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Oyo/Osun Customs Clears The Air on Poisonous Rice Allegations

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Oyo Osun Customs debunk allegation of poisonous rice

Oyo/Osun Customs Clears The Air on Poisonous Rice Allegations

In light of the Poisonous Rice allegation against the OYO/Osun Customs, Oyo Command Customs PRO Refutes Claims

The allegation against Oyo/Osun Command is that the command gave poisonous rice as COVID-19 palliative.

The Public Relations Officer, PRO Oyo/Osun Command of Nigeria Customs Service, Mr. Abdullahi Lagos Abiola, has described the allegation against the Oyo/Command baseless, mischievous and falsehood.

Oyo Osun Customs debunk allegation of poisonous rice

Oyo Osun Customs debunk allegation of poisonous rice

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In his words:
“The attention of Oyo/Osun Command of the Nigeria Customs Service has been drawn to some mischievous and deliberate falsehood being circulated in the media for reasons best known to their author(s) concerning the Federal Government’s palliative given to Oyo State among other states.

“As a responsible agency of Government whose functions include ensuring that nothing that could compromise security, economy and general being of Nigerians are allowed into the Country, we cannot turn round and be associated with giving anything that will negatively affect our people”.

He pointed out, ” We therefore wish to state as follows:
That in line with the Federal Government’s effort to cushion the hardship in the nation, the CGC had directed distribution of relief items including bags of rice across the nation through the Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management, as palliative to the vulnerable, in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic.

“As instructed, on the 20th of April 2020, the Oyo/Osun Area Command received high ranking members of the Oyo State Government in the persons of the Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Mr Jacob Ojekunle; the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Agriculture, Mrs Saidat Bolatumi Oloko; Executive Adviser to the Governor on Agribusiness, Mr Debo Akande; The representative of Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management and Social Development in Oyo, Mrs MO Lasisi and other members.

“They visited the Command twice on the same day to inspect the bags of rice that were available for allocation.
The Customs Area Controller, Comptroller, HU Ngozi led them to the warehouses where they inspected the bags of rice, checked expiration dates and expressed satisfaction and readiness to evacuate their allocation.
Before leaving the Command on their second visit.

They pleaded to be given those from a section of one of the warehouses they considered “fresher” and this was granted.

Subsequently, on the 21st of April 2020, the Oyo State Government team came with their vehicles under the supervision of Mr. Jacob Ojekunle, Mrs. Saidat Oloko, Mrs. MO Lasisi, and other top officials, in the presence of the Customs Area Controller, other officers and members of the press to witness the loading and exiting of the 1800 bags of parboiled rice allocated to their State, as a palliative to the vulnerable”.

He stressed, “Incidentally, in the process of loading, few bags fell at different times and burst open in the presence of Mr. Ojekunle and Mrs. Lasisi and there was no time that any of the burst bags of rice had weevils in them. The warehouse had no signs of weevils, neither were their signs of weevils on the loaders or on the trucks under the scorching sun.

“The three States; Oyo, Osun, and Ekiti took delivery of the bags of rice allocated to them, returned their landing certificates to show delivery to its final destinations.

“They also showed appreciation to the CGC for his magnanimity. Contrary to allegations by Oyo State Government, Osun and Ekiti States have not complained about their allocations.”

He exclaimed, “The Command is therefore surprised, even embarrassed to hear three days later, that the rice allocated to them were infested with weevils and unfit for human consumption.

“The Command wishes to reiterate that weevils do not hide and in the process of loading the vehicles, traces of weevils would have been noticed on the floor, on the bags, on the loaders or on the trucks bearing in mind that the entire process was in the presence of the CAC, Oyo State Government’s high ranking team and men of the press with full video camera coverage.

The Command is also aware that for whatever reason, some pictures of bad rice have been circulating the social media. We disassociate ourselves from such false images and we suspect foul play on the part of the handlers of these allocated 1,800 bags of rice. The State Government may wish to dig deeper.

“It is surprising how bags of rice that exited the Command HQ in good condition suddenly became so bad after three days, as being circulated in the social media.”

Air Routes

Air Peace disputes demanding payment for an evacuation flight to Dubai

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Air Peace

Air Peace disputes demanding payment for an evacuation flight to Dubai

The management of Air Peace has disclaimed having any link with offensive efforts of one Mr. Simon that has been sending messages to innocent customers, fleecing them of their money. Simon with the handle @simono1219 has been requesting the airline’s customers to pay for a non-existent evacuation flight.

This was disclosed by the airline in a statement it issued on Tuesday via its Twitter handle. It explained that the individual and others like him brand themselves as ‘agents of Air Peace’, sliding into peoples’ direct messages and sending them unsolicited and mischievous messages.

It stated, “The general public is hereby advised to shun messages from such swindlers, as Air Peace has not engaged an agent for special or evacuation flights. Passengers will normally pay directly to us. If you receive such a deceitful message, kindly send a mail to our call centre to confirm its authenticity and enable us to do the needful.”

Meanwhile, about three weeks ago, the management of Air Peace was contacted by the Indian High Commission in Nigeria to undertake the evacuation of stranded Indian nationals to Kerala, India.

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The airline explained that a list of passengers that would be attended to have been released and it has started reaching out to the Indians on Saturday.

It stated, “A list of the passengers to be attended to has already been given to us and we have commenced reaching out to them. The flight shall depart Lagos on May 30, 2020, to Cochin Airport, Kerala.”

The flight is not free anyway. According to the airline, payments are expected immediately and they are; Economy class for $1,300 and Business class is tagged $1,700.

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Air Routes

Coronavirus: Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Kano airports will reopen in few days – NCAA declares

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Airports Reopen Captain Musa Nuhu NCAA

Coronavirus: Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Kano airports will reopen in few days – NCAA declares

The director-general of the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), Captain Musa Nuhu, said major airports in the country would in the next few days reopen after weeks of inactivity caused by the novel Coronavirus pandemic lockdown.

Source gathered that the airports to  to be reopened are the Murtala Mohammed Airport, Ikeja; Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport, Abuja; Aminu Kano Airport, Kano and the Port Harcourt Airport, Choba, Rivers state.

The Nation reports that Nuhu stated this at a virtual event organized by the Aviation Safety Round Table Initiative (ART) titled COVID-19: The challenges and opportunity for Nigeria’s aviation value chain, during and post.

The federal government had on March 16, placed a travel ban on 13 countries, including China, the United States, and Italy that had recorded over 1,000 cases of coronavirus.

According to the report, on March 13, the federal government shut all airports for one month and later extended it by two weeks.

Nuhu said the NCAA worked with representatives of airlines and ground handling companies before forwarding a proposal to the minister of aviation for approval. The NCAA boss said: “We may resume domestic operations with four or five airports and we hope to expand as we get better. We don’t want to rush everything at the same time and get it choked up. “Every money is important and we cannot achieve the two-meter physical distance. We are hopeful in the next few days we can resolve those issues and allow the airlines to commence operations.

“We have made our suggestion and recommendations and we are awaiting feedback from the ministry of aviation.” Nuhu said air transport must be safe and not become part of the ways of spreading coronavirus.

He stated that physical distancing was an issue as discussions were still on leaving the middle seats in an aircraft vacant.

NCAA has, however, released COVID-19 protocols as approved by the federal ministry of health for the aviation industry. The protocols are for Nigeria-based crew operating international flights. The crew members are now required to wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and observe Infection, Prevention and Control (IPC) measures for the duration of their flights. Nuhu, who announced the approval of the new protocols in a letter to airline operators, airports, and other service providers, added that the crew members would not be quarantined but would undergo mandatory testing for COVID-19 every 14 days at the expense of their employers.

According to the letter, the new protocols replace the current practice where Nigeria- based international flight crew members are quarantined for 14 days upon their return to Nigeria.

He added that in the new protocols, the airliners must ensure among others, orientation and sensitization of their crew on Infection, Prevention, and Control (IPC) measures.

The protocols also state that airlines must have adequate stock of PPE, a minimum 70 percent alcohol-based hand sanitizers and Universal Precaution Kits (UPK) onboard every aircraft.

The letter read in part: “Onboard the flight crew will request passengers wash their hands after using the lavatory, apply the disinfectant spray in lavatory every 60 minutes during the flight and maintain a safe distance between passengers and themselves; avoid direct physical contact and serve only pre-packed meals to passengers.

“Flight deck crew must wear non-medical face masks and gloves but can remove face masks when the cockpit door is closed.

SOURCE had previously reported that the federal government evacuated 292 who were stranded in Saudi Arabia due to the lockdown necessitated by the coronavirus pandemic.

It was reported that the flight conveying the evacuees arrived in Nigeria on the night of Tuesday, May 19, at the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport, Abuja.

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Air Routes

Lockdown: FG seized aircraft for operating commercial flight into Nigeria.

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Aircraft flight Nigeria Lockdown seized

Lockdown: FG seized aircraft for operating commercial flight into Nigeria.

Flair Aviation aircraft, belonging to aviation firm based in the United Kingdom (UK) has been seized by the Federal government for operating commercial flight into Nigeria during the lockdown.

Hadi Sirika,  Minister of aviation disclosed this on Sunday, May 17 via his twitter.

The crew members are being interrogated while the aircraft has been seized.

Sirika said: “…Flair Aviation, a UK company, was given approval for humanitarian operations but regrettably, we caught them conducting commercial flights.

“This is callous! The craft is impounded, the crew being interrogated. There shall be a maximum penalty. Wrong time to try our resolve!”

Before now, the federal government has permitted the firm to operate flights only on a humanitarian basis.

Meanwhile, Legit.ng reported that the federal government was trying to trace most of the 155 passengers in the aircraft that brought to Nigeria the Italian confirmed with coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

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Legit.ng gathered that the minister of health, Osagie Ehanire, made the disclosure on Monday, March 2, while briefing newsmen in Abuja, adding that 156 passengers were on the manifest of the flight that brought the Italian.

According to the report, unlike what obtains in other countries, the name and other details of the Italian patient had not been made public yet.

The minister said some of the passengers on board the aircraft that brought the Italian were yet to be traced because of the ambiguity of the contact information they provided.

He said: “We cannot give a fixed figure on the contact tracing because it is a continuing process. But the only one we know for sure is the 156 passengers who were on the aircraft with him (the Italian) and those ones are being tracked and we have been talking to them and we are getting cooperation.

“There have been a few challenges. Some people gave telephone numbers that didn’t work or (when called) said switched off. There are some who probably don’t have telephones or some who are new arrivals in Nigeria.

“They are not yet registered with any telephone company, but there are ways in which they can be found out. Some have probably left the country if they were to be here for a day or two.”

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Gallant Officer
"Also found worthy of honour was Bashir Abubakar, an Asst Comptroller-General of Customs, who rejected a bribe of $412,000 per container offered him by drug traffickers seeking to bring 40 containers of Tramadol into Nigeria. A fine example of incorruptibility, worthy of emulation"

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