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Nigeria Ratifies AfCFTA Participation

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The Nigerian government has ratified her participation in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA).

They took the decision at the weekly meeting of the Federal Executive Council presided over by the President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, disclosed this to journalists at the end of the meeting at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

AfCTA was created by the African Continental Free Trade Agreement among 54 of the 55 African Union nations.

The main objectives of the AfCFTA are to create a single continental market for goods and services, with free movement of business persons and investments, and thus pave the way for accelerating the establishment of the Customs Union.

Mohammed said with the ratification, Nigeria has beaten the December 5, 2020, deadline set for all countries to ratify their membership.

The minister said, “The Minister of Industry, Trade, and Investment presented a memo asking the Federal Executive Council to ratify Nigeria’s membership of the African Continental Free Trade Area.

On July 7, 2019, Nigeria signed the AfCFTA agreement in Niamey during the 12th Extraordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union.

The effective date ought to have been July 2020 but because of the pandemic, it was postponed to January 1, 2021, and all member-states were given up to December 5 to ratify the agreement.

Nigeria’s Federal Executive Council approved the ratification of the membership of the African Continental Free Trade Area.

Effectively, we hope that by January 1, 2021, the agreement will come into force,” Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed remarked.

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Nigeria’s Federal Government Approves N117 Billion for Road Rehabilitation

The Ministry of Works and Housing presented three memoranda, two relating to roads, and one relating to a banking application.

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The Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday approved N117.6 billion for the rehabilitation of some major roads across Nigeria.

This was disclosed to journalists by the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, after the meeting chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The Ministry of Works and Housing presented three memoranda, two relating to roads, and one relating to a banking application.

Read also: Full Text Of Nigeria’s President Buhari Budget Proposal Speech

“The first set of roads is for a total sum of N18,923,846,198.47, and it is with respect to roads and bridges as follows: rehabilitation of 26 km road linking Kano, Jigawa and the Katsina States, N8.767 billion; Omo-Umulokpa road in Anambra and the Enugu States, N1.712 billion; rehabilitation of Oye-Oranta road in Anambra, N2.504 billion; Okpoko bridge along Benue-Cross River road, N1.057 billion; the bridge at km 22.7 along Bida-Zungeru road in Niger State, N1.022 billion; Nkumi bridge linking Abia and Enugu States, N1.0.72 billion, and Challawa-Nunku road in Kombotso, Kano State, N2.787 billion.

“The other memorandum relating to roads is also for the total sum of N98,073,840, 842.81. The roads are Rijiya-Gusau road in Zamfara State, N7.799 billion; Jegga-Kwana-Sanagi-Gumi road in Kebbi State, N31.539 billion; Koko-Mahuta road in Kebbi, N19.713 billion; Kuka Babbangida-Ganagara road in Katsina State, N11.731 billion; Ihiala-Olu-Umudu road, N16.750 billion; Oye-Ama-Etite-Umuawulu road in Anambra, N2.155 billion and Bichi road in Kano State, N8.384 billion,” Fashola said.

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Arik Air Workers Ground Operations

They alleged that several members of staff had been furloughed, adding that pensions were being owed.

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Operations of Arik Air, one of Nigeria’s carriers have been grounded by the National Union of Air Transport Employees over poor working conditions.

The workers on Thursday blocked the entrance of the airline’s headquarters in Lagos, the country’s commercial capital in the South West, carrying placards with different inscriptions.

Some of the inscriptions read, “End Arik brutality”, and “Sign our condition of service and recall all staff.”

They alleged that several members of staff had been furloughed, and that pensions were being owed.

The Lagos state Secretary of NUATE, Ijeh Anthony, said the issue had lingered for long, vowing to continue the strike till all demands are met.

He said, “The contentious issue is the signing of the Conditions of Service which we have been negotiating for the past three years.

Read also: Unions Shut Down Nigeria’s Arik Air Operations Over Anti-Labour Practices

“But the only aspect remaining in the CoS is the issue of the severance package. We have sought interventions from the Ministry of Aviation, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority.

“However, in most discussions, Arik Air Management will always renege.”

At the Murtala Muhmmed Airport 2 terminal, several passengers booked for 8 am flights were stranded.

Some of the passengers were distraught after waiting for several hours.

Officials from the airline were seen trying to manage the situation.

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NC Reports | Nigerian Airlines Hike Airfares by 100% as Operating Costs Rise

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Since the Covid-19 lockdown restrictions, the cost of Nigerian air tickets along several routes both locally and internationally have doubled by a hundred percent. News Central had a conversation with Kenechukwu Ogbu, a ticketing and reservation officer and Olumide Ohunayo, an aviation consultant on the causes and impacts of the airfare hike.

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