening periods.

“Inland and Coastal cities of the South are expected to be cloudy over the Southwestern region, with chances of morning rains over Imo, Enugu, Anambra, Abia, Ebony, Ogun, Lagos, Cross River, Delta, Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom and Rivers States.”

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