South Africa’s beleaguered national carrier is being placed into “business rescue”, giving the airline breathing room to radically restructure, Public Enterprises Minister, Pravin Gordhan, said on Thursday.
The government is contributing two billion rands ($137 million) to the effort to save South African Airways (SAA), as will the state-owned company’s existing lenders, Gordhan said in a statement.
“This should help prevent a disorderly collapse of the airline,’’ he said.
“It must be clear that this is not a bailout,’’ Gordhan added.
“This is the provision of financial assistance in order to facilitate a radical restructure.’’
Under South African law, a business rescue is meant to “facilitate the rehabilitation of a company that is financially distressed’’ by allowing its temporary supervision by a so-called business rescue practitioner, a temporary moratorium on claims against it and the drawing-up of a restructuring plan.
SAA has long faced financial difficulties. In June, its board of directors had announced that the flagship carrier needed an additional four billion rands to survive the current financial year.
The airline’s board has approved the business rescue, saying in a statement that this would “create a better return’’ for its creditors and shareholders.
“The company is seeking to … provide the best prospects for selected activities within the group to continue operating successfully,’’ SAA said.
The airline said it would soon issue details on a “new provisional timetable’’.
“This set of actions should provide confidence to customers of SAA to continue to use the airline,’’ Gordhan said.
“Our desire is that the restructured airline will mark the beginning of a new era in South African aviation.’’
Edited & Vetted By: Fatima Sule/Abdulfatah Babatunde
Burna Boy becomes first Nigerian artist with certified silver album in UK
Nigerian superstar, Damini Ogulu, a.k.a Burna Boy has become the first Nigerian artist with a certified silver album, “African Giant” in the UK.
The renowned singer, who said he was so excited over the achievement, took to his Instagram page @burnaboygram to announce the news to his fans and also expressed love to everyone that supported him.
The News Agency of Nigeria , reports that a silver certification in the UK means an album has sold 60, 000 copies.
NAN also reports that this came after news that ‘Own It’ by Stormzy featuring Burna Boy and Ed Sheeran, has a two-time platinum certification for selling 600,000 copies.
On June 4, it was announced that ‘Be Honest’, the 2019 single by British singer, Jorja Smith featuring Grammy nominee, Burna Boy has been certified platinum in France.
Burna Boy had accepted a gold plaque for his 2018 single “On The Low’’. The gold plaque is for selling 100,000 (or more) copies.
A gold plaque can also be handed to an artist, whose single has been streamed 15 million times in the country, thus 15 million streams of a single in France is equivalent to 100,000 pure sales.
Burna Boy is a multi-awarding Nigerian Afro-Pop singer, whose sound inspired by Nigerian legend Fela Kuti.
He got his breakthrough in 2012 with his hit single such as to Party off his debut album ‘L.I.F.E’ released in 2013.
Burna Boy in 2017, signed with Bad Habit/Atlantic Records in the U. S. and Warner Music Group internationally.
He released his first major label backed album ‘Outside’ in 2018.
The artist immense contribution in entertainment industry coupled with his numerous songs has made him outstanding.
Edited By: Abiodun Esan/Grace Yussuf
Resumption: Schools comply with COVID-19 protocol
As schools across Osun state resumed today, the authoritiest of all schools complied with the Federal Government COVID-19 protocol.
The News Agency of Nigeria correspondent who monitored resumption of schools in Ile-Ife, Osun, on Monday, observed compliance with the Covid-19 protocols of use of face mask and observance of social distancing in the schools visited.
The Principal, Anglican Central Government Middle School, Ilare, Ile-Ife, Mr Rufus Ojedokun, commended the state government for the re-opening of schools.
He described as impressive the turn out of students and teachers in school, adding over 90 per cent were in attendance.
Ojedokun said that all the students came with their face mask and sanitizers from home, while the school already put all materials in place for the schools as well.
He admonished parents to support their children academically by providing necessary materials for them and ensure they are punctual in schools.
Also, Mrs Kehinde Olafimihan, Coordinator for Triumphant Baptist Private Primary School, Ilare, Ile-Ife, told NAN that the school resumption was a welcomed development.
Olafimihan said that ahead of resumption, government had decontaminated the school premises and classrooms, provided washing hand basin with soaps and sanitizers for the pupils, staff and visitors.
She said that also provided were thermometers to checkmate the temperature of the children before entry into the school compound while the pupils complied with social distance protocols in their classrooms.
According to her, all the students came with their face mask and sanitizers from home while the school also provided as well.
Also, Mr Ademola Sanusi, the Principal, Oduduwa College, Ile-Ife, stated that almost 90 per cent of the students resumed today, because majority of them were already tired of staying at home.
He said that all the students came with their face masks and sanitizers from home, while the schools also provided for their students, staffs and visitors to the schools.
The principal urged the students to face their studies, saying that they have limited time to run the abridge third term, for they would write unified promotion examinations.
Also, Johnson Agboola, the Vice-Principal, Ambassador College, said that as a private school, they were happy at the resumption and all their staff and students were 100 per cent present in school.
Agboola added that the school had provided face masks for the students, staff and the visitors.
He stated that the school ensured compliance with social distancing, provided thermometers to check the students temperature and water and hand washing basin with soap and sanitizers
The Vice-Principal appealed to the students to be diligent in their studies, saying this was necessary because of the time lost due to the coronavirus outbreak.
Edited By: Remi Koleoso/Bayo Sekoni
Ekiti govt. tasks teachers on dedication to duties as schools resume
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the advice was given as primary schools in Ekiti resume for academic activities on Monday.
Akinwumi called on them to adhere strictly to the guidelines issued by government to curb the spread of the virus in schools and other public places.
The chairman’s call was conveyed in a release in Ado-Ekiti, by Mr Tope Babalola, the SUBEB Director of Social Mobilization.
He urged teachers to work assiduously towards accomplishing the task of ensuring their safety and that of their pupils.
Akinwumi added that they must ensure proper preparation of the pupils for the forthcoming common entrance and placement examinations.
He said the two major tasks were achievable if teachers remained diligent, committed and focused in discharging their duties.
Akinwumi pledged the commitment of the Fayemi-led administration towards providing a conducive teaching and learning environment in schools as well as ensuring adequate training and re-training for teachers in public schools.
He said now that all public primary schools in the state had been provided with spray pumps and herbicides, there was no excuse for the school environment to be overgrown by weeds.
Akinwumi stated that the new method of rigorous and continuous schools inspection recommended by the Universal Basic Educational Commission (UBEC) Quality Assurance would come into full effect in the state in the new term.
NAN recalls that Gov. Kayode Fayemi in a statewide broadcast announced Sept. 21 as date for re-opening of primary and secondary schools in the state thus ending months of closure as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Other grades of pupils and students were to resume later when more assurance of safety for their age bracket would have been established.
Edited By: Emmanuel Nwoye/Razak Owolabi
Delta Govt reassures parents of Primary Six pupils’ safety during exams
The Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education in Delta says necessary measures have been put in place to safeguard lives of Primary Six pupils ahead of their forthcoming Cognitive Placement Examination.
Mr Patrick Ukah, the Commissioner in charge of the Ministry, gave the assurance in a statement on Thursday in Asaba, said the examination would hold on Sept. 26.
Ukah said that the preparation was in line with the COVID-19 protocols.
He said that the ministry had on Thursday supervised the distribution of hand sanitisers, hand towels, Infrared Thermometers, liguid soup and facemasks, among others, to all the 1,126 public primary schools in the state.
According to him, resumption of the Primary school pupils in the exit class was the third phase of the reopening of schools after the lockdown since March.
“The monitoring and surveillance activities will be intensified as a result of the difficulty associated with managing primary school pupils,” the commissioner .
He said that in Delta, no student contacted Coronavirus during the just concluded Senior School Certificate Examination (SSCE), hoping that the pupils in the primary school arm would not also contact the virus.
Ukah also urged school heads and teachers to ensure that the pupils adhere to the COVID-19 protocols as outlined to protect them against contacting the virus.
The schools visited included Uzoigwe Primary School; Royal Mira All Saints International School; Zappa Primary School; Ogbe-Afor Primary School and Abu-Ator Primary School, all in Asaba, Oshimili South Local Government Area.
Others were Mgbala Model Primary School and Umegbali Primary School, both in Okpanam, Oshimili North Local Government Area.
Edited By: Olagoke Olatoye