Former Philippine president Fidel Ramos, who oversaw a rare period of steady growth and peace that won him the reputation as one of the country’s most effective leaders ever, has died aged 94, officials said Sunday.
Known as “Steady Eddie” for his unflappable demeanour during the country’s regular moments of upheaval, he was frequently pictured chewing unlit cigars as he guided the Philippines with a sure hand from 1992-1998.
A career military man who never previously held elected office, his professorial conduct was unlike the bombastic image of many Filipino politicians.
He was also the first Protestant to win the top office in the overwhelmingly Catholic nation, despite opposition from some in the Church.
He later made an aggressive push for family planning to rein in rapid population growth.
But like other top officials of his generation, Ramos played a role in the dictatorship of Ferdinand Marcos, which saw thousands killed and thousands more arbitrarily imprisoned.
“It is with great sorrow that we learn of the passing of former President Fidel V.
Ramos,” said Trixie Cruz-Angeles, press secretary for President Ferdinand Marcos Jr, the son, and namesake of the late dictator, who took office last month.
“He leaves behind a colorful legacy and a secure place in history for his participation in the great changes of our country, both as a military officer and chief executive.
” Ramos’s family is expected to release a statement later Sunday.
The cause of death has not been released.
The European Union delegation in the Philippines expressed its condolences, describing Ramos as a “dedicated statesman” and “pillar of democracy”.
A graduate of the prestigious West Point military academy in the United States, Ramos had a lengthy career in the armed forces, including combat against communist guerrillas, and was deployed in the Korean War as part of the Philippine contingent.
He was later commander of the paramilitary Philippine Constabulary — the key institution that enforced the brutal repression of dissent after Marcos declared martial law in 1972.
Ramos’s moment of truth came in February 1986, when popular outrage was hitting its peak over the murder of opposition leader Benigno Aquino and massive regime cheating in a snap election.
Sensing Marcos’s weakness, a group of young military officers and their leader, defence secretary Juan Ponce Enrile, plotted to seize power but were found out.
Facing arrest, Enrile and his allies holed up in the military headquarters in Manila and appealed to the public to protect them from an imminent government attack.
Ramos joined their rebellion, withdrawing his support from Marcos and inspiring many others to rise up as well.
Soon, millions were massing in the streets for the peaceful “People Power” revolt that sent the dictator into exile and ushered in Corazon Aquino as president.
– ‘My atonement was revolt‘ –Aquino promptly appointed Ramos as military chief and then defence secretary in gratitude.
He would prove to be a crucial ally to Aquino as the military rebels who sought to topple Marcos soon turned their sights on her.
He led the loyalist forces that helped quash the coup attempts against her from 1986 to 1989.
When elections came in 1992, Aquino gave her endorsement to Ramos, which was crucial to him winning the presidency despite the opposition of influential Catholic Church figures.
As president, Ramos solved a crippling power crisis caused by years of under-investment in energy and broke up cartels in telecommunications, aviation, and shipping — boosting a moribund economy that reaped a period of renewed growth.
He also made peace overtures to communist guerrillas, Muslim separatists, and military coup-plotters.
In the end, only the communists refused to sign agreements with his government.
Ramos was also a key, early supporter of Rodrigo Duterte as he waded into national politics with his run at the presidency in 2016.
After Duterte’s landslide victory, Ramos even served as the president’s special envoy to Beijing to ease tensions over the disputed South China Sea. But the relationship swiftly soured and he publicly criticized Duterte’s expletive-laden speeches, his moves away from the US alliance, and his anti-drug campaign that claimed thousands of lives.
Ramos was also aghast at Duterte’s decision to allow Marcos to be buried in the national Heroes’ Cemetery despite the damage his dictatorship caused to the Philippines’ economy and social order.
When a Marcos daughter tried to link Ramos to the abuses of her father’s rule, Ramos said he had already apologized and made amends for his role.
“My atonement was leading the military and the police” in the revolt that toppled Marcos, he said.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate, Mr Caleb Mutfwang, has received royal blessings from Miskaham Mwagavul, John Hirse, and members of Mangu Traditional Council.
Mutfwang was at the palace of the traditional ruler to inform him of his success in the PDP governorship primaries.
Hirse prayed God to bless and protect the governorship candidate as he sought to serve the people of Plateau.
“Your victory is from God and he will be with you and ensure that you win the secondary election.
“You and your supporters must not insult anyone as you go about your campaigns, rather let the people know what you intend to do for them if elected,” he advised.
Mutfwang, who is the former chairman of Mangu Local Government, told the ruler that he was home to seek his royal blessings, having won PDP governorship primaries.
The PDP candidate said he was elated with the warm reception by the traditional council and the people of Mangu.
He said that the large turnout was clear sign of his acceptability by his people.
Mutfwang assured the people that if elected, he would entrench good governance that the people had been yearning for.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Mutfwang was accompanied on the home coming by his running mate Ngo Josephine Piyo and his wife.
Others were governorship aspirants who contested with him, PDP North Central Vice Chairman, Mr Theophilus Dakas-shan, Plateau PDP Chairman, Mr Chris Hassan, and the immediate past State Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Chief Letep Dabang.
The governorship candidate was also accompanied by former and serving members of the National and State Assemblies as well as PDP candidates in the 2023 general elections among others.
Concerned Nation-Builders Initiative, an NGO on Sunday in Epe, Lagos State stressed the need for human capital development for nation building.
Its Project Director, Mr Sultan Teslim, told the News Agency of Nigeria that Nigeria would develop faster if attention was shifted a bit away from politics.
More attention, he said, should be given to capacity building in education, ICT, skills acquisition and wealth creation among others.
“The driving force for a nation’s development and growth has shifted from natural endowments to knowledge economy.
“Countries without abundant resources have been excelling because of the emphasis on human capital that propels knowledge economy,’’ he argued.
Teslim noted that Nigeria had not been serious with her human capacity building because she had not been treating education as a priority sector.
“UNESCO approved that 26 per cent of annual budgets of countries be allocated to the education sector, but Nigeria allocates less than 8 per cent to the sector.
“Nigeria has been spending much on governance while critical infrastructure and education in particular have been treated with levity in national budgets.
“It is estimated that the country’s oil reserves would be exhausted by 2052. “Nigeria, therefore needs to key into the New Economy by developing, training and appreciating her abundant human capital,’’ Teslim charged.
’ He argued also that training in ICT, reduction of recurrent expenditure, ending of official corruption and allocating 26 per cent of budgets to education as recommended by UNESCO would help in the socioeconomic growth of Nigeria.
Teslim also told NAN that solving the problem of unemployment and restoration of the economy would stand the country in good stead.
The Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM) (www.SECAM.org), the association of Catholic bishops of Africa, Madagascar and the Islands, has elected His Eminence Richard Kuuia Baawobr of Ghana as its new president.
Download more audio: https://bit.ly/3zmT4Us His Eminence Richard Kuuia Baawobr is now the highest ranking member of the Roman Catholic Church in Africa.
The B-roll video, photos, sound clips and interviews in English, French and Portuguese are available to the media free of charge and can be used without restriction and permission: https://bit.ly/SECAM- PDT See the interview of His Eminence Richard Kuuia Baawobr, New President of SECAM: https://bit.ly/3zi4xok See the B-roll: https://bit.ly/3S8725b The election took place in Accra, Ghana, during the 19th SECAM Plenary Assembly, in which 130 participants, including cardinals and bishops representing more than 600 Catholic bishops from Africa, came from all corners of the continent.
The new president succeeds his Eminence Philippe Cardinal Ouédraogo of Burkina Faso. Another Cardinal, His Eminence Fridolin Besungu Ambongo of the Archdiocese of Kinshasha, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, was elected First Vice President, while Monsignor Lucio Andrice Muandula of the Diocese of Xai Xai, in Mozambique, was elected Second Vice President.
The new president of SECAM, His Eminence Richard Kuuia Baawobr, was created a Cardinal on May 29, 2022 by Pope Francis and will be officially installed as a Cardinal on August 27, 2022.
This is the first time since the establishment of SECAM, 53 years ago.
that a Ghanaian has been elected president of SECAM.
SECAM, established in 1969 in Kampala, Uganda during the visit of Pope Paul VI, was born out of the desire of the African Catholic bishops present at the Second Vatican Council to speak with one voice on matters related to the Church in Africa.
The Symposium, based in Accra, consists of eight regional associations: - Association of Episcopal Conferences of Central Africa (ACEAC).
- Association of Episcopal Conferences of the Central African Region (ACERAC).
- Assembly of the Catholic Hierarchy of Egypt (AHCE).
- Association of Member Episcopal Conferences of Eastern Africa (AMECEA).
- Episcopal Conferences of the Indian Ocean (CEDOI).
- Regional Episcopal Conference of North Africa (CERNA).
- Interregional Meeting of Bishops of Southern Africa (IMBISA).
- Meeting of the Episcopal Conference of Western Africa (RECOWA/CERAO).
More information on the XIX SECAM Plenary Assembly: https://bit.ly/3yIv8KD Signed: Monsignor Emmanuel A.
Badejo President, Pan-African Episcopal Committee for Social Communications (CEPACS-SECAM)
The Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), during its policy meeting held on July 21, pegged the minimum cut-off score for admission into the country’s universities at 140 for the 20222023 academic session.
It put that of Polytechnics at 120, and Colleges of Education at 100. Two years back, it had approved 160 as cut-off mark for 20202021 university admissions.
The board also approved 120 as cut-off marks for Polytechnic and 100 for the school of Education and Innovative institutions.
Last year, it announced 140 as the cut-off mark for all federal, state, and private Universities; 100 for polytechnics; and 80 for colleges of education in Nigeria for the 2021 admission.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that, in announcing this year’s cut-off marks, the examination body said that of the over 1.7 million candidates that sat for the examination, only 378,639 scored 200 and above.
The trend of the cut-off marks over the years, dropping in the case of universities to 140, of the total 400 marks, has elicited mixed reactions.
Some describe the lowering of the cut-off, the benchmark for placement of candidates into the country’s institutions of higher learning, as worrisome, with implications for education standards.
Others, however, think otherwise, saying it is not the sole determinant.
Prof. Oluwole Familoni, immediate-past Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academics and Research), University of Lagos, believes that low cut-off marks would not encourage competition.
He said that there was a need to ensure that candidates are challenged to get the best for the universities especially, as well as other tertiary institutions.
This, according to him, will ensure that the best are admitted and fit for purpose, during and after graduation.
Prof. Ibrahim Bakare, Chairman, Academic Staff Union of Universities, Lagos State University, Ojo (ASUU-LASU), believes the recent JAMB cut-off is a reflection of the performance of the candidates.
Bakare, also Director of Consult, LASU, said that low cut-off had serious implications on the quality of students being produced at the moment.
“This implies that the government needs to do a lot in motivating the teachers first in our secondary schools, and providing an enabling environment for private schools to compete well.
“Government should also train and retrain our teachers in public schools and adequately equip the laboratories to enhance the performance of the students.
“More funds need to be allocated in real terms to the education sector, without delay, and the welfare of teachers should also be improved, if the performance of students are to be enhanced,” he said.
Bakare said that teachers’ rating, proper quality assurance mechanisms and teaching techniques required immediate attention of the government.
“Teaching environment must also be conducive to facilitate a smooth learning process.
” State of emergency should be declared in our education sector in Nigeria,” he said.
But Chief Adeolu Ogunbanjo, Deputy National President, National Parent Teacher Association of Nigeria (NAPTAN), posits that cut-off marks can be seen only as a guide to university admission, but not in totality.
He said that the institutions still conducted their own internal examinations, by way of the Post Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination.
“Note that students securing admission into any university must have a combination of secondary school certificate examinations result, JAMB score and the particular university internally conducted examination.
“I think and I want to believe that the wisdom Prof. Ishaku Oloyode used there, was to ensure that university admission is now flexible to ensure that it takes more students, particularly now that a lot of things are disturbing education in the country.
“But lowering the cut-off to 140 does not mean that a student who aspires to study Engineering can do so; however we don’t mind the step, as parents,” he said.
Mr Andrew Agada, Principal, King’s College, Lagos is of the view that the candidates’ performance in the examination could have been part of the reason for the cut-off marks announced.
He noted that some time back, it used to be higher for universities and the other tertiary institutions.
“Universities used to be 180 at least, but getting to this level right now, means something must be fundamentally wrong somewhere,” he said.
Agada lauded one of his students that participated at the examination and came out with a total score of 355. He noted that it was no mean feat, adding that it was a thing of honour to the college and needed to be celebrated.
Mr Sunday Fowowe, National President, Association of Nursery and Primary Education Instructors in Nigeria (ANPEIN) expressed concern at the cut-off marks for this year.
Fowowe said that the poor performance of candidates in this year’s examination were possibly due to the questions being above the curriculum or syllabus given to them to study.
“Also, maybe laziness on the part of the candidates, for which they didn’t study well for the examination, could also be a factor.
“As researchers, we are compelled by this development to carry out a survey about those that scored less than 180, that will secure admission into the various universities.
“We must do a four-year longitudinal study of their performance in their future departments, to see if there is a correlation between JAMB performance (scores) and undergraduate academic performance,” he said.
To Dr Nasir Fagge, a former President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), there is a need for a review of the law establishing the JAMB.
According to him, the idea of allowing the examination body to decide general cut off marks for the country’s tertiary institution must be jettisoned, if the system is to achieve its mandate.
“This is one of the things we have been engaging the government on, in the past.
Where in the world will you have a particular outfit to determine what is best for institutions of learning in terms of admission?
“The practice is foreign to university autonomy.
“The job of the board should end with conducting the examination.
All it has to do thereafter is to collate the results and handover to the respective institutions of higher learning, to decide what they want.
“These institutions will then form a committee that will do other checks, come to an agreement and then hand it over to the Senate for final decision.
“The act of deciding who is admitted into any university for instance, should lie solely with the Senates of the various universities.
“They should be able to look at the general performance of the candidates and determine where to peg their cut-off marks and not JAMB.
“In my opinion, I dare say that this sort of practice by the examination body does not encourage merit and capacity,” the unionist said.
A cross section of Abuja residents on Sunday called on government at all levels and concerned stakeholders to protect the rights of children in Nigeria.
The residents spoke to the News Agency of Nigeria on the need to stop child abuse.
They reiterated the need to reduce the rate of children roaming the streets in the country.
Mr Samuel Onime, a lecturer at City Polytechnic, said that poverty had become one of the major reasons so many parents gave their children to people to take care.
Onime said parents gave out their children to be taken care of because of laziness and poverty.
“The absence of birth control makes some people to give birth everytime as if their lives depended on it.
When you ask them how they intend to take care of the children, they come up with the saying that God will provide,” he said.
Onime added that some of those given out were treated like slaves, thereby subjecting them to various maltreatment such as hawking, poor education, malnutrition, unnecessary beating at any slightest provocation.
Onime advised parents to embrace family planning to help reduce birth rate in the country.
Dr David Oamen, a teacher, said that some parents gave their children out to people to earn money to support the family, as well as shift the responsibility of feeding, housing and clothing to someone else.
Oamen added that in a situation where a family finds it difficult to afford three square meals and other basic necessities, such family had no choice than giving out their child.
Oamen stated that illiteracy was another reason for the menace because many of them were ignorant of the risks involved.
“I will never give out any of my children to relative as a house help regardless of the circumstances around me” he said.
Oamen therefore urged parents to take up parental responsibilities with seriousness other than shying away from their responsibilities.
Mrs Kate Uwabueze, a house wife, said laziness was a reason parents gave their children out to strangers or wealthy relatives who they thought would help train them and also meet the needs of the family.
According to Uwabueze, children who are used as care givers suffer a lot ranging from domestic violence, hawking, poor hygiene and sometimes death due to lack of medical care and maintenance .
” A lot of children are roaming on the streets.
I came in contact with a boy of 12 years, hawking orange during the course of our interactions.
”I asked him why he wasn’t in school, he opened up to me that he hawked for his aunty who couldn’t afford to pay his fees.
” Uwabueze opined that 95 per cent of these children were not well taken care of by their guardians as they were considered to be domestic servants.
Miss Ogwu Ugochukwu, a civil servant, stated that giving a child out as a house help or care giver was considered as child abuse.
According to her, some parents give birth to children they can’t take care, adding that some house helps are brutally treated.
”Some of these children face all sorts of physical, sexual and mental abuse from their guardians.
Ugochukwu appealed that medical personnel should ensure that family planning was made accessable to everyone, including those in the rural areas to help control child birth.
Mr Mark Asekhemhe, a student, said giving a child out to a relative as a care giver shouldn’t be seen as child abuse, adding that it could only become an abuse once the child was denied of his or her rights.
Asekhemhe added that some parents wanted their children to be educated, but were not financially stable as they resorted to other means by giving their children to wealthy relatives who they thought would help educate them.
He added that unfortunately, some of the children given to strangers ended up on the street, hawking for their guardians whereas their parents thought they were in school.
” Many children who serve as care givers or house help are maltreated.
Parents need to put all these into consideration before giving birth.
If you cannot cater for a child, don’t even try giving birth.
Giving birth is not compulsory,” he said.
Asekhemhe also suggested that the human right commission should put in more efforts to investigate children seen on the streets hawking during school hours.
Asekhemhe called on the Federal Government and Non Governmental organizations (NGOs) to sensitize those living in the rural areas to the dangers of child abuse and birth control.
Eleven farmer’s associations in Nasarawa State got a N1.5 million tricycle each on Sunday in Lafia to address their members’ transportation problems, increase their income and their livelihoods. The associations were selected from five local government areas of the state – Lafia, Doma, Karu, Nasarawa and Wamba. The tricycles, costing a total of N16.5 million were given on the platform of the Federal Fund for Agricultural Development-assisted Value Chain Development Programme (- VCDP). Dr Eunice Adgidzi, Nasarawa State Coordinator of VCDP, told the farmers to use the tricycles to transport their farm produce and also use them for other commercial activities. She said the provision of tricycles was made possible through IFAD’s COVID-19 Rural Poor Stimulus Facility grant. She explained that IFAD provided 70 per cent of the total cost while each group paid 30 per cent to enable them to benefit. “IFAD provided N11.5 million which is 70 per cent of the total cost while the beneficiaries paid N5 million, 30 per cent of the cost. “IFAD paid N1,050,000 for each tricycle while each group paid N450, 000 to enable it to benefit. “We distributed fertiliser, seedlings and other farming inputs to the farmers free, but for equipment, they have to pay a token as part of their commitment,’’ she said. The coordinator added that the project aimed at improving the incomes and food security of poor rural households engaged in production, processing and marketing of rice and cassava on sustainable basis. She expressed gratitude to Gov. Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State for his continued support to the project and assured that the state would get excellent result and improved output. Responding on behalf of the farmers, Bala James-Ewuga of Akwa Rice Irrigation Farmers Ltd. thanked the government for the support and promised to use the tricycles judiciously. NewsSourceCredit: NAN
Whether it’s abstinence, avoiding nightclubs, limiting sexual partners, or pushing for a swift vaccine rollout, Spain’s gay community are on the front line of the monkeypox virus and are taking action.
“With this monkey thing, I prefer to be careful… I don’t have sex any more, I don’t go to parties any more, and that’s until I’m vaccinated and have some immunity,” said Antonio, a 35-year-old from Madrid who declined to give his surname.
Antonio, who often went to nightclubs and sometimes to sex parties, decided to act as cases continued to increase.
Spain on Saturday reported its second monkeypox-related death.
Outside of Africa, the only other such death has been in Brazil.
More than 18,000 cases have been detected throughout the world outside of Africa since the beginning of May, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
Spain is one of the world’s worst-hit countries.
The country’s health ministry’s emergency and alert coordination centre put the number of infected people at 4,298.
As cases increase globally, the WHO has called on the group currently most affected by the virus — men who have sex with men — to limit their sexual partners.
Before going on holiday abroad, one holidaymaker said he would avoid “risky situations”.
“I didn’t go to sex clubs anymore and I didn’t have sex either,” the 38-year-old explained.
– Lack of vaccines –“This is not like Covid, the vaccine already exists, there’s no need to invent it.
If it wasn’t a queer disease, we would have acted more — and faster,” said Antonio.
Like other members of the gay community, he believes the authorities have not done enough.
NGOs have denounced a lack of prevention, a shortage of vaccines, and stigmatisation linked to the virus.
This is despite the WHO declaring the monkeypox outbreak a global health emergency.
Early signs of the disease include a high fever, swollen lymph glands, and a chickenpox-like rash.
The disease usually heals by itself after two to three weeks, sometimes taking a month.
A smallpox vaccine from Danish drug maker Bavarian Nordic, marketed under the name Jynneos in the United States and Imvanex in Europe, has been found to protect against monkeypox.
It took Antonio three weeks to get an appointment to be vaccinated, after logging on to the official website every day at midnight.
Appointments “are going as fast as tickets to the next Beyonce concert”, another joked referring to the gay icon.
So far, Spain has only received 5,300 doses which arrived in late June. The Spanish health ministry declined to comment when contacted by AFP.
– ‘Anyone can catch it’ –Nahum Cabrera of the FELGTBI+ NGO, an umbrella group of over 50 LGBTQ organisations from all over Spain, insists there is an urgent need to vaccinate those most at risk.
That means not just gay men, but anyone who has “regular sex with multiple partners, as well as those who frequent swingers’ clubs, LGTBI saunas, etc”, he said.
“It risks creating a false sense of security among the general population, and they relax into thinking that they are safe and that it only happens to men who have sex with men,” he said.
The target age group for vaccination is those aged between 18 and 46, he added.
Older people are vaccinated against smallpox which was eradicated in Europe in the early 1970s.
“We are facing a health emergency… that affects the LGBTI community, so people think it is insignificant, that it is not serious,” said Ivan Zaro, of the Imagina MAS (Imagine More) NGO.
“This is exactly what happened 40 years ago with HIV.
Image director Javier spent three days in hospital in early July after becoming infected.
After three weeks in isolation, a challenge after the pressures of Covid, he told his family and friends.
The 32-year-old, who is in a monogamous relationship, said he still did not know how he had caught it.
“I warn everyone,” he said.
“It’s an infectious disease, anyone can catch it”
Vice Chancellor (VC) of the University of Calabar(UNICAL), Florence Obi, has lauded Nigeria’s weightlifter, Adijat Olarinoye, for winning the first gold medal of the 2022 Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
Obi, who spoke in a telephone interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Sunday in Calabar, said the female athletes were making the country proud.
Olarinoye recorded a total of 203kg in the women’s 55kg weightlifting event.
The 203kg lift is a new Commonwealth Games record.
The VC said that Olarinoye’s feat in Birmingham was coming at a time when millions of Nigerians were still celebrating the victory of Oluwatobiloba Amusan.
Amusan made history by becoming the first Nigerian to win World Athletics Championship gold medal in the 100m women’s hurdle and also setting a new world record in the process.
She said that the strong determination and the winning spirit of the medalists would continue to fly the nation’s flag at the international stage.
Obi lauded Olarinoye for displaying courage, integrity and good sportsmanship at the world stage, adding that with hard work and determination, success was achievable.
The XXII Commonwealth Games and commonly known as Birmingham 2022, is an international multi-sports event for members of the Commonwealth of Nations.
It is currently taking place in Birmingham, England.
The games began on July 28 and is expected to climax on Aug. 8.
An aviation sector stakeholder, Mr Bankole Bernard, suggested in Ikeja on Sunday that 18 unviable airports in the country should be turned into shopping malls to generate revenue.
He told the News Agency of Nigeria that only four airports, Lagos, Port Harcourt, Abuja and Kano, out of 22 airports in the country are viable.
The operations of the other 18 airports had been unviable over the years, he added.
Bernard, Group Managing Director of a holding company in the aviation sector was speaking with NAN on the side line of the 26th annual conference of the League of Airport and Aviation Correspondents.
According to him, efforts to enhance the operations of Owerri Airport, another international aerodrome to operate from sunrise to sunset had proved abortive over the years.
He urged the federal and state governments to consider the construction of shopping malls and other facilities that would attract more commercial activities to the unviable airports.
He emphasised that aviation operates using international standards and appealed to governments at all levels to take a cue from other countries which ensured commercial viability of their airports by thinking outside the box.
“What are the possible solutions to consider given the numerous challenges we are faced with in the industry?
We can start with the modernisation of airport terminals with shopping malls.
“This will contribute to the commercial viability of the airports and other necessary infrastructures like the internet and constant power supply to support businesses.
“We must begin to think of an alternative power supply like renewable energy to keep the airports functional and reduce the cost of operation in the long run.
“This will also make the airports viable and attractive.
“There is the area of interconnectivity within airports.
The interconnectivity of the local airports to the international airports will contribute to the economic viability of the airports,’’ he said.
He argued that the suggestions he made would further enhance commercial activities and boost non-aeronautics revenues to the 18 airports that had remained unviable.
He added that government could also consider the provision of affordable hotels, which would give credence to investments in the industry.
Bernard emphasised that the ability to provide Bed & Breakfast hotels around the terminals of some of the moribund airports would be of great attraction, while also increasing the viability of the airports as well.
NAN reports that the theme of the Airports Correspondents’ seminar is: “Sunset Airports – the Safety and Economic Implication’’.