Category archives for: Transportation

Nigeria: NAMA to Step Up Digitisation of Aeronautical Services

By Oladeinde Olawoyin

The Nigerian Airspace Management Agency, NAMA, has restated its commitment towards accelerating the digitisation of Aeronautical Information Service in view of the centrality of data automation to the overall safety of civil aviation.

The Managing Director of the Agency, Fola Akinkuotu, made this known on the occasion of the World AIS Day which held at the agency’s headquarters in Lagos on Tuesday.

Mr. Akinkuotu maintained that in view of critical deliverables of the Aeronautical Information Management (AIM) project and “given that it represents a global migration to a dynamic data oriented aeronautical information management system that facilitates the timely exchange of aeronautical information in an accurate and standardized format from anywhere to everywhere globally on real-time basis, the automation project is a must-do for NAMA.”

The deliverables, the NAMA boss said, include the enhancement of e-NOTAM, e-Flight Planning, e-AIP, e-TOD, e-Charts, e-Flight briefing among others.

He explained that for the dream of AIS Automation to be realized, it behoves staff of the department to put in their best to see that their service both at the individual and group level remain invaluable.

Mr. Akinkuotu, however, maintained that the staff could do this through extensive research and paper presentation at seminars, targeted at enriching the system and taking it to the next level.

He also promised to open his doors to their professional and technical advice which he said would give him the needed guidance in taking key decisions.

The NAMA helmsman lauded staff of the AIS department for their diligence, hard work and dedication to duty.

“AIS remains one of the most critical departments in the agency even though they are hardly given the prominence they deserve, because their job most often, is behind-the-scene,” he said, stressing that the absence of AIS in the system will bring about chaos in the entire civil aviation.

In his welcome address, the General Manager, AIS, Kabir Gusau, appealed to NAMA management to consider the periodic training and retraining of AIS personnel which according to him, “would bring staff up to speed with modern trends in a dynamic aviation industry and also prepare them to effectively embrace automation when fully deployed.”

Mr. Gusau also harped on the need for the agency, through the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), to ensure that qualified AIS personnel were licensed as this would bolster them towards hard work, commitment to duty and enhanced productivity.

Observed in 191 contracting states globally, the World AIS Day is a day providers of the service, regulatory authorities, users of the service, other aviation stakeholders, as well as AIS systems manufacturers, critically assess the performance of the service and recommend appropriate measures for its enhancement.

In Nigeria, the 2017 World AIS Day with the theme: Efficient Data Management System that Supports Digital Aeronautical Information Services, was celebrated on May 15, 2017 simultaneously in all parts of the country.

Nigeria: ‘Ports Concession Spurs U.S.$2 Billion Investment By Terminal Operators’

By Sulaimon Salau

A whooping $2 billion investment by the terminal operators has massively turned around operations at Nigerian seaports since the commencement of the concessioning programme about 11 years ago.

The Chairman, Seaport Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria (STOAN), Princess Vicky Haastrup, who disclosed this recently, commended the Federal Government for its foresight in instituting the programme.

Before terminal operations were concessioned in 2006, Nigerian ports faced major challenges, which placed them among the most inefficient in the world. Before concession, the average waiting time for ships before berthing was 21 days, vessel turnaround time was seven days while dwell time for cargo was as high as 45 days.

Virtually all the major seaports across the country were heavily congested leading to insecurity and pilferage, delays in cargo clearance and inefficiencies in cargo handling largely due to manual processes.

According to Haatrup, the $2 billion invested by private terminal operators were deployed in modernising and upgrading their various terminals as well as in manpower development.

She said the success of the ports concession programme, which was implemented in 2006, has made it a model for consideration by other governments across the world to concession public infrastructure, and also for Nigeria to extend the model to other sectors of the economy.

Haastrup said: “What concessioning does is free government resources for the provision of other social services to the people. Government remains the ultimate owner of the concessioned facilities but the private sector is mandated to develop and operate those facilities under agreed terms over a certain period.

“This is a worthy model, which has not only improved operations at our ports, but has also attracted commendation from within and outside the country. “After Nigeria’s port concession, we now have countries like Ivory Coast, Liberia, Ghana, and even Greece adopting our model. The Liberians and Ghanaians sent delegations to understudy our port concession model to develop theirs.

“Also recently, the Greek Government concessioned the Thessaloniki Port, which is one of its most important public infrastructure. This is a clear indication of our success as a nation in building models worthy of emulation by others,” Haastrup said.

She also said the Federal Government’s consideration for adopting the concession model for the railway and aviation sectors derive from the success of the port programme.

“I have implicit confidence in the present government’s ability and commitment to the improvement of public infrastructure in the country and one is delighted to note that concessioning has become the model being adopted for both the railway and aviation sector reforms,” she said,

The STOAN chairman also commended the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) for launching a Safety, Information, Operation and Communication Centre to enhance 24-hours operation at the port.

“The commissioning of this centre and the recent launch of four new tugboats by NPA will deepen reforms at the port. It will complement the efforts of terminal operators to make our ports competitive,” she said.

As a result of the challenges, the Federal Government of Nigeria in 2006, concessioned cargo handling operations at the ports to 25 terminals operators under various lease agreements raging from 15 to 25 years.

Zimbabwe: Unsafe Air Zimbabwe Banned From Europe

Photo: Beda Msimbe/Daily News

Air Zimbabwe aircraft.

Air Zimbabwe has been placed on the European Union Air Safety List for failure to comply with safety standards expected from airlines flying into the Eurozone.

The list means the struggling Air Zimbabwe, now being managed by President Robert Mugabe’s son in law Simba Chikore, can no longer fly to Europe until it has improves safety standards.

The EU Air Safety List seeks to ensure the highest level of air safety for European citizens, which is a top priority of the Aviation Strategy adopted by the Commission in December 2015.

While all airlines certified in Benin and Mozambique were cleared from the list after improvements to the aviation safety situation, Air Zimbabwe was added together with Med-View (Nigeria), Mustique Airways (St. Vincent and the Grenadines) and Aviation Company Urga (Ukraine).

“They were added to the list due to unaddressed safety deficiencies that were detected by the European Aviation Safety Agency during the assessment for a third country operator authorization,” said the EU commission in a statement on Tuesday.

Commissioner for Transport Violeta Bulc said: “I am glad that we are able to take all carriers from Benin and Mozambique out of the air safety list. Their reforms have paid off.

“This is also a signal to the 16 countries that remain on the list. It shows that work and cooperation pays off. The Commission and the European Aviation Safety Agency are ready to assist them and raise the safety standards worldwide.”

The embattled national airline is struggling to pay millions in air taxes and other obligations. At Independence in 1980 Air Zimbabwe boasted a fleet of 18 aircraft but is now nearly grounded with just three functional planes.

The blow comes as the flag carrier airline recently told parliament that it was on the verge of closing a deal with a foreign investor.

Media reports also indicated the airline was planning to lease two planes from Malaysia but the deal reportedly fell through.

Zimbabwe

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Zimbabwe: Govt to Put ‘Brakes’ On Speeding Drivers

By Freeman Razemba

Government will soon come up with road traffic legislation that will make it compulsory for all public service vehicles to be fitted with speed limiting gadgets in a bid to reduce road fatalities caused by speeding drivers, a senior official has revealed.

Transport and Infrastructural Development Deputy Minister Engineer Michael Madanha also invited the private sector to consider the feasibility of installing speed governors and other in-vehicle technologies. “I am sure we agreed on the fact that some drivers are not disciplined enough to manage speed on their own,” he said. “Intelligent speed assistance imposed on the vehicle will help the driver not to speed when the speed limit is reached.”

Eng Madanha was speaking at the launch of the fourth Global Road Safety Week 2017 in Harare last Friday. “After thorough consultations, there is nothing that would prevent my ministry from developing a road traffic law which will make it compulsory for all public service vehicles to be fitted with specified and appropriate in-vehicle speed governing technologies,” he said.

“Excessive speed is when a vehicle exceeds the posted speed limit for a particular road. This is illegal. On the other hand, inappropriate speed is when a vehicle travels at a speed that is unsuitable for that road, prevailing weather, and/or traffic conditions, but within the speed limit.”

Eng Madanha said Government was committed to road traffic safety, as witnessed by the commemoration and appreciation of the global response to road safety.

He said he was proud that the country was ranked number four in Africa in terms of the mid-term status of implementation of the African Road Safety Action Plan. “The country was named fourth after Ghana, Nigeria and South Africa,” said Eng Madanha. “This is not an easy achievement.”

Eng Madanha said global research had shown that a 5 percent cut in average speed could result in a 30 percent reduction in the number of fatal road crashes. “To help highlight the impact of speed, it has been proven that an adult pedestrian has less than 20 percent risk of dying if struck by a car travelling below 50km/hr,” said Eng Madanha. “However, if the speed of the car is 80km/hr, the same adult has almost 60 percent risk of dying if hit.”

Last week, Government challenged traffic police officers to enforce speed limits by bringing to book reckless drivers to reduce road carnage.

Eng Madanha said Government would establish features, including appropriate speed limits, for each road.

Zimbabwe

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Zimbabwe: Govt Commissions U.S.$1,2 Million Electronic Cargo Tracking System

Business Reporter Government has commissioned a $1,2 million Electronic Cargo Tracking System which was availed under a capacity building for public and economic management project being financed by the African Development Bank (AFDB).

The ECTS is expected to go a long way in reducing the cases of transit fraud and the dumping of illegal imports on the domestic market which is estimated at $1 billion annually.

Speaking at the commissioning ceremony on Monday, Finance and Economic Planning Minister Patrick Chinamasa said there is need for concerted efforts in tackling corruption but expressed confidence the introduction of the system would result in an increase in contributions to the fiscus.

“This is a special project that Zimra has been working on since last year. I gave them the mandate that they should expand the tax base by bringing in more economic players into the tax net. “I am fully aware that those who are enegaged in corrupt activities would not want this system because it will minimise their (unlawful) gains. So as we implement, we expect resistance from within and must be on guard at all times,” said Minister Chinamasa.

Zimra board chairperson Mrs Willia Bonyongwe said the fight against corruption remains a key priority area for the tax collector.

ADB principal country manager and programme officer Ms Eyerusalem Fasika is confident the cargo tracking system will go a long way in reducing the cost of doing business and promoting trade. “ADB allocated $5.6 million to Zimra under the capacity building for public and economic management project and to date $2.4 million has been utilised for equipment while $1 million has supported the training of Zimra staff,” said Ms Fasika.

The Ministry of Finance availed $1 million which went towards the procurement of additional cargo tracking seals.

Zimbabwe

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Eritrea: Eritrea Attends "One Belt One Road" Initiative Forum

Asmara — Eritrea has participated in “One Belt One Road” initiative forum in the People’s Republic of China.

Representing Eritrea, Mr. Hagos Gebrehiwet, Head of PFDJ Economic Affairs, took part in the Heads of State Summit aimed at ensuring economic integration of Asia, Africa, Europe and other continents.

29 Heads of State, 1500 representatives from130 countries as well as representatives of 70 international organizations attended the summit which mainly focused on interlinking countries around the world through viable infrastructure.

Reiterating that the PRC would extend financial support and deploy construction experts, President Xi Jinping of the People’s Republic of China, called on other states to make due contribution towards the success of the project. In view of the fact that Eritrea is located in one of the world’s strategic maritime route in the Red Sea makes it an important partner.

Ever since the PRC leader announced “The Belt and Road” initiative in 2013, the project was expected to include 64 countries with a total population of 4.4 billion covering 1/3 of the world’s global wealth. According to the already mapped out plan, the project would be divided into two strategic roads and maritime routes that link Asia, Europe and Africa.

The initiative is geographically structured along 6 corridors, and the maritime silk road including the new Eurasian Land Bridge structure from western China to western Russia, China – Mongolia -Russia Corridor, running from northern China to eastern Russia, China – central Asia – west Asia Corridor running from western China to Turkey, China – Indochina Peninsula Corridor stretching from southern China to Singapore, China – Pakistan corridor that stretches from South-Western China to Pakistan, Bangladesh – China – India – Myanmar corridor, running from Southern China to India as well as the maritime Silk Road, from the Chinese Coast over Singapore and India to the Mediterranean Sea.

“One Belt One Road” project was initiated in a bid to create viable connection and cooperation among Asian, European and African countries, particularly in economic interaction and energy supply.

Eritrea

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Nigeria: Gory Tales As Another Batch of 258 Nigerian Deportees Arrive Lagos Airport

By Lawani Mikairu

It was gory tales yesterday at the cargo section of the Muritala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos as another batch of 258 Nigerians were yesterday deported from Libya.

The deportees who arrived the cargo section of the Muritala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos at about 10.00pm aboard an Airbus A333-200 and were received at the Hajj Terminal by the National Emergency Management Agency narrated how they were brutalised like animals in Libya.

Mr Akhere Ken, one of the deportees from Edo State, said he has been in detention in Libya in the past one year after he was arrested on board a boat while trying to cross the Mediterranean sea to Italy. About One hundred of them were cramped into a room not enough to accommodate Twenty people with resultant suffocation to death of one inmate almost every week.

“As one inmate dies, more Nigerians are brought and squeezed into the room. Any inmate with medical condition is not given even common paracetamol.We watch helplessly as our friends die before our very eyes,” Ken said.

Other deportees who were also aboard the chartered Libya Airlines Airbus A330-200 with registration number 5A-LAU and profiled by the NEMA official late into the night had similar tales of woes to tell..

They were received at the Hajj Camp area of the airport by officers of the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) , the National Agency for the Protection of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP) and the Police.Officials of NEMA, the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), were also present.

Dr Onimode Bandele, the Deputy Director, Search and Rescue, said the returnees were made up of 220 males, 18 females and 20 children and infants.

According to Bandele, “Since December 2016, we have been able to bring back 1,268 Nigerians and the exercise will continue in collaboration with the IOM.The Federal Government is collaborating with the various state governments to rehabilitate and reintegrate the returnees. “

Also speaking, Ms Julia Burpee, Public Information Officer, IOM, said the organisation had facilitated the return of over 7,000 Nigerians from various countries in the past 16 years.

Nigeria

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Kenya: Why Rising Debt On SGR Is of Concern

Photo: Kevin Odit/Nation Media group

China Road and Bridge Corporation workers proceed with the construction of an overpass for the standard gauge railway, on May 25, 2016, in Taru (file photo).

editorialBy Editorial

The first phase of the new Mombasa-Nairobi railway is coming to completion shortly.

By all standards, it stands out as one of the major infrastructure developments in recent times.

If everything goes according to plan, the standard gauge railway (SGR) will change long-distance transport in a remarkable way.

Based on the achievement realised so far, the government now seeks to extend the line to Kisumu and has submitted a Sh370 billion loan proposal to China for the project.

So far, the line from Mombasa to Kisumu has sunk in some 327 billion and an additional Sh150 billion will be required to extend it to Naivasha.

ECONOMIC GROWTH

Economic growth is predicated on infrastructure development.

The existing rail line has been in use since the turn of the last century.

More on This

Kenyan President Pushes for Billions to Extend Railway Project


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Kenya Set to Benefit from China’s U.S.$124bn Silk Road Project

It’s a New Day, Africa Only Interested in Win-Win Deals – UhuruUhuru Gets Seat At the Table in What Pundits Say Is Rise of New World OrderPresident Kenyatta Praises China’s Vision of Interconnected WorldWhat Kenya Hopes to Gain From China Belt and Road Forum

Locomotives and wagons are old. Rail transport had more or less been grounded and only revitalised with the new project.A new line is a welcome development. And in the principle of equitable national development, it must serve all other regions.Even so, concerns are being raised about the cost of putting up the railway.DEBT BURDENWhen finally completed, the total cost will be Sh847 billion. In reality, however, the figure will rise substantially.The question is: What is the cost-benefit analysis of doing the railway?What is the economic viability of the railway? The country requires the best infrastructure, but how does that even out with other equally critical national needs. And at what cost?Underlying this discussion is the rising debt burden, which though the government tends to downplay, is becoming a matter of serious concern.Experts and even transnational agencies like the International Monetary Fund have expressed concern over the ballooning foreign debt.In principle, the plan to develop a modern railway that connects the Coast to the hinterland to replace the century-old line is perfectly justified.However, questions must be asked about the economic viability and also weighed against other priorities and the nation’s debt burden.More on ThisAngry Youth Protest SGR’s Employment of Foreigners

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Kenya: Come for DNA Tests, Kin of Gilgil Crash Victims Told

By Aggrey Omboki

The government is appealing to families of the Gilgil bus accident casualties to avail themselves for DNA testing at Chiromo Hospital mortuary today.

This follows the transportation of the six bodies that were hard to identify from Gilgil to Chiromo on Sunday.

Some 20 people died with 14 others injured on Saturday when a Flash Link Bus collided with two trucks at Mbaraki along the Nakuru Highway.

Survivors were rushed to St Mary’s Hospital, with the dead being taken to a Gilgil mortuary.

IDENTIFICATION

Relatives of the dead are to undergo DNA test today in order to assist with the identification process.

National Disaster Management Unit deputy communication director Pius Mwachi said the six bodies were transported in 13 body bags.

“We had to move them in the separate body bags because they had been badly dismembered by the impact of the accident,” said Mr Mwachi.

He requested family members to avail themselves today and submit samples.

“We request any mother, father, brother, sister to the deceased to avail themselves for DNA testing to enable us identify them so that the families can make arrangements to bury their loved ones,” said Mr Mwachi.

AUTHORITIES

The official confirmed that two bodies were still lying at Gilgil Mortuary and one at St Mary’s Hospital Mortuary.

He said the bodies were yet to be claimed and asked relatives of the dead to contact the hospital for a chance to verify and identify their loved ones.

Mr Mwachi said two unidentified accident survivors were still being treated at St Mary’s Hospital, describing their condition as “critical but stable”.

“We also have two unidentified persons currently undergoing treatment at St. Mary Hospital, in critical but stable condition,” said Mr Mwachi.

Kenya

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Kenya: Are Country’s Plum Aviation Jobs Going to Foreigners?

Photo: The East African

KQ engineers conduct pre-flight checks on an airplane.

By Brian Ngugi

Could Kenya’s aviation sector be slowly going into the hands of foreigners? This is the question that is begging for answers following the appointment of non-locals to head the industry regulator and the national carrier, Kenya Airways.

In June last year, authorities issued a quit notice to the expatriate community. The directive, by the State Department for Immigration, stated that the government would not renew permits for expatriates whose terms have expired unless it was proven beyond doubt that no Kenyan could perform their jobs.

But with Kenya Airways appointment and that of the Kenya Airports Authority (KAA) boss, a consumer lobby, a former ICT Permanent Secretary and a university don are saying there is able talent here.

The national carrier, reffered to as KQ by its international code, which is 29.8 per cent owned by the Treasury and 26.7 per cent by Air France-KLM, said it had appointed Mr Sebastian Mikosz, who oversaw the turnaround of Polish firm LOT Airlines, to be its new chief executive as it seeks to recover from four years of massive losses.

Mr Mikosz, who is currently chief executive of eSky.pl, an online travel agency, will replace Mr Mbuvi Ngunze, who has held the post for two years, on June 1.

Mr Ngunze announced his resignation last November after a staff rebellion triggered by the slow pace of reform at the loss-making carrier.

Mr Michael Joseph, KQ chairman, said Mr Mikosz, who managed LOT on two occasions, was the unanimous choice of the board and offered him his “full support”.

“We have no doubt that under his leadership and guidance the airline, with the support of management and the board will strive to greater heights and achievements as well as continue to regain its altitude as the Pride of Africa,” Mr Joseph, who holds dual citizenship of the US and Kenya said.

Under Mr Mikosz’s leadership, LOT made its first profit in seven years in 2014.

It has since expanded significantly, carrying some 5.5 million passengers last year, up from four million in 2015.

Despite the colourful resume, the appointment has stirred debate with some observers pointing to what they see as an emerging trend where expatriates land plum jobs at the expense of locals.

Former Permanent Secretary Ministry of Information and Communication Bitange Ndemo said the country is a “hotbed of talent” hence no need to look beyond borders even for managerial posts both for private firms and State agencies.

“Indeed we have capacity locally, but we don’t exploit it. If they searched well they will find good local managers,” said Dr Ndemo who was recently appointed as a non-executive member on the Board of mobile operator Safaricom and currently lectures on entrepreneurship and research methods at the University of Nairobi’s Business School.

“It could actually demotivate the local staff,” said the Consumer Federation of Kenya (Cofek) secretary- general Stephen Mutoro while reacting to news of the appointment.

Plum postings

Mr Mutoro who is eyeing the Bungoma County governor’s seat, said there are many experienced Kenyans who can take such managerial roles at the national carrier and hence no need to shop for touted special talent abroad.

“I have confidence that we have very good Kenyans who we can tap to run KQ in a very good way,” he said adding that the trend should be discouraged especially for State agencies.

There is speculation that Kenya Airways could hire three other expatriates for additional plum postings including that of commercial, financial and operations directors.

Mr Mikosz joins a list of foreign professionals who have been tapped by the government to run key institutions.

In July last year, the KAA appointed Mr Jonny Andersen as its new managing director replacing Ms Lucy Mbugua who was sacked on June 26 the previous year.

Mr Andersen, a Norwegian, joined the authority from the State-owned Avinor AS, which manages airports in Norway.

“Andersen has wide knowledge and experience in the aviation industry and specifically running airport hubs across the world. He is a good fit for KAA,” KAA chairman Julius Karangi said at the time of the appointment during a media briefing.

The position was previously held by Mr Katich Kangugo in acting capacity. Mr Karangi said the recruitment process of the holder of the position was done competitively with candidates sourced both locally and internationally; adding Mr Andersen was among six individuals who were presented to the board.

READ ALSO: Kenya Airways picks Polish CEO to drive carrier’s recovery plan

Mr Andersen a career aviation executive with over 21 years’ experience managing airports in Norway, Denmark and Latvia, previously served as Vice President and Senior Vice President for Ground Operations at AirBaltic in Latvia. He was also the Director for Ground Handling Sales at Widroes Flyveselskap AS in Norway.

Nairobi-based lawyer Charles Kanjama said the law is silent on the suitability of expatriates as CEOs of local agencies providing a free hand to boards of State run organisations to pick competent executives from any part of the world.

“The law is silent. Private companies are at liberty so long as they comply with immigration and work permit requirements for the expatriate and pay appropriate taxes,” he said.

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