26 Apr

Daily Watch – 55% of local flights get delayed, Niger to give LGAs more financial autonomy

  • The NCAA’s Consumer Protection Department has said that domestic airlines operating in the country recorded 8,478 cases of delayed flights in first quarter of 2016. According to the report, a total number of 15,434 flights were operated by eight domestic airlines during the period under review, while 281 flights were cancelled. It said the airlines in operation were Aero Contractors, Arik Air, Air Peace, Azman Air, Dana Air, First Nation, Med-View and Overland. Arik, which operated 4,926 flights, topped the chart of delayed and cancelled flights with 2,801 and 99, respectively. This was closely followed by Aero Contractors, which recorded 1,762 delayed flights and 94 cancellations, out of its 2,823 flight operations. Air Peace operated 2,686 flights with 1,175 incidences of delayed flights and four cancellations. However, Arik Air’s spokesman, Ola Adebanji, attributed the delays and cancellations to the lingering scarcity of aviation fuel.
  • Minister of State for Petroleum Resources and GMD, NNPC, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, has announced that the Port Harcourt Refining Company and the Warri Refining and Petrochemical Company are now producing a combined volume of seven million litres of petrol daily. According to him, the PHRC now produces five million litres of petrol, while the WRPC produces two million litres of the product daily. Kachikwu said in the statement that the government was doing all it could to clear the queues, as he noted that the Kaduna Refining and Petrochemical Company was also scheduled to start production any moment from now. According to him, the coming on stream of the three refineries would go a long way in ensuring sufficient supply and distribution of petrol across the country. The Minister also said said the NNPC had been able to recover the Escravos to Warri and Bonny to Port Harcourt crude supply pipelines, stressing that they were critical to the downstream oil sector.
  • Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, has told state governors and their commissioners for finance that the 36 states should brace up for harder times in the next two months. Governor Abubakar Sani Bello of Niger state said the amount shared among the three tiers of government for the month of March fell below those of the previous months. “We have been told by the Minister of Finance that we should prepare for harder times in the next two months. What we expect from the Federation Account will be less than what we got for the month of March.” All the tiers of government shared a little less than N249 billion while Niger state got only N1.4 billion. As a result, Governor Sani Bello said the state would embark on an aggressive internally generated revenue drive and warned that those found not paying their taxes and other levies would dealt with according to the law. The continued shortfall in the income of the state notwithstanding, the governor said, priority attention would be given to the payment of staff salaries and allowances which has made the state to incur over N2 billion debt between January and March this year because of the augmentation of the amount received from Abuja. The governor announced that from May 1, the joint state local government account committee would be abolished while local government councils would be given full autonomy to manage their resources.