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Showing posts with label Travel News. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Travel News. Show all posts

UAE Suspends Direct Employment Visa For Nigerians

 The United Arab Emirates government has suspended Direct Employment Visa for Nigerians, as a result of the increasing rate of crimes involving Nigerians in the Middle-East country.


SaharaReporters learnt from credible sources that the UAE police are searching for more Nigerian nationals and conducting raids and arrests to get them jailed.


Sources noted that this is the norm in Abu Dhabi particularly.


“We all are shouting that our country is bad, and that our government is not rising to our needs, which is true, but our reputation abroad is also fast declining due to our character.


“Two weeks ago, some Nigerians killed one another for selfish reasons at Sharjah, and another one just happened here in Abu Dhabi, when some guys went to an Arab man’s house, killed him, his wife and took away a huge amount of money from them.


“The UAE government is now tracking every Nigerian in Abu Dhabi and they have also banned every Direct Employment Visa from Nigeria until further notice,” the source said.


“For like one week, this city (Abu Dhabi) has been hot. They (the police) are just arresting anyone on sight now. There was a cult incident where Nigerian cult members hacked one another in an area in Abu Dhabi here. It is not easy. As of yesterday (Monday), they have put restrictions on visas for Nigerians. For now, no work permit for Nigerians in UAE generally. The crisis started from Sharjah and last week in Abu Dhabi,” another Nigerian told SaharaReporters.


SaharaReporters had reported in January 2021 that the UAE arrested and detained, without prosecution, many Nigerians in a series of sting operations targeted at irregular migrants.


The UAE security operatives had raided the homes of many African migrants, most of whom are Nigerians, living in towns including Al Qouz, Abu Hail, Sharjah, Al Barsha, and Deira.


According to a victim, about 80 percent of the persons arrested are legal residents while the remaining 20 are those with either visit visas or visa-related issues.


When contacted, the Chairperson of Nigerians In Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, had said the affected persons would have to liaise with the mission in UAE for more information.


Another victim of the arrest in UAE corroborated the government’s explanation but explained that some stayed back because their travel documents were withheld by their employers.


Crime rates have been rising among Nigerians in the UAE.


SaharaReporters had on February 22, 2021, reported that a 33-year-old Indian man in Dubai was robbed of Rs 55,30,806 by a gang of four Nigerian women after being lured into a fake massage parlour through a dating app.


The case was heard at the Dubai Court of First Instance.


According to Dubai Police, three Nigerian women were arrested from Sharjah after intensive investigations, while a fourth woman was still at large.


The three Nigerian defendants have been charged with robbery, issuing threats, keeping the victim forcefully confined inside an apartment, and prostitution.



New Ikom Bridge In Cross River State Nigeria Completed

 After decades of economic hardship on Cross Riverians and commercial vehicle drivers using the old Ikom bridge, the Buhari Admin has finally completed the new and 2nd Ikom Bridge.


Unlike the old and dilapidated bridge, the new multibillion naira bridge has no canopy and allows heavy trucks to convey goods to and from the Northern part of Nigeria.


Before now, when some big and fully loaded trucks get to the old bridge, the drivers offload their goods and drive through the bridge before loading back the goods due to the canopy on the old bridge.


The completed Ikom bridge and the ongoing Obubra-Yakurr-Biase-Akamkpa-Odukpani road rehabilitation project are about the biggest federal projects in Cross River State since 1999.


Having used the road yesterday, I can confirm that the ongoing rehabilitation has reduced travel time between Ikom and Calabar by at least 40%, even as there's urgent need to increase speed of work on the road.

  

   


     


   




All You Have to Know About FOYA Africa Awards 2021- Binna Limited Africa Recognition and FOYA Award Nomination


         FOYA Awards

 FOYA Awards is an annual awards ceremony launched in November 2016 in Nairobi Kenya


FOYA is designed to recognize and appreciate young founders contributing to the African continent’s economic growth while creating employment and other income-generating opportunities through entrepreneurship, thereby inspiring others to be founders in their own right.


Obinna Pascal Amajuoyi a passionate Entrepreneur, C.E.O Binna Limited, a business Enterprise that deals in Media, Hospitality, and Real Estate Management Franchise .


Binnabook Magazine a blogging Platform for News; Travelplaybook; Artbook and Historybook.

 Events are noted and Documented .


Binnaparlour a Fast food Restaurant that deals in Pizza, Pastries, Local and Continental Dishes.

Basically Binnaparlour is a home of Relaxation (HOME AWAY FROM HOME) With Good serenity and Good taste of food.





Binna Limited Believe in the Africa Dream, Vision and Prosperity Journey.


 There is a need for a change, in the way business is been done in Africa. we need visionary and determined Young Africans to change the narratives in the way other continent see and look at US.



We need Brands and Businesses that will stand out from the tough competitive business environment we all find ourselves in.



Starting Business from Scratch, financing, managing and keeping record of the progress of the business is a tough and hard task for a lazy fellow, but with a determine spirit Binna Limited has been able to break protocols in establishing itself both in the Media and Hospitality Industry.


BINNAPARLOUR PIZZA Stand out among the BEST IN GHANA, DELICIOUS FRIED RICE AND NIGERIA LOCAL FOOD gives the Nigerians in Ghana a Homely feelings. 


Obinna Pascal Amajuoyi C.E.O Binna Limited is a lover of Adventures, Research, History and Travels; He founded Binnabook as a passionate Hobby for Documentation of Events . 


Having Live in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia; Accra Ghana;  Nigeria and travel in some few South East Asia countries his love for Adventures and Documentation of events is infinite.



C.E.O Binna Limited Obinna Pascal Amajuoyi has been Nominated in the ongoing FOYA AFRICA AWARD 2021, In the Hospitality Founder Of The Year (Under 30) Category .


Read More about FOYA Awards and its goals; The 2021 version is themed “BELIEVE” #FOYA2021AFRICA'


Obinna Pascal Amajuoyi and the entire Binna Limited humbly asks for your help in bringing this award home which will not only give us Recognition but also give us a bigger exposure and enable us to expand our Enterprise beyond Imaginations.


The entire process is very simple and doesn’t take a lot of time, to vote him as the Hospitality Founder  of the year.

Follow and Read the Instruction Below to VOTE FOR OBINNA PASCAL AMAJUOYI .


                       

You can also opt for the Express vote option which requires no sign up/login, no free voting credits are available for this option.

Vote him using the link below;

https://www.foya.thefounder.africa/vote/EKPHGINZ

By BINNABOOK PUBLISHERS.

Nigerians To Pay More For Imported Vehicles in 2021

      

 Beginning from June 1, 2021, Nigerians with a low budget would be unable to purchase cars while those with a high budget will pay double, as terminal operators have announced a 50 per cent increase in terminal handling charges.


Two Roll On Roll Off (RORO) terminals at the Tin Can Island Port, Ports and Terminal Multipurpose Limited (PTML) as well as Five Star Logistics Terminal had two weeks ago announced an increase in their terminal handling charges by 50 per cent.


According to the circular released by both terminal operators, the increment is expected to take effect from Tuesday next week. However, the terminals have blamed the increment on inflation and huge operational cost due to the nature of Nigerian ports, among others.


In the circular by PTML, one of the biggest vehicle terminal in Nigeria, it states: “PTML would like to bring to the attention of its esteemed customers that the dramatic surge in inflation in 2020 and 2021, as well as the ever-increasing operational expenses incurred because of the particularly challenging port operational environment, which has had a huge impact on the company’s direct cost. PTML tariff has not been adjusted for a number of years now, and it has become impossible for the terminal to provide the same level of service as current prices.”


Nigeria recorded a total sum of N1.28 trillion as of the value of ‘used vehicles,’ popularly known as Tokunbo, and motorcycles imported in one year (Q3 2019 – Q2 2020), showing an increase of 42 per cent, compared to N899 billion recorded in the corresponding period (Q3 2018 – Q2 2019).


Despite the revised import duty tariff for transport vehicles, which was announced by the government in January, car dealers are still faced with dismal patronage because of the poor economic situation of the country.


The rise in import tariff generally is taking a heavy toll on businesses and the cost of goods and services according to the Nigeria Bureau of Statistics (NBS). According to the report gleaned from the NBS website, imports in Nigeria decreased to N1,759,720.29 in December from N2,397,223.91 in November of 2020.


Under Nigerian law, tax is charged at 7.5 per cent of the value of the taxable goods and services, known as Value Added Tax (VAT). At the moment, import duty varies from 5 per cent to 60 per cent, averaging 12 per cent but all imports are also subject to a 7 per cent port surcharge and a 5 per cent VAT.


Though the Federal Government had announced a slash in import duties for tractors, transport vehicles, among others to cushion current socio-economic conditions in the country, this has not had any positive effect on the operating environment as importers say they still pay huge charges.


Also, the slash on import duties in the 2020 Finance Bill is not yet in force. Though the law became effective on January 1, 2021, the lowered levy has not been implemented.


MEANWHILE, importers, car dealers and freight forwarders have kicked against the 50 per cent increase in the terminal handling charges, saying the development would heighten inflation.


They told The Guardian that the development will further worsen the economy, which is still grappling with aftershocks of two recessions while driving importers and investors to patronise neighbouring countries.


Public Relations Officer of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA) at PTML Terminal, Ayokunle Sulaiman, while giving a breakdown of the PTML terminal increased charges, lamented that terminal handling, delivery, documentation and demurrage charges have all been increased.


He said: “There has been a 50 per cent increase in the charges including terminal documentation. For vehicles, terminal documentation was previously N10,000, it has now been increased to N15,000. Terminal handling charges and terminal delivery charges are the core aspects of the job, all other ones like demurrage are avoidable.”


Speaking on the Five Star Logistics Terminal increased charges, Sulaiman said: “For SUVs, we were paying N21,000 as terminal handling charges, now it has been increased to N33,000. For the same SUV, we were paying N3,600 as terminal delivery charges but it has been reviewed upwards to N7,500.”


Sulaiman, however, said that there was no consultation before the terminal operators came up with the hike. Speaking on whether the charges were justifiable, given the explanation of terminals, Sulaiman said the terminal operators were supposed to inform stakeholders before increasing their charges.


“If they were talking about increasing staff salary or employing more hands to enhance efficiency, we would be able to analyse it, we are humans, but you cannot just increase charges without giving us anything in form of efficiency,” he lamented.


The Manager, Client Services, Inspired Cars, Iwayeye Olatunji, said car dealers are having a tough time with car sales. He said the hike would affect car businesses, as buyers would not be able to buy cars beyond their budget.


“I bought a Nigerian used car for N3.7 million, which under the normal circumstance is not supposed to be more than N3.2 million. With this, I cannot sell this car for less and people would not want to buy. Somebody that budgets to buy a car for N3 million and by the time he gets to the car shop, he sees it for N4 million, the person will not be able to buy and this will affect our business, which is based on turnover,” he lamented.


The car dealer said prices of vehicles have risen by more than 15 per cent in a 12-month period. When asked about how government policy was affecting his business, he said: “Due to border closure, cars stopped coming from the borders, which made the prices of available ones go up.”


The dealer added that about this time last year, a used Toyota Corolla (2005 model) sold for N1.2 million but the same car currently sells for about N1.6 million; while models like the 2008 version went from a little over N2 million last year to just over N3 million now.


The Manager, Client Services, Inspired Cars, Iwayeye Olatunji, said car dealers are having a tough time with sales as patronage has been consistently low this year, compared to the pre-COVID-19 period due to prevailing economic challenges that have affected consumers purchasing power. He added that government policy has made it expensive to bring vehicles into the country.


Deputy National President, Air Logistics, National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), Dr Segun Musa, said the economic situation in the country is critical such that people are struggling to survive due to high inflation and government policies. Musa lamented that terminal operators are cashing in at the ports due to the government’s unfavorable policies.


He said 50 per cent of terminal operators’ charges are from storage cost, which he blamed on the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) for making containers stay at the port for 30 to 40 days, instead of seven working days. He said all these would affect consumers, as businesses cannot be stopped from increasing their charges.


The National President, African Association of Professional Freight Forwarders and Logistics of Nigeria (APFFLON), Frank Ogunojemite, said while the economy is still reeling from the effect of COVID-19, the reason given by the terminal operators does not justify the increased handling charges.


Ogunojemite said the increment will leave a huge effect on the economy as prices of commodities would go high with the low purchasing power of the people.


MEANWHILE, the Nigerian Shippers’ Council has promised to resist any form of increment that would affect businesses. When The Guardian contacted the Executive Secretary of Nigerian Shippers’ Council, Hassan Bello, he said terminal operators have not increased their charges in a long time due to interventions by the council.


He added that having received the letter from the two-terminal operators on the proposed increase in handling charges, the council would not allow any increase at this time, which is why the council will engage stakeholders and the terminal operators on the issue.

Source: Guardian

More than 200 people have been injured in a train crash in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur.

 More than 200 people have been injured in a train crash in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur.


A metro train carrying 213 passengers collided with an empty one in a tunnel near the Petronas Towers, at about 20:45 (12:45 GMT), police said.


The empty train had just been repaired, and was going in the opposite direction on the same track as the full one.


District police chief Mohamad Zainal Abdullah told reporters there was no sign of foul play.


"We are still investigating the incident... but we suspect that perhaps there was a miscommunication from the trains' operation control centre," he said.


Of the 213 injured, 47 people are in a serious condition while the other 166 have sustained minor injuries, he added.


Images and footage posted on social media in the hours after the incident showed bleeding passengers lying on the floor of the train carriage, which was covered in broken glass.


Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin has ordered an investigation into the incident


In a statement posted on Facebook, Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin said the crash, which happened near the city's busy KLCC station, was "serious".


He added that he had asked the train operator Prasarana Malaysia Berhad and the country's transport minister "to conduct an in-depth probe to find out the cause of the accident".


Transport Minister Wee Ka Siong said in a separate statement that the crash was the metro system's first major accident in the 23 years it had been operating.


He also pledged to conduct a full investigation.



              


           


           



Cable Car Killed 14 In Italy

 At least 14 people were killed and one child has been left with serious injuries after a horror accident in which a mountain-top cable car plunged 65ft to the ground in northern Italy.


The cable car was carrying passengers to the top of the Stresa-Mottarone line in the Piedmont region of the western Alps when it dropped just 1,000ft away from the station shortly after 12pm.


Images from the site showed the crumpled car in a clearing of a thick patch of pine trees near the summit of the Mottarone peak overlooking Lake Maggiore, a popular tourist spot.


Rescuers work by the wreckage of a cable car after it collapsed near the summit of the Stresa-Mottarone line in the Piedmont region, northern Italy, May 23, 2021.


        



              


          


PRESIDENT BUHARI EXPRESSES SHOCK, SORROW OVER DEATH OF LT. GEN ATTAHIRU, OTHERS

 PRESIDENT BUHARI EXPRESSES SHOCK, SORROW OVER DEATH OF LT. GEN ATTAHIRU, OTHERS



President Muhammadu Buhari is deeply saddened over the air crash that claimed the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru, and other military officers.


The President condoles with families of the deceased, the military, and Nigerians in general, describing them as “heroes who paid the ultimate price for peace and security in the land.”


While praying that God receives the souls of the patriots, the President says the crash “is one mortal blow to our underbelly, at a time our armed forces are poised to end the security challenges facing the country.”


The President pledged that the departed would not die in vain.

Femi Adesina

Special Adviser to the President

(Media and Publicity)

May 21, 2021



Names of victims on board the ill fated aircraft. 

1. LT GEN I ATTAHIRU.

2. BRIG GEN MI ABDULKADIR.

3. BRIG GEN OLAYINKA.

4. BRIG GEN KULIYA.

5. MAJ LA HAYAT.

6. MAJ HAMZA.

7. SGT UMAR.

8. FLT LT TO ASANIYI.

9. FLT LT AA OLUFADE.

10. SGT ADESINA.

11. ACM OYEDEPO. 

BAYELSA OPENS PARTNERSHIP NEGOTIATIONS WITH IBOM-AIR OVER COMMERCIAL FLIGHTS

 Bayelsa State Government at the weekend opened partnership discussions with its Akwa Ibom counterpart on the use of Ibom Air to start commercial flight operations at the Bayelsa International Airport.


Speaking as the leader of a high-powered delegation from Bayelsa at a meeting in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital, the Deputy

Governor, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, noted that the choice of Ibom Air was informed by proximity and good bilateral relations between the two states.


Senator Ewhrudjakpo, in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media, Mr. Doubara Atasi, explained that Akwa Ibom has proved itself as a dependable neighbor to Bayelsa in so many ways over the years, which must be reciprocated "in the spirit of giving and take".


He expressed optimism that the partnership deal would soon be sealed for the airline to commence flights to and from Bayelsa, Lagos, and Abuja, describing the two routes as the highest in traffic for the people of the state.


The Deputy Governor assured Bayelsans and the public of the present administration's commitment to ensure smooth operations at the state Airport, which is adjudged to be one of the best in the country by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).


According to him, the state government is applying the business principle of "starting small to grow big" by going for a 50-Seater aircraft in its present deal with IbomAir to promote socio-economic activities in the state.


Senator Ewhrudjakpo who likened efforts for acquiring the operational license to Nelson Mandela's "Long Walk to Freedom", however, added that government has plans to do business with other airlines shortly.


His words, "Basically, we are here to discuss how we can have a mutually beneficial partnership with your airline, IbomAir. And our target is on any of your aircraft that has the capacity of about 50 seaters because we don't want to start too big.


"We believe that if we don't start anything now, we will have the issues of why did you rush to get the commercial license. So, we want to see how we can conclude with you and start operations.


"We have decided to choose Ibom Air because those who stay near each other tend to exchange pleasantries and other good things.


"And so, we decided that instead of going to meet commercial airlines like Orleans and AirPeace and then even the New United airlines, we agreed to start with Akwa Ibom our neighbors to set the ball rolling.


"We intend to do two flights for now; a trip to and from Abuja as well as a trip to and from Lagos. These are the major cities that our people visit very often for now either for business or for any other purpose."


               

         

Members of the state delegation, who accompanied the deputy governor were the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Biriyai Dambo (SAN), Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Maxwell Ebibai, and their transport counterpart, Hon. Grace Ekiotenne.


Others included the Deputy Chief of Staff, Deputy Governor's Office, Mr. Alex Dumbo, and the Manager of the Bayelsa International Airport, Mrs. Elizabeth Akpama.



Nigeria Government bans India, Brazil, Turkey visitors from entering Nigeria

 THE Federal Government has banned non-Nigerian passengers who visited Brazil, India, and Turkey in the last two weeks from entering the country.

Chairman of the Presidential Steering Committee on COVID-19 and Secretary to the Government of the Federation Boss Mustapha made this known in a statement issued on Saturday.


Mustapha said the decision followed increasing cases of COVID-19 and fatalities in Brazil, India, Turkey and some other parts of the world.


Mustapha said this did not include passengers transiting through those countries, stressing that the travel advisory would take effect on Tuesday while it would be subjected to review after an initial period of four weeks.


“These precautionary measures are a necessary step to minimize the risk of a surge in COVID-19 cases introduced to Nigeria from other countries.


“Non-Nigerian passport holders and non-residents who visited Brazil, India or Turkey within days preceding travel to Nigeria, shall be denied entry into Nigeria,” the statement partly read.


He noted that defaulting airlines would be made to pay a mandatory penalty of $3,500 for each (defaulting) you passenger.


The SGF also said that Nigerians and permanent residents who had been in those countries in the last 14 days would be placed on mandatory quarantine for a week in a government-approved facility on arrival.


If positive, the passenger shall be admitted within a government-approved treatment centre, in line with national treatment conventions.


“If negative, the passenger shall continue to remain in quarantine and made to undergo a repeat PCR test on day 7 of their quarantine,” Mustapha added.


In India, more than 200,000  people have died from COVID-19 after a third wave, a condition said to have risen from lack of oxygen in the country. Brazil has recorded over 400,000 deaths while Turkey has over 40,000 deaths from the disease.

AfCFTA Secretariat General tested negative for Covid-19 after an earlier PCI test at the Kotoka International Airport Ghana had turned out positive.

 The Secretariat General of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), Wamkele Mene has tested negative for Covid-19 after an earlier PCI test at the Kotoka International Airport had turned out positive.


According to the AfCFTA Secretariat, following the positive test result at KIA, Mr Mane went into quarantine whilst receiving guidance and advice from his medical team, who advised he took another test.


“Consequently, His Excellency undertook two independent tests, from two different private labs. Both independent PCR tests returned a negative result, clearing the Secretary General of Covid 19,” the Secretariat stated in a press release.


However, the Secretariat is concerned the Covid-19 antigen test at KIA produced a false positive result.


They stated that “almost two weeks ago, he received the Johnson & Johnson (J & J) vaccine, which should provide him with an additional measure of protection. His Excellency continues to adhere to all prescribed Covid 19 protocols.”


The Secretariat is, however, not alone in this assertion.


Some travelers who touched down at the Kotoka international airport last weekend are also raising questions about the test and operations of the airport on Covid-19.


Some of them who are currently on mandatory quarantine at Pantang say they have either been denied the opportunity to run a second test or see the results of the second PCI.


Others also say they have never received any medical attention, since they checked into the facility.


They are therefore calling on the government to investigate.

Ghana Regional Police Command Arrested 507 foreigners for illegally entering into the country

                                 Some foreign nationals

 494 people believed to be Nigerians have been handed over to the Ghana Immigration Service to process and deport them, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), Mr David Fianko-Okyere, the Public Relations Officer, Regional Police Command, said this in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Bolgatanga. 


Thirteen citizens of Burkina Faso who were part of foreign nationals arrested by the Upper East Regional Police Command for illegally entering into the country have been deported home.


He said the Police Command in the region had implemented a new operation strategy which included; a 24-hour robust patrol on highways and swoops, especially in the Bolgatanga Township.


He said the operation led to the arrest of 507 foreigners in the Bolgatanga Municipality and its environs who were citizens of Burkina Faso and Nigeria.


According to him, apart from the intelligence of the police service, they also had information from the public about the influx of foreign nationals into their communities.



He said the residents attributed the rising crime in the region to alleged illegal activities of the foreigners and the swoop conducted by the police service and other security agencies led to the arrest of 507 people.


He said preliminary investigations by the Ghana Police Service indicated that those arrested stayed in the country without proper documents, but said the Ghana Immigration Service was in the process of processing all the foreigners before deporting them.


ASP Fianko-Okyere noted that due to the geographical location, the 13 people from Burkina had already been handed over to the appropriate authorities in that country,while the rest who are believed to be Nigerians have been transported to the Immigration headquarters in Accra, to be deported.


The PRO noted that apart from those arrested there were some Nigerians who voluntarily handed themselves over to the police service to be deported back to Nigeria and the Immigration Service was working on such people as well.



He explained that the implementation of the new operation strategy was to ensure that the region was safe with lives and property protected with COVID-19 directives respected.


He said an investigation was ongoing to ascertain the time of entry into the country and people found to have gone against the country’s laws would be dealt with accordingly and the data of all the foreigners arrested were documented by the Immigration Service and it would be easier to locate anyone in future who would be found to have committed any offense while he or she was residing in Ghana.


The PRO however appealed to residents especially landlords to always do diligent background checks on foreigners and provide information to the security agencies before renting rooms to them.


“We are saying that it would be appropriate to liaise with Ghana Police Service and Ghana Immigration Service to do background checks on them and have them on record and find out what they are doing,” he said.



He also appealed to people living along the border to cooperate with the security agencies and report any suspected movement of people into the country for investigation and action.

Military helicopter crashes into house in Zimbabwe killing four people

 Three crew members and a child were killed after a Zimbabwean military helicopter crashed into a house near the capital, Harare, on Friday. 

One of the female Pilot killed in the crash

Two pilots, a technician and the child died in the training flight crash in Arcturus village, east of the capital.

Coins


An Air Force official said that after contact with the chopper could not be established, the base activated a search and rescue operation.


Because of sanctions by Western countries, Zimbabwe cannot afford new military helicopters and planes.


The military instead use ones that are criticized as being outdated by the air force.

Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhar Returns From UK Medical Vacation

 President Muhammadu Buhari has arrived the country via the Nnamdi Azikiwe international airport from the United Kingdom where he went on medical vacation for two weeks.



Before his departure, the presidency had explained that Buhari’s travel to the UK was not on an emergency case and that the Nigerian leader was not sick, dousing insinuations from critics who raised the alarm that the 78-year-old was not feeling well.


“It is a routine medical check-up; the President has undertaken this with a set of doctors that he has retained over many years,” said Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity.


He also explained that Buhari did not transmit power to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, noting that the President will not be away for so long to contravene the law.


“The requirement of the law is that the President is going to be absent in the country for 21 days and more, then that transmission is warranted. In this particular instance, it is not warranted,” the presidential aide said when he featured as a guest on Channels Television’s Politics Today.


Buhari’s departure was also widely criticised by the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) which described the move as an indictment of his government.


“It is indeed worrisome that under President Buhari, even the hitherto highly rated State House Clinic, has become so moribund that it cannot provide a simple medical checkup service for Mr. President,” the PDP noted.

United Nigeria Airline commences regular flights to Owerri Sam Mbakwe International Cargo Airport

 United Nigeria Airline will commence regular scheduled flight operations to the Sam Mbakwe International Cargo Airport (SMICA) on Thursday, April 8, 2021. The inaugural Owerri flight will depart the Murtala Muhammed International Airport (MM2) Ikeja, Lagos state at 7.00am and terminate at SMICA. It will depart SMICA for MM2 at 11:30am.


The airline will depart SMICA at 8:30am for the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja and return to SMICA at 10:00am. This will remain a regular schedule for United Nigeria Airlines on the Owerri route.




United Airline commenced operations in February this year and during its inaugural flight, its Chairman, Dr. Obiora Okonkwo, said the short term goal was to consolidate, establish all its routes and then work on expansion. He also said the airline wants to expand beyond Nigeria, starting from the West Coast.  


“We can see that there is a gap in this industry and we have not made any mistake to make Enugu aviation hub. The state government will give us encouragement and we are driven by service to humanity. Our short term is to consolidate, establish all our routes and then work about expanding. We want to expand beyond Nigeria, starting from the West Coast.


“The market is huge and there is need for a lot of aircraft. It might surprise you to know that had full load in all the routes we operated on the day of our inaugural flight. We are prepared for the competition. Those who are in the business should be worried about because we are new. We think that within the next three months we shall be able to expand our routes,” Okonkwo said.

Ghana Immigration Service move to clamp down on undocumented non-Ghanaians.

 The Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) has stepped up its hotel inspections during the Easter festivities as a move to help clamp down undocumented non-Ghanaians.

The GIS has therefore reminded all hotels, landlords and living apartment owners that it is going to step up its inspections and enforcement operations during the Easter holidays.



They are reminded of the requirement of Section 52 (1) (b) of the Immigration Act 573 that obliges them to ensure that all lodgers within their facilities are documented non-Ghanaians”, a press statement dated April 1, 2021, signed and issued by the Head of Public Affairs of the GIS, Superintendent Michael Amoako-Atta said.


Section 52(1) (b) states that, a person who knowingly harbors any person whom he knows is to be deported or has reasonable grounds to believe has acted in contravention of this Act commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding one thousand Ghana Cedis or imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or both.


Landlords and property owners


The statement said the GIS “wishes to serve notice to all landlords and owners of properties that, it will be conducting vigorous checks on their premises, and are therefore being asked, to fully cooperate with officers of the GIS.”


It explained that the stepped-up operation was in line with various strategies lined up by the GIS to ensure that the Easter holiday was free from criminal activities that are likely to mar the peace and safety of the citizenry.


The Service wishes to reiterate its earlier call on landlords to demand proof of residence or legal stay and Immigration registration from would be non-Ghanaian tenants before entering into any tenancy agreement with them, it added.



Hoteliers 

 

The GIS wishes to advise hoteliers and owners of residential apartments to keep appropriate data on all guests within their premises and make same available to officers of the Service who will be visiting their premises.


Failure to provide such information is a breach of the Immigration laws and upon conviction two years imprisonment may be imposed.


Transporting illegal migrants


The statement added that in line with this, transporters across the country especially those within the border communities are hereby warned to desist from conveying irregular migrants who enter the country through unapproved routes to various locations within the country.


It is an offence under the Immigration laws of the country and the Service will not spare any transporter who is caught in the act. Bus terminals and public transport stations will be closely monitored during this period.


The Service would like to call on the general public to cooperate with Officers of the Ghana Immigration Service by providing timely information on all suspicious movement of persons within their communities who are not known residents of the community to the nearest Immigration Office or Police station.


In line with its vision of delivering excellence in security and migration management for national development the Service will not relent on its mandate to ensure that the territorial integrity of the country is protected and also support in ensuring a conducive internal security for the people of Ghana.

Police storm beaches in Accra to enforce COVID-19 restrictions on Easter Friday

Officers of the Ghana Police Service have stormed some beaches in the capital to ensure that COVID-19 restrictions are being adhered to despite the Easter celebrations.Funerals, parties, nightclubs and beaches remain banned across the country in the wake of the pandemic.





Delivering his 23rd COVID-19 national address on January 31, 2021, President Akufo-Addo said the restrictions were necessary to curb the spread of the virus.


In his Easter message on Thursday, the President once again reiterated the need to continue observing all COVID-19 protocols as we mark the Easter celebrations.


He warned that the security services will strictly enforce compliance with the COVID-19 restrictions this Easter.


The Graphic Online reports that on Easter Friday, scores of police personnel were deployed to the coastline to ensure people did not visit the beaches.


Personnel from the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Unit, Marine Police and the Formed Police Unit (FPU) were at the Titanic Beach to police the place.


This resulted in the deserting of the beach and its surroundings, from Community Three Railway Crossing all the way to Sakumono.

Ghana Court has ordered the repatriation of a 28-year-old Nigerian for illegally obtaining a Ghanaian passport

 The Kaneshie District Court has ordered the repatriation of a 28-year-old Nigerian for illegally obtaining a Ghanaian passport and birth certificate after paying various court fines.



Iyamu, aka, Anthony Kwarteng, had secured a Ghanaian passport in Spain through a friend but the passport got missing when he visited Nigeria.


In his bid to secure a new Ghanaian Passport in Accra, officials of the Ghana Immigration Service (GIS) nabbed him when he appeared to go through processes at the Passport Application Centre (PAC) at Kwame Nkrumah Circle, Accra.


Iyamu pleaded guilty to illegal entry, attempting to obtain a Ghanaian passport and possession and use of Ghanaian birth certificate.


The Court, presided over by Ama Adomako Kwakye, convicted him on all the three charges.


On the charge of illegal entry, the Court ordered Iyamu to pay a fine of ¢840 in default serve two weeks imprisonment.


The Court ordered him to pay ¢960 in default serve two weeks imprisonment on the charge of attempting to obtain a Ghanaian passport.



 

For possession and use of false certificate to wit Ghanaian Birth Certificate, the Court further ordered Iyamu to pay a GHC840.00 or in default serve two weeks imprisonment.


The sentences, however, will run concurrently.  


Narrating the facts of the case in Court, Chief Superintendent of GIS, Mr Adolf Asenso-Aboagye, said Iyamu, submitted a Ghanaian passport application with a Ghana’s birth certificate and a Ghanaian passport number GT2038555, which he claimed was missing.


Chief Supt. Asenso Aboagye, said the convict also added a police report to the documents.


Chief Supt. Asenso-Aboagye, said officials at the PAC doubted his nationality and referred the matter to the GIS for further investigations.


The prosecution said investigations at the GIS headquarters revealed that the convict was a Nigerian whose real name is Eugene Wisdom Iyamu and not Anthony Kwarteng as he claimed.


According to the prosecution, Iyamu was born at Agbor in the Delta State and that he came to Ghana through unapproved route at Ghana’s Eastern Border (Aflao).



 

The prosecution said Iyamu in his cautioned statement said he obtained Ghana’s passport and birth certificate while he was in Spain through a friend.


He said Iyamu had said that, he managed to return to Nigeria on holidays, but his Ghanaian passport got missing so he decided to procure a new Ghanaian passport.


The prosecution said Iyamu was then introduced to one Joe in Takoradi who charged him ¢2,000 for a Ghanaian passport.


He said on February 18, this year, Iyamu had an appointment for vetting of his passport and he was arrested.


The prosecution said checks at the Passport Office at Ridge indicated that Iyamu’s passport, which he claimed was missing was falsified and that his Ghanaian birth certificate was also forged.


Chief Supt Asenso-Aboagye said efforts to arrest the said Joe from Takoradi was unsuccessful.


Source:Myjoyonline

Traffic Resume in Suez Canal after Ever Green was set Afloat

 The mammoth cargo ship blocking one of the world’s most vital maritime arteries was wrenched from the shoreline and set partially afloat again early Monday, raising hopes that traffic could soon resume in the Suez Canal and limit the economic fallout of the disruption.



Salvage teams, working on both land and water for five days and nights, were ultimately assisted by forces more powerful than any machine rushed to the scene: the moon and the tides.


As water levels swelled overnight, the hours spent digging and excavating millions of tons of earth around the Ever Green paid off as the ship slowly regained buoyancy, according to officials.


While shipping officials and the Egyptian authorities cautioned that the complicated operation was still underway, they expressed increasing confidence the ship would soon be completely free.


The stern was now some 300 feet from shore, according to the Suez Canal Authority. While the ship was moving, what remained unclear was if the bulbous bow — a protrusion at the front of the ship just below the waterline — is totally clear of dirt and debris. If it is still stuck in clay or obstructed by rocks, the early morning optimism could quickly fade.


The next high tide will peak at 11:42 a.m. local time, and crews will continue maneuvers as the water rises, according to the authority.


Images on social media showed tugboat crews celebrating their progress in the predawn hours.


It appeared to be the culmination of one of the largest and most intense salvage operations in modern history, with the smooth functioning of the global trading system hanging in the balance.


Each day the canal was blocked put global supply chains another day closer to a full-blown crisis.



Vessels packed with the world’s goods — including cars, oil, livestock and laptops — usually flow through the waterway with ease, supplying much of the globe as they traverse the quickest path from Asia and the Middle East to Europe and the East Coast of the United States.


With concerns the salvage operation could take weeks, some ships decided not to wait, turning to take the long way around the southern tip of Africa, a voyage that could add weeks to the journey and more than $26,000 a day in fuel costs.


The army of machine operators, engineers, tugboat captains, and other salvage operators knew they were in a race against time.


Late Saturday, tugboat drivers sounded their horns in celebration of the most visible sign of progress since the ship ran aground late Tuesday.


The 220,000-ton ship moved. It did not go far — just two degrees, or about 100 feet, according to shipping officials. That came on top of progress from Friday, when canal officials said dredgers had managed to dig out the rear of the ship, freeing its rudder.


By Saturday afternoon, they had dredged 18 meters down into the canal’s eastern bank. But officials cautioned that the ship’s bow remained firmly planted in the soil and that the operation still faced significant hurdles.


The company that oversees the ship’s operations and crew, Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement, said 11 tugboats were helping, with two joining the struggle on Sunday. Several dredgers, including a specialized suction dredger that can extract 2,000 cubic meters of material per hour, dug around the vessel’s bow, the company said.


The ship’s manager said that in addition to the tugboats and dredgers, high-capacity pumps will draw water from the vessel’s ballast tanks to lighten the ship.


Salvagers were determined to free the vessel as the spring tide rolled in, raising the canal’s water level as much as 18 inches, analysts and shipping agents said.


It was a delicate mission, with crews trying to move the ship without unbalancing it or breaking it apart.


With the Ever Given sagging in the middle, its bow and stern both caught in positions for which they were not designed, the hull is vulnerable to stress and cracks, according to experts. Just as every high tide brought hope the ship could be released, each low tide puts new stresses on the vessel.


Teams of divers have been inspecting the hull throughout the operation and have found no damage, officials said. It would need to be inspected again once it was completely free.


And it would take some time to also inspect the canal itself to ensure safe passage. With hundreds of ships backed up on either side, it could be days before operations return to normal.

Reason Why Nigeria Passport is Scarce in Malaysia

 A directive by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), in 2019 that the Nigerian passport booklets should be produced locally has not been carried out two years down the line.



Sunday PUNCH gathered that the delay was due to the inability of the Ministry of Interior to terminate the contract awarded to Smart Technology Nigeria Limited for the production of the passport booklets.


Smart Technology Nigeria Limited works in partnership with its parent company, Iris Corporation, based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.


The e-passport booklets are produced in Malaysia, but the Nigeria Immigration Service activates the passport through the biometric data transfer.


It was gathered that the Ministry of Interior and the NIS officials have been holding meetings with ISTL for over one year on the termination or variation of the contract valued at over $138, 443, 740, signed in May 2003.


The situation has led to the scarcity of passport booklets as ISTL has reportedly suspended production of the booklets following moves by the Federal Government to cancel its contracts and commence local production of the travel document.


An impeccable source said the Federal Government was facing serious legal challenges terminating the contracts which had no terminal date.


The official stated, “What I can tell you authoritatively is that the issue has been enmeshed in some legal tangle which they are trying to untangle. They discovered that previous administrations had committed the country to unfavourable contracts which may even be for life. Everybody has been on tenterhooks over it.


What the government is doing now is to resolve the legal conundrum and I think they are almost done with it. They would be making arrangements for local producers of the passport (booklets) after sorting out the problem.’’


Documents obtained by our correspondent indicate that the Federal Government entered into six agreements with the contractor between March 2003 and April 2015 for the production of e-passports.


The first contract was in three phases with the first phase costing $62,881,800 (over N10bn), while the second phase costs $53,337,470 (over N9bn) and the third phase, $62,881,800 (over N10bn).


The contract, which included the implementation of the Nigeria Harmonised ECOWAS Electronic Smart Passport and Autogate, was for the production of 5.5 million wafers and laminates for incorporation into the back cover of passport booklets, supply of Electronic Passport Management System, comprising the Passport Enrolment and Issuance System, Automated Fingerprint Identification System, Passport Personalisation System, Immigration Border Control System and Immigration Reporting System.



Checks indicate that the Federal Government did not commit any funds to the project, leaving the contractor as the sole financier of the contract.


ISTL reportedly took a loan of N3bn in 2003 to fund the implementation of the project.


The agreement states that ISTL shall bear, pay and thereafter be reimbursed by the Ministry of Interior with all withholding taxes, VAT, duties, fees, levies and other charges connected with the execution of the agreement which did not contain any renewal clause.


However, on March 1, 2007, the Ministry of Interior and Iris Smart Tech signed another agreement for the production of three million machine-readable passport booklets and the embedding of the substrates.



The booklets were to be supplied at a unit price of N690.08, totalling N2,070,240,000.


According to the agreement, the settlement of the company’s invoices was to be made from 30 per cent of the revenue generated from the passport sales.


The ministry was to make an advance payment of 25 per cent of the project cost while ISTL was expected to provide technical and management training to NIS officials.


Source:Punch News

The Shutting Down of SCOAN has Affected the Hospitality Industry in Ikotun Lagos State.

ONE year after the founder and Senior Pastor of the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN) Prophet T.B. Joshua, closed down the church in order to meet the government’s directive on COVID-19 pandemic, hospitality and ancillary services that depend on pilgrims and tourists to the church for their patronage are on the verge of extinction.



According to hospitality operators in Ikotun, 60 per cent of the accommodation facilities in the area have shut down sending thousands of workers into the labour market.


Even though the SCOAN has put in place all the necessary health precautions in line with the COVID-19 protocols,   Prophet T.B. Joshua has insisted he will only re-open the church when directed by God.


However, the continuous closure has caused so much hardship to the hospitality operators in Ikotun and the environs and they are hoping that the church will reopen as soon as possible.


Chief Sunny Ozumba, an owner of a hotel and a pilgrims’ hostel in Ikotun, who commented on the situation said the operators were in dire condition, “Your guess is as good as mine. You must have guessed that we are roasting. I am thinking of relocating. I am thinking of relocating because the coronavirus is not abating and the government is not telling us anything that is important to us. “The church is mindful of the current situation plus the social distance guideline and so are cautious of taking decisions. And the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN) is such that if it opens, some people will start disseminating information that people should come over for the cure of COVID-19 and all that.


“Even if the Man of God tells them don’t come, they will still come. I think he is mindful of the people’s well-being honestly, but the situation is not to our own economic interest.”


Another hotelier while commenting on the situation said “We survived other crises including the Ebola crisis, but we need God and the government’s help to survive the current situation. There is so much hunger around this area. Our source of livelihood is temporarily gone. We don’t know what to do.


Speaking further on the closure, Ozumba said “Well, we have those whose main source of clientele is accommodating pilgrims that visit the SCOAN only or mostly. I don’t know about others, but for us who are involved in accommodating pilgrims to Synagogue, we are having it tough.”


On whether the hoteliers are having any form of clientele from local pilgrims, he said “It is the same situation, except in the case of the local pilgrims, you can see one in a hundred sauntering in, but for international pilgrims, it is totally zero.”


But, there is hope. Without the hope we would have gone totally extinct. I think the church may not open its door until the virus fizzles out,” Ozumba said.


He lamented that despite the difficulty and situation, they have not received any form of palliative of help from either the state or Federal Government “During the first phase of the virus, I never knew some people from either the state or Federal Government have my details.


“They sent me a letter saying that I was going to have some palliatives. I was hoping and waiting, nothing happened. So, I shared my experience with a group I belong to. They told me that I should either wait there until I die of hunger, or go and find what to do. These days, the only things I get on my phone are vaccination messages. So, there has been no palliative of any kind.”


Source:Tribune News

Abba Kyari lied, collected N8 million to jail Chibuzo for Hushpuppi until he almost died in custody: FBI

 Abba Kyari lied, collected N8 million to jail Chibuzo for Hushpuppi until he almost died in custody: FBI Intercepted communication between ...

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