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Wednesday, March 9,2011

FAAN workers threaten strike From Yunus Abdulhamid, lagos WORKERS at the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAANj under the aegis ofthe Air Transport Services Senior StaffAssociation of Nigeria (ATSSAN) have threatened to cripple activities at airports in the country ifthe Federal Government fails to cancel the contract agreement between Maevis Nigeria Ltd andFAAN. The warning strike, which is expected to commence on March 14, 2() ll, will last for two days,

according to the group. Rising from its congress on March I, the group gave the Federal Government a two-week u1timatum to cancel thecontractagreement in aletter it addressed to President Goodluck Jonathan. "The union has made frantic efforts via all the tiers of government fur the cancellation ofthe agreement and is compelled by recent developments to take this course of action in the general interest ofthe new Nigerian people. We must do the needful fur the survival of FAAN and the sus-

tenance of all airports in Nigeria; the group said In the letter, which. was signed by the group's General Secretary, Frank Sunny Aiyede, the group alleged that Maevis had been intimidating and blackmailing its members to create confusion and divert attention from the main issue. In 2008, the Federal Government through FAAN, concessioned the collection of aeronautic and nonaeronautic charges at the airport to Maevis Nigeria Ltd The relationship between FAAN

and Maevis hit the rocks when the then Senate Committee on Aviation said most of the concessionaires at the airports were working together and had in the process short-changed FAAN to the tune of over N 17 billion. The former Chairman of the Senate Committee on Aviation. Ayim Ude, then recommended that given the huge debt profile of the concessionaires, the Federal Government should revoke the agreement between FAAN and Maevis Limited, on the basis that the agree-

ment was not profitable for FAAN. But Maevis denied owing FAAN. Its Head, External Affairs Relations, Mr. Remi Olumuyiwa said, "We state in very strong terms that Maevis is not indebted in any way to FAAN,let alone owe FAAN over NI7 billion as it is being insinuated in some quarters. We want to state that as a company, the technology we have deployed for passenger facilitation and revenue collection at some airports across the country is unique, transparent and beneficial to all service users~ PIC, FELIX ONIGBINDE

PHCN asks Suleja residents to keep off installations From Ayegba Israel Ebije, Minna THE Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) in Suleja has warned residents of the area to steer clear of the company's property. The warning, which was contained in a statement Signed by the Manager, Public Affairs Adamu Muhammad, stated that theft of the company's property was contributing to poor service delivery in the area. "The management of the PHCN Suleja Business Unit has recorded cases of vandalism in Suleja and its envil"· .,~ the cost implicativu .. of replacement of stolen cables and the consequences of unauthorised

interruptions in our operations are becoming highly worrisome," he said. Muhammad, who said that equipment worth millions of naira were being expected in the area, called on the people in the area to be vigilant. and report anyone seen tampering with them. He further said that another substation and transformer would be added to Suleja installations to boost power supply. "In light of this, management is seeking the cooperation of our esteemed customers, who must see themselves as stakeholders in ensuring that PHCN equipment and installations located within their lre protected against unauthorised persons; he said.

79 farmers in Kwara to benefit from N32m FG, eRN loan From Mustafa AbubaKar, "orin SEVENTY nine farmers from Lade district in PaUgi Local Government Area of Kwara State would benefit from the N32 million Federal Government/Central Bank loan scheme. The state's Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Alhaji Adamu Gene, who said this at the weekend. urged

the beneficiaries to start processing their documents with the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources and Union Bank immediately. According to him, the present administration in the state would continue to do its best to promote agriculture and welfare of the people in the state. The commission~r urged the famers to ensure that the loans are used judiciously.

Emir thanks Goje over medical treatment From Muhammad Abubakar, Gombe THE Emir of Gombe. Alhaji Shehu Usman Abubakar. at the weekend. visited the state governor, Alhaji Danjuma Goje. to thank him for sponsoring his treatment abroad. Our correspondent reports that the emir's visit to the Government House put to rest speculations that the two

were at logger heads over the governor's elevation of 13 emirs and chiefs to first class status. The recent elevation of the traditional rulers to First Class status by the state governor was perceived by many in the Gombe emirate as an attempt by the governor to ridicule the emir, who is the state's Chairman of the Council of Chiefs.

KSTA disburses Nl.Sm to families of accident victims

Amnesty: Gamji makes case for northern youths

From lawai Ibrahim, Katsina

A Northern socio political group, Gamji. has called on the Federal Government to include youths from the North in its programme aimed at reintegrating exNiger Delta militants back into the society. The National Secretary of the association, Abdullahi Bala Isa, who spoke in Minna, said the program, as it is at the moment, lacks balance. "Our problem is in respect of the over 7()OO ex-militants, who are being trained in Nigeria and abroad, this is because Northern youths, who constitute the highest number of unemployed. yet lawful citizens have been com-

TI IE Katsina State Transport AuthOrity (KSTA) yesterday disbursed N1.5 million to families of six of the J() people, who lost their lives in a recent auto crash involving one of KSTA vehicles along the Katsina-Kankara road The disbursement, according to the General Manager of the KSTA, Surajo Aminu Dustinma is based on an insurance policy. which takes care of accident victims and their families: Under the policy, N250.()()() is paid to families of those who lose their lives in an accident involving any of the company's vehicles. Dutsinma, who said that

about J()peoplehavebenefitted from the scheme, called on travellers to willingly submit their comprehensive manifest when travelling outside the state to enable the company trace their families in case ofany eventuality. The state's Commissioner fur Works, Engineer Musa Nashuni, who presented the cheques to the victims' families also commissioned a modern auto vehicle repair workshop introduced by the companyaswellasanewbus added to its fleet • He said 4() mechanics had been trained in various auto vehicle schools in the country to undertake special repairs and maintenance services on all kinds ofvehicles.

From Ayegba Israel Ebije, Minna

pletely neglected;' he said. While condemning what he described as an outright neglect of youths in the region, Isa urged the government to do something to motivate the youths. He added that if the youths in the North are not included in the programme, they may be made to believe that it is only when they take up arms against the Federal Gov- , ernment that they would get government's attention. "Does it mean that it is only when groups or people take to terrorism and militancy that they will eventually get reprieve from authorities? We will soon present our matter to the National Assembly;' he said.

Group calls for Sunny Ofehe's release From Mahmud Lalo, los THE Environmental Rights Actionl Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERAI FoEN) gr.oup has called on the Dutch police to release environmental campaigner and founder of Hope for Niger-Delta Campaig·n (HNDC), Comrade Sunny Ofehe. A statement by the group's Head of Media, Philip Jakpor. said the detention of Ofehe was unconstitutional

and that he should be released immediately or tried in a competent court. Mr. Ofehe was arrested by the Dutch authorities in Rotterdam about two weeks ago and has since been in detention. "The Dutch authorities have not given the reason for Ofehe's arrest and he has been denied access to anyone except his lawyer, who has also been barred from speaking to anyone on the matter. We now have reasons to

suspect that this is a vindictive action being instigated by oil companies to punish Ofehe for his attempt at bringing the oil multinationals to justice over their wanton abuse of the environment in Nigeria," Jakpo said. The group, which noted that even under the Dutch law, an accused is assumed innocent until proven otherwise said, "It is shocking that even his wife, who visited him. has been asked to report routinely to the police."


79 farmers in Kwara to benefit from N32m FG, CBN loan