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Nigeria's state-owned oil firm NNPC Ltd said on Monday an 800,000-litre (211,338-U.S. gallon) vessel carrying stolen crude had been intercepted offshore while heading to Cameroon and would be destroyed as a deterrent to oil theft.

Crude theft from pipelines and wells in the Niger Delta has hobbled the country's output in recent years and is one of the biggest challenges to confront new President Bola Tinubu.

NNPC said the oil was stolen from a well in south western Ondo state. The MT Tura II vessel was owned by locally registered Holab Maritime Services Limited and had no valid documentation for the oil, the company said.

Holab could not be reached for comment on numbers listed on its website.

"Destroying vessels involved in transporting stolen crude oil is of paramount importance as a strong deterrent," NNPC said.

NNPC circulated a video showing the vessel surrounded by armed Nigerian security agents.

 

Reuters

Acting Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Customs Service, Adewale Adeniyi, on Monday, vowed a heavy clampdown on oil thieves, insisting that the nation cannot “afford to let saboteurs take over our economy.”

Adeniyi, who said there were still cases of smuggling of Premium Motor Spirit, popularly called petrol, at Nigeria’s border stations despite the removal of subsidy on the commodity, said the agency had adopted new border patrol strategies to close in on oil thieves.

He made the disclosure on the sidelines of a sensitisation workshop on the Nigeria Customs Service Act 2023 for management staff of the NCS in Abuja.

President Bola Tinubu announced the end of the petrol subsidy during his inaugural address on May 29, 2023, after the Federal Government had kept subsidising the product for several decades, spending trillions of naira in the process.

The government had repeatedly complained that petrol from Nigeria was being smuggled to other West African countries, due to it low price in Nigeria as a result of subsidy, when compared to its cost in these nations.

But the Customs CG revealed on Monday that smuggling had reduced but it had not stopped in some border stations.

As such, he said the agency was reviewing its enforcement strategies, adding that based on the new Nigeria Customs Service Act 2023, there would be heavy penalties against violators of the recently passed legislation.

Asked whether petrol was still being smuggled out of Nigeria after the removal of subsidy on the commodity, he replied, “We still have some incidences in some border stations.

“The rate has reduced and we are going to be watching the situation very closely. The situation of fuel is very sensitive and we cannot afford to let the saboteurs take over our economy.”

Enforcement strategy review

Commenting on plans by the service to review policies that constitute obstacles to trade, Adeniyi said this had to do with the enforcement strategies of the NCS, as well as its procedures and processes at the ports.

“One of the things that I intend to do as we start is that we need to take a look at our procedures and processes in the ports and border areas. Also, our enforcement strategies. We are going to review all that.

“And we want to do them in such a way that they promote user-friendliness and economic growth without compromising our national security. We will get details when we unfold the plans,” Adeniyi stated.

He said the new legislation of the service would impose heavy sanctions and penalties on violators of customs laws.

“We discovered that the previous legislation did not provide sanctions that are punitive enough for violations of customs laws. Some of the fines were ridiculous. Remember that this (old) piece of legislation was put in place in 1958.

“You won’t believe that in some parts of the legislation, some fines were written on pennies, and when you translate them they mean nothing. So criminals are always willing to commit fraud because they know that they are only going to get a slap on the wrist.

“So what this new law has brought are very heavy punitive sanctions that should deter people from committing those violations against the customs law,” the NCS boss stated.

He said the defunct Customs and Excise Management Act Cap C45 LFN 2004 law was enacted 63 years ago and had remained in operation since then without any significant amendment notwithstanding the expansion in government, growth in population and over dynamic progress and challenges in the economy.

“Consequent upon this, several attempts were made in the past to cause amendments or the repeal of CEMA to no avail. The efforts were necessary because the provisions of CEMA had become obsolete and could no longer adequately meet the contemporary fiscal policies of the government and the mandate of the service.

“This situation undoubtedly propelled the National Assembly through a private member bill to initiate the repeal and enactment of a new Nigeria Customs Service Bill which was passed by the parliament and assented to by (former) President Muhammadu Buhari,” Adeniyi stated.

 

Punch

Unknown persons have carted away the recently reinstalled airfield lighting systems at the domestic runway 18/36L of Murtala Muhammad Airport.

Disappearance of the approach lighting systems had raised security concerns in Nigeria’s busiest airports.

According to a source who spoke on condition of anonymity, those who carted away the lighting systems took advantage of the closure of the runway for over three months.

The source alleged that some FAAN workers connived with outsiders to steal the airport lighting equipment.

“The criminal took advantage of the closure to commit the crime. I cannot give the actual worth of the theft, but almost all the lighting was removed. The permanent secretary came around to see for himself the huge damage done. A lot of FAAN officials have been suspended,” the source confirmed.

Some heads of relevant departments at FAAN have been suspended over the missing lighting equipment on the directives of the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Aviation, Emmanuel Meribole.

The source also disclosed that investigations had since commenced to unravel those responsible for the missing safety equipment.

According to the source, the regular incursion and stealing of safety components at the airports are carried out by a syndicate, consisting of some workers of the agencies, who have access to the restricted areas and accomplices from outside.

A top official with FAAN, who did not want his name in print, said the agency’s Managing Director, Kabir Yusuf, was displeased with the development.

He stated that FAAN MD had also ordered the suspension of security personnel who were in charge of guarding critical airport facilities.

Reacting to the latest development, a former Military Commandant at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos, John Ojikutu said, “This is not new at MMA. I wish the FAAN management could go back to 1990 when similar things happened in the airport. I was convinced that it was an ‘insiders threats’. What did I do? I positioned soldiers on the runways and ensured that no FAAN maintenance staff went near the runways for anything without my approval; otherwise, it was shoot at sight. It stopped completely. Runway lightings were being stolen and my conclusion then was that runway lightings can only be useful for runways and not roads or houses.

“Those stolen were being sold to FAAN by the same workers. That is why I am not in support of the unions carrying the picketing of their employers to the airport’s security controlled areas.”

Director of Public Affairs and Consumer Protection, FAAN, Yakubu Funtua, stated that investigations had been launched and that the agency would do all within its powers to avoid a reoccurrence.

He said, “FAAN is doing all it can to get to the bottom of this. You are very aware that there are many agencies within the airport, including the different ones that are supposed to be taking care of security there. So, it would be unfair to put this (the theft) on our (members of) staff and I don’t think there is any FAAN (member of) staff that wants the agency to crash.

“Note that most of our revenue comes from Lagos. So, what kind of staff will ‘kill the goose that lays the egg?’ However, we can’t say exactly who did it, but we are doing all that we can to recover what is lost. We are going to recover it because we are going to find out those people who did it and then block all those loopholes.”

For 15 years, the Lagos Airport domestic runway 18L was shut down to night operations due to the absence of airfield lighting.

Domestic airlines were forced to use runway 19 at the international airport, which consumes more aviation fuel because of the longer distance.

The equipment, which aids aircraft to take off and land at the domestic airport at night, was installed on the 2.7 kilometres long runway last November.

 

Punch

No fewer than eight persons, including an eight-month-old baby, have been killed in Farin Lamba community of Vwang District of Jos South Local Government Area (LGA) of Plateau State.

This attack took place at Sabon Gari community of Mangu LGA of the state where many lives were reportedly lost and houses burnt two days ago.

According Rwang Tengwong, National Publicity Secretary of Berom Youth Moulders, the attackers arrived the community at about 9: 45 pm of Sunday when many members of the community were sleeping.

He added that they started shooting at the victims who were heading home after the day’s activities.

He said, “At about 9:45pm on Sunday night, 09/10/2023, eight persons including an eight month old baby were murdered by gunmen at Farin Lamba, Vwang District of Jos South Local Government Area.

“The bandits have continued to unleash terror on innocent citizens in some Communities of Riyom, Barkin Ladi, Jos South and Mangu Local Government Areas of Plateau state, in renewed attacks the 2023 General Elections.

“The baby who was murdered with her father were said to be returning from the hospital when they met their untimely end. Before this unprovoked attack, several Communities in Riyom, Barkin Ladi, Jos South and Mangu Local Government witnessed deliberate destruction of farmlands and provocative grazing of over 300 hectares of land.

“Also, there have been daily ambush and killing of innocent persons in Riyom LGA, along the Abuja highway.

“The BYM under the leadership of Solomon Dalyop Mwantiri, hereby condemns the attack and other forms of provocations meted out on innocent persons of Plateau since after the 2023 General Elections, ” he added.

But the leadership of Miyetti Allah Cattle Breeders Association of Nigeria (MACBAN) in the state said it wasn’t aware of any attack in the area.

Nuru Abdullahi, MACBAN State chairman, said, “We are not aware of what they are accusing us for. Anytime an attack is lunched, the Fulani communities are often blamed. So, this is not new to us. As far as MACBAN is concerned, the accusation is misleading.”

The group, however, appealed for the deployment of more personnel to cover Communities in Barkin Ladi and Jos South LGAs.

Spokesperson of the Plateau police command, Alabo Alfred, didn’t respond to the call and a message sent by our correspondent on the matter as of the the time of filing this report.

 

Daily Trust

WESTERN PERSPECTIVE

Wagner fighters neared Russian nuclear base during revolt

As rebellious Wagner forces drove north toward Moscow on June 24, a contingent of military vehicles diverted east on a highway in the direction of a fortified Russian army base that holds nuclear weapons, according to videos posted online and interviews with local residents.

Once the Wagner fighters reach more rural regions, the surveillance trail goes cold – about 100 km from the nuclear base, Voronezh-45. Reuters could not confirm what happened next, and Western officials have repeatedly said that Russia's nuclear stockpile was never in danger during the uprising, which ended quickly and mysteriously later that day.

But in an exclusive interview, Ukraine's head of military intelligence, Kyrylo Budanov, said that the Wagner fighters went far further. He said that they reached the nuclear base and that their intention was to acquire small Soviet-era nuclear devices in order to "raise the stakes" in their mutiny. "Because if you are prepared to fight until the last man standing, this is one of the facilities that significantly raises the stakes," Budanov said.

The only barrier between the Wagner fighters and nuclear weapons, Budanov said, were the doors to the nuclear storage facility. "The doors of the storage were closed and they didn't get into the technical section," he said.

Reuters was not able to independently determine if Wagner fighters made it to Voronezh-45. Budanov did not provide evidence for his assertion and he declined to say what discussions, if any, had taken place with the United States and other allies about the incident. He also didn't say why the fighters subsequently withdrew.

A source close to the Kremlin with military ties corroborated parts of Budanov's account. A Wagner contingent "managed to get into a zone of special interest, as a result of which the Americans got agitated because nuclear munitions are stored there," this person said, without elaborating further.

A source in Russian occupied east Ukraine, with knowledge of the matter, said this caused concern in the Kremlin and provided impetus for a hastily negotiated end to the rebellion on the evening of June 24, brokered by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.

U.S. officials expressed doubts about this account. In response to a query about whether Wagner forces reached the base and sought to acquire nuclear weapons, White House National Security Council spokesman Adam Hodge said, "We are not able to corroborate this report. We had no indication at any point that nuclear weapons or materials were at risk."

The Kremlin and Wagner commander Yevgeny Prigozhin did not respond to questions for this article.

Matt Korda, a Senior Research Associate and Project Manager for the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists, said it would be "virtually impossible for a non-state actor" to breach Russian nuclear security. Wagner may have had thousands of troops at its disposal, he said, but it's unlikely any of them knew how to detonate a bomb.

"If you had a malicious actor who was able to get their hands on a nuclear weapon, they would find the weapons stored in a state of incomplete assembly," he said. "They would need to be completed by installing specialised equipment and then unlocking permissive action links, and in order to do that they would need the cooperation of someone from the 12th Directorate" responsible for protecting Russia's nuclear arsenal.

Budanov is the first official to suggest Wagner fighters came close to acquiring nuclear weapons and further escalating an armed mutiny that has been widely interpreted as the biggest challenge to Russian President Vladimir Putin's power. U.S. officials have long feared the nightmare possibility that strife in Russia might lead to nuclear devices falling into rogue hands.

Wagner fighters drove in the direction of Voronezh-45 after peeling away from a larger convoy of heavy weaponry that was advancing along the M4 highway that runs north from Rostov, where the rebellion began. This smaller group headed east, and engaged Russian forces in a firefight at the first village it reached, according to residents and social media posts. But then it appears to have passed without hindrance for 90 km, including driving unchallenged through the centre of a town that houses a military base.

Reuters followed the group's progress to the town of Talovaya, about 100 km from the base, which dates back to the Soviet era. It is one of Russia's 12 "national-level storage facilities" for nuclear weapons, according to a report by U.N. scientists. At Talovaya, Russian forces attacked the column, according to local people who spoke to Reuters. A Russian helicopter was shot down, killing the two crew.

Reuters interviewed Budanov in his Kyiv office, which Russia targeted with strikes as recently as May. Dressed in military fatigues with a black pistol tucked into his waistband, Budanov spoke in front of a painting that depicts an owl, a symbol of Ukraine's spy bureau, clutching a bat, symbol of Russia's military intelligence agency. He said Voronezh-45 houses small nuclear devices that can be carried in a backpack. "This was one of the key storage facilities for these backpacks," he said, without providing evidence for this assertion. Reuters was unable to establish if the backpack-sized nuclear charges, referred to by Budanov, are kept at Voronezh-45.

Such small nuclear bombs – light enough to be carried by a single person – are Cold War relics. American troops trained to parachute from planes with nuclear weapons strapped to their bodies and Soviet troops trained to deploy them behind enemy lines on foot. But by the early 1990s, both nations agreed to remove them from their arsenals as tensions eased, and did so, though Russia kept some to mine harbours, said Hans Kristensen, who leads the Nuclear Information Project at the Federation of American Scientists, based in Washington.

Several former U.S. nuclear nonproliferation officials cautioned that it's difficult to know for sure whether the Russians kept their promise to destroy their backpack-style nuclear weapons. "I don't believe the Russians still have them, but I wouldn't bet my life on it," said David Jonas, former general counsel to the U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration, which tracks atomic weapons and radioactive material worldwide.

Amy Woolf, a nuclear weapons specialist for U.S. lawmakers at the Library of Congress from 1988 to 2022, raised doubts about the potency of such weapons if they do still exist. "It's possible there's still some old crap stuck in storage somewhere," she said. "But is it operational? Almost certainly not."

Jonas, who advised top Pentagon officials on nonproliferation, agreed, noting that such portable weapons need to be maintained and updated, and degrade over time. He said Russia has struggled to maintain its conventional forces, let alone its atomic stockpile.

A FALLING OUT

Wagner was founded by Prigozhin and Dmitry Utkin, a former special forces officer in Russia's GRU military intelligence. Cast as a private army, Wagner enabled Russia to dabble in wars in countries including Syria, Libya and Mali with full deniability. U.S. officials also say Prigozhin's business operated a social media troll factory that interfered with the 2016 American presidential election. In recent days, Putin confirmed the Russian state financed Wagner. State television reported that Prigozhin's operations had received more than 1.7 trillion roubles ($19 billion) from the Russian budget.

Prigozhin fired the opening salvo of his mutiny on June 23 when he accused the Russian military of launching a missile strike on a Wagner camp in Russian-occupied east Ukraine. Russia denied any such operation.

At least half a dozen sources inside and outside Russia say the conflict had been brewing for some time and that money and tensions between rival clans lay at its heart. For months, Prigozhin had been openly insulting Putin's most senior military men, casting Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu and Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov as corrupt and incompetent and blaming them for reversals in Russia's war in Ukraine.

The insults went unanswered in public for a long time. Then Shoigu hit back. On June 10, he ordered Wagner fighters to sign contracts with his ministry agreeing to become part of the regular army by month's end. Prigozhin refused. On June 13, Putin publicly sided with Shoigu. The state was moving to cut Wagner's funding and this, the sources inside and outside Russia told Reuters, was the trigger for the mutiny.

In the early hours of June 24, Wagner forces arrived in the southern city of Rostov, an important command centre for Russia's operations in Ukraine. Wagner took charge of the base there and within hours video emerged of Prigozhin chatting with Russian commanders. Around the same time, other contingents of Wagner forces struck out north, heading in the direction of Moscow along the M-4 highway.

Wagner fighters encountered little resistance.

Some Russian units that stood in their path or were instructed to intercept them did nothing, according to five sources: a Russian security source, three people close to the Kremlin, and a person close to the Russian-installed leadership in eastern Ukraine. The security source said two Russian military formations around the south-west of the country received orders to resist Wagner but they did not act on the command.

Some Russian units did nothing because they were taken by surprise and were outgunned, the sources said, while others stood by because they assumed, until Putin went on television at 10:00 a.m. Moscow time to denounce Prigozhin, that Wagner was acting on the Kremlin's orders. The sources said some officers were reluctant to move against Wagner because they felt solidarity with the private army and shared Prigozhin's disillusionment with the way the Defence Ministry top brass was running the war.

At the Bugayevka crossing between Ukraine and Russia, images posted by a Wagner-affiliated Telegram channel on the morning of June 24 showed dozens of Russian troops standing in line, unarmed. The caption said they had laid down their weapons.

Oleksiy Danilov, Secretary of Ukraine's National Security and Defence Council, told Reuters that many in the Russian military sided with Prigozhin. "There are so many commanders who sympathise with Wagner and don't want to follow Putin," he said, adding that he knew of 14 Russian generals who supported Prigozhin. Reuters was not able to independently verify his account about the generals.

One branch of the Wagner force headed north along the M-4 highway, in the direction of Moscow. Their route took them right past Boguchar, a garrison town where a Russian unit is stationed. Three local residents who spoke to Reuters said that the military there did nothing to resist, and that a significant number of people in the town, including people serving in the military, felt sympathy with the Wagner force.

One woman said of Prigozhin: "Who else should we support? At least there's one dignified person who was not frightened." Another female resident also said Wagner had widespread support in the town, and that many Wagner fighters are from Boguchar. "They're all friends," she said.

A NUCLEAR DETOUR

As the main Wagner column advanced northwards towards Moscow, a group of military vehicles, and some civilian pickups and vans, turned eastwards. The moment is captured on a video posted on a Voronezh region news site. Reuters geo-located the video to a junction near the town of Pavlovsk. The breakaway contingent rumbled through villages and along a road that cut through patches of forest and flat farmland, skirting gulleys carved out by tributaries of the Don River.

A video posted on a local online bulletin board shows a field in the dawn light near the village of Elizavetovka on June 24. In the distance there is an explosion and gunfire, and panicked cries from a male voice: "Has a war started?"

Then a fresh round of automatic gunfire, closer this time.

Reuters spoke to the man's neighbour, who said the Russian military had attacked the Wagner force. At 08:24 am, a user on the same online bulletin board, Anna Sandrakova, wrote: "Shells are flying, low-flying helicopters, we could hear explosions, automatic gunfire." Maxim Yantsov, the local government chief for Pavlovsk district, wrote on his Telegram channel that 19 households were damaged as a result of shooting around Elizavetovka.

A few hours later, the convoy passed through another village, Vorontsovka, still moving in the direction of the nuclear facility. Two videos posted to Telegram show more than a dozen vehicles, including armoured personnel carriers, tanks and trucks mounted with machine guns or carrying artillery.

Next on the route, the convoy reached Buturlinovka, according to posts on the town's online bulletin board and a video that Reuters identified as being recorded in the town. Buturlinovka, closer still to the nuclear facility, is the location of a military air base.

By Saturday evening, users on a VKontakte online forum started reporting the presence of a military column at the town of Talovaya, 110 km from the military base. A video shared by a local resident with Reuters shows a column of military vehicles moving through the outskirts of the town. A second video, provided by another resident, showed at least 75 vehicles in a convoy on the edge of the town, including 5 armoured personnel carriers, two ambulances, and an artillery gun towed behind a truck. A third resident said local people offered food and water to the Wagner troops. The situation was calm, he said, until a Russian helicopter fired at the column. It fired back and the helicopter fell to the ground, followed by explosions and a cloud of smoke.

Russian state media later broadcast video of a wooden cross erected at the site in Talovaya district where the helicopter, a Ka-52 attack aircraft, crashed. Pskov region governor Mikhail Vedernikov said the two crewmen who were killed were stationed at a military base in his region, in north-west Russia. "True to their oath, they did everything to protect our country," he said in a video address posted on his Telegram channel.

Reuters couldn't determine what the column did next. A resident of Talovaya said that as far as he was aware, it did not move any further and the following day – after the truce was announced – the column turned around and went back the way it came.

Budanov said in his interview that an unspecified number of fighters did in fact press on to Voronezh-45 with the intention of seizing portable, Soviet-era nuclear weapons stored at the facility.

The nuclear facility at Voronezh-45 is operated and guarded by military unit no. 14254, part of the defence ministry's 12th Main Directorate responsible for protecting Russia's arsenal of nuclear weapons, according to the Russian Defence Ministry's website and publicly available records. What is stored there is a closely guarded secret. Russia does not publicly acknowledge even keeping nuclear weapons there; that information has emerged from the reports of foreign scientists.

Reuters was unable to establish if the backpack-sized nuclear charges referred to by Budanov are kept at the facility. But there is evidence that such devices were developed by the Soviet Union. In testimony to the U.S. Congress, in 1997 Alexei Yablokov, a former Russian presidential science advisor, said Soviet scientists in the 1970s created suitcase-sized nuclear munitions for use by secret agents.

Kristensen, the Federation of American Scientists researcher who said that Russia and the United States discarded thousands of suitcase-sized nukes in the 1990s, said that he doubts any remain stored Voronezh-45. He said he believes – but cannot be certain – that other nuclear weapons are stored at Voronezh-45, which satellite images show to be well-maintained.

Given the 12th Main Directorate's control over the facility, the movement of weapons would take time and likely be detected by U.S. satellites, he added.

Further north, there is evidence that the Russian military undertook drastic measures to block off another potential access route to Voronezh-45. The E-38 road branches off the M-4 highway at a settlement called Rogachevka. This road also leads to Voronezh-45. On the evening of June 24, local residents reported hearing explosions. A video posted on a Telegram channel captured the sound of an aircraft followed by an explosion. A motorist driving along the E-38 posted a video that shows the road covered in debris near a bridge over the river Bityug. In one lane is a deep crater.

A DEAL IS STRUCK

On the evening of June 24 there was an unexpected announcement by Belarusian state media. The country's president, Alexsandr Lukashenko, had negotiated Prigozhin's agreement to halt his forces' advances. Prigozhin said in an audio message that his forces had come within 125 miles of Moscow and were "turning around" to head back to their training camps. Under the deal, Russia would not prosecute the rebels and Wagner fighters would either withdraw to Belarus or join Russia's regular army.

A European intelligence source said Prigozhin was persuaded to abandon his revolt after realising he didn't have sufficient support amongst the military.

Prigozhin's whereabouts and future plans are unclear.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said on Monday that Putin held talks with the Wagner leader on June 29 and "gave his assessment of the events" of June 24.

One of Prigozhin's private jets has made multiple trips between Belarus and Russia in the days since the rebellion, according to flight tracking data.

When Belarusian president Lukashenko hosted a group of journalists in Minsk on July 6, he said Wagner's fighters had yet to arrive at their new Belarusian base. "As for Yevgeny Prigozhin, he's in St Petersburg. Or perhaps this morning he flew to Moscow. Or perhaps he's somewhere else. But he's not in Belarus," Lukashenko said.

** Kremlin says Putin held post-mutiny talks with Wagner leader as top general resurfaces

President Vladimir Putin held Kremlin talks with Wagner mercenary leader Yevgeny Prigozhin days after denouncing an armed mutiny he had led as treasonous, Putin's spokesman said on Monday, as Russia's top general resurfaced for the first time.

The meeting with Prigozhin, according to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, was held on June 29, five days after the aborted mutiny, which is widely regarded to have posed the most serious challenge to Putin since he assumed the presidency on the last day of 1999.

Much of what happened on June 24, the day of the mutiny, and how the authorities are handling its aftermath remains unclear.

One of the biggest mysteries is why Prigozhin does not yet appear to have fulfilled the terms of the deal which ended the standoff, what his future plans and those of his fighters are, and why he does not appear to have been punished by the Kremlin.

The fact that Prigozhin and his top field commanders sat down with Putin in the Kremlin days after the Russian leader called their actions a treasonous "stab in the back" which could have pushed Russia into a chaotic civil war is certain to raise more questions about what is going on behind the scenes.

Peskov, Putin's spokesman, told reporters that Putin had invited 35 people to the three-hour meeting, including Prigozhin and Wagner unit field commanders.

"The only thing we can say is that the president gave his assessment of the company's (Wagner's) actions at the front during the Special Military Operation (in Ukraine) and also gave his assessment of the events of 24 June (the day of the mutiny)," Peskov told reporters.

He said Putin had listened to the commanders' own explanations of what had happened and had offered them further options for employment and combat.

The brief mutiny saw Wagner fighters seize control of the southern city of Rostov-on-Don along with its military headquarters building and shoot down an unspecified number of military helicopters, killing their pilots.

Peskov said Wagner commanders had reaffirmed their loyalty to Putin at the Kremlin meeting.

"They (the commanders) emphasised that they are staunch supporters and soldiers of the head of state and the supreme commander-in-chief. They also said that they are ready to continue fighting for the Motherland," said Peskov.

The mutiny, which Putin had compared to the turmoil in the run-up to the 1917 Russian Revolution, was defused in a deal brokered by Belarusian leader Alexander Lukashenko.

Putin and the Kremlin have since sought to project a business-as-usual image, with the president chairing a range of meetings, visiting crowds in Dagestan and even hosting a young girl for a guided tour of the Kremlin.

TOP GENERAL RESURFACES

In another twist, Russia's top general, Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov, made his first appearance in public since the failed mutiny.

Footage released by the defence ministry on Monday but apparently shot a day earlier showed Gerasimov ordering subordinates to destroy Ukrainian missile sites.

The footage indicates that Putin has for now kept his two most powerful military men, Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu and Gerasimov, in their posts despite demands from Prigozhin to sack them over alleged incompetence.

Sitting in a military command centre on a white leather seat chairing a meeting with top generals, Gerasimov, 67, was shown asking for and then listening to a report by Viktor Afzalov, deputy in the aerospace forces to General Sergei Surovikin.

Surovikin has not been since in public since the mutiny amid unconfirmed reports he had been detained for questioning.

Gerasimov was shown being told that a Ukrainian missile attack on Crimea, which Moscow annexed from Ukraine in 2014, and on the Rostov and Kaluga regions had been thwarted on Sunday, and shown ordering how Russia should respond.

He asked the aerospace forces and GRU military intelligence to identify "the storage sites and launch positions of the missiles and other enemy strike weapons to plan a preemptive strike".

For months before the mutiny, Prigozhin had been openly insulting Gerasimov and Shoigu, using a variety of crude expletives that shocked top Russian officials, but which were left unanswered in public by Putin, Shoigu and Gerasimov.

Prigozhin said Putin's top military men would be forced to eat the guts of fallen soldiers in hell for what he alleged was the incompetent and treasonous way they were running what Moscow calls its "special military operation" in Ukraine.

In the week leading up to the mutiny, Prigozhin stepped up his attacks on Shoigu, dissecting the Russian justification for the war and accusing the defence ministry of lying to Putin about both the causes and conduct of the war.

Prigozhin said his mutiny was aimed at settling scores with Shoigu and Gerasimov, not at seizing power or challenging Putin.

** Russia launches air attack on Kyiv hours before NATO summit

Russia launched an overnight air strike on Kyiv in early hours on Tuesday, Ukraine's military said, just hours before the start of the NATO summit in Lithuania that is to tackle security threats from Moscow.

"The enemy attacked Kyiv from the air for the second time this month, Serhiy Popko, a head of Kyiv's military administration, said in a post on the Telegram channel.

According to preliminary information, Ukraine's air defence systems shot down all the Iranian-made Shahed drones Russia launched before they reached their targets, Popko said. There was no immediate information about damage or casualties.

Air raid alerts blasted over Kyiv for an hour and longer in other parts of Ukraine's east, according to Ukraine's Air Force.

Reuters' witnesses in Kyiv heard blasts resembling the sound of air defence systems intercepting targets during the air raid.

The summit in Vilnius, which starts on Tuesday, will be dominated by the repercussions of Russia's invasion of Ukraine, with leaders set to approve NATO's first comprehensive plans since the end of the Cold War to defend against any attack from Moscow.

Russia berated the alliance and its leading power, the United States, over their support for Ukraine and has warned that Kyiv's potential membership of NATO would be met with a "clear and firm" reaction.

The Russian invasion on its neighbour, now in its 503rd day and with no end in sight, has killed thousands of people, displaced millions and turned many cities in Ukraine's east and south into piles of rubble.

 

RUSSIAN PERSPECTIVE

Musk explains Russian advantage over Ukraine

Russia is well-placed to prevail in its conflict with Ukraine because of its significant manpower advantage, Tesla CEO and Twitter owner Elon Musk said on Sunday.

Writing on Twitter, the billionaire offered his take on Ukraine’s counteroffensive, which was launched more than a month ago but according to Moscow has failed to gain any ground.

“Whichever side goes on the offensive against heavily entrenched positions will lose far more soldiers,” Musk stated.

The entrepreneur claimed that Russia “outnumbers Ukraine [approximately] 4:1, so would win a war of attrition even if casualties were equal.” He warned that “should a Ukrainian offensive fail with heavy casualties, a Russian counterattack would capture a lot more territory. This is why there has been no major offensive.” 

Last year, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree to increase the size of the country’s armed forces to more than 2 million people. Ukrainian Defense Minister Aleksey Reznikov announced in July of 2022 that Kiev’s army numbered up to 700,000 service members after general mobilization.

The secretary of the Russian Security Council, Nikolay Patrushev, claimed last month that Ukraine had already lost more than 13,000 troops since the start of its counteroffensive.

Musk previously weighed in on the Ukrainian counteroffensive in late June, appearing to endorse an article by investor David Sacks, who wrote that Kiev’s push “is failing to achieve any of its originally stated objectives.”Sacks argued that the conflict could be headed towards a stalemate, “or even that Russia will take more territory and win the war.” 

Commenting on the Ukrainian counteroffensive last month, President Putin described the level of Kiev’s casualties as “catastrophic,” and estimated Ukrainian losses to be ten times higher than Russia’s. Putin later claimed that Ukraine had lost 259 tanks and 780 armored vehicles since the start of the push.

** White House opposes independent oversight of Ukraine aid

President Joe Biden’s administration has objected to plans by US lawmakers to establish an independent inspector general who would scrutinize Washington’s massive military and economic aid packages for Ukraine.

At issue is a provision added to the $874 billion US defense budget for the government’s next fiscal year, calling for an additional oversight layer on Ukraine aid modeled after the inspector general established for reconstruction in Afghanistan. Conservative lawmakers, including Representative Matt Gaetz, a Republican from Florida, have argued that the White House lacks adequate controls to prevent fraud and other misuse of the $113 billion in aid approved by Congress to support Ukraine in its conflict with Russia.

However, the administration argued on Monday that the Pentagon inspector general and the Government Accountability Office (GAO) are already working with relevant congressional committees to “ensure accountability”for Ukraine aid. The Pentagon inspector general and the GAO are currently conducting investigations of “every aspect of this assistance,” the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) said in a statement.

The White House also opposes an amendment to the defense bill that would expand the authority of the Afghanistan reconstruction inspector general. “This expansion is both unnecessary and unprecedented”because inspectors from both the US State Department and the US Agency for International Development already oversee the aid, the OMB said.

John Sopko, the independent inspector general for Afghanistan reconstruction, warned in February that strong safeguards were needed to prevent corruption from undermining Washington’s aid packages for Ukraine. Failure to learn from the US mistakes in Afghanistan, where much aid was “diverted or stolen,” could lead to a repeat in Ukraine.

“You’re bound to get corrupt elements of not only the Ukrainian or host government, but also of US government contractors or other third-party contractors to steal the money,” Sopko told Fox News.

Last year, Congress blocked an initiative spearheaded by Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, a Republican from Georgia, to audit the aid to Kiev. 

Ukraine consistently ranks as one of the most corrupt countries in Europe. Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky fired a number of top officials earlier this year for profiteering. An August 2022 report by CBS News indicated that only about 30% of the Western weaponry sent to Kiev was actually making it to the front lines because of waste and corruption.

** Russian air defenses intercept five Ukrainian S-200 missiles — top brass

Russian air defense forces intercepted five Ukrainian S-200 missiles over the past day during the special military operation in Ukraine, Defense Ministry Spokesman Lieutenant-General Igor Konashenkov reported on Monday.

"Air defense capabilities intercepted five missiles of the S-200 surface-to-air missile system fired by the Ukrainian military," the spokesman said.

In addition, Russian air defense systems destroyed eight Ukrainian unmanned aerial vehicles in areas near the settlements of Khleborobnoye in the Zaporozhye Region, Gorlovka and Maryinka in the Donetsk People’s Republic, Novokrasnyanka and Svatovo in the Lugansk People’s Republic," the spokesman said.

 

Reuters/RT/Tass

Eastern African bloc seeks summit to deploy regional force in Sudan

An eastern African bloc called on Monday for a regional summit to consider deploying troops into Sudan to protect civilians, after nearly three months of violence between the army and a paramilitary faction.

Fighting that erupted on April 15 in Khartoum, Sudan's capital, has spread to other parts of the country and driven more than 2.9 million people from their homes.

The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), made up of eight states in and around the Horn of Africa, met in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa to kick-start a peace process for the conflict in Sudan.

But the initiative faced a setback as a delegation from Sudan's army failed to attend the first day of meetings, having rejected Kenya's president as head of the committee facilitating the talks.

IGAD said in a statement it had agreed to request a summit of another regional body, the 10-member Eastern Africa Standby Force, "to consider the possible deployment of the EASF for the protection of civilians and guarantee humanitarian access".

Sudan is a member of both bodies, as are Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and Uganda.

Diplomatic efforts to halt fighting between Sudan's army and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) have so far proved ineffective, with competing initiatives creating confusion over how the warring parties might be brought to negotiate.

IGAD said it regretted the absence of a delegation from the Sudan army, which it said had earlier confirmed attendance.

Sudan's foreign affairs ministry, which is controlled by the army, said the delegation did not turn up because IGAD had ignored its request to replace Kenya's President William Ruto as head of the committee spearheading the talks.

Ruto "lacks impartiality in the ongoing crisis," the ministry said through the state news agency. Last month it accused Kenya of harbouring the RSF.

Neither Ruto's office nor the Kenyan ministry of foreign affairs responded immediately when Reuters sought comment. The Kenyan government said last month the president was a neutral arbiter who was duly appointed by the IGAD summit.

Following the meeting, Ruto called for an unconditional ceasefire and the establishment of a humanitarian zone — spanning a radius of 30 kilometres in Khartoum — to aid the delivery of humanitarian assistance.

Talks hosted in Jeddah and sponsored by the United States and Saudi Arabia were suspended last month. Egypt has said it would host a separate summit of Sudan's neighbours on July 13 to discuss ways to end the conflict.

Unlike the talks in Jeddah, the meeting in Addis Ababa was attended by members of a civilian coalition that shared power with the military in Sudan before a coup in 2021.

IGAD said that along with the African Union, it would immediately start a "civilian engagement process" aimed at delivering peace.

 

Reuters

Twitter owner Elon Musk has escalated his feud with fellow technology billionaire Mark Zuckerberg by branding him a “cuck” and suggesting that the two social media titans should compete by measuring their male anatomy.

“Zuck is a cuck,” Musk said on Sunday in a Twitter post. “I propose a literal dick-measuring contest.”

Musk and Zuckerberg -- who rank as the world’s richest and seventh-richest individuals, respectively – have been trading barbs on social media for weeks. Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook parent Meta Platforms Inc., accepted Musk’s challenge to a cage match last month.

Their rivalry has also heated up on the social media front. Meta’s new Twitter-lookalike social media platform, called Threads, surpassed 100 million users on Monday, just five days after its official launch. A law firm representing Musk sent Meta a cease-and-desist letter last week, claiming the company stole Twitter’s trade secrets to create Threads.

“Competition is fine, cheating is not,” Musk tweeted last week. He has accused Meta of developing Threads as a “copycat” application by hiring dozens of former Twitter employees who had access to the platform’s intellectual property.

Meta spokesman Andy Stone denied the allegations, saying no one on the Threads engineering team was a former Twitter employee.

Threads is a companion app to another Meta-owned platform, Instagram. Musk criticized the concept behind the new venture on Saturday, saying, “Threads is just Instagram minus pics, which makes no sense, given that thirst pics are the main reason people use that app. How many times have you read comments on Insta pics and wished there were more? Personally, never.”

 

Russia Today

Economists have long argued that productivity is the foundation of prosperity. The only way a country can increase its standard of living sustainably is to produce more goods and services with fewer resources. Since the Industrial Revolution, this has been achieved through innovation, which is why productivity has become synonymous, in the public imagination, with technological progress and research and development.

Our intuition about how innovation promotes productivity is shaped by everyday experience in business. Firms that adopt new technologies tend to become more productive, allowing them to outcompete technological laggards. But a productive society is not the same as a productive firm. Something that promotes productivity in a business may not work, or may even backfire, at the level of a whole country or economy. Whereas firms have the luxury of focusing on the productivity of only those resources they choose to employ, a society needs to enhance the productivity of all of its people.

But many economists (and others) have failed to appreciate this distinction, owing to the assumption that technological progress will eventually trickle down to everyone, even if its immediate benefits accrue only to a small group of firms and investors. As economists Daron Acemoglu and Simon Johnson remind us in their useful new book, this belief has not quite been true historically. The Industrial Revolution may have inaugurated the period of modern economic growth, but it did not produce advances in well-being for most ordinary workers for the better part of a century.

Worse, the conventional narrative may have become even less true with the most recent wave of technological advances. New technologies may fail to lift all boats because their benefits can be overwhelmingly captured by a small group of players – be it a few firms or narrow segments of the workforce. One culprit is inappropriate institutions and regulations, which skew bargaining power in the economy or restrict entry by outsiders to modern sectors. Another is the nature of technology itself: innovation often empowers only specific groups, such as highly skilled workers and professionals.

Consider one of the paradoxes of the hyper-globalization era. After the 1990s, as trade costs fell and manufacturing production spread around the world, many firms in low- and middle-income countries became integrated into global supply chains and adopted state-of-the-art production techniques. As a result, these firms’ productivity increased by leaps and bounds. Yet the productivity of the economies in which they were domiciled stagnated in many cases, or even regressed.

Mexico provides a startling case study, since it was once a poster child for hyper-globalization. Thanks to the government’s liberalizing reforms in the 1980s and the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) in the 1990s, Mexico experienced a boom in manufactured exports and inward foreign direct investment. Yet the result was a spectacular failure where it really mattered. Along with many others in Latin America, Mexico experienced negative total factor productivity growth in subsequent decades.

As a recent analysis by the economists Oscar Fentanes and Santiago Levy demonstrates, Mexican manufacturing did indeed become more productive as it was forced to compete globally. While less productive firms that failed to adapt eventually shut down, many remaining firms adopted new technologies and became more productive.

The problem was twofold. First, manufacturing firms – especially formal ones – shrank in terms of employment, absorbing an ever-smaller share of the economy’s labor force. Then, the rest of the economy, which was dominated by small, informal firms, became less and less productive. The upshot was that productivity gains in the (shrinking) globally oriented manufacturing sector were more than offset by the poor performance in other activities, mostly informal services.

Fentanes and Levy attribute these consequences to Mexican labor and social-insurance regulations, which they claim encouraged informality and hampered the growth of formal-sector firms. Yet one can find the same pattern of productivity polarization in many other Latin American economies, as well as in Sub-Saharan countries.

An alternative explanation concerns the changing nature of manufacturing technology itself. So great are the skill and capital requirements of integrating into global value chains that countries poorly endowed with these resources face sharply rising cost curves, preventing their firms from expanding and absorbing much labor. Workers flocking to the cities from the countryside have little choice but to crowd into low-productivity petty services.

Whatever the underlying cause, this issue exemplifies why government strategies to boost productivity can miss the mark. Whether it comes in the form of plugging into global value chains, subsidizing R&D, or investment tax credits, conventional policies often target the wrong problem. In many cases, the binding constraint is not a lack of innovation in the most advanced firms, but rather the large productive gaps between them and the rest of the economy. Raising the bottom – by providing training, public inputs, and business services to smaller, service-oriented firms – can be more effective than lifting the top.

There are lessons here for the new age of artificial intelligence. Large language models’ potential to perform a wide range of tasks at greater speed has generated much excitement about significant future productivity growth. But, once again, the overall impact of this technology will depend on the extent to which its benefits can be disseminated throughout the economy.

As Arjun Ramani and Zhengdong Wang argue in a recent commentary, the productivity benefits of AI may be limited if important parts of the economy – construction, face-to-face services, human-dependent creative work – remain immune to it. This would be a version of the so-called Baumol cost disease, whereby the rising relative prices of certain activities choke off economy-wide improvements in living standards.

These considerations should not turn us into techno-pessimists or Luddites. But they do caution against equating productivity with technology, R&D, and innovation. Scientific and technological innovation may be necessary for the productivity growth that enriches societies, but it is not sufficient. Transforming technological progress into broad productivity growth requires policies specifically designed to encourage broad diffusion, avoid productive dualism, and ensure inclusivity.

 

Project Syndicate

Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and one of the world's wealthiest individuals, is known for his insightful wisdom and notable quotes. Here are four memorable tips to help you navigate your path to success:

Bill Gates on embracing your uniqueness

Don't compare yourself with anyone in this world...if you do so, you are insulting yourself.

In today's interconnected world, it's easy to fall into the trap of comparing ourselves with others. Social media platforms, in particular, amplify this tendency. Unfortunately, constant comparisons can lead to a detrimental cycle of self-doubt, anxiety, and insecurity.

When we compare ourselves to others, we often forget that we are merely looking at snapshots of their lives. Consequently, we place unrealistic expectations upon ourselves, chasing an elusive version of success that might not align with our passions, values, and strengths.

Bill Gates' quote reminds us of the value of self-acceptance and recognizing our individuality. Each of us possesses unique talents, experiences, and perspectives that shape who we are. 

So, instead of seeking validation and approval from external comparisons, Gates encourages us to embrace our uniqueness and focus on personal growth and improvement. Anything less is an insult to our intelligence and dignity.

Bill Gates on failure and learning from mistakes

Gates once said:

It's fine to celebrate success, but it is more important to heed the lessons of failure.

Success is not a black-and-white concept or an all-or-nothing achievement, leading us to perceive anything short of success as failure. Regrettably, this belief fosters fear of failure and discourages attempts. Embracing a more nuanced view of success can liberate us from this fear and empower us to take risks and pursue our goals with a broader perspective.

Bill Gates on taking personal responsibility for your life

Gates said:

If you are born poor, it's not your mistake. But if you die poor, it's your mistake. 

Being born into poverty, facing economic hardships, or experiencing societal disadvantages are not choices people consciously make. 

However, the second part of Gates' quote carries a transformative message: taking responsibility for one's life and choices. While the circumstances at birth may be challenging, the trajectory of one's life can be significantly influenced by the decisions made along the way. 

Embracing personal responsibility empowers individuals to take control of their lives, break free from the cycle of poverty, and pursue opportunities for growth and success.

Bill Gates on avoiding the trap of complacency

Gates said:

Success is a lousy teacher. It seduces smart people into thinking they can't lose.

People have interpreted this quote in several ways. For me, I look at the possible negative effects achieving a win can have on our psyche. When we achieve our big goals and dreams, it's an exhilarating feeling of accomplishment. 

But let's be real. Success can lull even the smartest people into a false sense of security, making them believe they're invincible. That's when complacency creeps in, stunting our growth and blocking the path to further achievements.

To avoid the pitfalls of complacency, successful entrepreneurs cultivate a growth mindset that keeps them open to new ideas and encourages calculated risks to create and innovate. They stay grounded and seek feedback from peers, mentors, and customers. So, heed the advice of Bill Gates and stop thinking you can't lose. 

Be humble, listen to the perspectives of others, and continuously learn from them. That's a good strategy on the road to your success.

 

Inc

Over half of the domestic flights in Nigeria between January and March were delayed, an official report states, confirming the complaints of travellers about incessant flight delays in the country’s airports.

Of the total 18,288 domestic flights within the period, 10,128 were delayed (55 per cent), the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) stated in a report tagged “Executive Summary on International and Domestic Flight Operations.”

Many Nigerians have lamented the incessant delay in domestic flights by operators across the country’s airports. Many have taken to social media to narrate their experiences with some flights delayed for over 24 hours.

In its report, the NCAA said the 11 domestic airlines operating in the country also had 284 flight cancellations within the period.

The report also stated that 2,791,591 passengers passed through the nation’s domestic airports in the first quarter of 2023. It indicates that, of the 2,791,591 passengers, 1,391,560 were inbound and 1,400,031 outbound.

Also, the summary indicates passenger traffic of 870,776 on international airlines operations in the first quarter of the year.

The breakdown shows that while inbound passenger traffic of 375,700 was recorded, outbound traffic was 495,076 on the international routes.

In the first quarter, 25 foreign airlines operated 3,073 flights on international routes, while 11 domestic airlines operated 18,288 flights on domestic routes.

Also, 1,193 complaints were received from passengers by the NCAA, on delayed flights on international routes, with 24 complaints of cancellations and six of air returns.

On domestic flights, 10,128 flights were delayed within the first three months, with 284 cancelled and 28 cases of air returns.

The report indicates that 499 flights were delayed on foreign flights in January, with Air Peace topping the list with 53, followed by Asky with 45, Qatar Airways with 41 and British Airways with 33, amongst others.

In February, delayed flights were 325, with AWA recording 30, Ethiopian Airlines 33, Kenya Airways 11; while in March, 369 flights were delayed, with Qatar Airways recording 32, United Airlines had 1 and Air Peace recorded 64.

There were seven cancelled flights in January, 13 in February and four in March.

Delayed flights

Larry Madowo was looking forward to travelling to Port Harcourt from Lagos when he got a notification from Air Peace Airlines that his flight will be “delayed for operational reasons.” Scheduled for 3 p.m. on 23 October 2022, the one-hour flight was delayed for five hours.

“I sat at the Lagos airport for nearly 5 hours,” said Madowo, CNN’s International Correspondent. “Every Air Peace flight to a domestic destination was delayed due to operational reasons that day,” he wrote on Twitter.

The airline replied to Madowo saying “We do not deliberately delay flights. In fact, it causes a huge strain on our operations but sometimes, such delays are sadly inevitable due to unforeseen circumstances or factors we cannot control.”

“This is not the experience we promise our customers. This was a one-off and we’re unhappy it happened,” the airline added.

Madowo and several travellers have had their sheer horrible experiences with incessant flight delays in Nigerian airports.

Airlines with the highest percentage of delayed flights

At 84 per cent, Overland Airlines was the most notorious for delaying flights, according to the NCAA. Azman Airlines and United Airlines trailed Overland, delaying 73 per cent of their flights respectively.

Dana Air was behind by 67 per cent while Max Air had 65 per cent of delayed flights.

Air Peace, Nigeria’s largest domestic carrier followed, delaying 58 per cent of its flights; Arik Air 57 per cent; and Aero Contractors 56 per cent.

Ibom Air and Green Africa each had 35 per cent of delayed flights during the period under review.

Value Jet recorded the least percentage of delayed flights at 22 per cent.

As flying remains less than dependable, some passengers say it is important to add some buffer time into your travel schedule to accommodate delays and cancellations.

Rabi Mohammed normally avoids Max Airlines (they made her miss a job opportunity four years ago), but the carrier was scheduled for her by an agent, a perfectly timed option for her Sunday trip from Kano to Lagos. So she gave them another chance in May 2022.

Unfortunately, the 90-minute flight was delayed for well over nine hours, she said.

Airlines with the highest number of delayed flights

In terms of volume, Air Peace delayed 3,754 flights, the highest number of delayed flights in the first three months of the year. The airline also operated 6,521 flights during the period under review, the highest number by domestic airliner.

NCAA data shows that Max Airline operated 1,565 flights out of which 1013 flights were delayed, making it the second domestic airline with the highest number of delayed flights in the first quarter of the year.

Arik Airlines followed with 926 delayed flights out of 1,619 flights it operated while United Airlines delayed at least 910 flights out of its 1,243.

Of the 2,312 flights it operated between January and March, State-owned Ibom Air delayed 746 flights. Aero Contractors delayed 624 flights out of a total of 1,123.

Meanwhile, Overland Airline delayed 605 flights out of 719; Dana Air had 474 delayed flights out of 711 while Green Africa delayed 443 out of its total 1,182.

Azman Airline operated 527 flights and delayed 385 during the first quarter of the year. Value Jet had a total of 766 flights. It delayed 248 of that number.

The NCAA report also stated that 2,791,591 passengers passed through the nation’s domestic airports in the first quarter of 2023, data shows.

It indicates that, of the 2,791,591 passengers, 1,391,560 were inbound and 1,400,031 outbound.

The NCAA’s latest data shows that schedule changes and marathon delays are wreaking havoc on passengers’ plans and stress levels, and yet they show no signs of stopping.

The Nigeria Civil Aviation Regulations (Nig.CARs) 2015 which is being amended guarantees that passengers get full refunds when their flights are delayed or cancelled.

“Every passenger shall, before purchasing any ticket for a contract of carriage by the air carrier or its agents, be entitled to the full, fair, and clear disclosure of all the terms and conditions of the carriage about to be purchased.

“The disclosure shall include, among others, documents required to be presented at check-in, provisions on check-in deadlines, refund and rebooking policies, and procedures and responsibility for delayed and/or cancelled flights,” the regulations said.

 

PT


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