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Reign and Rema poses with their favorite friends – Aneke twins

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The adorable twins Reign and Adaeze and Adanne Ododoezechi strikes a pose with their favourite aunties the Nollywood divas Chidnma and chidiebere Aneke.

Instagram – @Reign_rema_official

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Dangote Refinery to produce Euro 5 petrol standard

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Dangote Refinery to produce Euro 5 petrol standard.

The Dangote Petroleum Refinery is built to meet the new Euro-5 Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) petrol standard, The Nation learnt yesterday.

This is contained in the Nigerian Midstream and Downstream Petroleum Regulatory Authority (NMDPRA) obtained by our correspondent yesterday.

The Euro-5 standard is meant to reduce carbon emissions. The new Euro-5 limits reduce pollution from the exhaust and are remarkably similar to Euro-6 limits for cars.

Euro-5 is mandatory for all new type-approved motorcycles, including mopeds, with exceptions for some small market categories such as trial bikes.

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The NMDPRA document, which came in a question and answer format, raised the question of “What is the specification for PMS in Nigeria?”

Responding, the authority noted that “We currently utilise SON 2017 specifications for Gasoline/PMS in Nigeria.”

On whether any government plans to move to a higher standard of PMS (Euro 4 or higher?), the NMDPRA said: “The current SON 2017 specifications are akin to Euro 4 specifications. It should also be noted that the Dangote Refinery is designed and built to meet Euro 5 classification standards which will meet local, regional and international standards

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“Also, the output of other modular refineries are expected to meet Euro 4 specifications at a minimum.”

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Aviation workers begin warning strike as Airlines shelve flights halt

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Aviation workers begin warning strike as Airlines shelve flights halt.

Air travellers can now heave a sigh of relief as Airline Operators of Nigeria (AON) late yesterday resolved to suspend its threat to halt flights from today in their interest and national economy.

But their flights might experience some hitches as aviation workers nationwide will today begin a two-day warning strike to protest the Federal Government’s alleged failure to implement their negotiated conditions of service.

In a statement yesterday, AON explained that it decided to suspend the ‘no flights’ threat following numerous calls from the highest echelons in government that promised to urgently intervene in the crises faced by its members.

One of the challenges that informed the threat is the rising cost of JetA1 otherwise known as aviation fuel. A litre of JetA1 currently sells at N700..

The AON statement was signed by its President, Dr Abdulmunaf Yunusa – Sarina; Executive Director, Max Air, Alhaji Shehu Wada; Chairman, United Nigeria Airlines, Dr Obiora Okonkwo Chief Executive Officer, Arik Air; Capt. Roy Ilegbodu; Chief Executive Officer, Aero Contractors, Capt. Abdullahi Mahmood; Managing Director, Azman Air, Alhaji Faisal Abdulmunaf and Chairman, Air Peace, Chief. Allen Onyema.

The statement reads: ‘ “We have also reached this decision with the highest consideration for our esteemed customers who have been faced with uncertainty over the last few days and to enable them to have access to travel to their various destinations for the time being during the period of discussions with relevant authorities.

“In view of the above and in the interest of national economy and security considerations, AON hereby wishes to notify the general public that the earlier announced shutdown of operations on May 9, 2022, is hereby suspended in good faith pending the outcome of hopefully fruitful engagement with government.”

Earlier, there was a crack among the operators as seven of them —DANA Air, Arik Air, Green Africa Airways, Overland Airways, Aero Contractors, Arik Air and Ibom Air—said they would not suspend flights.

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The decision of the seven carriers was part of the harvest of engagements between their managers and officials of the Ministry of Aviation and other interests in the industry.

Besides, the carriers argued that they had obligations to their passengers who had booked and paid for flights.

Minister of Aviation Hadi Sirika, who debunked claims that the now-suspended threat by the airlines was directed at the Federal Government., said a bail-out of N4 billion was given to them during the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said in a statement by his Special Assistant on Public Affairs, James Odaudu, that the fund was given to the airlines despite their indebtedness to aviation agencies.

The statement reads in part: “ “The minister at various times personally took members of the Association to engage with Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to sort out issues of access to Foreign Exchange (FOREX) for their operations, and also the NNPC Limited to explore ways of ensuring the availability of Aviation fuel (JET A1) through importation or from the major marketers at affordable prices.

“It should also be recalled that members of the Association were also considered for, and given Bail-out funds to the tune of N4 billion during the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure that they remained afloat.

“This was without prejudice to the fact that most of them were heavily indebted to Aviation agencies (as they still are).

We believe that members of the Association are patriots who have continued to bear the brunt of unfavourable global oil market dynamics for which we salute their doggedness.

“As a government, we reiterate our commitment to the continued growth of the aviation industry where airlines and other service providers operate in a conducive, supportive and profitable business environment.”

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Chairman, Senate Committee on Aviation Smart Adeyemi has however reiterated his call on the Federal Government to financially assist airlines in the country.

Adeyemi said his call became necessary in view of the socio-economic importance of the aviation sector to the country.

”A few months ago, I called for financial support from the Federal Government in view of the socio-economic importance of the aviation sector due to the high cost of aviation fuel and the poor exchange rate of our currency.

“Secondly, the challenges in the aviation industry are huge and about 95 per cent of aviation needs are imported with hard currency.

“They must not be allowed to be tempted to cut corners or risk low fuel level.”

Meanwhile, workers of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), Nigerian Airspace Management Agency (NAMA), Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) and others have been directed by their unions to stay away from work today and tomorrow.

The National Union of Air Transport Employees ( NUATE), Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals as well as the Amalgamated Union of Public Corporation Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employees had at the weekend issued a special bulletin to workers of aviation agencies to inform them of the warning strike.

The bulletin reads: “Our Unions have no alternative than to embark on an industrial action to press home our demand for justice and equity, especially considering the long-suffering, patience and forbearance on the part of our members which has now reached yield point.”

“Accordingly, all workers in NAMA, NCAA, NiMeT and NCAT are hereby directed to embark on a two-day warning strike on the 9th and 10th of May, 2022.

“Should the warning go unheeded, an indefinite strike shall be called soon after.”

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Why Southeast should produce next president, by Uzodimma

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Why Southeast should produce next president, by Uzodimma.

Imo State Governor Hope Uzodinma yesterday said the Southeast should produce President Muhammadu Buhari’s successor.

He said the election of a Southeasterner as president in next year’s poll will foster unity, equity, fairness and justice.

But, he cautioned that the presidential candidates for the 2023 election will not run on the platforms of ethnic associations, but on the platforms of political parties.

Uzodinma told reporters in Lagos that it is desirable that the two main parties – All Progressives Congress (APC) and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) – should pick their candidates from the Southeast, reminiscent of what happened in1999 when the PDP and All Peoples Party/Alliance for Democracy picked Chief Olusegun Obasanjo and Chief Olu Falae from the Southwest.

Uzodinma said Nigeria is practicing “partisan democracy,” and not a national politics that is dominated by ethnic considerations when the choice of the candidate is the major issue.

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He maintained that the battle for tickets and the general election will be fought within and among political parties, and not tribal organisations.

The governor emphasised that what is important is that every political party is focused on winning elections.

However, he said “Southeast has a strong hunger to produce the next president,” adding that the parties should zone the tickets to the region.

Uzodinma stressed: “The two major parties shoukd zone their tickets to the Southeast. This us the way to decentralise power sharing for equity and justice.”

The governor spoke on insecurity in Imo, maintaining that the violence has political connotations.

He said the insecurity in the state was being fuelled by political opponents who have an axe to grind with his administration.

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He thanked President Buhari for lending assistance to his administration to tackle the crises.

Uzodinma said it is not every time states should run to the Federal Government for solutions to local security matters.

He added: “States,as component units of the federation shoukd be able to deal with local security challenges, although the police, the army, Navy, airforce and other security agencies belong to the Federal Government. But, President Buhari is trying for us.

“The inter-agency cooperation in Imo ranks among the best. It should be emulated by other states. We want to prevent killings. No more compensation. It will not help. No compensation can equal the life of a person. Who benefits from the compensation? Not those killed. Therefore, we want to prevent killings.”

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