Major United States airlines are pressing United States lawmakers for a six-month extension of the $32 billion payroll support programme for airlines, airports and contractors, set to expire in September.
They warned that some flights may disappear and more jobs are at risk if the extension is not granted.
Southwest Airlines Chief Executive, Gary Kelly, said in a video message to employees the company backs the effort.
“We’re in lockstep with our industry organisation – Airlines For America – … in support of the labour unions’ efforts,’’ Kelly said in the video, which was viewed by Reuters.
“I am personally involved in delivering that message to our federal leaders.’’
Kelly also wants lawmakers to extend a ticket tax holiday and pass other tax breaks that give Americans incentives to travel “because without customers and places and events for them to fly to, we’ll never punch our way out of this crisis’’.
Airline industry executives have privately told lawmakers they may need to halt some flights because of depressed travel.
The payroll funding required them to maintain minimum service levels through Sept. 30.
On Friday, American Airlines subsidiary, PSA warned that based on American’s October schedule, it may need to furlough another 230 pilots and flight attendants on top of the 1,000 potential furloughs announced this month.
This week, 223 United States House lawmakers called for a six-month extension of the payroll aid programme they called crucial to keeping hundreds of thousands of aviation workers employed through March 31.
Congress awarded $25 billion in payroll assistance to United States passenger airlines in March, along with $4 billion for cargo carriers and $3 billion for airport contractors.
Most of the bailout funds do not have to be paid back.
When the first package was approved, large United States airlines hoped for demand to recover by October.
But with a resurgent pandemic, airline executives warn demand is stalling again.
Between American Airlines and United Airlines, more than 60,000 frontline workers have received warnings that their jobs are on the line.
Edited By: Abdulfatah Babatunde (NAN)https://nnn.ng/united-states-airlines-making-push-for-new-round-of-payroll-assistance/
15th Abuja Int’l trade fair to feature 500 exhibitors – ACCI
The Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) says its 15th Abuja International Trade Fair will feature not more than 500 local and foreign exhibitors.
ACCI Media Officer Latifat Opoola who made the disclosure on Sunday said the fair would hold in October at the Abuja Trade and Convention with the theme “Trade and Commerce Beyond Borders”.
According to Opoola, this year’s event in compliance with the COVID-19 protocols will only showcase indoor and virtual exhibitions to make room for a controlled environment that will ensure social distancing.
She noted that an average attendance of 100,000 visitors from both Nigeria and 150 countries, including U.K., United States, UAE, India, Malasyia and China would participate both physically and virtually at the fair.
She said other countries like Saudi Arabia, Ghana, South Africa, among others, were expected to participate.
She noted that over the years, the fair had been an amazing trade platform for international and domestic industry professionals, leading brands and MSMEs to transact, share market insights, cutting edge technology and expertise in an interactive environment.
“This year’s event will provide a platform for sharing of trade, investment and market opportunity as well as information. It will also help buyers, investors and traders to foster business relationships.
“Over 500 exhibitors from within and outside Nigeria in all sectors of the economy, including Agriculture, Manufacturing, Mining, Electricity, Oil and Gas, Tourism, Textile, Transport, Telecommunications, Financial and Service sectors are expected to participate.
“With a team of trade professionals, we are persistent in providing a conducive trading atmosphere for our exhibitors, which will lead to strategies and tactics needed to innovate, grow and promote businesses,” she said in a statement.
The opening ceremony is scheduled to take place on Oct. 22, while the closing ceremony holds on Nov. 2.
Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Peter Ejiofor)
Declare Badagry’s historical monuments protected structures, expert urges LASG
A tourism expert, Mr Babatunde Ajose, on Sunday urged the Lagos State Government to declare the historical monuments of the ancient town of Badagry protected structures.
Ajose made the appeal at the Tourism Stakeholders’ Meeting organised by the Badagry Media Group in Badagry.
The meeting was tagged: “On the Proposed Delisting of Heritage Sites and Attractions by Lagos State House of Assembly’’.
The expert said that this would protect the historical monuments from destruction or delisting by any agent in the state.
According to Ajose, the recent call on the state house of assembly by a lawmaker for the removal of all historical monuments in Lagos State had put fear in the minds of the residents of the town.
“When the issue of delisting of historical monuments in Lagos was mentioned by a lawmaker during a sitting of the Lagos assembly, residents of Badagry started running from pillar to post.
“The local media in the town were writing different stories on the social media, people started castigating the people in the assembly.
“Even when the LASEMA was coming with their vehicles to access the extent of damage done by rainstorms in some communities in the area, they started crying, “they have come to destroy our sites’’.
“What I expect from them in Badagry is organise themselves on how to meet the people in authority and explain things to them on the implications.
“The stakeholders should find a way of meeting the lawmaker in question and educating him more on what we have in Badagry.
“We will tell him that all these monuments are still in existence in the United States, where the protest started from.
“What they are only pulling down is the monuments of slave dealers; all slavery museums in America are still there,” he said.
Ajose urged the stakeholders in Badagry to engage the council Chairman, Mr Olusegun Onilude, on the potential of tourism in the town.
“We need to meet the chairman of the council on the need to make bylaws that will protect the monuments from external attacked.
“Then, move to engage the lawmakers at the state level on the need to protect the structures,” he said.
Pastor Sunday Humyinbo, the Coordinator, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Badagry Chapter, urged the organisers of the meeting to work in unity to achieve it aim.
According to Hunyimbo, always speak with one voice in whatever you are doing.
He said no historical monuments from Badagry should be removed or destroyed by the state government, adding they serve as tools for revenue generation for some people.
Also speaking, Pastor Senahu Mofinleun, the Convener, Badagry Christian Heritage Festival, said that the town was waking up from its slumber, urging the organisers to be transparent in whatever they were doing.
He said that they are ready to mobilise people to support the cause so that the historical monuments of the land would be protected.
Mr Kehinde Avoseh, a representative of Zangheto from Ajido community, commended the media group for their efforts in organising the meeting.
According to him, we need one voice to be the bringer of good omen to Badagry heritage.
Mr Sewede Akande, the Founder, Citymood Communications, said the meeting was to brainstorm on the issue of delisting of historical monuments in Lagos.
He said that the stakeholders meeting would come up with ways to engage the Lagos State Government on best ways to tackle the issue.
Akande commended the critical stakeholders that attended the meeting, adding that they would meet again to present their take on the proposed delisting of historical monuments in the state.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that on July 1, the Lagos State House of Assembly urged Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu to direct the Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, as well as that of Justice to look at sites and monuments in the state, to remove all vestiges of slave trade and colonial superiority.
NAN also reports that many local group and associations in Badagry, however, disagreed with the move.
Edited By: Idonije Obakhedo
Osimhen’s Napoli capitalised on Parma mistakes as spectators return to Serie A
Napoli on Sunday capitalised on two defensive mistakes to win 2-0 at Parma in their opening match of the season as spectators returned to Serie A for the first time since March.
Dries Mertens and Lorenzo Insigne got Napoli’s campaign off to a winning start with second-half goals shortly after club’s record signing Victor Osimhen was brought on for his debut.
A smattering of fans, wearing masks and widely spaced apart, watched the game at the Stadio Tardini.
This was after the Italian Government agreed to allow up to 1,000 spectators at matches from Sunday for the first time since the COVID-19 lockdown.
A cagey first half produced no real chances but Napoli came to life after Nigerian Osimhen, signed from Lille in the summer, was brought on in the 61st minute.
Two minutes later, Hirving Lozano crossed the ball into the area and Parma defender Simone Iacoponi headed his attempted clearance straight to the feet of Mertens who fired past Luigi Sepe from 15 metres.
Insigne struck the post from Oshimhen’s flick before Parma gifted Napoli a second goal.
Lozano intercepted a pass out of the Parma defence, his shot was saved by Sepe but Insigne snapped up the rebound in the 77th minute.
Parma, playing their first match under Coach Fabio Liverani, did little to impress new president Kyle Krause, Chief Executive of the United States-based Krause Group which took over the club on Friday.
Edited By: Yahaya Isah/Peter Ejiofor)
Why FG is investing massively in railways, seaports — Amaechi
The Federal Government’s focus on railway and seaport development is a necessity to drive the nation’s economy, according to the Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi.
Amaechi stated this at the virtual 15th Annual Kaleidoscope Global Business Conference hosted by the Consulate General of Nigeria in New York on Sunday.
“Many Nigerians have asked why the construction of railways.
“Eighty per cent of the cargoes we have in Nigeria are mostly imported, because the Nigerian economy is yet to generate enough production.
“However, the president is of the view that if we must produce, we must have infrastructure that enables that production, hence the focus on transportation, power and works,” he said.
The minister said although the railway project had started before the President Muhammadu Buhari, the nation’s seaports were not included in the design.
He stated that one of the first things the administration did was to rework the plan to link the rail network to seaports across the country.
“So, we started with the Apapa seaport. We are working there now and I believe by December, we should conclude the Lagos-Ibadan rail line extension into the port.
“We then added the Warri Seaport, the Calabar seaport and Tin Can Island. We are making sure that all of them include seaports,” Amaechi said.
According to him, contract for the 386km rail line from Kano to Maradi in the Republic of Niger will be awarded on Wednesday.
He added contract award for the 1,500km eastern rail line from Port Harcourt to Maiduguri would follow on Sept. 30.
The minister highlighted other rail line projects in the country, including Abuja to Itakpe, and Itakpe to Warri, which he said had been completed
He said the Warri line would also be extended to the Warri seaport being developed by the federal government.
Amaechi also highlighted the government’s seaport digitalisation programme, which he said would be completed in 2021.
Mr Gurjit Singh, former Indian Ambassador to Germany, Indonesia and the African, described Nigeria as the giant of Africa.
Singh, who is the Chairman of the CII Task Force on Asia-Africa Growth Corridor, said the Nigerian rail sector had the potential to drive the nation’s development as was the case in India.
He urged Nigeria to take advantage of the Asia-Africa Growth Corridor initiative to access public private partnership funding for its infrastructure projects.
Organised by United States-based Kaleidoscope Business Project, the event brought together Nigerian state governors, ministers, business executives and prospective foreign investors.
The participants included Gov. Simon Lalong of Plateau, Douye Diri of Bayelsa, Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta, Samuel Ortom of Benue and AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara,
The Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Mr Isa Pantami, and the Minister of State for of Mines and Steel Development, Mr Uchechukwu Ogah, also participated.
They took turns to highlight the investment opportunities that abound in their respective states and sectors in addition to the invest facilitation and security measures in place.
Welcoming the participants, the Consul General of Nigeria in New York, Mr Benaoyagha Okoyen, said the conference was part of the government’s efforts to open more windows of business opportunities in Nigeria to the world.
“With the opportunities that abound in Nigeria, this Conference aims at identifying those investors that are able, willing and committed to long term direct investment into the Nigerian economy.
“And it goes without saying that those from the Nigerian side are as desirous to meet investors in order to establish mutually beneficial relationships.
“Let me emphasise the need for us to jointly work together to enhance NIgeria economic growth and industrialization on our shared values and sound principles of mutually beneficial partnership and on a win-win business matrix,” Okoyen said.
Edited By: Felix Ajide